I put together an email for Paolo Verri of Matera to send to his counterpart:
this mail is to invite you to join Matera in a new initiative. We have decided to apply for membership of the 100 Resilient Cities Network, soon to be launched by the Rockefeller Foundation. Cities selected for participation will receive funding (the program is funded with 100 million US dollars) and assistance to become more resilient. The three main activities eligible for support are: the salary for a Resilience Officer; the drawing of a resilience plan for the city; and networking activities. Some technology design and deployment are also contemplated.
Matera is in the challenge and means to win. Resilience is one of the themes selected for our ECOC application. We have joined forces with one of our ECOC partners, a social enterprise called Edgeryders and incorporated in the UK. We worked together on the more cutting-edge ECOC-related activities, including a pilot project called the unMonastery (that landed us on Wired Magazine and the Huffington Post). Edgeryders' Alberto Cottica is reading this in cc.
We would like Ruse to join us in this attempt. The idea is to enter the 100 Resilient Cities challenge as a mini-network of already connected cities. Edgeryders are negotiating with the cities of Cork (Ireland) and Eskilstuna (Sweden).
In order to do so, you would have to be willing to look into resilience issues with an open mind. This means giving worst case scenario – what in the resilience scene is known as "Zombie apocalypse", with peak oil, peak water, financial meltdown, heavy weather etc. – due consideration, being radical in analysis but prudent in action. Many people in the Edgeryders community have considerable expertise in resilience themes (from a hacker perspective rather than an institutional one), which is why we feel very fortunate to be entering the challenge with their help and support.
If you like the idea, here's how the timing would work. Edgeryders has been in touch with the Rockefeller Foundation. This is a new programme for them, and it is still evolving; however, for now, they have decided that they are happy for external "resilience advisors" to take the lead in applications, but they want a city official to do the registration. I did the Matera one myself.
The registration is done on the website, and has to happen by September 23rd. After validation (which should take at most 3 business days), the city receives login information to access a part of the website that contains the application form. Forms must be completed by October 14th. No application is valid without the scanned image of a letter of support from the municipalities highest level executive officer.
So, if you decide to do this, you need to:
- do the registration, indicating somebody from Edgeryders as second contact person besides you
- draw a memorandum of understanding with Edgeryders in which the parties agree, in case of a successful application, to deploy the necessary human and financial resources to execute. Edgeryders is a company, though a social one: they invest on the application but they expect to be hired as consultants to help run the program if we are successful.
- allocate a person to work over email, phone, Skype/Hangout with the Edgeryders group. The role of this person will be to convey local knowledge of Ruse into the application form.
If you are interested, let us know as soon as possible; and of course, if you have any questions, Alberto will be happy to attempt to answer. Hopefully we can both be resilient cities in 2014 and ECOC in 2019!