I was asked to create a new word for the unique interactive media format that’s been used by EdgeRyders. It has previously been described as a process of online activities that accelerates offline activities.
The EdgeRyders 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.
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.
The word that I have come up with is “Annares”. It’s the name of the Utopian world in Ursula K Le Guin’s novel the Dispossed.
The visualization Alberto of EdgeRyders work over the past eight years shows a changing organism. It’s like a city or a society that’s alive and fluid, growing and changing. The conversations on EdgeRyders are changing and adapting as society changes and adapts and new challenges arise.
Le Guin’s novel was the first critical Utopian novel because her world of Annares wasn’t cut off from earth (or Uras in the novel). Prior to her novel, utopian fiction’s ‘perfect societies’ were always isolated and static places. People from the real world couldn’t reach them and history and politics had no influence or impact. To the reader they were almost less achievable.
In Le Guin’s novel someone from earth (or Uras) reached Anarres, which breaks this trope and shows that a better imagined society is possible for us. Annares is an evolving place (that’s not without its faults).
In the novel, Annares was established by Odo as a decentralised socialist state where a new society and language were created. Everything is shared or used as opposed to owned. There are no ‘criminals’ because everyone is equal - in fact, there’s not a word for crime or criminal in their language. Many other social constructs are challenged in the book too.
I think it’s a fitting word for the medium EdgeRyders uses. Like the city in The Dispossessed, EdgeRyders uses a decentralised network to help change society. It’s ever evolving and changing just like Le Guin’s world.
Happy to hear your feedback and thoughts,