OpenVillage Festival Program and Curators Note

The Festival program has been assembled in a participatory way, in a slow cooking mode. At its core are pillars of the OpenCare two year research on community alternatives to health and social care. Everywhere we look, from the hyperlocal to the international, people are committed to building solutions. There is a nascent, ambitious, and effective ecosystem of care that is developing in response to the failures of the current models. We aim to highlight and support that development.

The structure of the program brings together sessions built around three themes: Open Science, Architecture of Love, and Revolutionary Care. The themes blend and build on one another, reflective of the fundamental interdependence of care. Three fellows were selected from the variety of participants to help curate and develop the three themes as well as the festival itself.

One of OpenCare’s core themes has been citizen science and Open Science. Many projects are producing highly promising products and outputs. “We have no capital, no investors, no shares” - Winnie Poncelet has lined up a number of both researchers and champions of affordable and accessible technology for care who are on a learning path to improve coordination and distribute team efforts and value accordingly.

Architectures of Love is evoking an important thematic tension between policy and values. Gehan Macleod condensed her question to an essential perspective, asking what foundational parts of a culture contribute to a caregiving society that go beyond formally enforced policies. Experiences from the City of Milano, from community groups in Galway and Glasgow are a few ways to understand what are enablers for citizen-led care responses.

Revolutionary Care: Building Health Autonomy is the third theme of the festival. As we talk about care, we are working to understand how we can live together and how we can develop our lives in commune. We ask the questions around responding to crisis, responding to our needs, and building generational models of care. Finally, as we face the destruction around us, we strive to highlight care as a fundamentally revolutionary act. The Woodbine Health Autonomy collective (represented by Nicole Demby and Frank Coughlin) based in New York City, has curated this theme.

We know this festival will be more than another “passive” conference. The lines between presenter and audience are purposefully blurred and as we have worked to build the Edgeryders community, we will take the information and use it to build tangibly. The first two days will highlight the work of different projects and groups around the world. We look to meet new friends, share embraces with old ones, and learn together. On the third day, we will experiment together as we continue in the process of building new worlds that place our collective well-being at the forefront.

We look forward to walking this path with you.

Gehan, Noemi, Nicole, Frank, Winnie




Just to say we are missing some things…

  • John’s training session (Day 3) -> I had put the title and summary in a comment to you a few days ago.
    -Digital security training (Day 3) -> same
  • heads up: Day 2 has the whole afternoon to one panel (plus a gap time from 5 to 6?) and 6 sessions crowded in the morning… we might need to make some space there.

@gehan I wanted to say that since you are curating the panel on collaboration you should have the last word on its title… I’m not sure as of now that the people we invite to open the conversation would have a say about autonomy - which is not the same as the spin on collaboration that we wanted to give it… I liked the framing around chaos and collaboration more.

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@noemi, looks like Day 2 in the pm will have the 3 sessions and the panel, which is about the same amount of time compared to the am. Let me know what you think.

@gehan, agree as above, just put the last title we had mentioned, but if you think it will change the focus, let me know.

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Just a few notes in response to the latest conversations spread on community calls and emails:

  • We need to be careful about the gender balance <3

  • Early morning sessions for physical care would be great!

  • I propose all new sessions to be taken in as open options and agree with the proponents that we will try to accommodate them by mid September when we release the final program for the twitterstorm (for example there is an open slot on Day 2 from 5 to 6; or during an afternoon panel which is standalone now we can insert a workshop on the side). Please encourage people who would like to come to offer other kinds of contributions - assist a session from the current schedule with production, or share their insights on the page; or help onsite, organise icebreakers etc. It’s details like this which will make a difference, in my experience.

  • Day 3 could see everything that has a practical relevance for OpenVillage moved here -with clear nudging to leaders that they adjust the contents to try to answer **How would you see your work developing further in a communal residency? ** (water sampling, permaculture, fitness clinic being some obvious examples)

  • I added a Dinner and PARTY on Day 3: a festival needs a proper celebration, right? This will be organised by Edgeryders through @Natalia most likely.

@Winnieponcelet: the documentary screening can be organised during an evening for a greater audience, so we can plan for Alberto’s session then (Day 2 evening like you suggested)
@Woodbinehealth: I re-arranged Day 3 schedule because John’s and Matt’s are in themselves openvillage activities. and they need to follow each other… works for now?

I’ve emailed a few people to suss out potential sessions and most of them happen to be women which would help bring more gender balance. I guess if something comes together we include it as an open option.
Great @woodbinehealth have offered to do early morning physical care sessions. Bernard offered similar sessions - so perhaps a collaboration/splitting days? Also Kate has offered to host an early morning session harvesting dreams from the night before. It’d be good to have a sense of whether we can find space for both to take place.

Hey thanks for the thoughts/ info! We have some sessions being proposed with female and/or female focused care (reproductive access), pending blog posts and more info now. Will post when available. The dream sessions sound great and @kate_g will post more info. Also some thoughts on having the first few minutes of the harvesting sessions being a grounding/physical experience, help break up the afternoon.

I’ve chatted to Abeba and will write up an introduction. @woodbinehealth @noemi is there still space to include as an open session? It’ll be along the lines of how our conceptions of personhood and dialogical thinking create or otherwise the conditions for care, drawing also on experience of people inhabiting communities that are open and networked due to their traditional philosophy.

Happy to clown around with everyone. We can do a session of clowning and laughter


Dear All,

Kindly note that my organization " Skills to Succeed " expressed its willingness to host any workshop you need to organize in Tataouine , Tunisia .Our training room is fully equipped and we have an outstanding reputation regionally.

I look forward to seeing you !

Warm regards,

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Hi @Sabouny, are you considering coming to Brussels?? That would be great.

We are organising an Urban Game in the city about wellbeing, on the first day - you are welcome to give Matteo some ideas here about how a clowning activity could happen…

Hi @gehan! I’m sorry about the delay, this notification came in while I was still traveling last week. I would welcome Abeba for sure, even if we dont immediately see how a session would fit in the program at the moment. I think her contributions would be relevant to many sessions, and most useful in Day 3.

Hi Achref :slight_smile:
thanks for the offer. @zmorda is planning the workshop(s) in Tunisia, maybe have a chat with her?

Dr… Hana Mohammed Khalaf Alshloul from jordan
Summary (palm)
The best human personality influential for the year 2016 - High Commission for Human Development - Saudi Arabia
Sweden - Head of Department of Arabic Language and Literature - Al-Hayat Al-Jadida University - Sweden
Member of the Arab American Board
(Chairman of the Arab Cultural Association)
International Peace Coach - Canada
Certified Trainer of the World Federation of Development Sciences - Egypt
Not an initiative initiator I want - Malaysia
Member of Amnesty International - London
Gold Member - World Federation of Human Development Technologies
Member of the Federation of Volunteerism and Community Service

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Quite impressive credentials. Welcome to - we very much look forward to your participation here!

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Hello, I am a Pediatrician working in Brussels. My interest is focused on studying how to empower social networks for revaluing community-based infancy care in multicultural contexts. If there s still place for a discussion on the theme (preferably on Thursday or Friday) I would be happy to join !


Nice to meet you @Eri! If you look in the Festival space here on edgeryders you can see the final program - that latest version, while pretty much final, includes a freestyle slot on Friday and Saturday afternoon where anyone can propose a session to lead, in a more ad hoc way. We will organise them onsite.

That said, I’m looking forward to learn about your work and what draws you to this topic - go ahead and share your story (a few paragraphs) in the same festival space (see Add Topic), then we will include you on the participants list and send you the latest updates about the event. By the way of example - my story about the failings of the Romanian medical system is here.

Best I could do is evening of day 1 (earliest I can leave Oxford is 1:30, and will take me 4hrs at best to get to Brussels) and morning of day 2 (must be back in Ox by 5pm).

No way around it, I’m afraid— my funding depends on attendance. October is a very packed month :confused:

@noemi and team, @amelia and I have decided to go for this.

We would like a Day 2 morning session. Ideally, a long one, hackathon-style Masters of Networks (all morning). If not possible, we will take what we can get, ideally the first session in the morning to allow Amelia to go back to Oxford in time. Info:

  1. It’s a workshop. Title: “understanding community care with semantic social networks”, or something like that. Run by Amelia, @jason_vallet and myself.
  2. Presentation of OpenCare’s preliminary results, using GraphRyders as a way to illustrate it. No more than 30 mins.
  3. People fire up laptops, load up GraphRyders, group around questions and look for answers for the rest of the time. Questions could be of the type “what does it mean that X is connected with Y?” (implies reading material and reflecting on it); or of the type “what can we say about the structure and clustering of codes?” (implies messing around with the graph as a whole). Jason could contribute with rapid-fire analysis on Tulip.
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Good. To minimally disrupt other sessions, I suggest you guys take the slot from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM - with a lunch break in between (12/12:30 until 2 PM…). That way we dont add a 4th parralel session in the morning at 9.

How’s that @alberto ? Ping @woodbinehealth

No can do. @amelia needs to leave for Oxford early. 12 is the latest we can do this.