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Nadia EL-Imam, email@example.com, @Ladyniasan
Model for fostering more trust in web of relationships with environment including customers. Story starts in 2011 when I was with the Council of Europe. Growing youth unemployment and discontent with the society our parents built. My team was tasked with building proposals for how to reform youth policy in europe.
Global unrest, rapid climate change, mass unemployment, outdated governance structures. So we turn to consultants for advice and perspective. But the Mckinseys offer old world solutions to new world problems. You cant solve the problems of the future with solutions of the past. Edgeryders has the network and methodology to consult on questions at edge of context. We are here today because we want to partner with you and access your networks.
Useful to have visualisation of abstract concept emergence: REALITY AND THE WAY PEOPLE BEHAVE IN IT IS MESSY AND UNPREDICTABLE. What you are looking at here is a work of art by Berlin based artist Mey Lean Kroneman. Lumibots. Emit and react to light. They show how complex patterns emerge from the combination of the interactions between the robots, inﬂuences from their surroundings and just two simple rules. A metaphor for prinzgarten, the ﬁnancial crisis. - already two rules make it complex and unpredictable.
Citizens as experts
The ﬁrst move is to recast citizens as experts. And look for the knowledge about youth as embedded in the youth itself dispersed among young people. As opposed to concentrated in credentialed experts. The rationale for this is that citizens as a whole typically have a different – and richer – outlook on the problem space than any government agency, large NGO or corporate. This is especially true for the development problems you are most interested in, because they live in all of those developing regions and countries; they were born and bred there, they speak the languages, they have access to information vectors that are not accessible to us.
MASSIVELY A THINK TANK EXPERIENCE SELF-SELECTED DISTRIBUTED BASED COLLABORATIVE
So we decided to roll out a radically many-many participation exercise. We thought of it as a think tank, which would be: - distributed. People would participate from wherever they were, using an online platform as a virtual workspace. - massively collaborative. It needed not to break down as the number of participants grew. - self-selected. Anyone who cared about the issue was welcome to participate, without Council of Europe ﬁltering. - experience-based. We emphasized stories and experiences, not opinions. We ﬁnd the former are richer and less controversial than the latter.
We believe this approach is superior to the traditional one of hiring a small number of experts. The key is in the openness: extensive experience from the open source software, Wikipedia etc. shows that open processes are more robust to errors. When a lot of people are watching, mistakes are quickly spotted and eliminated. Also, in the democratic arena, openness generates legitimacy and consensus: nobody can complain that they have been excluded when the door to the process was demonstrably wide open all along.
The Edgeryders network in December 2012 Density 0.028 Average weighted degree 10.87 Average distance 2.3
Of course, a great many people working together generate a lot of content. Aggregating it into a coherent ﬁnal product can be a challenge. We won that challenge using fairly sophisticated techniques: to highlight the connections across all the different stories and pieces of information we were getting from the community we used ethnographic software. Also, we used network analysis to get an overall view of which arguments had been most widely debated and which conclusions had been validated by most people.
On the other You have bottom up initiatives with experimental and alternative answers to the question of how we want to live in the cities in the future while facing enormous challenges (climate change, lack of resources, new form of mobility, gentriﬁcation, unequal chances in the educational system etc.). These initiatives are often precarious and lack long term perspectives. Most of the time they don't have access to political decision-making inﬂuencing their fate or even to a contact person in the political system. I’ve showeed you an example from Berlin.This is not just about Berlin. In fact we are seeing this situation all over Europe with different levels or areas of government setting policies that fail to join up. The result being that citizens and people working for institutions are trapped between policies that make competing, often contradictory, demands. And so if we want to be able to ensure that citizens and institutions have the means to be able to affect change and implement much needed creative solutions, we need to be sure that the processes and policy instruments that enable this are there. And if they don’t exist we need to build them. Princessinengarten meets so much of what we need. Ans the people involved in it have a lot of valuable experiences and knowledge about alternative ways of making a living, achieving resilience, creating and caring for commons, participating in shaping our collective future, building healthy relationships with others and ourselves, promoting new ways of learning and new things to learn. Our biggest resource in trying to address the big challenges we face are people. In fact Europe is full of lots of people with unusual skills and knowledge invaluable for addressing pressing challenges. Many of whom are already pioneering solutions in their local environment. But your don’t try to ﬁnd them by trying to hire them as specialists because you don’t know who or where the creative solutions will come fromPrinzessinengarten was not built by city planners or architects but by passionate amateurs.
Combatting organised crime
One of the members is active in mobilising businesses to step forward and refuse to pay protection money to the Maffia. As well as openly declare their refusal to do so. On one hand way for consumers to support them by choosing them over other businesses. It also inspires others to also act against organised crime by showing that if you do it, no one will come after you.
Responding to liquidity constraints
Another Edgeryder won the European Social Innovation competition 2013. The project he proposed. Is now under development as an Edgeryders project. It is an algorithm for network bartering. It aims to enable local economies to function even under severe liquidity constraints. It’s called “Economy App – Moneyless economy for the 99%.”
Nearly no support from the usual actors
Innovation is important and much sought after in our modern societies. In Europe at least we have extensive innovation policies, and large and well-funded systems of government agencies, venture capital investors, incubators, accelerators, universities; and this system has branched a massive effort on social innovation and social enterprise, that includes specialized incubators, impact investment funds and ad-hoc legislation. So, we were surprised to ﬁnd that almost NO story reported by edgeryders involve any of these actors. Many people reported, on the contrary, that they are inaccessible – mostly because they did not seem to ﬁnd their activities valuable. Why might that be? It seems intuitive that these forms of innovation ARE valuable, in a social sense. We are not sure. Some point out that the Silicon Valley approach “gonna change the world through making loads of money really fast” has captured the discourse on innovation. If you tell a mentor “I have an idea to ﬁght off domestic violence” they respond by asking you what the business model is. Of course we know where this comes fror, and there should be a drive towards sustainability, but maybe we have gone so far into monetization of social solutions that some of the most creative stuff is falling off the grid. Others claim that disruptive innovation is, well, disruptive: and disruptive innovation is impossible to evaluate even in theory. Evaluators try to measure it in terms of the world they live in (and does not contain the innovation), whereas innovators try to build the world which does contain the innovation. The former are accountable to the present; the latter to the future.
Change happens at the edge.
People experimenting with alternative responses to new problems exist on the edge. People looking for answers & who have resources live here. The people with resources ask the Mckinseys of the world to help make sense of what’s going on. But they, like the clients they are trying to help live in the centre. The centre asks the wrong questions and tries to solve the wrong problems. Edgeryders builds infrastructure and safe space for meaningful and mutually generative interaction between the centre and the edges. And fosters collaboration on a massive scale around alternative responses to systemic crises: ecological, socioeconomic and political.Unlike other collaboration platforms Edgeryders focuses on the social software of human relationships.
Through our online and offline presence we foster collaboration on three levels.
It takes a village...
Leaders. Nurturers. Developers. Bridge builders. Artists. People contribute diﬀerent things. They are all needed.
you need people to think with. People to help you do the legwork. People to test it with. People who connect it with the outer world. A healthy environment is one where they all feel valued and acknowledged. Safe space for interaction between edge and centre: Inclusive, diverse, nurturing.
Example of a solution to a Problem coming out of Edgeryders: gap in innovation support system for pre-market and radical innovation. The unMonastery is like artist residency but for innovators to take on social problems with local community. P2p mutual learning, knowledge transfer.