Edgeryders LBG: the vision and a midterm checkpoint

When we founded Edgeryders LBG as a corporate shell for world-changing projects from the community, we gave ourselves a year to get a feel for how well the idea would work. Incorporation happened in May, so now we are almost exactly halfway through that first year. Our vision was then, and is now, to empower everyone on the planet to work together for change in a network led from the edge – and get paid for it. Our goal – we can now articulate it more clearly after these months of trying stuff out – is to have:

  • by the end of 2014, ten people getting paid for doing world-changing stuff.

  • by the end of 2015, fifty people getting paid for doing world-changing stuff.

This does not mean we aim to hire people as employees. We will never be a corporate; there will be no hierarchy and no bossing. We aim for people to hire themselves (and each other) in their own, loosely federated projects. We all support each other in doing so ever better, and share a corporate store front and certain services. Think a digital, networked version of the old workers cooperative – except that workers in a cooperative tend to be similar (farmers build farming cooperatives), whereas Edgeryders thrives on massive diversity to build and deliver complex projects.

These numbers are deliberately low. They are what we think Edgeryders LBG can make happen all by itself, leveraging the hard work done by @Nadia, @Noemi, @arthurd, @matthias and myself. They can get bigger – much bigger – if enough people in the community take seriously our suggestion to hire themselves into Edgeryders and use the corporate shell for their projects.

What have we achieved so far?

  • Mission:Baltic. Detecting societal trends from young people at the edge in the Baltic region. With [Nadia], [Dougald], [cbrewster], [Daniel Vaarik], [Alek Tarkowsi] – Client: Global Challenge, Sweden.

  • The unMonastery. Embedding expert knowledge for social innovation in a local community, learning from 7th century Monasticism. With [Ben], [Bembo Davies], [la_gaia], [mstn], [elfPavlik], [RitaO], [immaginoteca], [antonioelettrico], [Alberto] and others. Seed funded by: Comitato Matera 2019, Italy.

  • The Economy App. “Moneyless economy for the 99%” – Developing and deploying an algorithm for network barter. With [Matthias]. Seed funded by: the European Social Innovation Competition, EU.

  • 100 Resiient Cities Challenge. Advising three European cities on participating in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program. With @Alberto, @ilariadauria, @arthur, @lucasg. Clients: the cities of Matera, Italy; Cork, Ireland; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.

  • Living On The Edge – The unPilgrimage. An international unconference to skill up for change and taking care of each other. With [Noemi] and everybody else. Seed funded by Comitato Matera 2019, Italy, and the Dutch Ministry of Culture, and delivered mostly by ourselves.

  • Along the way, we got much better at collaborating – good news, since collaboration is our key engine for competitiveness. Among other things, we invented, prototyped and developed new collaboration tools: the community call and the Twitterstorm, with the Form Storm probably coming next.

Many more clients have been engaged, and we are now in a deal closing phase. Not bad at all for six months of activity on zero budget! And yet, not all is well on Edgeryders home. We struggle to keep momentum: there is so much to do if we are to accomplish these goals! Among other things:

  • Propose, curate and launch new projects – projects is how Edgeryders grows! Similarly, join existing projects to help them get off the ground.

  • Improve the website to be a better workspace and a better public-facing communication asset, based on the user stories collected at LOTE3.

  • Break down the major goal into smaller subgoals and monitor their completion – it is easy to get lost when doing stuff this complex.

  • Improve our social media presence to deliver more impact to benefit all projects.

  • Take responsibility for developing LOTE4.

And so much more. But any list is going to be arbitrary and incomplete. What matters is:

  • Everyone in the community is encouraged to take initiatives to further Edgeryders’ vision and goals, doing whatever she or he thinks appropriate.

  • Everyone NOT in the community looking for a freer, more meaningful way to work is welcome in.

  • If you want to help but don’t know how, pick a task in the Task Manager or contact one of us; everyone will be happy to help you find a place in the network. If you are not happy with it, just vote with your feet and go find a place where you feel you can contribute more.

Let’s keep working!


what a post!

It’s such a pleasure to read it! you really did a great job in only 6 months. I really hope to do more within the community in 2014. I’d like to find a way to foster the relationship between RENA and edgeryders. You’ve already built such an efficient infrastructure… it would be so silly to duplicate the effort. Let’s see what we can do to join forces!

Sounds good!

[davideagazzi], “join forces” and “avoid duplication” is music to my ears. What is it, in your opinion, that RENA and Edgeryders could do together?


“It’s an impressive project for something without any full-time staff.” 

For some reason this and similar type of reactions keep coming towards me, namely various friends and even Edgeryders are very surprised to learn that the website, community management, as well as driving community support for various projects (twitterstorm, community calls, social media etc) is done with no money! out of passion and of course based on the vision Alberto outlined in this post: so it’s a time investment. LOTE has been organized entirely on volunteering basis, no one in the community has been paid or invoiced by Edgeryders, including the founders. The unMonastery does have its own limited funding, and that helped us secure the venue in Lote3.

I can’t say this clearly enough. We want us to get there of course and start getting paid for doing this thing we love so much, and the more of us are courageous and daring enough to represent ourselves as Edgeryders and fundraise in our environments the better for everyone.

This is a great achievement, if this we can do with no money imagine what we could do with more resources! Looking forward to the 50 people making a living out of being Edgeryders :slight_smile:

1 Like