The Anchovy League is turning out to be the most beautiful and enriching associative project in which we have taken part
When Natalia published her post about the origins of the anchovy as we know it we surely found it inspiring, and quite a few friends called us for comment. But we never imagined that the conversation it opened up and of which we would take part of, would end up mobilizing a hundred people from four continents.
Of course, in reality the credit was not at all ours, but of our friends from Gijón, whom we had known for many years from soirees and activism initiatives with ASATA, Pensar Consulting or Periodismo Humano. A few months ago they offered us to be part of a project to revitalize the “Sharing Economy” and new forms of social economy in the Atlantic Arc, and we loved the idea. We couldn’t get Bordeaux out of our heads after the trip with Teresa Querejazu and “Open Network Bilbao,” David was arriving from OuishareFest, where he had met Neal, Matt, Albert, and Antonin, and the Edgeryders experience in Tbilisi had reaffirmed the idea that a very interesting movement was taking shape around the world.
At the time of that first meeting, the movement was still not called The Anchovie League yet, but the idea of having the anchovy as a symbol had come up already. The first encounters with Neal in California and Sharon in Australia couldn’t have been more positive. Soon we were carrying out virtual meetings all together. The idea of an activity soon turned into that of a partnership, and the names of potential partners and allies began to emerge one by one. Everyone showed great enthusiasm, and so we started working on a first encounter.
During recent weeks we the Indianos have involved ourselves with all our heart and given a hand in everything we could. But we have received much more: an amazing participatory spirit -cheerful, constructive- of all attendees, and enjoyed wonderful conversations. We could not be happier.
The format of the event was especially helpful. Instead of the TED format (12 minute monologues) or the traditional succession of “powerpoints” with questions, we decided to conduct interviews as a “prologue,” -as if projecting a video but in a much more personal fashion- and center the experience on spaces conducive to establishing a direct, personal relationship between respondents and attendees. We finally found a format that embraced the P2P spirit and put it above the old liturgy of traditional events. The breakfasts at the hotel, a very nice Asturian Espicha, Malena’s wines, a thousand walks along the beaches, and the many cider houses in Gijón, broke down the divisive barriers and allowed everyone to enjoy getting to know everyone else, which was the main objective of the meeting.
Obviously the format can’t take all the credit: it was all about the spirit and the desire to share of those who came, gave meaning to the title of the event, and went “beyond the Sharing Economy” to bring together all sorts of ideas and projects with no strings attached and out of genuine generosity, giving rise to new projects which we hope to continue having news of.
As Indianos, we have many people to be thankful for: first of all, our hosts – Cris, Alex, Jacinto, Lorenzo, Javier … – they have been amazing, wonderful, dedicated, and enormously generous. But mostly for our friends that we personally invited and who came from all over: from Bilbao, Orereta, Murcia, La Coruna, Madrid, and Badajoz, but also from Bordeaux, Stockholm, Buenos Aires or Rancagua. And of course, our wonderful musical accompaniment, “GPS project,” and our interviewees: Neal, Matt, Antonin, Carlos, Jean-Pierre and Christian. And even if it sounds a bit inappropriate, a little self-referential… we want to thank Juan Urrutia for coming along, for explaining the most complex ideas with amazing clarity, for opening our minds to new worlds and strategies, and having been, as always, the first willing to listen, to socialize, and to contribute something of value for each and every one of us.
Thanks to all!! These have been wonderful, energizing, and hopeful days. Count on us in the Anchovie League always and for everything, it is the most beautiful and rewarding associative project in which we have taken part so far!