Hello all, I’m writing this short update to share some of the insights from #futurespotters today.
We’ve asked ourselves what are some of the things we each need help with in addressing:
- Challenges in our work and own projects ahead
- Challenges we see in the surrounding environment and think we can contribute
Changing the perception around technology and the IT field in Georgia
Both Ninutsa from Google developers group and @ericnbarrett, @Cristina_Maza from Jumpstart have been involved in hosting events to popularize women’s role in the tech field: there was a strong agreement in the room that there’s a long way to go, starting from changing people’s perception – from as early as school! Better awareness that IT not having much to do with engineering careers, rather with programming and using new tools for different applications in plenty of fields.
Questions: How do we present it as an attractive professional field? Bring leading developers at conferences, not so much from the world but have Georgians inspire Georgians (@Mamaduka). Show that there’s demand for IT jobs; focus on the fact that you can work remotely. !! this also contributes to reversing the migration from rural areas to cities, leaving villages empty at this pace (Nina)
References: google developers group, Women TechMakers, Women that Code (please share with us relevant links we didn’t have time to exchange in the room
Spread collective action around the environment and urban planning
We finally met @Monika Peldaviciute from Tbilisi Cultural Centre and @tleilaxu_eye (Nika) from Guerrilla Gardening and the Vake Park movement!! These guys did not wait to found proper organisations in order to take action, they went ahead and planted trees where no one asked them to, and occupied an abandoned private building to use it for arts and performances, respectively.
These great shots of mobilization around green, cultural spaces need more help as they are still fragile! (the Cultural Centre doesn’t even exist anymore)
- How to persuade policy makers and also receive international support? (Nika) On the other hand, @Khatuna admits she and her organization need different kinds of partners, the doers in particular!
- How to make people join in and be inspired for collective action initiatives? (Monika) How do we involve more volunteers in social initiatives? (WeHelp)
- Can we develop a mobile app to fix the broken streets in Tbilisi? Mamaduka’s proposal.
Re-building the civil society through real collaboration
For people experimenting with new approaches to environment protection or data visualization, getting the word across and partnering up with reliable, open NGOs is hard. This is because there are well established ways of doing things and as usual, resistance to go a different way!
Questions leading to some answers:
- How to open up to genuine collaboration as opposed to competition for resources and donors? Great example from Boris, Nita and &. Over at WeHelp: a newly founded enterprise for crowdfunding around charity practicing transparency to make it possible for private donors to follow up where their money is going!
- How to become sustainable while (a) remaining true to our mission and (2) not burning out when working for social impact, with overload of insecurity? What are the issues of ethics and transparency and how long can you keep the bar up high without compromising? eg from Eric - which connects to the tech issue: how to overcome the difficulty of employing good web developers when the payroll is rather low compared to competition from banks?
Until tomorrow, I’d like to ask more of you who were there and beyond to help fill in the dots, and let the rest of us know: What are your thoughts after today? What sticks out for you personally? Any discoveries you’ve made on a personal level? Share some of the links to projects you mentioned and make it easy for yourself to connect you with more people around the globe!
Lovely meeting you and looking forward to #Futurespotters Day 2: Joining resources…!
PS Here’s the Edgeryders presentation I did, feel free to learn more from the links…