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(draft) The Edgeryders Guide to the Future: A handbook for policymakers and managers of policy-oriented online communities

(draft) The Edgeryders Guide to the Future: A handbook for policymakers and managers of policy-oriented online communities

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Published by Edgeryders
This (Draft) Handbook for Policymakers is an overview of a project called Edgeryders: an open and distributed think tank of young Europeans that works through an interactive online platform. Developed by the Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning Division at the Council of Europe, Edgeryders was tasked with looking at the transition of youth to an independent, active life with a holistic perspective. The project encompasses an arc of 13 months at the time of writing (September 2011- September 2012). An unusual project that embraced the Internet as the main meeting place and locus of coordination of all its activities, Edgeryders had to innovate the administrative modus operandi at every step just in order to stay viable. This document tries to summarize the operational knowledge gathered along the way as well as the implications for members of the policy community. The Handbook is divided into three sections. The first, “Where we started” presents the political background to the Edgeryders projecy, the policy-led reasons as to why a risk has been taken on this unusual approach, as well as a guide to how the project was built for those who wish to replicate the Edgeryders methodology. Its purpose is to serve as a guide for managers of future policy-oriented online communities. Through the numbers of participants engaged over the year, the sheer volume and richness of data generated by the methodology has allowed the Edgeryders project to achieve both a breadth and depth of research that most other forms of policy research have, to date, rarely sought to achieve. The second section, “Where we got to”, presents the research results from the ethnographic analysis of the data collected. It gives the reader an insight into why the young people who have become - indeed, who are and have been for some time - Edgeryders matter, and what their stories reveal about the current disconnect between their ambitions for an active, independent life and the socio-political arena in which they are attempting to make these a reality. The third and final section, “”Where to go next”, puts forward proposals for further action as suggested by project participants, the team of policy researchers and experts charged with devising the policy recommendations as well as the Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning Division of the Council of Europe. The Handbook ends with a call to action that speaks directly to points raised in the first section on the Edgeryders methodology. While the first iteration of the Project is wrapping up, Edgeryders is a generative project both for institutions and for the individual citizens who engage in it. It has been invited to and continues to feed into other institutional projects. The Edgeryders methodology for crowdsourcing knowledge has been commission to feed into Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe report on addressing suicide and self-harm prevention amongst young people Europe 1, and has been picked up in a new joint project between the European Commission and the Council of Europe for combatting poverty, exclusion and precarisation. For the individual community members, Edgeryders as an initiative has had a far more significant impact than playing a role in policy research; it has already started to provide support for this community on peer to peer basis. This copy is a draft for gathering feedback and is subject to change prior to official publication.
This (Draft) Handbook for Policymakers is an overview of a project called Edgeryders: an open and distributed think tank of young Europeans that works through an interactive online platform. Developed by the Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning Division at the Council of Europe, Edgeryders was tasked with looking at the transition of youth to an independent, active life with a holistic perspective. The project encompasses an arc of 13 months at the time of writing (September 2011- September 2012). An unusual project that embraced the Internet as the main meeting place and locus of coordination of all its activities, Edgeryders had to innovate the administrative modus operandi at every step just in order to stay viable. This document tries to summarize the operational knowledge gathered along the way as well as the implications for members of the policy community. The Handbook is divided into three sections. The first, “Where we started” presents the political background to the Edgeryders projecy, the policy-led reasons as to why a risk has been taken on this unusual approach, as well as a guide to how the project was built for those who wish to replicate the Edgeryders methodology. Its purpose is to serve as a guide for managers of future policy-oriented online communities. Through the numbers of participants engaged over the year, the sheer volume and richness of data generated by the methodology has allowed the Edgeryders project to achieve both a breadth and depth of research that most other forms of policy research have, to date, rarely sought to achieve. The second section, “Where we got to”, presents the research results from the ethnographic analysis of the data collected. It gives the reader an insight into why the young people who have become - indeed, who are and have been for some time - Edgeryders matter, and what their stories reveal about the current disconnect between their ambitions for an active, independent life and the socio-political arena in which they are attempting to make these a reality. The third and final section, “”Where to go next”, puts forward proposals for further action as suggested by project participants, the team of policy researchers and experts charged with devising the policy recommendations as well as the Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning Division of the Council of Europe. The Handbook ends with a call to action that speaks directly to points raised in the first section on the Edgeryders methodology. While the first iteration of the Project is wrapping up, Edgeryders is a generative project both for institutions and for the individual citizens who engage in it. It has been invited to and continues to feed into other institutional projects. The Edgeryders methodology for crowdsourcing knowledge has been commission to feed into Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe report on addressing suicide and self-harm prevention amongst young people Europe 1, and has been picked up in a new joint project between the European Commission and the Council of Europe for combatting poverty, exclusion and precarisation. For the individual community members, Edgeryders as an initiative has had a far more significant impact than playing a role in policy research; it has already started to provide support for this community on peer to peer basis. This copy is a draft for gathering feedback and is subject to change prior to official publication.

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Published by: Edgeryders on Dec 11, 2012
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