I spent five months as an intern at the MonViso Institute for my study course of organizational psychology. In the beginning, everybody from the Institute had to stay home, because due to Covid-19 noone was allowed to travel to Italy. The last three months of my internship I could fortunately come to Ostana, where the Institute is located. During my internship at MVI I dove deeper into a lot of different work fields, e.g. in my time in home office I supported the development of the new MVI Website with literature research and developing the content of the website. I also read a lot for a better knowledge about the concepts of MVI, e.g. systemic/ regenerative design or specifics of real-world laboratories. In Ostana I did a lot of handcrafting on campus, like woodwork or stonework e.g. for the passive building “Il Doppio“. This was a really nice chance to do a more practical part after two months in home office, I also explored my passion for this kind of work and enjoyed it a lot. Also landscaping and maintenance of the campus were an important task, e.g. taking care of the vegetable garden with permaculture principles or cutting grass, because the strong nature takes everything back on 1500 meters asl.
I engaged in a lot of community work with the municipality of the village and did the communication for the Institute, because realizing the change process in rural mountain areas like Ostana is only possible together with the community and the acceptance of local people. I participated for example in a project for a traffic regulation in Ostana, which had to be started due to high weekend tourism and too many cars coming to the village. On Sundays in July and August tourists paid a ticket if they wanted to drive higher than Ostana’s main village „Villa”, the alternative was taking a shuttle to the other villages of the community for a lower price. With this solution a lot of emissions could be saved and I was very impressed by the number of volunteers who helped in this project, too.
I also continued with a social network analysis, which had been conducted three years ago by a Master’s degree course from Lugano University, with qualitative interviews of people working or living in Ostana.
Furthermore, I supported events and hosted guests, e.g. doing resupply for a hiking group of the German Salem College. As one can see, there is a lot of various work at MVI. The work dynamic at the Institute is not classical or conventional but more organic, so flexibility is the key for a good work flow – every day is different than the other. Very often after work we enjoy dinner together at MVI and talk about ideas for new projects or just make some funny jokes or enjoy music, because at MVI it is important to have a good time and not staying anonymous.
MVI has also a lot of friends and business partners who visit the campus, you meet new extrovert and open-minded people who also work on systemic design and help pushing things forward.
I felt very welcome in Ostana and it’s nature, the friendly people living and working there are amazing and I won’t forget the time there. In the end of the Internship I decided to return to live and work in the village – for being part of this open minded and innovative place. We need more people moving to mountain communities, even if it seems to be difficult with job search or other services. If you stay longer in Ostana like I did, you will recognize the beauty of living there and you will fall in love with the nature and it’s harmony.
My specific tasks and learnings included the following:
- Supporting the organizational and topical development of MVI as real-world laboratory
- Content development and literature research for the new website of MVI
- In-depth learning on theory and practice of sustainability transitions and regenerative design
- Participating in design and hands-on work to finish a wooden passive net-positive building
- Co-hosting experiential public events and student/professional trainings on-site, such as the MVI Regenerative Design Talk on e-mobility, or re-supplying the Salem College outdoor hike event
- Integrating with the local community and presenting MVI as an organic network organization
- Learning handcraft with wood and stone materials, and landscaping to permaculture principles
- Doing qualitative research in form of a survey and personal interviews for a Social Network Analysis
- Supporting the business development of MVI with a data base setup of responsible real-estate
- Volunteering on public integrated mobility and tourist projects with the community