Sun 2 Oct 2022 8:16PM

Closed - Kiez burn vision weekend

JF Julian Finn Public Seen by 52

This advice process has been closed. We will have the vision weekend in December 10th-11th. Sign up and details will follow soon.

TLDR: We think it might be time for a structured process regarding the future of Kiez Burn. We advocate for a strategy workshop with the goal of creating a longer term vision.

Proposers: @Julian Finn @Franzi

Proposers Roles:

Julian has been involved in KB since 2018 and was this year's welfare lead, Franzi has held multiple leading roles including being a Board member.

Who would impement this: Organizing the weekend would fall to the new board and whoever steps forward, probably Franzi

Affected: Everyone involved in Kiezburn

The Proposal:


Kiez Burn 2022 was a blast! Of course it was. This is not about criticizing the past year but rather about pointing out some systemic challenges. We are collecting here our observations as well as the outcomes from the leadership program and the powerful teams survey.

  • The Decentralization tends to lead to people defining their own lead roles, creating gaps and unclarities regarding responsibilities. This is mostly due to a lack of onboarding. The originally set up system of guides is not working in practise and most realizers are ‘left alone’. Roles are clearly defined but not communicated well. There is a lot of communication overhead between individual areas as well as between camps and core-orga (Korg, Board, Leads etc).

  • Orga set up: We have no clear set up for ‘how we do Kiez Burn’. We have different groups of people such as: board, korgies, leads, some form of core team etc but their roles and focus is not clarified. We have a lot of people working very, very hard to make Kiez Burn happen and burning out over it. Which leads to core people leaving every year and a lot of new people coming in. This causes us friction in: no clear roles, people don’t get onboarded, conflicts are not managed, realisers are not following the principles of Kiez Burn and doing ‘their own thing’, massive loss of knowledge and we lose amazing people. We have not managed so far to build a robust system with clear roles & responsibilities that makes people want to stay and allows us all to make Kiez Burn happen in a happy and healthy way.

  • Bureaucracy: Especially the dreams process has turned into a system where the hassle outweighs the benefits. It is easier to just self-fund (or drop) a small dream than going through the dreams platform. Creating a dream feels quite bureaucratic and un-burnery. It also favors those with a larger network and disadvantages people who are less good at communicating. To be clear: this is a structural issue.

  • Communication and ways of working: How do we store our knowledge and make it accessible? Do we still use realities? Was the launch of discord a success or a pain? What is the communication tool that serves us? How do we take decisions online together?

  • Separation from European Burner culture: KB is the fourth largest burn in Europe, yet we are more or less separate from the “rest of the scene”. With one or two exceptions there are no larger European camps or groups coming to KB, neither do KB camps tend to visit Nowhere, Borderland or other European burns. KB is extremely Berlin centric, with none of the crews from Hamburg, Cologne, Munich or other places coordinating to come. Long story short: KB somehow feels like its own thing without much of an integration and therefore not much variety.

  • Party Focus: If we want it or not: the chances of someone suddenly walking into The Observatory Friday night and getting lost in telescoping for 3 hours are fairly small. There are multiple theories why this is the case, but it is safe to say that most Kiez Burners somehow end up meandering along the underworld-musotopia axis (with wonderland / saloon as other stops) at night or just going to bed because they hate the music and there’s not much else to do.

  • Long-Term vision: Kiez Burn somehow lives from year to year, yet most of the camps have somehow been around for ages. This means that there are the same “should we get a new Gelände” debates every year and the same sort of “well, if someone did this it might be nice” responses. Yet we also don’t decide to grow, actively invite new camps or cooperate with Freiland to build new structures. All things that might be possible if we knew what we would be doing longer term.


All these points are mere observations. To each of these there is a valid “yeah, and that is perfectly fine!” answer. And still, it feels like they could also be consciously discussed. And maybe written down somewhere.

Here are some wild ideas what a longer term vision could bring us:

  • If we were to decide to stay at Freiland for the next 5 years, we could decide to grow KB to the maximum Freiland capacity. We could talk to FL about building more permanent structures. We could focus on things such as extending the numbers of days (and be creative about how to fill them if we don’t get a sound permit). We wouldn’t even have to commit to FL with a contract. Just state intentions.

  • If we were to decide that we want to be “the german burn”, maybe other crews would put in more effort in joining. If we were to decide that we don’t want to fill that role, maybe the other crews would decide to do their own thing, which could also be totally fine

  • If we got more European camps to join us, maybe more people who only know Kiez Burn could become inspired. Start building their own stuff.

  • If we were to extend the burn to the entire week without getting more sound permits, maybe other camps could take over the Underworld space monday til wednesday.

  • If we were to change the venue, maybe we could get a “seven days including sound” permit without going on any neighbours’ nerves


All this means one thing: It is time to sit down and get inspired. To actually talk about the pressing questions. We’ve listed a few of them below and can imagine there’s many more. We call the KB community and Vorstand to come together, get a date and spend a weekend on a strategy workshop with the goal of creating a “Long term vision for Kiez Burn” document. Not as a fixed set of rules but rather as guidelines for where we want to go.

Some of the questions that could be discussed are:

  • What do we want KB to look like five years from now?

  • What set up do we need to get there? Board? Korg? Leads? Resuscitate guides?

  • Do we think Freiland enables or hinders us?

  • Do we wanna move site?

  • Do we want to become “the big German summer burn” or do we want to stay the way we are?

  • Do we want more outreach into the wider Burner Community? If so: How to do that?

  • Do we want more and bigger art pieces? If so: how do we want to achieve that?

  • Is three and a half days (Wednesday afternoon til Saturday night) enough or do we want to extend to five, six, seven days?

  • Do we want more sound / party? Less? Is it “too much party” or just “too little other stuff”? Or is it all just fine as is?

The workshop will be November/December from Friday - Sunday and open for everyone who wants to contribute. We will rent the Seminar House again. We will run workshops for: vision building, strategy & planning, retrospective ‘looking back to look forward’ and working out a clear set up for Kiez Burn.


After a discussion with Remy and Hanna Maija I am (Franzi) updating this advice process. Its to give more clarity in what we want to do.

The vision weekend will not only brainstorm on the vision of Kiez Burn but also take tangible and very concrete decisions on what our focus will be and what we will work on. eg: move site yes or no. on the back of the decisions we take the board and the kiez burn core team (whatever they ll be called) then will ensure that teams are formed that work on these initiatives and work on them themselves.


Owl Sun 2 Oct 2022 10:24PM

It would be nice if the weekend 25.11/26.11. could be avoided. I'm preparing a German Burner conference in Berlin on that Friday+Saturday, to gather the different Burner sub communities for an exchange. The focus will be different from the vision weekend, so there won't be much taken away by that event for the vision workshop. Sorry for the short notice, the plan and date are there already for some time, but the process was not yet at a point to publish.

One other idea for the list which some people are discussing could be a "shared" big burn in Germany. Finding a large area (like the Fusion festival area), and combine forces between the many Burn orga crews and camps in (and around?) Germany to create an event of a bigger size, where each existing event has "its own" area and can keep their identity.


Cairn (Clément) Mon 3 Oct 2022 10:49AM

I disagree with a few points of the "Analysis" regarding Orga set up and would consider them to be more point of views rather than facts. I would wait for the results of the Census to draw conclusions as to the state of KB.

However I do agree with a lot of it, and mostly with the current necessity to sit down and discuss our vision and ways to work together.
Happy to take part in this, and very much like the proposed format!

As the realisers of this would include the new board, it would of course wait for the General Assembly and the new board being elected to be fully validated (unless you'd like to take it on by yourself @Franzi, but I agree that this is a project that could benefit for being (co)carried by the board)


Julian Finn Mon 3 Oct 2022 12:00PM

@Cairn (Clément) oh they‘re absolutely point of views! if they weren‘t there‘d hardly be anything to discuss ;)

Happy to find a better headline than „analysis“ to better reflect the fact that this is written from an individual standpoint.


Kaliope Mon 3 Oct 2022 2:06PM

Wow, this actually feels a bit anachronistic, a proper Advice Process on Talk – thanks for that 💪 This initiative and especially the Vision Weekend is definitely needed and many Kiezis will appreciate... Let's make the structures more sexy again and come up with brilliant ideas and strategies for the future! Retire the shadow council and prevent burner burnouts!

Completely agree with @Cairn (Clément) that some of the points are more personal preferences and opinions – so it is even more important to get a complete picture, include different points of view and also experiences from the last years.


Franzi Mon 3 Oct 2022 2:51PM

Thanks all for joining the discussion. Of course they are personal observations from Julian & myself. Its a starting point for this discussion and more for everyone to understand what triggered us personally to come forward with this proposal. We want to do a proper ‘state of the nation’ ad part of the weekend.

@Cairn (Clément) I am not sure I understand your comment 😬 the part with validation of the new board. Our idea is that everyone is invited that is interested and want to be driving the future of KB. Irregardless if board member or not :)


Saskia Tue 4 Oct 2022 7:11AM

Great initiative and I am always glad to see such a weekend happen. Thanks for taking the first steps.

I am with some others, I would contest some of those points. As you might think I particularly object the "it's only party" complaint.

As I have a lot of impressions and feelings regarding the dreams process and have been leading it for two years, I would like to be at that weekend simply for that reason alone. I have a radical idea to propose. :P :P

Crossing fingers I can make it that weekend and don't have other obligations.


Natacha Kromatik Tue 4 Oct 2022 12:15PM

Thanks for opening up this discussion, I would be very interested to take part in this week-end. We had a build & strike debriefing meeting lately that ended up with discussions around some of these questions, and I'd be happy to contribute with event infrastructure's feedback and ideas. Also interested in how to optimise our knowledge transmission system.


Kris Tue 4 Oct 2022 12:24PM

This is what I wish the "leadership weekend" was, there's some real issues we need to dig into here.

Not super interested in getting bogged down on "analysis", and there are big ticket items like "should we be in Freiland" that has the opportunity to derail a lot of conversations. (I think there's more than enough drive to keep having a burn in Freiland, so the question should be if we as a crew also want to get involved with something on a different site)

The overarching question for me is "how to we enable people to bring their authentic passions to Kiez Burn".

If we lose kieze to red tape, participants because there aren't enough tickets, art to lack of funding, or interesting parties to sound restrictions, that's a failure in making a frame that enables authentic expression.


Alex Kaos Tue 4 Oct 2022 9:23PM

Excellent initiative, I believe that creating a strong vision makes for a wonderful weekend and breathes new life, into even what I still consider a vibrant community.

Even if we didn't have these specific problems you are addressing, or even if we were to resolve all of these points, there will always be a good reason to enact out such a weekend, to imagine and plan out a better future.

Any vision of this magnitude will still need copious quantities of grit (passion and perseverance). And I have yet to see a single case of that working in a distributed manner. Decentralization has some wonderful properties, and it has it's place in fulfilling visions of scale, but it is not the secret sauce of said success.

Someone(s) needs to hold the course and keep the ship's rudder pointing in the right direction, watch the sails are full of wind, and when unfortunately necessary, row themselves.

The only extra point I would want to see on the agenda, in order to have full confidence that this vision will be a worthwhile endeavor, is to know that someone(s) with the necessary competency and commitment takes personal responsibility for this mission being executed.

What concerns me is an all-to-frequent offer I encounter of "I'll help make the concept/mission/job, and then step-out and allow others to fulfill it". Mostly because I believe that whilst this can work well in a professional setting, in the volunteer-run organization it won't get us past a 5-month horizon, as soon as the (i.e.) third major unforeseen challenge arises.

I understand this is a contentious angle, especially coming from me. It is however simply my advice, and can be discarded if it is believed to not be appropriate. I cannot attend the weekend unfortunately, as much as I would love to. Good luck to you all! x x x x


Uli aus Berlin Wed 5 Oct 2022 5:21PM

I would be very interested to take part in this weekend :-)

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