It’s me again ^^ Dorsaf, Biology engineer from Medenine, Tunisia. I want to share with you my story on how I became a part of this outstanding community. I believe most of you heard about the innovation booth camp that took place here in Medenine in late December 2017. Driven by my desire to change the world around me, I’ve submitted my application, sharing my thoughts about what’s needed to be done to make a change here in my community and what I suggest as a solution. I remember I wrote that people here are not creating any sort of positive change around them whatsoever, except bringing food to the table and supporting their own families. I am not saying this to belittle their effort maintaining a good living but I am trying to point out that we are not thinking about our future as a community, that we need to prepare the coming generation for what they need to face in the future.
People here tend to finish their day in any way possible and just go back home. They are not making any sort of impact in their social environment. The same thing applies on children, and that’s where the problem lies in the first place. Most of them goes to school and get back home, do their homework and that’s it. They don’t get the opportunity to manifest their interests and passions, or even to discover them. They are not given the chance to create their own dreams and long term goals. They are simply not familiar with this concept. As a results, we find majority of young adults not being able to figure out what they really want to accomplish in their lives, and if they do, they wouldn’t be persistent and determined enough to achieve it. From where I see it, kids should be introduced to the concept of self-growth from a young age. We need to bring attention to this important notion by creating extracurricular activities that are sort of obligatory to attend, where we teach kids the importance of their creations and let them experience how they are able to make a difference in their environment if they work hard enough.
This boot camp experience was rewarding on so many levels. I had the opportunity to interact with amazing people, discovering that we share the same ideas and we are on the same wave length. Yet the biggest outcome was finding the courage to start my own initiative: creating a biohacking space. It was an excellent fit for me since I have been having these thoughts and ideas of practicing biology out of the academic context from the day I graduated. Special thanks to @anique.yael and @noemi who enlightened me to this new practice.
With the same mind set of helping people of my community to start leading their passions and living up to their dreams, I decided to create the biohacking space. It is called “Nebras” which means the act of enlightenment. You may ask how this new practice can help people lead a good life. It is simple. When you learn the best way to deal with your own body, you end up knowing what works best for your health for example when you get to discover how your own metabolism work based on your blood type, you can create your food line, thus increasing and boosting your mental and physical performance.
So my idea for this project is to create a Biohacking space where I can introduce Biology to non-professionals, with a focus on kids who would be interested to dig deep into science and really get to the bottom of something they want to understand that has to deal with either their body or their ecosystem in order to help them improve their live.
I am keen to develop and sharpen my skills and potentials dealing with this new practice. Thus, I definitely need help from expertise, people who have gained a sound knowledge in this new field and here comes the magic of the Edgeryders community: I got to meet @winnieponcelet here in Tunisia.
It was a fruitful encounter. We had the chance to share ideas and discuss different aspects of the project. By telling him what set of skills that I think I need to acquire in order to launch my initiative the right way, he pointed out the best practices to lead this project successfully and clarified many misunderstandings that I had in terms of defining the purpose of my project and establishment of my goals. He also shared with me how he started his initiative and the different stages that he went through and what are the obstacles he overcome to achieve his success. All of this gave me a great help to organise my mess of ideas and to try putting them into actions.
Since then I have been sharing my idea on the platform with the Edgeryders and I had a great feedback. I have had some really encouraging feedback (@ramykim, @alberto), they even shared some knowledge with me such as workshop presentation and spared me some time explaining certain topics (@rachel) and trying to pave the way for me. All of this positive feedback couldn’t be more reassuring for me to continue exploring this world and try to connect it with my real world.
I’m still at the stage of initiation and planning (Nebras Project Plan).
What I’m doing now is trying to create activities and projects that can empower and enrich potentials around me by searching and asking people of knowledge and students about their visions and thoughts science and biology now.
As far as I know, there is no such community here in Tunisia (biohackers), due to the lack of democratization of technology and the free access to information. Therefore, I need guidance on how to operate out of the academic and business environment in terms of managing and developing the biohacking space, and how to avoid producing concerns and fear of this new practice and to make sure to not develop anything that can cause damage.
Hereby I would like to take this opportunity and express my desire to come to the Reef in Brussels and learn from the biohackers leaders such as EKOLI and ReaGent in order to enhance my knowledge and skills in the world of biohacking.