#Futurespotters: The international community event in Tbilisi!

SAVE THE DATE! June 24-26, Tbilisi!

From one community member to the other, but this time on a global level! On June 24th-26th, #Futurespotters from Armenia, Egypt, Georgia and continental Europe will come together in Tbilisi to inspire each other, to be matchmakers for projects, and to co-create future projects.

Georgia, a country situated in a region filled with a variety of mixed cultures, a rich history of combating kingdoms, invading empires and traveling tribes; all resulting in a wild blend of ancient traditions, fierce and proud people, and a volatile eruptive political field. This is where the Spot the Future project will have its first International community event.

Spot The Future is a platform for scanning the horizon for future builders in Armenia, Egypt and Georgia. We share experiences, mentor one another and collaborate on projects. Spot The Future brings together many of us on the planet who are trying out solutions (sometimes radical, sometimes risky!) to the most challenging problems our big society is faced with: economic, social, ecological, political issues, you name it.

Are you changing your community, or do you want to change your society? then join us to build collaboration among the pioneers - you! - of our future socioeconomic reality! You’ll have a chance to meet interesting people active in great future-building projects, discover initiatives around several different topics, and strengthen links between local and international actors.

For several months already, the discussion has taken place online, where people have shared their stories and ideas for change. For example, @nickda@gmail.com, from Georgia, who together with a group of activists has been protecting one of the central and largest parks in Tbilisi from development by occupying the site; or @SEDAchka, from Armenia, who is 29 and has 3 kids, and started the project: Ta-Ta: Mom’s Helper; and the inspiring ring road hack from Egypt, a collaborative initiative to build a road exit, shared with us via @Hazem!

Now it is time to share our gathered social capital in person! The goals and aims of our event are:

  • Inspire each other;
  • Talk to one another and find truth; 
  • Get new ideas and new perspectives;
  • Learn from experiences of others in different parts of world;
  • Co-design shared solutions and actions to problems; 
  • Find others to collaborate with;
  • Matchmaking skills, projects and visions.

Guess what? The outcome of all this depends on what we make of it together! This is a #nospectators event. The more effort you, me and everyone we know put into preparing, documenting and following up after the event, the more concrete results will come out of the experience for everyone involved.

The event is free of charge and open to everyone. There are two ways you can come.

  1. The first is you just book your travel and accommodations and show up at the event (plan ahead and check visa rules here before). Let us know when you have done this by leaving a comment below so we can reserve you a ticket. Based on room capacity limits, we operate under "First come, first served".
  2. There is also a limited number of paid travel tickets available offered to community members whose valuable contributions for the event agenda and preparations are acknowledged by their peers - the more active you are in building it, the better your chances. Pick a task an help!

If you are unable to join in person, but are still very interested, feel free to join us online! We’ll be preparing the content here on the platform, and any input as to what or whom we should not miss is most welcome. We are connected with plenty of people doing interesting stuff all across Europe, so if you know of someone in the area who’d be interested to attend, simply point them to this post.

The event hashtag is #Futurespotters. We’ll make sure live tweeting/ updating is ON, as we’ll share the outputs of the workshop with everyone in the community.

Clickable version of image above available here.

Date: 2014-06-23 20:00:00 - 2014-06-25 20:00:00, Asia/Tbilisi Time.


Coming :slight_smile:

#Futurespotters we are coming !

On citybugs :slight_smile:

Hi @realhovo, thanks for stepping up :slight_smile:

Did you already buy tickets and/or do you need support? Are you interested in helping build the event with the community? Here is where we’re planning it and organising around tasks, it would be great if you picked one or let others here know what are your expectations from meeting with Georgians, Egyptians and edgeryders everywhere. 

Ok so reading your profile, citybugs.am looks very interesting. So you have set up a company selling interactive collaborative mapping platforms to help create social change, right? How is that going? the website looks professional, also seems a bit expensive. unfortunately the city platforms are all in Armenian so couldn’t get more into the details…  

Coincidentally, we have been discussing a LOT about improving city infrastructure, from (open) mapping & securing pedestrians hot spots in Tbilisi, to developing an app for fixing streets. And we seem to keep going back at the question of how to make decision maker willing and accountable, even if you do have a great tool? You mention on your site that “The respective governmental bodies carry further responsibility to eliminate the bugs.” How do you know this or how are you preparing for it? I think it would be quite a useful experience because many futurespotters are interested in leveraging collective/ crowdsourced efforts to bring change further in the policy or intervention room.c

Would you be interested to join some of those discussions? If yes, feel free to set up a post explaining what you’re up to and we can continue discussing there. For our International event participants are welcome to put forward a session on what they are interested to explore with others, do you have something in mind? the sooner you put it up, the more time to prepare it with others here.  



Nice to here that you like our Start-Up.First of all I’m interested to participant in the event. But i didn’t find agenda and format. I have no problem with presentation session/ discussion/exchange of experience. It will be great if you can provide more info about logistic (date, place) and exact  accommodation information. I have full time job and I need plan everything beforehand.

Citybugs.am is a social platform (Website and Mobile Apps) providing the possibility to talk about communal issues of different Armenian cities. Website content is generated by users, but all static content  available  in  english. After co-operation with governmental we are sharing account and information that has been generated in the website.They can get direct message from the website alerting that somebody pined problem.They have account which makes them possible to change Bug status (pending. done, etc) and answer. 

We are using local youth communities to moderate websites in different cities.Our main idea to provide transparency and became bridge between citizens and governmental organizations.

Also we have design huge platform that make enable to launch Citybugs (website and iOS and Android native mobile apps ) for YOUR city. Platform can be customized for collecting any data on dynamic map !


Preparing the event together

I think we all know how usual conferences are set up: by the time people register someone has already decided for them who gets to speak, there’s a shiny program already up and you registering means you are going to listen to those people. Well here at Edgeryders we have a different style: no spectators. It means that we prepare the event together and the agenda is shaped based on what you, me and everyone else wants to talk about or work on. We have a work space in place where there’s tasks listed and you can go ahead and choose / volunteer what you are willing to contribute, simply leave a comment to a task. It’ll take at least the 2 weeks before we have a full fledged agenda and know whose travels and lodging we can support out of a limited budget.

The search for location in Tbilisi is on, so I’ll get back to you on that.

If you are too busy to put in any sort of effort, which is also understandable, you’re still welcome to come, but you’ll need to arrange travels and accommodation yourself. works?


Ok. I will try to help :slight_smile:


+1 for what @Noemi says.

It is a bit of a trend nowadays to start something that looks cool or has some crowd component in it.

There are some great tools such as Ushahidi that leveraged crowd in plethora of ways and got some action and change, not just virtual but real, in places as varied as Haiti, Tunis and Mozambique, to name but few.

How is citybugs going to connect to government, or any responsible body to ensure whats reported or raised is solved? If it isnt, and you leave it up to the government to “carry further responsibility …” then you might as well just move to something else. Unless you ensure, by some means of incentivizing or bringing on board stakeholders (gov, UN, NGOs, 3rd party orgs with a clout/mandate/money/scope) that what crowd can raise and report as bugs is being taken care of NOT just by crowd (and you need some way of tracking, measuring that too), but by ALL stakeholders, you are no better than any wannabe group of people who find comfort/satisfaction in yet another virtual activity.

Sorry for playing devil’s advocate or a sceptic, but we all need a healthy doze of that from time to time. And I hope you can answer the questions raised here, so it becomes clear what citybugs is really about and after.

Thanks Sir,

Answers above :slight_smile:

Thanks Sir,

Answers above :slight_smile:

It’s been a while since I had an EdgeRyders outing!

Hi everybody! I’m really looking forwards to coming.

I’m going to be wearing two hats - as an edgeryders old school network guy, and also as an (occasional) professional futurist. I hope I can lend a few useful tools.

I’m really looking forwards to meeting you all!



Coming )))

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Coming too :slight_smile:

Really looking forward to meeting you all. I don’t plan to speak, except in conversation – preferably late at night and in front of a nice Georgian brew, when the civilians are in bed and the really far-out ideas come out to play. Eh, @hexayurt?

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Travel scheduled, woop woop!

SO looking forward to this! Already two session proposals in I definitiely want to participate in …working on my own one too…posting soon!

Comming :slight_smile: wish to come <3

Dear friends, we (Koka and Anuka) also wish to attand the meeting. Hope to arrange it. <3 i just received the meet-up summary #3. Eager to look through :slight_smile:


Representing the Innovation for Development Team, UNDP in Egypt

Hey Everyone!!

So it’s been a while, and I sincerely apologize for my absence. Anyway I’m coming to Spot the Future final event, and I am really really really excited about that! Not only because I’ve never been to Georgia and not in a million years would I have imagined visiting there, but because I get to meet the faces behind the typing :slight_smile:

This experience has been relatively new for me; didn’t really understand the approach when we first started working on this initiative. And it took me a looooong while to finally get the purpose of Edgeryders and Spot the Future (so happy I finally did)…which is engaging in meaningful conversation and co-creation/collaboration, as I already mentioned before here

To be completely honest, my only worry, is that this turns out to be more of a networking event for all the change-makers, and that us (as UNDP) we end up leaving the event without a solid outcome. We want to be part of the fun and excitement!

So what I would like to see come out of this event, is first of all learn about the amazing initiatives people are working on in different parts of world because I am sure there will be some ideas that could be useful for our local context.

Second, I want to find out how we can really move forward from this experience, so it’s not that we attend the event, receive the foresight report and then goodbye Spot the Future and that’s it…I think what will be important is to brainstorm together how we can consolidate a real relationship between individuals and organizations, and what they would like to see happening next and share lessons learned and experiences and find solutions to those issues. We really should make use of our time together.

Third, we are also interested in  how to get people to become active and engage on online platforms. And how we can use platforms to our advantage. Yes, those who are really interested are the ones that will start engaging anyway…but how can we encourage people to participate in a larger scale and really benefit from that. In Egypt, people tend to prefer physical meetings or they’ve already established their own communities and so on. Furthermore, I must admit, it is hard for me (and others) to keep up with what’s happening on online platforms and to really be committed to online engagement. 

My proposal is:

1. Maybe we can organize a UNDP session which includes the three country offices and participants (whoever would like to join) to discuss what happens next and to exchange ideas, experiences and try and come up with some kind of plan/solutions. 

2. Some of the Edgeryders team, members of the community and the Egyptian delegation (including UNDP Egypt) can sit together and discuss online engagement, how we can encourage it and overcome obstacles. 

What do you guys think???

Lots of love,



Your session to lead

Heya! @gazbee sorour don’t hesitate to turn bits of your comment - insightful by the way! - into an actual session proposal -> simply list it as an Event, give it a title, and let us know what format would you prefer it to be: a facilitated discussion I believe. Put yourself forward to lead it or even better, co-host it with someone in the community so that there is a bigger “we” : we who are learning new things from an institutional perspective, we who are learning new things from the citizenry. That’s the thing, if you think it’s a conversation worth having you’re most probably not alone, and others will jump on board. We just need to create an open space to have the conversation, the more ahead of the event, the better to keep on track and narrow it down for when we meet physically


I agree with @Noemi. Take the lead, @gazbee sorour: we’ll stand by your side and help as best we can. There certainly is potential in this situation we are in!

good points

I agree @Gazbee

Talking about walk-the-talk side of things,  I am still waiting for any contact back from you guys at UNDP, as we agreed you would re the carpooling app and your expected help. 

As far as online engagement is concerned, I also agree, there needs to be more of it. But what is important is that this online engagement, and participation converts - and we need to see and gauge how that happens - into real projects and such. Otherwise, yes, sure, its great and it raises awareness but there is little in a way of accomplishing a change in any meaningful way in real life and for real people.

One other thing, which we discussed already during Spot the Future, is that Edgeryders has a community of people, some of whom have needs or aspirations that can be met by others in the community. So perhaps connect those two sides in the same community? It will foster collaboration ,amplify relationships and result in some reall change.

So to finalize, its great to learn about inititaitves happenign on the ground and its great to get people engaged online - both are steps # 1 in a sense - but what will REALLY make difference is real help on this initiatives by connecting those inside community to each other, using network of community members and orgs like UNDP to bring in expertise/ etc, drawing some action plans/introducing some metrics for plan performance/assigning responsibles/etc - steps #2, 3, … - or in other words initiating action in real life, and encouraging online engagement, but keeping in mind that online is not an end in itself but means to change in real life.

My two cents. And i still have hope that UNDP will get back to me, and hopefully not too late!

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Online => more rigorous

Good to meet you, @2mavin, I don’t think we’ve spoken before. I am jumping in here because I want to comment on your point above:

What is important is that this online engagement, and participation converts - and we need to see and gauge how that happens - into real projects and such. Otherwise, yes, sure, its great and it raises awareness but there is little in a way of accomplishing a change in any meaningful way in real life and for real people.

I agree with everything, except the implication that this applies specifically to online engagement. This is true of all human communication. I am sure you will have made the experience of being in physical meetings where people nodded sagely and agreed something must be done… and then nothing happened. In fact, I argue that online interaction is more, not less, likely to yield concrete outcomes. Why? Because online means writing, and writing is (1) harder than talking and (2) forces a certain rigour into the interaction, as people are aware that what they write stays available as records.

So, please, let’s not try to forward a creeping narrative of “those self-important kids who like to show off on the Internet” vs. “responsible adults in meeting rooms”, ok? We all know that is not a legitimate description of reality. I am sure it’s not what you think, but I am afraid your words can be interpreted that way. 

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hi Alberto

Hi Alberto, good to meet you too.

Agree that all human communication implies certain things which might or not imply any follow-up action. While i do agree that online engagement’s cornerstone is writing, it is double-edged sword and here is why. If you havent already, I highly recommend a book called Net Delusion by Evgeny Morozov, who argues, among many things, that that very fact of writing (aka participating in social media outlets) makes people feel comfortable with themselves and gives them a certain - and mostly false - delusion of accomplishment. Cases in point, to various degrees, were Iranian Twitter revolution, Haiti events, etc.

So while I am conscious that online engagement implies more involvement in certain ways, I am not sure it is all good. Consider the fact the the pure virtuality of communication online is just that: virtual. Many people cant appreciate enough or consider enough gravity/implicatins of online relationships in comparison to real-life relationships (hence terms such as ‘Facebook friends’ etc). And secondly, with prevalence and ubiquity of Facebooks, Twitters, etc, online engagement is much more part of current generation’s daily routine, and requires but little effort. Testimony to this is the amount of noise/useless info posted on countless sites including the same Facebook by all kinds of people. 

Moreover, by my own experience, lots of face-to-face meetings and participation in conferences/seminars, is a way better way to get things going, especially in the developing world, where people appreciate much the human factor.

Just to be clear, I am not trying to trash the idea of online engagement. I do think its vital and I do believe social media has way more power and potential for impact than any regular media. My main argument is that many people get carried away by social media and think of it as means in itself. Social media is just media (but a fast and omniconnected one, for that matter), an end to something else, and this message must be clear.

Am not a social media skeptic (i actully train startups to use social media for their own businesses), but have just seen - among others, on TakingITGlobal, the biggest youth portal on Internet - my fare share of online blah-blah-blah without much real action. And here on Edgeryders I would hope to see much discussion with proportional amount of action!

Apologies if my message might have gotten wrongly interpreted.

different perception of writing and talking

hey @2mavin and @Alberto … just saw this discussion and wanted to jump in

first of all just ensuring that we r not talking about “those self-important kids who like to show off on the Internet” vs. “responsible adults in meeting rooms” as we r already talking online :slight_smile:

what I wanted to add that -may be @2mavin mentioned it in a way-  in the hot countries usually discussion and talking is more common than reading and writing … as people spend more time outdoors , and cold countries is vice versa …

so I totally agree that there is no clear boundaries between real and digital or virtual  they r all “real human interactions”, but also nowadays in the online world there is writing and video so it is not becoming the case of online includes writing only - ofcourse includes more writing -

and for the "facebook friends " or digital friends @2marvin i c what u mean with "online relationships " and “real-life relationships” - I may disagree on the term real -life may be call them "physical or face to face don’t know but online is also real life -  but both kinds of relationships have their own characteristics.

just wanted to share my unclear thoughts with u guys !