How do we build the new kind of festival, all over Europe /And other work updates - 20/11 - Warsaw

Location: Warsaw, exact address t.b.c
Organisers: @natalia_skoczylas @Mikomann
Status: Developing process and content, fundraising.


These were extremely busy weeks and i forgot to report back on what are we doing, both with the Polish team and the rest.

In Poland, we are well into building the workshop for November - looking for a suitable space, trying to gauge the costs and budget, as well as crafting the right balance for the event activities. Since @Mikomann took a huge initiative and moved a lot of pieces forward, I am keen on supporting his daring idea of creating a space for a dialogue beyond differences, especially since a star facilitator got so intrigued by this proposal, he is doing it for a symbolic fee. This part of the event is called Open Forum, and it uses various methods of psychological work to help people meet and understand each other, using the psychology of process as a tool.

I would like to add a small conversational situation to it, centered either around food making (a cooking workshop if only we manage to find a space with a kitchen) with a facilitated, intimate discussion about the state of the world today, as well as a tattoo session with a fundraiser. I am aiming at inviting the Declaration of Human Rights tattoo project or making something similar. You get a cheap tattoo, your money goes for a valuable cause, and while you suffer, we ask questions.

Since the budget we have is not enough to cover everything we want to do, we are now also looking for additional funds to cover it. And we are still open to hosting someone from the network to give a session in this framework. Maybe in a way someone from NGI who specialises with ads and data and social platforms, who could translate the profit of using spaces as edgeryders to our audience and motivate them this way to leave the fb groups in which they discuss their issues and come here, where we promise not to use their data in ways they never consent?

I am also mowing my way through the posts that have been added to the platform lately- we have put a pause on the collection of stories, as it became obvious that the way the platform looks and what is offered is not enough to keep people coming back here. Even the awards do not seem to make a huge difference - a commitment to this discussion means time, and we know how it is with it. So, we are now trying to focus on bringing on board a specific group that could use edgeryders as a home, such as activists suffering from terrible conditions and burnout in Poland. But this is yet to be developed, for now, we have a few incredible activists, but also very busy persons, present here.

I also suggested maybe moving one of the male-circles here, as it is obviously a growing topic and something that maybe would use this kind of forum.

I can see how my hires are growing both scared and frustrated by the lack of efforts of their work, and that forces me to spend a lot of time thinking how to adapt the approach, adjust the conversation starters and somehow rebrand the platform for our users.

Otherwise, i am still going through the painful process of the interface design with a more quizzy touch to it. And we have hired a few new people, who will now hopefully move the platform into full swing. That meant a lot of mailing, drafting contracts, setting up conditions, calls etc.

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There’s so many ideas and ambitions about this event, it’s a lot to process.
At the co-design sessions last week the strong advice offered was to focus on spending time in a place and having repeated conversations with the people crossing that space. Would that help? And then do a smaller format with 1 topic, since the outreach is not really so effective at the moment.