Symbiosis Federation Congress

Of Egg and Chicken: A Report Back

from it's going down

I’d heard hubbub about Symbiosis for almost a year, but I didn’t quite get it. Was it just a bunch of people on the internet? What were they trying to do exactly? Why was their design so fly?

A couple months back I met a new friend who had been involved in some of the online organizing, and he had given me reason to believe that the Congress was going to be well worth attending, even though the whole thing was kind of confusing. The confusion first made sense to me when an organizer explained on a conference call for new member organizations that they were working with a “chicken and egg” problem: on the one hand they wanted to build a federation of municipalist organizations; on the other hand they wanted the meaning and organizational forms of that federation to be determined by the member organizations themselves. But in order to get those organizations to create the federation, they had to build enough of the federation to get them to join it… in order to build the federation. It is a hard problem, and it is a credit to the early organizers — let’s call them the egg-builders — to have had the good sense to embrace this paradox.

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