After 2 full days of intense, challenging and intellectually stimulating discussion at the Social Cohesion, Research and Early Warning Division of the Council of Europe it was convened that the Edgeryders has played its role and will be put on hold. Nevertheless, it was agreed to devise a new project aimed at tackling social exclusion, precariousness and poverty in a collaborative and co-responsible way in 30 cities/towns around Europe. Feeding from the legacy, expertise and methodologies of the Edgeryders and SPIRAL projects, a common understanding was reached on the structure and technicalities of the new project. This time the ambition is to create the world’s largest start-up for social change.
This common vision about the unfolding of (grassroots) local processes rests on four main principles:
- Progressivity – upward mobility of the ones most at risk, ensuring sustainable access to basic services and rights, reduce polarization, inequality and social divide.
- Practical empathy building (love and trust) – enabling a space free of stigmatization, and dis-incentivizing the stereotypes in the community by making new connections and improving their local areas.
- Creating common goods by resourcefully re-using, re-imagining and connecting assets and resources thus creating a sense of genuine ownership of the local processes
- Public consciousness about universal human dignity through “hands-on doing”, learning, sharing and other creative elements.
Surfing through 26 pages worth of minutes and loads of personal notes, we broke down the content of what has been discussed into 40+ main points and details concerning the new process. So far, they are structured 3 parts: the technical details concerning the web development, software and communication, the social/offline component and points that are unclear or lack mutual agreement in the team.
As an offspring of this process, there is a grid of target community audience structured along the lines of self-selection - targeted selection and availability or projects and initiatives. We are currently creating solid 1 page documents around these four categories, specifying the ‘carrots’ for the people in those categories, process design ideas and drawing inspiration from examples of great projects.
Throughout the discussion the Edgeryders members and their stories were wired into the design process. The work seems so much more creative, exciting and reassuring there’s inspiration comming from the whole community.
Here are some of the hottest topics of the ongoing discussion. Your thoughts, advice and spirit to figure them out.
- We focused on identifying challenges and points of pain to be dealt with and finding proper ethical ways of approaching and interacting with people on the ground. How to keep them in the loop despite of their precarious situation, limited amounts of time they can dedicate, lack of confidence in themselves and in the ones around them (institutions, peers, NGOs, external actors)?
- We are thinking of ways to create and surface support of a local community around an idea or initiative. Also, how to help people develop a new vision of the realities around them and devising an a practical guide to social change for “practical dreamers”? :)
- How to attract credibility and create credentials, incentives around an initial activity. How not to lose the Edgeryders community on the way?
- How to involve the community in designing the new website, especially those that are not tech savvy? The CoE wants to see collective processes emerging that are comprised of different types of publics rather than individual initiatives. How to make the space more inclusive language-wise?
- How to balance the success of individual initiatives with the collective benefit of the community while keeping in line with the objectives outlined in the project?
- What other ‘carrots’ or ‘hooks’ we can use for citizens, organizations, businesses and institutions we could use to get them interested and involved?
What do you think?
Keep the discussion going here - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JGu0xHGSqfvwNgG5kwGBxXX7DxFYc3EirYhId-w0aLc/edit#