I'm Chris, aged 24, and I actually stumbled upon Edgeryders by accident! I'm going back to university in September to study a Masters in International Relations at the University of Leeds, and I stumbled upon Edgeryders whilst researching possible topics for my dissertation. I'm really glad to have done so! It's funny how in the 21st century you can be a couple of 'clicks' away from finding like-minded people.
Something that really interests me is the idea that many of the solutions to the worlds current problems can be solved not through conventional political channels that are often too rigid and bureaucratic, but through decentralised bodies that promote bottom-up approaches. Edgeryders encapsulates this idea perfectly! I'm a big fan of Hannah Arendt, and I read her book 'Between Past and Future' many years ago, and it really motivated me to start thinking of new ways of viewing this weird and wonderful world. She says this:
"Because the world is made by mortals it wears out; and because it continuously changes its inhabitants it runs the risk of becoming as mortal as they. To preserve the world against the mortality of its creators and inhabitants it must be constantly set right anew."
Hopefully, I'll be able to write my dissertation with innovation, creation and decentralisation as the key focus, and I'll definitely be using Edgeryders as a sort of model for what can and should be done when envisaging new ways to create development projects If anyone would like to suggest ideas on how I could use Edgeryders as an example that would be great! For example, one idea I had was about focusing on how open villages could become hubs for local democracy in post-war communities...
I was born in Scotland, but was raised in Durham which is a small town in the North East of England. I've always found it difficult to find people in my local area concerned about the bigger picture. I've always wanted to break away from this 'English people do English things mentality' which is very much present in my region. So, I ended up doing my Undergraduate Degree in French and I ended up living in France for about 3 and a half years. My aim was to carry out a sort of personal ethnographic research project in order for me to perhaps discover an identity that was perhaps always there, but not given the opportunity to rear to its little head. When in France, I really wanted to try and blend in, and completely immerse myself in what ever France had to offer me. I worked many jobs all over the country and I spent a great deal of my time with French people whose families had North African origins, and I've never been the same since. It made me realise how fluid identities can be, to the point that if someone were to ask me now 'what nationality are you', I'd probably say 'any one I want'...
So, I'm a little lost with regards to how I'll be able to best utilise my Masters degree, given that the world of international development seems to be quite densely populated with big organisations taking up too much room. However, I do know that I work well with people from other cultures, and that I would like to go into something where I can be involved in projects abroad. I think this community would great to meet people, share ideas, and maybe get involved in projects too if it's possible. I'm wondering how I can be of use to the community as well... I have language, research/marketing skills and I'm pretty much open to everything and anything!
I'm also planning on spending 2-3 weeks in Morocco in August before starting in September to perhaps get some inspiration before I have to go and live in a library for a year So, if anyone knows of any places where there are local NGOs, organisations, workshops, anything to do with local people, i'd be very interested in hearing about it! Perhaps, I could go and see what they do etc.
Anyway, I'm very pleased to have found this community and I hope to be able to get involved and be of use !