Headsup: Edgeryders micro-course on Next Leaders University by NELIS

NELIS is an organisation I joined as a member in 2018, after attending the annual summit in Japan.

As explained there, I was curious to be a part of a network that has a different approach than ours (edgeryders)to making change - somewhat more centralized and rooted in the vision of one very hard working person, and strategically focused on bridging the gap between change experts on the ground and knowledge gaps in the corporate world.

After a few deep thinking years NELIS now has two flagship projects, one of which is an online platform with micro trainings on sustainability brought primarily to junior corporates in Japan who wish to learn new ways from practitioners from all over the world.

The two main objectives of those NLU micro trainings are:

  • Inspire companies to source new kinds of work (sales pipeline). They pay a fee to access the whole curriculum of micro trainings. The fees go into further development of courses and network mobilisation.
  • Promote the micro trainers, with the objective of leading to longer, customized and paid trainings, as well as other opportunities (for example, consulting or project participation etc.)

I’ve contributed one of the first seed videos - sharing Edgeryders experiences in riding innovation by bringing together professional experts (iNGOs and Cities) and citizen experts (grassroot innovators).
Two cases were of great inspiration: building the community in Tunisia, at the time with @Yosser at the centre, and Future Makers Rustavi, with @khatuna @inge and others.

We will see where it goes and what the response will be, it’s very early days.

Here is the project and teaser videos:


If you’d like access to any of the videos I will ask the team to share it with us, given that the content in our video is the result of many edgeryders contributions.
If you’d like to put yourself forward as a trainer, I am happy to connect you,


This is a great strategic stance, because corporates have money, and normally they use it so badly that any money you would get would not result in reduction of anything important.

Unfortunately, we always sucked at talking to corporates.

How did the founder break through that wall?

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The short answer is - a 20 years experience working in the corporate section and many connections.

These first courses are the network’s own investment and part of a larger sales package - that is built around a project called 4 Revolutions: rebuilding humanity’s future in a generation’s time.
In the 4Revs project about 25+ sponsor companies are contributing small amounts to be at the receiving end of case studies about environmental innovations, collected by a team of NELIS members over 1 year. With a small amount sponsored per company, they get access to intelligence that otherwise costs a lot. Think food waste initiatives, or circular economy business models, most of which they apparently do not have access to (I don’t quite understand why, because a lot of it is public information). Or don’t have access to in a packaged way.

Then the upsale is: other than the studies, you can also get trainings, and you can also get bootcamps with our network experts. The online mini trainings are to offer a flavour of what the other services could be from the network.

All in all, I think it relies on a lot of sales effort built on decades of embededness in the sector.

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