Draft post. A new approach to meeting new people we can explore what it means to live a rewarding life?


Curious to hear what everyone thinks of this…

For many of us part of what makes life good is being surrounded by people with whom we can learn what it means to live a rewarding life - intellectually, creatively, spiritually. Edgeryders is an openended journey I have chosen to travel with people whom I love and respect for this very reason.

Ironically for someone whose work involves revolves around building relationships with new people, I find talking to strangers very difficult. It feels like there needs to be some kind of invitation to get started - sometimes the hosts introduce me to people but other than that I often end up in a corner somewhere until someone approaches me. Then there is the potential awkwardness if people think you are hitting on them :grimacing:. But mostly it’s the psychological stress involved in putting yourself out there to be judged -even when you know you are extremely well prepared.

The most difficult is purely social, when you just want to have an interesting conversation with new people. But the same goes with work related events - because of the travelling and preparation involved, especially if you are there to achieve something specific. I used to do a lot of public speaking for Edgeryders but have stopped because the return on effort is so low.

Yesterday @noemi @alberto and I got into this topic again. The topic started with our lamenting flygskam Swedish for "shame of flying (on airplanes). Conferences etc - what these physical events optimise for - knowledge sharing? you could easy do this via e.g webinars. Is it getting access to important information? In certain contexts that is the case, but I would say doing as we do via online conversations is much more efficient. So that leaves the social bit, which is the one thing event organisers rarely pay attention to: helping participants find and connect with the “right” people for them. Especially the introverts.

Over the years we have built a unique Edgeryders format for events that are optimised for building deep relationships and collaborations, and great content designed by and for the community.
So far we have been doing this via our annual community gatherings which bring together members from all over the planet. What if we could somehow build on these lessons in making it easier to build many more meaningful and generative relationships in our local environments?

This is what we have come through conversations with @bob @marina Letizia Gambini and many more people in the edgeryders fam…

We want to do thee different kinds of events, you can think of them as a funnel with the top layer being very “light” on costs and coordination and “distributed”, the middle involving some coordination but not much, and the bottom being highly curated events with community members, partners etc.

Open Distributed discovery: Ephemeral communities

PopUp Meetups at events organised by others. These are pop-up encounters at interesting events spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, technology, politics, sports, professional/project related stuff etc.

Concept is simple: you pick an event you were interested in going to anyway, wear some kind of branded badge or bag or hoodie or sticker, and have the Edgeryders social media crew spread the word that people can come talk to you about something (your choice of topic) while there.

Ideally the topic should be matched to the event. I.e only pick something that you are interested in and that you would like to chat with others about. With me it’s easy, dance, performance art, wierd workshops about the latest wellness/fitness fad - anything about the body and I’m in (there’s a reason I started a pilates studio). No preassure to write any posts or anything, Edgeryders just offers nice “free” support to meet new people around shared interests.

They fall into three categories: Social, Personal Development, Professional.

How do people join/participate:

  • Buy the kit of well designed physical “connect” artefacts - covers cost of design, production and delivery of the kit.
  • Pick an existing event or tell us about a new one you want to connect at via a hashtag
    The outreach team promotes the meetup at that event.
  • No forms to fill in, no names or emails in a database, nothing to prove or sell.
  • Maybe we can make it so that people can pay via crypto currencies or cash on location too.

What we need to realise this:

  • A core group of nice people who want to help seed it (we need nice photos and bios for the "who’s behind this)
  • Great branding and a comms plan to promote the concept
  • Product design of the kit - ideally low impact, recycled materials - something you can add onto stuff you already have
  • A good local producer of the kit artefacts
  • A Calendar of event descriptions that come in from different sources: hashtag on twitter/FB/instagram, and later…updates on websites, mailing lists, facebook pages). If they are aggregated in one place on edgeryders it makes them alot easier for us to sustain
  • Social media updates and partnerships with

Introductions & Connections

Events in conversational format held connecting the edges and the centre around a topic of current relevance to our strategic objectives and current priorities.

1. Evening seminar and discussion:
These are small, intimate events that bring together an insitutional insider with an edgeryder to introduce and discuss a topic/ question ntroduced/framed by Edgeryders. They convene people who have relevant experitise with divergent thinking and perspectives presented by practitioners with first hand experience of the topic. The discussions are aimed at sensemaking through deep discussion informed by data and first hand experiences of practitioners.

2. OpenTable - TableOuverte - OpenTafel

See what’s on the menu. Call and reserve your place at the table. Have great food in great company.

Open Table is a secret supper club. A group of people who do not know one another meet over dinner having inspired conversation over delicious food in great company.

  • The hosts welcome the participants and presents a topic of cross-disciplinary interestingness spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy and more.
  • Everyone introduces themselves briefly and shares some reflections on the topic…before you know it the conversation is up and away. We have a lovely time together.
  • Each person covers the cost of their meal.
  • We all leave having had meaningful and inspiring conversations.

What we need to realise it:

  • A core group of nice people who want to help seed it (we need nice photos and bios for the "who’s behind this)
  • Great branding and PR
  • Agreement with a couple of restaurants that they take opentable reservations once a month and cover the cost of the meal for the “host and secret guest”
  • Agreement with some friends and partners to promote them on their websites
  • Organise a couple of them ourselves inviting “special guests” from our network who will be in town


Deep Dives

1. retreats very generative relationshipwise but costly to organise
2. workshops expensive to organise and we have had limited success in promoting these so far…
3. A global date for local events: A mashup of our LOTE format (info about one of our previous editions here) and the Open Source Circular Economy Days pioneered by @sammuirhead.

Nadia, it is very relevant but I think the format is unwieldy. This is more you turning the issue in your head. When you publish it, I recommend making it much shorter (maybe 1/4 of the length) and more “instructable-like”.

yes - was more interested in hearing what you guys think about the content - and who if anyone wants to get behind any of these as part of the seed core?

We’re already doing culture Culture in Brussels - I think it fits into Introductions and Connections (perhaps a third format after Table Ouverte: Networked Conversations): more than social and less than Deep Dive, at least for the moment.

Otherwise happy to join the roaster for the Ephemeral - I’m into movies, walking tours and hiking, co-working and sharing a day at the office, and FOOD :smiley:


Hey guys. I can help in spreading the word about this to the Brussels community. I have a few connections that could bring attendees from different walks of life to this.

I think one of the challenges is going to be

  1. doing the branding and invitations so they fit both for a broad swath of people and events from hanging out in Squats to dinners at swanky restaurants.
  2. Getting a first crew who want to do this to demonstrate it works

I am up for doing Brussels with a crew of 3-4 people so it is not too much work…

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In regards to branding (design wise), I do have a few of people in my network that could help out with that.

would be good to have a chat maybe this or early next week?

Free tomorrow or Friday whenever.

maybe meetup for a drink tomorrow after 4pm? Ill be around st gilles but can bike somewhere. Lemme know

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Moeder Lambic at 4:15?

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I like the dinner idea. Would be useful to find places with round tables.