NELIS network of sustainability leaders and taking Edgeryders to Japan

NELIS (Next Leaders’ Initiative for Sustainability) are hosting their second global summit later this week and I was invited to join, courtesy of Jovin Hurry @hkjovin, edgeryder since the early days (uhm thanks Jovin!). It is a profile event with 300-400 participants in total, almost entirely corporate funded – NEC, Toshiba, PwC, Nissan and a few others.
The model, as I understand it, is to deliver social entrepreneurs’ expertise from all over the world to a very large audience of corporates on a learning curve, while strengthening the core network in private retreats.

I am co-facilitating a workshop with Shravan Shankar, a startup and ecosystem builder across India. The two of us will do a walkthrough of tech purposed for problem solving and towards social good: through use of open data and increased network connectivity. The edgeryders touch is the tech stack we have been developing for ethno and network mapping and analysis, so I’m going with the demos of Edgesense and GraphRyder as a way to show what is possible to the cca 30-40 participants, mostly young corporates.

More than a business opportunity development, I am making this into a personal and early stage scoping mission. I’m also going to try to understand how NELIS works as a distributed network (they are early days), if there is a role for me/ us to play in it.
Also present at the event will be:
Singularity University - educational platform for tech leaders
Borderless Japan – platform for social business creators offering loans and infrastructure. Formerly non-profit, now a corporation.
Springboard Nigeria - platform for resourcing sustainable farms and social empowerment.

Anyone in Japan we should get in touch with, while there?
Thanks to @yannick, @Mao for the great site and books recommendations ahead of the trip <3
Will keep you guys posted.


Looks like a great opportunity! Congrats,well deserved.

I know a music journalist in Tokyo. If you can put up with a massive music nerd, he is a very nice guy.

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have a great time in Japan, curious to listen to your story later!

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Hey all, I’m Shravan and I’ll be joining Noemi at NELIS. As she said, I work with startups and ecosystems in India, which in these heady times is white exciting :slight_smile:. I’ve been a part of NELIS from the start as one of the founding participants and it’s been an extremely interesting group to be a part of.

In short NELIS is a global to local network of sustainability practitioners. We define such practitioners as anyone working to improve and enable social and environmental impact in the work they do, ranging from business, civil society, education, arts, policmaking, and even spirituality.

Building a community from the ground up is tricky. That is one of the biggest learning I’ve got from NELIS, and we are still a work in progress towards this. This is a reason why I’ve got a lot of respect for what you all have created with Edgeryders.

NELIS is still growing coming to a systematised institution, this year we hope to get our first global activity formatts rolled out but we have so much we can learn from what you all have created. Aside from it though on a personal capacity, I’ve found NELIS very fulfilling in the collaborations I’ve made, from working on making banana paper in Zambia, a project on sustainable cities in Japan, to recycling and waste management in India. I’ve met some great people and we’ve been able to grow something from NELIS. I think there should be avenues Edgeryders can tap during the conference and I’ll do my bit to help that along :slight_smile:

I’m really excited about the workshop I’ll be doing with Noemi, Social Tech for Social Good. Our workshop seems to be the only tech focused related workshop in the conference and that’s am interesting perspective but I suppose it is also reflective of how people are working with sustainability. We have a way to go, but there are some excellent opportunities appearing to make that happen.


Hello @shravan, welcome! Noemi is the best, you are standing on solid ground there.

I played a part in conceiving the software tools that you will be playing with in the workshop, and I am proud of them. However, they only work as part of a methodology for producing and harvesting collective intelligence which requires intentional participation and mutual awareness for everyone. Participants agree to make a small effort to be articulate and truth-oriented rather than shouting at each other or using one-sentence, zero punctuation language. Ethnographers agree to code according to an ontology that they are free to produce, but must document, and agree to act as a research team, with the whole team using the some ontology. Only then can we induce meaningful networks.

Intention + mutual awareness are somewhat definitional of community. And, as you say, “building community is tricky”. But without it, our whole effort falls apart. Good thing that so far it has proven tricky, but doable.