Nice to meet you, EdgeRyders!

Available in: :gb: English / Romanian

:gb: English version

Dear EdgeRyders,

My name is Alina and I’m 20 years old. I come from Bucharest, but I left Romania when I was 18 to study abroad. I am currently studying Leisure Management in the Netherlands, Breda, and I have chosen this programme because of its problem-based, highly applied approach, but also because I believe in the power of leisure activities as ways of fostering and provoking social innovation and change. Subjects covered by my university were imagineering, project management, marketing, research, operational management and strategic network design, and they have all been taught by means of different projects commissioned by real-life companies from both the public and the private sector.

During the second year of university, I did a seven months internship at Artconnect Berlin, a company created to empower creative individuals and to stimulate the creative community of Berlin to work together for the benefits of all parts involved. My main tasks there were social media, public relations and blogging. Moreover, I had to develop a growth strategy based on gamification and a marketing plan for an online marketplace. Even though communities and networks have always been a recurrent element in my curriculum, my internship experience was truly eye-opening in a sense of seeing the power that communities can gain once they are offered a platform on which to interact and mingle with each other.

Next year will be my third and final study year, and I have opted for a specialisation in creative industries, because I find it a challenging and highly interesting area of expertise, which very much comes in line with my own personality and character, as I have always been a very creative and perceptive person, while at the same time very structured and analytical. The minor will be focused on the way creative industries can act as drivers for social innovation. After I will have also written my thesis (for which one of my possible topics would actually be the participation of Bucharest in the competition to become the European Cultural capital in 2021), I would like to spend 2 years in gaining some more professional experience, and afterwards come back to Bucharest and to try to bring the knowledge I have acquired abroad and my enthusiasm back there.

I truly believe that offering a platform where individuals can come together and co-create towards a joint objective can give birth to powerful communities which could have an important say in relation to future societal developments. However, I think, on the basis of my internship, that the most difficult part about creating online collaborative communities is not to help them grow up, but to make them become independent and no longer in need of support. Differently said, to get to the point where users use the platform intrinsically, because they see it as a tool that really comes and supports the development of their own needs and ideas.

I would love to continue working with this sort of communities, to learn how to stimulate collaboration better and ultimately to help in any way I can. I would still very much like to stay connected to Bucharest, as I have always had as main objective to come back there after finishing my studies and to try to contribute to its transformation towards a smart, innovative city.

Besides my professional side, I am very passionate about technology and the way it influences societies. I am an avid user of social media, and I use it to gather information about different topics or to provoke discussion about themes that are of interest to me. I spend between 1 and 5 hours daily reading articles, forums and different information sources, so I come in contact with a lot of different content each day. I am very open-minded and accepting, and I love meeting and interacting with people in all their diversity and uniqueness.

This being said, I have found this job offer as I was looking for a summer job, at the recommendation of a friend. Having considered what I have mentioned above, I found it a perfect match with everything I wanted to work on and potentially even more, as I have also always wanted to get involved with the organising and the managing of different events. I am extremely interested in the concept of EdgeRyders and would be highly motivated to bring everything I can to help this project grow and develop in Bucharest.

If I were to name projects or people who actively participate in changing communities, I would choose Carusel (an organisation dealing with harm reduction which works with marginalised groups in Romania), Centrul National al Dansului Bucuresti (a centre which has been struggling for years with very little public sector support to create an alternative and experimental space for dance), MIRA Rehab (a Romanian initiative to make physical therapy fun through video games) and Funky Citizens (an active citizenship organisation with many interesting initiatives started at the moment). I could obtain a personal contact form the first two through personal contacts, but for the other two I would write a short, informative yet attractive email, follow it by a phone call few days after and finally through a personal contact. I think that all of these organisation have visions and identities which could very much fit with the one of EdgeRyders, and I am sure that all of these initiatives are looking for as much support and help as they can. Because my personal beliefs and convictions are very much in line with the whole concept of this project, I would be an enthusiastic and passionate driver of this idea towards other organisations and people.

I would be very happy to hear from you and to have a talk on how and what I could bring to your organisation. Right now I am still in the Netherlands, finishing my school year, but I will come to Bucharest at the end of June. However, I would still be open to start working for this wonderful project as soon as needed, even from the distance. If you have any questions or uncertainties about my application please contact me any time via my email, or through my account here on EdgeRyders.

Thank you,

Alina Tomescu.

##Romanian version

Dragi EdgeRyders,

Numele meu este Alina si am 20 de ani. Sunt din Bucuresti, dar am plecat din Romania cand aveam 18 ani pentru a studia in afara. Momentan studiez managementul activitatilor de timp liber (Leisure Management) in Breda, Olanda, si am ales specializarea aceasta pentru orientarea practica pe care o ofera ca metoda de educatie, dar si pentru ca cred in folosirea activitatilor de timp liber ca metoda de a stimula inovatia sociala si schimbarea de mentalitate colectiva. Cursurile principale oferite de NHTV Breda sunt imagineering, project management, marketing, research, operational management si strategic network design, iar toate aceste cunostinte teoretice au fost aplicate practic in proiecte comandate de diferite entitati reale, din domeniul public sau privat.

In anul doi de facultate am facut un internship de sapte luni la Artconnect Berlin, o companie creata pentru a oferi mai multa independenta si putere persoanelor creative si pentru a le stimula sa lucreze impreuna in baza unei comunitati. Principalele mele sarcini au fost social media, public relations si blogging. In plus, am avut de dezvoltat o strategie de crestere a numarului de utilizatori bazata pe gamification și un plan de marketing pentru un marketplace in mediul online. Chiar daca comunitatile si sistemele de tip network au fost niste subiecte recurente in curriculumul scolar pe toata durata facultatii, experienta acestui internship la Artconnect Berlin mi-a oferit o perspectiva mai clara si mai practica asupra diferitelor procese din viata reala, in sensul ca am putut vedea cum, oferind o platforma unde oamenii se pot intalni si cunoaste unul pe celalalt, se pot forma comunitati puternice care sa conduca la schimbare.

Anul viitor va fi ultimul meu an de facultate, in care am optat catre o specializare in industrii creative, pentru ca mi se pare un domeniu foarte interesant si provocator, care se leaga foarte bine cu personalitatea mea, deoarece am fost dintotdeauna o persoana foarte creativa si perspicace, dar foarte structurata si analitica in acelasi timp. Specializarea aceasta va fi bazata pe modurile in care industriile creative pot actiona ca vectori de schimbare pentru inovatie sociala. Dupa specializare imi voi scrie teza de licenta (unde una dintre temele posibile este chiar participarea Bucurestiului in cursa pentru capitala culturala europeana in 2021), iar apoi as vrea sa mai lucrez timp de un an sau doi ca sa castig mai multa experienta profesionala, dupa care as vrea sa ma intorc in Bucuresti si sa incerc sa aduc toate cunostintele pe care le-am dobandit in strainatate si entuziasmul meu inapoi acolo.

Cred foarte mult in crearea de platforme sociale unde indivizii pot gasi sprijin si idei similare spre a co-crea si a face posibile obiective comune. Cred ca, cu ajutorul unei comunitati puternice, ideile bune pot gasi mai mult suport si expunere pentru a putea fi puse in aplicare si pentru a dezvolta societatea viitorului. Cu toate acestea, bazandu-ma pe experienta internshipului meu, cred ca cea mai mare provocare in domeniul crearii unei comunitati online este de a le ajuta sa devina independente. Altfel spus, de a ajunge in punctul in care utilizatorii folosesc platforma ca un mediu care vine in ajutorul idelor lor si care ii ajuta sa se dezvolte, fara a mai necesita stimuli externi.

Mi-ar placea sa continui sa lucrez cu comunitati de acest fel ca sa invat mai multe despre metode de stimulare a caracterului independent in retele, dar si ca sa incerc sa ajut idei in care cred sa creasca. De asemenea, mi-as dori foarte mult sa raman conectata cu Bucuresti, deoarece obiectivul meu a fost dintotdeauna sa imi termin studiile si sa ma intorc sa contribui la transformarea acestui oras intr-un loc destept si inovator.

Pe langa obiectivele profesionale, sunt foarte pasionata in timpul liber de tehnologie de varf si de felul in care afecteaza societatea in care traim. Sunt un utilizator avid de social media si folosesc mediul online pentru a aduna diverse informatii din diferite medii, dar si pentru a provoca discutii vis-a-vis de diferite domenii de interes personal. In medie, folosesc de la 1 pana la 5 ore pe zi pentru a citi diverse articole sau forumuri, ceea ce inseamna ca intru in contact cu foarte mult continut in fiecare zi, pe care il folosesc pentru a lansa discutii sau pentru a ma dezvolta personal. Sunt o persoana foarte deschisa, si imi place sa cunosc si sa interactionez cu multe tipuri de oameni cu diverse interese si domenii de activitate.

Acestea fiind spuse, am gasit acest anunt prin recomandarea unui prieten, in timp ce cautam un job pentru la vara. Luand in considerare tot ce am mentionat mai sus, cred ca este o oprtunitate ideala pentru mine ca sa invat tot ce mi-am propus si chiar mai mult, deoarece mi-as dori sa ma implic de asemenea in organizarea unui eveniment pentru a experimenta cu acest domeniu de activitate. Sunt extrem de interesata de tot conceptul din spatele EdgeRyders si sunt foarte motivata sa aduc tot ce imi sta in putere pentru a ajuta acest proiect sa se dezvolte in Bucuresti.

Daca ar trebui sa numesc niste proiecte care s-ar potivi cu conceptul EdgeRyders, as alege Carusel (o organizatie bazate pe harm reduction care lucreaza cu comunitati defavorizate din Romania), Centrul National al Dansului Bucuresti (un centru cu o viziune inovatoare care se lupta de ani de zile sa creeze un spatiu dedicat experimentarii si dansului, dar cu putin sprijin sau fonduri), MIRA Rehab (o initiativa romaneasca de a transforma terapia fizica intr-o activitate distrativa cu ajutorul jocurilor video) si Funky Citizens (o organizatie bazata pe activism social cu foarte multe initiative interesante). As putea obtine contact direct cu primele doua organizatii prin contacte personale, iar pentru celelalte as incepe prin a scrie un mail informativ dar atractiv, si as continua printr-o convorbire telefonica si un contact personal. Cred ca toate aceste organizatii mentionate mai sus au identitati si viziuni foarte similare cu cele ale EdgeRyder, iar de aceea cred ca nu ar fi foarte greu sa fie aduse impreuna. Deoarece cred in valorile promovate de EdgeRyder si de acest proiect, as fi extrem de pasionata si de entuziasmata sa fac parte din acest concept si sa ajut la formarea si conectarea acestor parti.

Mi-ar placea foarte mult sa ajut aceasta organizatie si sa lucrez pe durata verii cu acest concept. Momentan ma aflu inca in Olanda, unde trebuie sa imi termin cel de-al doilea an de facultate. Desi voi veni in Bucuresti abia la sfarsitul lui Iunie, mi-ar face placere sa sa ajut oricand este nevoie. Daca aveti orice fel de intrebari sau nedumeriri despre aceasta aplicatie va rog sa ma contactati pe adresa de email sau pe contul creat aici pe EdgeRyders.

Va multumesc,

Alina Tomescu

Leisure activities fostering social innovation? Interesting!

Hi @Atzu
Good to have you onboard! I have to admit I didn’t know a thing about leisure management but after reading your post (and a Wikipedia page) I’m very curious about the leisure industry’s potential to drive social innovation. Any article you might share?
Funny to think that if you do decide to study Bucharest’s bid for ECOC as thesis topic, the Spot the Future project documentation might end up as research material. All the more reasons to discover and connect as many activists, community organisers, hackers, cultural & social innovators as possible. :)
However, I think, on the basis of my internship, that the most difficult part about creating online collaborative communities is not to help them grow up, but to make them become independent and no longer in need of support. Differently said, to get to the point where users use the platform intrinsically, because they see it as a tool that really comes and supports the development of their own needs and ideas. - See more at:
Agree with the goal of having people use the platform organically, for their own projects - I believe this is how Edgeryders do use it - yet keeping users active even after their own needs might have been met and keeping the platform’s user-base growing is also important, I think. Part of what Spot the Future seeks is to have more Romania-based people living and creating on the margins not only know of each other, but also join a truly global community to which they can connect, contribute and benefit from. 
Looking forward to meeting you live in June at one of the gatherings!

Hey @Alex Stef,

Thanks for answering, great to meet you! Actually, I did look for some of the literature I studied in school with regards to this topic, and surprisingly I couldn’t really find much about it in online free sources. I do have some powerpoint presentations and some readers though, how could I send them to you?

About the thesis, I have been already considering Bucharest’s bid as a possible topic for quite a while now. Having found this concept last night made it even more exciting and more appealing for me and I’m considering it more and more.

I do agree as well with your point about the difficulties in maintaining networks active. I think that having users come back periodically, even after their needs have been met, as well as keeping the user base growing are undoubtedly important points in keeping a community alive. However, where I was trying to aim at is that I envision these types of challenges being solved and dealt with not by the “hosting platform” but by the users themselves. Users would the ones constantly bring new people and new content into the community, and not because they would want to have their ideas supported or their needs met, but because they would want to have their community alive and vibrant.

This is maybe how I would see an “ideally organic” community that is completely independent and self-sufficient. Perhaps it is a bit idealistic, but I think it could be a fun idea to play with?

Looking forward to meeting you as well and would love to share some further thoughts on this topic with you!

A vibrant community as a purpose in itself

@Atzu, I now see what you mean about contributing to a platform out of the desire to keep it alive and I completely agree. And it might not all that idealistic (as in, impossible) because from what I’ve grasped about Edgeryders so far (been on the platform for 10 days), that’s how they’ve kept the community active for 4 years.

Ah, university readers - so dreaded back then, so missed now (jstor, my love). Don’t want to bother you with looking for material suitable for an ignorant of all things leisure studies, but if you have something shareable at hand, I’d love to check it out, thank you! Email:

Moved the Romanian text into translated version

Hi Alina, great to have you… how did you find out about Spot the Future? I’m still surprised how many smart minds come on board since we’ve only started 2 weeks ago :slight_smile:

The Bucharest bid is something currently under way, and @anca_ionita who has registered but not spoken yet can fill you in about it.

I took the liberty to add your Romanian text in a translation here. The way I went about it is set the language of the initial post to English (from the Edit tab), which allows us to add translations after -> now where the Edit tab is you can see an additional tab Translate. I went in and pasted the Romanian text accordingle. Just as now you or content managers can add new translations.

Hey Noemi,

nice to meet you too. A friend directed me towards this as I was looking for a summer job. Happy I found this so soon as well

Looking forward to meeting you all in July!