by Luise Willer

In general terms, the notion of assembling refers to the process of putting together or bringing together various components, parts, or elements to create a unified whole or a finished product. However, in the context of non-horizontal communities, assembling refers to the process of bringing together individuals and groups with the underlining aspiration to foster a decision-making process where diverse perspectives, backgrounds, or interests allow to form a cohesive and collaborative community. The goal is often to create a sense of unity and synergy among diverse individuals or groups, leveraging their unique strengths and perspectives for the benefit of the community as a whole. Moreover, assembling in the context of community work revolves around setting forth common goal and purpose with shared values as the foundation. Unlike non-horizontal communities that may have varying degrees of hierarchy, more horizontal communities aspire for greater degrees of power distribution as part of a collective entity.

Assembling can and at times does include the formation of networks, alliances, or partnerships where different entities collaborate to address specific issues, share resources, or achieve mutual objectives. Mutual aid is often at the core of the community work where assembling is used as a method for collective decision-making as aiding each other within a complex process of sharing leadership and rethinking the degrees of hierarchies within community work requires setting forth the space for vulnerabilities.

Interestingly, in both horizontal and non-horizontal communities, assembling could also involve the establishment of structures, such as committees, councils, or leadership roles, to facilitate decision-making and coordination within the community, therefore assembling as a practice of working as inclusive and diverse community inherently requires a to have checks and balances in place. These checks and balances are a feedback mechanism for the communities to self-evaluate in terms of adherence to their values and radical honesty is one underlining component that has to be constantly at play within assembling procedures.

Published 12/28/2023