4th Bi-Weekly Meeting Summary

Georgia’s Futurespotters 4th Bi-Weekly meet-up took place last Thursday at cafe Bauhaus. Now I could paint this picture all roses & sunshine, but I have to add that I was quite disappointed with the turn out. When we held the workshop over a month ago, there was mutual agreement that these meetings were something the participants, you, desperately needed. I have been facilitating this, because I agree it would be very beneficial for all. However, as the weeks go past, the turn out has been less and less. So, just a minor side note, I am not organizing this for me, or for Edgeryders, or for UNDP, I am setting these meetings up for you all, so you can benefit from it. If you don’t show, you can’t benefit from it. And the less people show up, the less beneficial it is for those who do: these meetings are there for you to share your project and ask for help where needed.

Now, the good thing is that people have been showing up, and maybe not to all meetings, but there has been a consistency which I am grateful for. At this past meeting we discussed the following issues: Venue for the International Event, Social Activities, Hosting a session and Horizon2020.


Khatuna and I have found two venues! One is CCA, the center for contemporary art, a non-profit organization which aims to educate people and give artists a place to exhibit their art. They have a special program for underprivileged students to get an MA there for free and other projects. The chairperson, Wato, said he would also love to host a session on this linkage between education and art. The place itself is gorgeous, think Brooklyn Loft meets minimalism, meets georgian old architecture. The other venue is ISET, the economic department of Tbilisi State University. It is very central, has a beautiful garden, and has several different smaller rooms besides a conference room. Today Khatuna and I will decide and we’ll let you know. 

Social Activities

There has been a lot of discussion what kind of social activities we could organize. The ideas we had previously: picnic, something volunteerish, like cleaning the park, a mapping activity, etc. Now, Bauhaus had offered us to cook at their cafe, they would provide us with a place to cook and we could bring the ingredients ourselves, we could all go to the Bazar and buy veggies and other ingredients. However, unfortunately Bauhaus has been having major problems with their neighbors and they’ll be moving to a new venue in July. They are now discussing whether or not they can host us end of June… I will keep you updated about this. 

Luckily, Nika from Vake Park offered to host several social after workshop activities at Vake Park. He will discus what interesting activities we can do, but ideas so far are: having games, make art/music, clean the park, have a picnic there. The great thing is that if we spend the afternoon/evening at Vake Park we have a solid after workshop program. Preferrably this would take place on the second day, the 25th. 

Jeff, from Open Street Maps Georgia is interested in hosting a small mapping party, however, is not sure yet whether he’ll be in the country around those dates. He will keep us updated.

Hosting a Session

Nika from Vake Park offered to host a session on community building. But he was a bit afraid of doing it, as he has never done it before. I told him I could co-host it with him, he will upload the event description soon! I am excited about his story and all other’s regarding activating people for a cause, how to do it and what challenges everybody faces in their countries.


Unfortunately Eric from Jumpstart is out of the country, but promised me he would take a look at the current proposal. Nika from was very excited to hear about this as well and would also give his constructive criticism soon. A very lucky coincidence is that Ninutsa happened to have contacts of the EC’s person responsible for Horizon2020 in Georgia. It will be very easy to set up a meeting, but I would really need some more input into the document from others before I can go ahead and meet. Also, I would like Eric or someone else from Jumpstart to be there with me. Mamaduka had also his two cents regarding the proposal. To him it seemed nonsense to ask money for setting up a program to teach a free software. According to him it goes against the ideology of open software to be paid to teach people. 

(ps: I can’t seem to ping anyone, I have seen a post on it on the dev group, but it still hasnt been resolved?)

Mapping party

Hi and thanks Inge for the determination to host these meetups for over a month now! Yet another proof that collaboration happens only when people make a commitment to themselves and to the rest. If someone bails, everyone stands to lose… However these things take time, so don’t despair, you are doing an awesome work already and have everything in favour.

Looking forward to hear from @nickda@gmail.com, the sooner the better our chances to invite relevant policy makers! @Monika Peldaviciute whom I invited to host a similar session on communities can’t make it unfortunately, so I’m happy we will hear some insights from doers like you guys…

I have been waiting a reply from Jeff Haack, so good to know he’s in touch! I suggest that even if he’s not in the country someone else in the OSM group facilitates the workshop…

PS re: pinging - don’t know exactly where your problem is, but if you copy paste the text chances are it won’t work. If you don’t see an autocomplete after “@” it doesn’t matter, if the username is correct it will work. If there’s a space between the name and last name (eg Jeff Haack) then it won’t work :frowning: apparently you’re right :frowning:

Don’t feel bad

@Inge, communities are good at mobilizing, but not nearly as good at keeping the momentum for the long haul. Don’t feel bad, you are doing a flawless work as convener as far as I can see. IMHO what you need to be thinking about is how much you personally want this collaboration to happen, and then act accordingly. I am looking forward to discussing this in Tbilisi.

On the H2020 proposal: it seems we are missing mostly @ericnbarrett’s input and overall decision about whether to move forward or not. We remain committed on the Edgeryders side. I don’t agree with @Mamaduka , by the way: I think the ethics of open source is free as in speech, not necessarily free as in beer. Of course you do not sell the software, and not even the installation: what you are trying to fund is an upgrade in computer literacy, teaching people how to take control of their software. This is time-consuming. Some of it can be done for free, but definitely not all of it. Anyway we can discuss this in Futurespotters, if you or Eric agree to lead on a session, and see where it goes. I may be wrong, I often am in fact!


Eric from Jumpstart told me he is very sorry, but he is unfortunately too busy to commit to horizon2020. Would you like me to see which other organizations we could work with? The Georgian Technology Transfer Center (giorgi was present at day 3 of the futurespotters community event, works with boris kiknadze on some issues, and is my new client) might be interested in working on it. Shall I get him online?

on attendance

@Inge, I think everyone appreciates that you keep on organizing the meetings. But meeting times chance all the time - one weekday & time work well for some, another day & time works better for others - and some days and times are bad for many people.  that is normal and not necessarly a general trend, after just 4 meetings. I only had time at one date out of four.

But I do have to admit that, as the meetings seem to be more and more focussed on the WS end of June, attending the meetings is less and less interesting for me, as I don’t have time to attend that WS anyway,  and no time to organize anything either (I’m out of country til the 19th). I guess  that other people might have similar reasons.  I would suggest to suggest topics for the meetings after the WS, because   you should never have  a meeting just to have a meeting,  and meetings without a focus on specific problems  or shared interested often loose attraction fast.


Uli, you are absolutely right. Though the agenda is open, I don’t make it, so it depends on what the participants of the meet-up want to discus. As there were no other topics people wanted to discus, the meet-up was mostly about the event, but that’s not up to me. Whoever comes just talks about what they want to address, hopefully next meeting we’ll have a wider range of topics! :slight_smile: