Mazi Trails

Most memorable question from the visit was a simple sounding “why are you here?” The  answer on behalf of the group “we were invited, to meet with communities and exchange skills” didn’t match with everyones expectations. Lets all attempt to extend otherwise limited experiences of each others cultures and places, particularly when this coincides with an opportunity to research new practices and share knowledge. The task for SPC, to introduce MAZI and present early outcomes of research into DIY networking whilst attending to the needs of fellow travelers, was not without complication.

MAZI is building a DIY networking toolkit and SPC’s role is to operate a pilot project ‘Creeknet’ in south east London, to review how DIY networks are arranged and to introduce sustainable tools for use of those building collective awareness platforms for sustainability and innovation (CAPSi). Such fresh opportunities to examine the process stretch preconceptions and expose shortcomings. We must continue to test and adapt our ideas, if this process is to be productive.

Working in an second language focuses the requirement for clarity which further attunes to the focus and improves the communication. We certainly put our toolkit to the test in São Paulo and in the process made friends. In the end gained a better understanding of how to introduce tools in context with ongoing activities that encourage a pull of engagement rather than the pushing of technological products as solutions.

The tools themselves are all under review for inclusion in the Mazi toolkit due delivery at the end of 2018. The pre-tech phase of introductions, exploration and explanations are vital components of the activity. Annotating the exchange and publishing early outcomes can help those following a review process to contribute, shape collaboration and support sustainability.

At this intermediate stage of development Mazi still requires attention to detail and patience for when things maybe don’t go as expected. After each day we reviewed process and attempted to adapt ready for the next. By the final meeting we were well practiced, determined to allow enough time for explanations but to not over burden our selves or hosts with the depths of detail, except when expressly requested. A growing array of supporting material both in text and image format have accumulated to support procedures for when ‘one to one’ interaction is not longer possible for distance or language reasons.

Overall, the experience confirmed the value of conversation, making time to listen to one another to identify ways of working together. These details can’t be rushed through to satisfy preconceptions, much of what gets expressed takes it’s own time to percolate.