The format decision is difficult. If we want this thing to be accessible and financially sustainable (we do), we need many people to be able to access it. But if we want it to go deep (we do) we need some way to make sure it does not become a funfair.
So, our skeletal format is this:
- At least two “big picture” lectures. Each lecture will explore a big vision for a possible alternative economy, as proposed by one author. It will feature one or more discussants, who might be economists or social scientists, but also entrepreneurs who are themselves experimenting with alternative economic models. These should last a good 2-3 hours each.
- A number of seminars in which we go deep into side topics. Examples of seminar topics: (a) does reputation scoring build trust or does it incentivize participants to game the system? (b) the economics and technology of artificial scarcity (c) what we really know on universal basic income. The list could go on forever. We could have a call for talks, or something like that.
- A dinner, or a party, or both.
- Great documentation (an ethnography of utopia. We (Edgeryders) are quite experiences at good documentation of live events. We will make it great this time, and throw in an ethnography and semantic social network analysis.
We agreed we would love this thing to be in Brussels, as a way to give back to the city. Turns out there are quite a few festivals, events, organizations, even institutions we could partner up with, both in the city and in the rest of Belgium. We scout them out in the next few weeks.
A crowdfunding campaign is a great way to get the word out, as well as collect money for travel and fees for the speakers. We are inclined to do one.
In the run-up to the event, we will run a reading group. It will have physical meetings (every 2-4 weeks), but also an online life here on the platform.
We are happy for people to build on top of this. Publications? Games? Film screenings? In general, we will treat the event as an open source project, and people will build what they build. However, we will make a commitment to building a kernel (see “Format” above, though we are not completely clear on the format yet), whatever other might or might not do.
Make a screening of Econ SF work. We build a small bibliography of the relevant books. We also better start to think of economists, sociologists and other intellectuals (or practitioners) that might act at discussants. This happens directly on the platform: reply to this topic or start one of your own. This doubles up as a list of material for the reading group. The reading group’s host will, initially, be @anique.yael.
Make a screening of Brussels-, Belgium- and Planet Earth- based organizations that might be interested in partnering up with us. We will then invite everyone over for coffee, or talk to them one-on-one. The people best suited to do this in today’s meeting are @mariekebelle, @ireinga and @yannick. Again, let’s use the platform. Don’t worry too much where you put stuff initially, the platform is optimized to make it easy to reorganize content.
Think of a name. “Econ-SF seminar” is not great. Again, you can suggest one in this very thread.
Build the core group. We need volunteers! People to help with social media communication, the crowdfunding campaign, the partnerships, the program, the logistics… If you want to help, come forward. Again, use comments here to come forward, as others have done already (like @oliiive, @Azraq and @filip). For now, you can talk to me for any questions or if you simply want a side chat about this issue.