From dreaming up projects to collaboration

If you remember last year’s exercise of building Edgeryders shared vision, one of the recurrent ideas was to leverage the establishment for our own projects. Well, here it is in action. EU funding applications are crazy complex, and yet we are giving this a try and setting up an infrastructure to coordinate and lower the individual effort of going through the different calls and figuring out everything by ourselves. The good news is that we’re moving forward. Over the last weeks many of us have dreamed up what we hope to see funded, and we have some pretty solid things to go after.

1. Research/Deploy technology supporting social innovation towards digital green and digital fair

Hypothesis: technology can support a societal transformation towards sustainable development, but only if we actually (want to) do it.

Testing it involves:

  • project development and building a pilot

  • collaboration with public sector as important driver of public/open innovation towards sustainable development

  • from team: really committed people.

  • who’s already interested: @caroline and you?

  • deadline for signing up to work on joint Horizon 2020 applications: February 20

2. We want to deploy community building and ICT tools to support local social innovation in various parts of Europe.

Hypothesis: exposing local challenges to high quality, collective, online, global expertise accelerates local social innovation

Testing it involves:

  • partnership building between Edgeryders and local organisations with practical experience; in addition to or alternatively, partner with regional and local governments who can facilitate connections

  • more individual community members doing outreach (location based or mobile team)

  • map other global organisation with experience in online communities

  • mix tactics of online with offline community building; ensure continuous feedback loop between building community capacity and digital assets

  • create protocol for deploying community members on the ground to hack local policy issues

  • design replicable, problem-solving ICT collaboration tools with the local community

  • from team: develop model for volunteer recognition of the wider ER community efforts.

  • who’s already interested: @noemi @vidrij_da, @ilariadauria

3. Building an alternative, inclusive “social security system”, ending the dichotomy “Employed/unEmployed” in the long term.

Hypothesis: Reframing and changing the cultural and institutional mindset is possible.

Testing it involves:

  • build the system around (existing) alternative currencies as safety nets: purpose bound, unlocking potential, transnational

  • start small and scale up when possible

  • reframe completely what we consider exclusion and measure the gains of a changed mindset in non-financial ways

  • an open platform to collect labour experiences: “The Academy of the excluded”?

  • redefine ways and conditions to understand work: precarious or permanent, employed or unemployed, business or voluntary

  • ensure diverse participation of informal networked groups

  • learn from groups already doing that; e.g. research

  • who’s already interested: @thomasviscom, @thanasis

4. Build community cooperative networks

Hypothesis: Higher social impact can be achieved by connecting potential coming from Ireland, the living lab direction (unMonastery) and from social cooperative development of key models such as CSA and cooperative property guardian co-ops.

Testing it involves:

  • using a rhizomatic model being prototyped in Ireland: community exchange based on sale and supply of the local food system, generating cooperative enterprise models

  • OS alternatives to proprietary software we currently employ

  • finding partners in key participant countries

  • research into building multi-stakeholder cooperatives

  • who’s already interested: @eimhin

  • deadline for signing up to submit to the Horizon 2020 call: [TODO]

5. Take up of ethic, social and environmental responsibility in ICT business

Hypothesis: Higher impact of the ICT business if societal issues are seen as opportunities not as threats.

Testing it involves:

  • label mechanisms to identify responsible ICT businesses

  • a focused consortium bringing together researchers from both ethics & ICT field, SMEs that want to differentiate by an ethic positioning, consumer associations and citizen communities.

  • adoption of the label by SMEs and recognition by a broad community

  • from team: professionalism and strong reactivity in the proposal writing phase

  • who’s already interested: @bcpx


The list is of course open, but gives us enough to work with in order to move on to identifying which calls are suited (list available here) and locating resources: building Gantt charts and timelines, and strategizing for partnership building. So I guess what is needed now is either another hangout to follow up properly on this conversation, or an actionable like [noelito] just suggested: formstorm to map research institutions or partners altogether, looking at those who would be compatible with the specific topics above. How about that?

Another thing which rose from our conversation, especially with [Caroline Paulic…], is that we’re keen on working in smaller teams driven by a common interest, so one of the next steps should be grouping ourselves around some of the above. As @ilariadauria pointed out a while ago, one can only have resources to deploy around their own interest and background. Chances are you know who is already doing stuff and maybe even have some contacts to build partnerships around it.

Finally, back in December when about 40 Edgeryders helped shape our vision, a dozen of us have made ourselves available to get involved in helping with collaborative EU funding applications. [pacheca], [aden], [Jeff Mowatt], [Ursula], [L14B] does it still hold true? if yes, is there something above which interests you? how do you see yourself helping and do you have any suggestions at this point? Do mention if you are a researcher, an administrator, if you’d like to join as an individual, as a company etc.

Let’s do this :slight_smile:


P.S.: If you wish to participate in building a joint Horison 2020 application for any one of these options, leave a comment below indicating which one you are interested in. Deadline: February 20.

I’m interested

Hi, i’m collaborating with a new italian Foundation who works in the field of sustainability. I would like to know if and how i can take part in your idea.

Renato Turbati 

More details?

Hi Renato, long time no seeing :slight_smile: Tell us more: so are you preparing to write a funding application for EU Horizon2020 with that Foundation? What’s it about, could you summarize it in a paragraph or following the model above? Then we can include it in the list and see if anyone else would be interested in working on it. If you don’t have something specific in mind, is any of the alternatives above sound good to you?

The idea is to see what we each want to see funded, and then move on to concrete calls+ 1 page descriptions fleshing out each idea so we can pitch it to potential partners.

Some details

Ok. I will try. That Foundation is partecipated by an important Multiutility (who sells to public and private customers, since 1999, 100% clean energy),  and some Local Authorities. Our partnership with Multiutility and its PA customer, offers some services in Monitoring and Evaluating Project about Sustainability, to create Data Base useful to better understand their common objectives and action and to think about common projects to do togheter.

The Foundation has a cultural role to promote Sustainability. We are starting our collaboration in this days. One of our main task is to help to promote Foundation, that is not yet really known, triyng to partecipate as a partner in some projects in Italy and in Europe too if possible. Foundation has a great Know how about Sustainability because of the ties that bind it with Multiutility, is a No profit organization (ONLUS), so i Think that it would be a perfect partner in projects like Horizon 2020 or others. What do you think about it?

Ok, but need a concrete goal/ project

Seems like it’s a good fit, but since none of the above ideas refers to clean energy it would need a concrete project goal from which to start. an example would be “you want to create a network of European cities promoting clean energy consumption” or anything you think fits the Foundation’s mission. That way it makes it easier to draw in more people who would be interested to work with you on that.

I’ve been looking through the Horizon guide, and under the broader theme Societal Challenges:Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy there’s a set of calls for Smart Cities and Communities, check them out ? (see Topics). The last one in particular I find interesting: identify, develop and deploy replicable, balanced and integrated solutions in the energy, transport, and ICT actions through partnerships between municipalities and industries.

I don’t know if you are aware of this, but some time ago [ArthurD], [Alberto] and [LucasG] have submitted a bid for Resilient Cities, which although unsuccesful, involved partnering up with municipalities in Cork, Matera and respectively Santa Cruz to design a plan on how they are approaching and planning for resilience to decrease vulnerabilities. If there’s a match with your idea, we could maybe re-activate our partnerships  for a project all together?

Call for “inclusive social security system” aim

[Thanasis], [ThomasVisCom], I don’t know if you guys had a chance to browse through the Horizon calls yet, but you might wanna check this one out, it’s a call for research and goes well with your idea of an open platform to study labour experiences:

Societal Challenges: The Young Generation in an Innovative, Inclusive and Sustainable Europe and more specifically this one on Early job insecurity and labour market exclusion (call description here). It’s pretty by the book (talking about the general shift in the employment and labour market), and also general enough to allow for quite diverse approaches. 

Incidentally, it’s also a great fit with Edgeryders record, especially our Council of Europe project - setting up an infrastructure and nurturing conversations around a given issue, while paying attention to the individual experiences and aggregating them using a novel methodology (combination of ethnography and network analysis).

Do you think a project proposal could be tailored around all this? One that would include most and foremost your idea of focusing on networked communities as a target participant pool?


Thank you, Noemi,

yes, this would be the way to go. Thank you also for all this dot-connecting, it is pretty awesome what is being accomplished at edgeryders.

Generally, looking at the 5 main fields that have emerged in the Horizon group, it is clear that edgeryders would qualify most for “2. We want to deploy community building and ICT tools to support local social innovation in various parts of Europe.”

Given all your experience with the unMonastary project, I think this is very promising.

On the other hand, sometimes I feel that these projects somehow lack the center, a bit like the “Where’s the beef?” question. Yes, we can help communities, but they have to tell us what they want?

If they wanted to build a new shopping mall, would edgeryders be eager to consult them? (I’m exagerating, of course). So, it is here where we have to team up.

Purpose: Support Inclusion of the Young Generation (?) and prepare for the “post-employment” society through local social innovation, by deploying community building and ICT tools, in various parts of Europe.

How does that sound?

How many projects in the end?

Thomas thanks for your thoughts, the purpose you sounds good to me. so you would rather see Edgeryders applying only when there’s a great fit with the topic.

I see at least two possibilities coming out of playing with ideas like those in this post

  1. A couple get selfselected, because they are indeed a good fit and equally important, have teams to work on it, angle the proposals (you are right, at the moment they are very broad!) and look for partners if needed.

2. Others may turn up to be projects where Edgeryders the company could be a partner, not the organiser. If for example, [Eimhin] or [Renato] already have organisations whose mission and experience is aligned with whatever the projects would achieve, they could be brokering between ER and those orgs, and make sure that the application reflects both our and the applicant’s capacity.

We don’t need to decide on any one idea, I think whoever wants to see something happening will come forward with a proposal and the rest of us will support it the way we can, poke holes in it etc.

Good idea

Hi Noemi,

yes the Young Generation area is a good idea. I was looking more in the area of Overcoming the Crisis: New Ideas, Strategies and Governance Structures for Europe, but the call that you mention fits nicely. The call includes research and innovation actions meaning that we can use existing platforms and methodologies to collect data, but also propose a pilot implementation of our approach.

Next step would be to map possible scientific partners (I guess Universities) with a good record on employment / labour / gender / new media research. I will propose you one or two options on this one, but everybody should look on it. Also we would need to evaluate and demonstrate our network’s capacity to gather youth stakeholders at a cross european level.

This seems really interesting,


Follow throu

Hi Noemi,

Thanasis and I have agreed to draft a proposal tailored aroud that call you mentioned ( The Young Generation in an Innovative, Inclusive and Sustainable Europe)

We have several ideas and approaches that need to be synched. For now, is there any kind of template floating around on how to proceed?

1 Like

Nadia’s advice

Hi, that’s great! Actually not a template that I know of, but we’re starting to gather thoughts on the process to make sure we don’t waste time only to discover that important things are not in place.

Nadia says we should document call focus, what is funded and how to make sure we don’t miss anything.

Feel free to document what you think is important here on the platform - my way of doing this is by creating Tasks in the group -down arrow from Create a Post blue button - you’ll see the option to create a task..

Good work, you there!

I am not working actively on this topic myself, but I read you, and I really like what I see. You seem to be doing great work! If we keep it up, we are bound to get at least some proposal through.