How can regions and cities work at a local level to ensure the national health and social care system can better respond to crises?


How do ensure that we have the fundamental material requirements to stay healthy through times of crises?

Event: October 14, 2020
Format: Online - Offline event
Curated by: Nadia El-Imam, Edgeryders Co-founder
Coordinated by: Edgeryders


We have seen similar stories play out in different countries around access to masks, ventilator spare parts, access to testing etc. Across global south and global north - crises hit differently - but they do hit. And our ability to respond means navigating many interdependencies. So how do we avoid these situations in the future? How do we make sure that we have the fundamentals in place to stay healthy or even alive when crisis hits? In this series of listening sessions and follow up discussions we explore credible paths moving forward based on real life cases, not pie in the sky scenarios.

To ground the conversation in lived experience on the ground, will invite protagonists of key intiaitives in the series of case stories on the platform ahead of the event. In order to ensure a high quality discussion - we expect participants to have read and commented on at least 3 of the featured stories so that we know that people have some common foundation for a meaningful conversation.

Together participants will identify strategies for what can be done depending on different scenarios: 1) The central State is reliable partner or not 2) Which sector we are in (private, public, third, other) 3) Whether we or not we can rely on cohesion and solidarity in in the situation 4) If we are talking about majority society or minorities. We will end it with a webinar during which we present the findings, as well as proposals for possible collaborations and partnerships between participating individuals and organisations who have participated in the process.

Closer to the date of the event, we will publish a list specially invited people who confirmed their attendance, but this is not a panel. The listening session is simply a moderated discussion with some brief recap of the key story cares and discussions that have taken place on the platform before the event. Once the session starts, if you have something to say, ask for the floor and a moderator will give it to you.

A 2hr process of online activities that accelerates offline activities…

Discussion & Co-creation

The EdgeRyders events process begins when an idea or solution is posted on the platform, sparking discussion among community members. Some join in, actively listening, asking questions or giving thoughtful responses. (This is a safe place and not for debating opinions or speaking for others.)

The discussion begins with first hand accounts of attempts taken to solve societal issues and moves to navigating the personal challenges experienced by members. Nuances and the various different contexts surrounding these challenges begins to show.

  • A series of listening sessions around key issues.
  • Webinars to present and discuss case studies.
  • Online co-creation workshops to design and plan joint actions.
  • An online hackathon to accelerate existing initiatives through technical support

Information analysis & Action

Next open source technology is used to make connections between topics being discussed, the people discussing them, places, projects, solutions and struggles. When we put this together, patterns start to emerge that help join these ideas and people to each other and to other information, skill and resources.

By the end of the process, our community members have gained a richer knowledge and understanding of the issue they wish to tackle and have a blueprint to put their idea into action.

  • Preparation: Collecting and discussing case studies, preparing initiatives for the hackathon, Pre-event introductions and networking
  • During the event: Rigorous documentation, definition of a list of follow up action points with clear allocation of roles and responsibilities, open participatory budgeting for the activities.
  • Follow up: Rapid deployment of the actions (1 week cycles), followed by open participatory evaluation and codesign of next cycle based on lessons learned.

Format & practical information

  • A discussion on our online platform followed by meeting. You tell us a little about yourself and your thoughts on the topic to reserve your slot. Then receive a link and password to the event the day before: Register here.
  • Full information sheet: add url here (create a new one for each session using this template)
  • Not a panel, an open, moderated discussion . A moderator will give the floor to people who want to contribute something. Some have already volunteered (see list below, updated continuously). If you want to share your point of view, use the call’s chat to let us know, and the moderator will give you the floor. If you have a question to ask the speaker, ask it in the chat (better) or let us know you want to ask a question. Questions are taken before we move on to the next speaker.
  • We commit to doing a proper writeup of the result (aka “documentation, or it didn’t happen”). Edgeryders also deploys its team of ethnographers for participant observation and note-taking.
  • Everyone welcome . Below there is a list of the people who have agreed to show up. If you are coming too, we are happy to put you on it. If you prefer not to be on the list, that’s OK too.
  • Please note we aim to publish the content of the conversation as public knowledge, available to activist and scholars . However, this will happen through writeups by people in Edgeryders. While we will record the event, participants are welcome to sign up under aliases and keep their video shut off. Also the writeups will not mention any names.

Preparation & Follow up

Before the listening session

Discover, discuss and make sense of case stories. We (Edgeryders) knew years ago that healthcare systems all over the world were ill positioned to handle a massive crisis. Together with The City of Milan, The University of Bordeaux, the Institute for Economic and Business History Research in Stockholm, WeMake, and the Scimpulse Foundation m research project we ran a project called OpenCare. Over 2 years we interviewed individuals and groups all over the world who are mobilising to care for people where state and market were failing to do so.

We now have a huge repository of stories and examples that we can learn from. These are first hand stories by the protagonists themselves - many of whom are on the edgeryders community platform and can be reached to answer questions, provide additional input or possibly even be engaged in new initiatives. The curated collection of summaries will be released on a dedicated blog.

What happens after the event?

This is an open ended journey. What happens depends on what those of us who participate in the process develop together. Edgeryders has a proven track record of initiating and stewarding open processes towards tangible outcomes and opportunities for the participants. We cannot promise specific outcomes, but we can promise it will be generative and interesting.

How to partner with this event

  • This actitvity can be nested within other events/ co-event (own registration from)
  • what we want from partners: Visibility/Reach/Content/Funding… (Alignment)
  • We are good at the interesting, timely discussions - but struggle to build a good interface with organisations at the centre whose support we need to affect change.

If you want to help, you have two options

  1. If you are an individual: Login to/create an account on and leave a comment here. We will help you find something fun and easy to do.
  2. If you are an organisation: Write to for more information about how you can contribute.

1 Like

hallo @thomasviscom saw your comment. I am thinking maybe you could help with 4, 5 and 6 ? If this is interesting then drop me a PM to discuss further?

Hi & Heads up @noemi @alberto @amelia @melancon @lakomaa @tino_sanandaji @luciascopelliti @costantino @markomanka @matthias - we are going to be revisiting and widely publicising the opencare work that was done as it especially relevant at the moment.

Also pinging @Markus_D: several of the initiatives/ citizen stories cover the overlap between community responses and enabling networked technologies and infrastructures in strengthening/securing resilience in face of systemic shocks - covid yes, but also impending climate + eco mess. We especially need help with #8 #5 and #6. Maybe we can schedule a call early next week to discuss in more detail? If yes, @kajafarszky could help us find a good time.

1 Like

Here are some good examples of case stories, different initiatives to tackle the pandemic from City of Nice, City of Espoo and city cases from Barcelona and Amsterdam: , .

Here you can find more about the case studies of technology-based actions cities are implementing to support their citizens and ecosystem in relation to the current COVID-19 pandemic; COVID-19: Good city practices | Intelligent Cities Challenge.

1 Like

Would you be up for contacting them and seeing if they want to get involved?

Yes, I can contact City of Barcelona, they have three different projects
• Community of makers in Barcelona (Ateneus de Fabricació) – using 3D printers to make protective equipment and sanitary materials
• Conversion of municipal sport centres into hospitals
• Challenges to engage the ecosystem.


I’ve put together this invitation - if it helps:

Hei an update from my side: the people at Aspen are now evaluating the request - I asked them to put forward 1 speaker and help with network communication.

If we are to invite people to this session, perhaps the List of Asks can be removed? Too long a post otherwise… @nadia

1 Like

sure go ahead - remove it no problem

The event info I had was for the 29th of May - but I see it’s changed to mid June… ? Ok, will update further those I contacted!

1 Like

How are you and others you know coping with the covid19 regulations and mess in the health systems?

  • what is your daily strategy to stay well?
  • what measures did your government take that you think are effective?
  • what measures do you not agree with?
  • which non-state community initiatives are helping more than expected?
1 Like

One speaker we can get to is Adrian (UCL guy from Aspen) now that we have the date set. Also, Marco and Simona.

Also Martin!