Notes from the Call: The Edgeryders Space Program

Everyone, share your notes from the call here, and then let’s continue the discussion here online.

We are closing in on the festival, the fellowships, the workshops and choosing the spaces. We have to show the benefits of the ER platform and network, the festival, workshop and especially these proposed reefs and show the path to gaining those benefits.

We need a sustainable prototype. How do we get there? What is the roadmap we offer?

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These are my edited notes from the conversation today:

People are now starting to ask us about the fellowships… and what will happen @the reef. The fellowship is quite clear now but people want to know what’s going to happen in morroco or tunisia and what will happen in the workshop. Questions like how long the residency is, what kind of projects will be selected etc. The practical details.

It’s interesting to note the differences in attitude among different people we meet. In Lebanon people have told us that the reactions of people around them is scepticism while others report the opposite:

Till now the people I talk to…after a while of chatting talking about the open village and so , they are really interested in the idea, ( to my surprise some people in Egypt they are actually willing to relocate to tunisia or morroco )! Even if the project doesn’t continue they are already in the network and have opened a new market for their work - Hazem

This may change after the workshops when people better understand the different components and how they/their projects can directly benefit from being involved. The benefits of investing in becoming part of a a strong, supportive community where many more tight relationships can be built with time… It may also just be a function of the people who have been contacted so far. This week we start reaching out in a more “public” mode to ensure that there is sufficient diversity of people and projects in the process.

Our strategy is to enable people who want to take the risk and/or have projects which have a credible chance at generating revenue. We will collaboratively design and deploy creative solutions to live well on very little little money. Edgeryders will cover the cost of rent for a few months after which the space and projects within it have to sustain themselves.

  • lowering cost of living
  • getting to know new interesting people to partner or collaborate with
  • opening new markets for ones initiatives
  • building an international collaborations, partnerships and active business networks

The process consists of a mix of online and face-to-face activities.

  • Building a roadmap for how your individual project can be translated/ grow in the OV House x, as well as how you can contribute towards this happening. For example Karim who is driving the Hydroponics Konnabat initiative has concrete ideas on how to generate revenue from a specific space of land. Others will have ideas for services that they could provide to the community in the house while making use of the OpenVillage’s activities to lower their own costs of living and working. We have a number of fellowships to allocate The first fellows will be people who already are talented and very motivated to set up OpenVillage space (they should have at least been exploring building something similar in their local environment). We would tailor some of the work moving forward around supporting those efforts while generating tangible value for everyone who is not going to use that physical space (e.g. because they are based in a different country or city). What we can offer:

  • Business/ Project Mentorship:
    1) Structured process for peer-powered business model design, fundraising, product development, team matching and building, administration and governance, fundraising and communications (marketing/ PR)
    2) Stuctured way for how people can get feedback on their own business models (e.g. by building health and investment readiness assesments). People can fill in a form and leave reflections on what others have submitted in order to access the assesment service from an expert. We could even do it in exchange for a working vacation in the house (free space and food, great company, lots of inspiring initiatives to learn from etc) - the nerd’s alternative to cooking on a beach on your own with little intellectual or creative stimulation.

The workshop is being designed collaboratively - welcome to join in the design discussions here

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After some thinking, I now agree with Nadia’s opinion in the call that building one prototype space “and getting that one right” is the right way for us to start. We’d want to start with a success and make it a recipe. Wasting a lot of young folks’ energy on a massively parallel approach with a 90% failure rate would also “somehow work”, but is wasteful, and bad for public image. After the prototype, we of course want more spaces – most of them forming a loose network, not managed by Edgeryders The Company itself.

Now this also implies, we want to found our first space the way we intend the other spaces to be founded and organized. Means: find a local team or person who has or is founding a space, found the space with them, make it self-sustaining more or less from the beginning.

About self-sustainability of both the space and the businesses in it, I had a sudden insight while cycling :laughing: Namely, that founding successful businesses is very important for “our crowd”. For people starting from zero, it is the only way to avoid staying at zero (that is, staying an employee or even unemployed forever). Because only as a business, you can take part in the market where the money is, instead of being the last link in the corporate food chain only (as an employee). The problem is, founding a working business is hard. The solution is to make it easier. Less try and error. Good processes and guidance to make it work the first time. Good idea collections and feedback. Let’s apply the power of open source collaboration to business creation.


Just realised this could be read like



Hei guys, as promised here is a proposal for our internal understanding of what it means to cover the ecosystem needs on the three components: PHYSICAL HOUSES, ONLINE PLATFORM, ANNUAL FESTIVAL (for 3 years to come)

I added the document as shared in the MENA google folder here.

Especially for the physical houses I need help to understand what is required on a permanent basis in the process of setting them up. Less about actual hosting now.

Once we fill it in I suggest all connectors and community managers in the project develop a routine of asking everyone who wants to be a part of this to share the load of coordination.

Lower the cost of living: get a pressure cooker, eat beans.