Exploring Tunisia as an option for November hackathon

I just got off a community call where @Yosser told us about the OurGhema space in Medenine.

It would be a really interesting to do the Hackathon in Medenine, and I just found out that there are inexpensive flights daily from Paris to Djerba, which is just 30 minutes from Medenine.

So why do a hackathon in Medenine, rather than in for example Lisbon, Barcelona or Stockholm? To answer this, we need to look into how Particip.io fits into Edgeryders as a whole. Famously, Edgeryders is many things, so I can only speak for myself when I describe what we are, but I will try anyway. We are, the way I see it, a distributed tribe. A swarm of people with common values and a sense of community. What makes Edgeryders special is that our tribe crosses borders and cultures in a way that very few networks manage to. We’re connected to biohacking labs in California, coffee growers in Nepal, data science researches in France, bureaucrat-hackers in Georgia, ethnographers in Oxford and social entrepreneurs in Kairo. We seek to understand the world, and then act upon that understanding, using innovative online/offline community building and cutting edge digital ethnography tools. We’re connecting the dots between people who share a certain mindset and set of values. By growing this swarm, across borders, across cultures, across age-gaps and income-gaps, we want to make it possible for people wherever they are – be it Medenine or Stockholm – to feel that their tribe is with them. Personally, and this is where we might have different opinions, I don’t engage in this swarm building for humanitarian reasons. By crating this swarm, we are building a future-proof organisation to achieve great things. In a rapidly changing world, we can’t know where the opportunities will lie in the future. All we know is that we’re likely to need each other more than ever as our global challenges loom larger. That’s why I want to engage in collaboration and partnership in places where we’re also moving closer to this vision. Placing our hackathon and development week in the OurGhema co-working space in Medenine, where a part of our tribe is located through @yosser, is not only an exciting adventure, but also an investment in the Edgeryders swarm.

What is the project we would like to work on? Realities is a software project started by the Borderland, a community which revolves around arranging an annual participatory art and culture and event in Scandinavia. The Borderland is a community that’s really pushing the boundaries of how to create meaning in a modern world that to many people feels cold and disconnected. We do this by creating events where people explore and prototype their dreams. Lawyers can be artists. Unemployed people can be leaders. Grandmothers can be DJs. Bankers can be construction workers. Going further, if you want, in a more artistic direction: Dress like a sea-monster for a week, or sit like a prophet under a sign saying “FREE BAD ADVICE HERE”. For many people, it’s rediscovering that through play comes change, and from change comes innovation. Like Edgeryders, the Borderland is a swarm based on participation, but the vibe, method and purpose is very different. In light of this playful vibe, it may be surprising to learn the the Realities software project is a no-nonsense project management tool for decentralised organisations. It’s created with the Borderland organisation in mind, but we’re building it to be usable for any group or project where nobody is your boss and you are empowered to make decisions after seeking advise from stakeholders.

How would this work in practice? We’d fly developers and other participants to Medenine. Interested developers and designers from Medenine apply to be a part of the event, this also goes for local developers in Medenine and Tunisia (we will cover travel and accommodation for those who’re accepted if they don’t live in Medenine). We’d start with a two day hackathon, where we’re working on the Realities code based on a set of feature requests made by the Borderland community. During these two days, we’re making real contributions to the code but it’s also a time for people to learn new technologies and get familiar with the project. In the following week, a smaller group of developers who already know the project and code (so pretty much only those already involved in the project today) stay for a week in Medenine to do paid work on the project. During this time we won’t have a lot of time to teach or get people involved, but if there are developers who want to stay and do work with us on a volunteer basis, they are welcome to do so. It should be stressed though that this option is mainly for those who already have some significant experience since it will require working independently most of the time. Developers who choose to stay in Medenine after the hackathon, but who are not included formally in the development week, can still have their accommodation paid for in Medenine during the week. If then are not included and paid for the development week, they don’t have to spend all their time working on the Realities project, but can also work independently on their own projects.

As you can see, it’s not a “hackathon challenge” in the traditional sense. It’s rather a collaborative effort to do work on an existing open source project. But this also teaches a lot of valuable skills of how to get into and contribute to an existing project.

Practically, I also have a few questions for @Yosser :
– Is there fast and reliable wifi? We’re working on web development which means we’re often downloading packages when we’re building software. If the wifi is patchy, is there 4G coverage?
– Would you be able to help us find a big house we could rent for the participants?
– Are there any Medenine developers on the platform right now?

@brooks, @Forestblessing, @liam, @gustavlrsn, @questioneer, @erikfrisk, input and feedback is more than welcome!


I saw now that I was absent minded and accidentally tagged Zmorda with the questions. They were meant for @Yosser. More specifically:

Also, we should try to have a call to discuss further sometime end of this week if possible.

@hugi May I know the number of people you are expecting to come from out side tunisia ? it would be easier if you set a budget per person per night and the min and maximum number ,

  1. Finding a house for this short of period in Tunis will be easier , but you have to deal with transportation , in medenine you will not face the problem of transportation as it is not that big city and even taking w taxi will not exceed 1euro/ person / day you can have a walk from the house to the work space ,but it will be not that easy to find an appropriate house for this short period,
  2. As for the 4G coverage, yes it is available in Medenine
    3.For the internet connection in Ourgehma it is 20 mb/s

Hello Hugi! I amsorry I have been busy in some work lately that is why I cas absent! So as I see @zmorda already answered the question.
Yes I could help with all the logistics, I just need more details, how many people will be renting the house? Women and Men? how many people from Tunisia and Medenine??
yes there is a developer from Medenine, ping @haykel :slight_smile:

Also, It would be good if we could arrange a meeting, Saturday at 11 GMT?


This is a great development, it really feels like making a difference. Well done @hugi @zmorda @Yosser!

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Ok, great @Yosser. We can do a call at 11 GMT on Saturday. I’ll send you my WhatsApp details by private message.

Currently, this is what we know @Yosser and @zmorda:

Confirmed participants: @hugi, @brooks, @gustavlrsn, @liam, @questioneer, @Forestblessing
In addition, I think we can expect another five participants who are flying in. For example, I’d love to have @alberto, @matthias, @owen or someone else with some technical interest join us for the hackathon. This means that we’re likely to have around 11 people not living in Tunisia participating in the Hackathon. Even though everyone who is confirmed right now is male, I also want to have women involved, so finding accommodation that could accommodate 10-12 people, and both men and women, would be ideal.

It’s important that the accommodation is comfortable and in good condition. If it’s hard to find a house, like we did for the Turkey retreat, another option could be to simply rather use a guesthouse or hotel. This might also allow for some more flexibility to change the number of days or number of participants. Are there any good options reasonable close to OurGhema?

For the hackathon, we could accommodate up to 10 people from Medenine or elsewhere in Tunisia. They would go through a short application process. For example, they should have some previous experience, be able to communicate well enough in English and be willing to get started a bit before they come by downloading the relevant tools. We will of course pay for their travel to Medenine and accommodation.


I am so in. Yay!


Okey, for the accomodation there is a good hotel, one that @matthias stayed in when he came to Medenine, I think it was a good experience for them in it, it was like 25$ per night I think, you can ask Matthias about it. It is about 15 min walking from OurGhema?

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That sounds great. What I think we will do then is to stay for 5 nights in Medenine, from Friday to Wednesday. We will do the hackathon Friday to Sunday and then we will keep working from OurGhema on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, those we will move the hackathon to a house we rent in Djerba until Monday. It will be nice to end the week with seeing Djerba, having some time to go to to the beach and stay in a house together. I’ve found some really good houses on AirBnB.