How to use #OpenVillage to connect the Edgeryders Community?

@Noemi (I believe you’re the person to tag for this)

So I’ve been thinking about what an opportunity the OpenVillage is for bringing a large portion of the Edgryders community together, and IN PERSON! And I was wondering if there are any plans for community building activites around the conference schedual that were focused, directly on the community, not just everyone’s work?

I know that conferences like this will naturally bring people together, and especailly with the outlined plan people will be listening for what projects speak to them, to partner with and learn from each other. But I was curious if there is any programming being put together just to connect people on a human level?

Some ideas as to how to this could be done around the conference schedual:

-Early morning hike, for those who are early risers and would like to work in some fresh air and activity before cognitive work of conferencing.

-Evening of Inquiry (adapted from my university), people sign up to be put in random, small groups (5-8 people) and take turns answering personal, premade questions around motivations, hopes, fears, dreams, obsticals over come, etc. (Possibly with wine and some snacks).

-Edgeryders Match (adapted from Under30 Changemakers), have members of the community (who choose to) fill out a form about a variety of their interests and passions. And then match them another member, so that they can videochat in the weeks leading up to the OpenVillage. This way there is at least one familar face when they arrive!

Are things like these already in the works? Or maybe there are contraints I don’t know about? Additional thoughts/reflections/feedback, please comment!

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Whoa, great thinking

Hi @Shajara this is really helpful. So, the gist is that we do have these in the tradition of Living On The Edge (LOTE Edgeryders events, five so far) - we had on offer early morning yoga sessions in caves, personalised city tours led by Brussels locals, playing frisbee in a city centre, but most importantly: food was most of the time an element for communal get togethers - 200 of us made pasta in a southern Italian city, or dozens cooking from waste in a Disco Soupe format, or just hanging around the kitchen A LOT… see some pics below :slight_smile:

I especially like your idea of Edgeryders match ! Having participants meet and socialize ahead is part of what we found works with community events, and there is much room to do it even better than interacting solely around projects. I am willing to support such an activity if you are game!

Great Explanation

@Noemi, Sorry for the slow response, I’ve been traveling with limited internet access. Thank you so much for sharing all this! It is the first I’ve heard about the Living On The Edge events, so just to clarify do these events only happen during the annual conference, or are they ongoing events with a few co-occurring with the conference, or are these events completely separate from the conference?

Also, I’d love to make an Edgeryders Match happen before the conference! I’ll contact my friend who ran it in another community and ask her for an outline. Is the best way to proceed just to continue to post in this thread?

Yep, proceed here.

Yes @Shajara I think it would be best to document the work here. There’s of course flexibility - if there is a call for participation then better put it in a new post also in this Coordination group so we can circulate it.

Should we catch up during next week’s community call on Wednesday? (the hangout link is as usual this one). Looking forward…!

Sound good

@Noemi, sounds good. One question though, what time is the community call? I tried to attend last week but didn’t find anyone, so I think I may have the wrong time.


Always this time. (I was on the road this last wednesday so I may have missed it indeed, apologies)

It’s a good point

Relationship building isn’t all about projects and work, even when it is of such importance.  Relationships are built on trust, and in turn so is the process of networking among individuals.  But there isn’t any one way that trust gets established.  We humans are deep and complex and there isn’t any one set way that people form bonds - bonds that last anyway.

Sometimes a simple question like “what do you do for fun?” leads to something meaningful in life and in work.  My experience at the LOTE that I attended last year was that the people there had so many natural affinities that it seemerd like anyone could talk with anyone else and develop some sort of bond that could lead somewhere new.  But there is a lot to be said for “fanning the flames” to increase the likelihood of it happening.

It has occurred to me at times that this site, very project oriented, would benefit from areas where such mutual discoveries could more easily happen.  It isn’t small talk if it leads someplace bigger.


Video hangouts and welcoming new arrivals

For in person conversations, there are the weekly online video chats. @trythis has been in many of the previous ones (do you still have some of that audio documentation?). When we did them in the past they were often meandering and could run on for ages, people dropping in and out. Kind of like a cafe. It can be really nice and a good way to get to know one another.

Something else we have tried is Video

  • talk-to-me-about bubbles. People take a photo or video of themselves holding a speech bubble with containing their ER handle +  * one sentence about what they are interested in (  videos here).
  • skype interviews with more specific responses to questions e.g How are you making a living on the edge? (e.g. Elf's video here )
  • more traditional short video interviews about people's life and work (videos here)

There are also older, pre-edgeryders experiments like this one

Maybe we can get a tradition going where people make videos and then post them in the arrivals group?

We already have a lot of videos from members lying around, so we could get in touch with them and invite them to get it started… what do you think @Shajara @Noemi  @johncoate

Yes to more video formats

Similar to “Talk to me about…” series which we shot when people were in the same place, last year ahead of LOTE we asked participants to tell others about their failures, which was the topic for the event. Here’s a long thread with responses that came out.

The next step I think we missed: how to make all of these personal intros more available to people new to edgeryders or the event…

Of course, @Shajara you leading this means you make the decisions, I’m game.


Yes @johncoate it’s not the first time I heard people say this:

My experience at the LOTE that I attended last year was that the people there had so many natural affinities that it seemerd like anyone could talk with anyone else and develop some sort of bond that could lead somewhere new.

@Bridget_McKenzie after LOTE1 said that Edgeryders is like a slow sustained speed dating session online” (on her blog). So I guess that kind of meaningful relations are what we’re going for as a basis for building things.

It is for me for sure

I have had a lot of jobs and work situations over the years.  And I have friendships that continue and are active from just about all of them.  What I can say about my own experience is that the ones that lasted had a social component outside of work.  The ones that stayed only inside the workplace were certainly friendly for the most part, and I am sure that any one of them could resume in a friendly way should the situation arise. But the ones that really lasted - and which provide for me the best opportunities for a high quality referral or a collaboration (as well as an assurance of a good time if it’s just social) - are the ones that had a personal/professional overlap.

For an unusual guy like me who has no credentials bestowed by any institution, this means everything.  My survival has depended on it.  One report from the edge, anyway…

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