This is an idea that Sharon Ede and I worked up earlier this year, but just posting now. The main idea of a Commons Hospitality Network is for an easy to implement and functional hospitality network that serves the purposes of:

1.     lowering travel costs for commons activists and advocates

2.     helps build relationships between people in the commons space across states and countries

3.     helps build knowledge of what is happening ‘here and there’ such that inter-state and trans-national coordination and collaboration for commoning projects becomes easier.

How it works:

A group of commons activists and advocates who have spare rooms in their homes sign up to the network.

Ideally we would have 3-6 homes in places like Melbourne, Brisbane, Wellington, Jakarta, Dili etc. where people could potentially stay without having to pay for accommodation (but perhaps contributing for food).

(note: starting scope would be Oceania to be both culturally diverse and inclusive without trying to take on too much).

When a person from one city wants to stay in another, they would contact an ‘ambassador’ from that city that will help facilitate the stay.

The explicit quid pro quo is that the guest needs to develop a (short!) report, presentation or workshop that they can give to the host and their community. Thus, there is a built-in and agreed upon knowledge exchange so that people can become increasingly aware of non-proximate commoning activities.

After the presentation, report or workshop, the guest also needs to give the ambassador their presentation or report (why are they traveling and what are they doing?), which then gets shared with the whole hospitality network. Thus every time someone stays with someone else, everyone knows and everyone gets an update on activities happening. (A video of the presentation might also be made and made available to the network.)

Ambassadors

Ideally several people would be an ambassador in a given city. (But start with one)

They would find, from among their networks, several possible places a guest could stay on a short term basis (from one night to up until a week).

Ambassadors may or may not have rooms of their own to offer – their role is to find accommodation for the guest.

The contact details of Ambassadors would be made to the wider network, but not the details or locations of the host venues. When a request is received, the Ambassador(s) then tap their local network of existing offers to determine current opportunities.

Criteria

Host venues would ideally be near where presentations are most likely to be held, or at least within walking distance of good public transport networks.

At a minimum, the guest must have their own room. This is to minimise any disturbance from either guest or host, as the guest is likely to be managing a degree of travel-weariness and needing sound sleep and focus in order to deliver.

Questions:

Does their have to be a purpose for their visit ie. in the country or state for a specific event?

Or can it be a network people can travel in because they wish to, so long as they contribute something of knowledge to the host community (a workshop, presentation)?

How is this information stored and who has access to view or change it?

LEGAL: This is an information exchange only, which seeks to make more systematic informal arrangements of this nature which are already occurring – the organisers of this network and ambassadors accept no liability. The onus is on the guest and host to ensure both are happy with arrangements etc etc

Rationale

  • Visiting guests pay money to stay in hotel rooms.
  • Locals have rooms for guests.
  • Local organisations need funds.
  • Guests could stay with locals, either at no cost, or donating all or part of what they would have spent on a hotel to their host organisation.
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