Sneak Peek: Covid19 + Resilient Livelihoods: An Online Summit

This summit is part of a series of activities aimed at co-designing experimental new social, business and investment models to withstand the shocks which will be soon be upon us as climate crisis and ecological devastation unfold. Ecosystems of economic resilience and regeneration.

Register your interest now for the Resilient Livelihoods Summit, hosted by Edgeryders.

When: Pre-summit events starting on 2nd week of June, Summit takes place in mid september.
Tickets: Fill in this form
Program: See here.
Description of the process & what comes out of it for participants: Summit events: Process (for participants)


When a crisis hits, we look for systems of support & collaboration that go beyond the status quo. At this online summit we gather together people who deploy policies, infrastructures, tools, business activity and community projects that can form an essential support system for sustaining livelihoods in times of crisis.

The event is designed to help participants…

:speech_balloon: Find the right conversations

:memo: Grow their professional network

:hammer_and_pick: Build new income opportunities

:open_book: Learn from others’ past experiences

Compass on Google Android 10.0 March 2020 Feature Drop Experiment new models for securing resilient livelihoods

What will happen during the online summit?

  • A series of listening sessions around key issues
  • Webinars to present and discuss case studies
  • Online co-creation workshops to design and plan joint actions
  • An online hackathon to accelerate existing initiatives through technical support

What happens before and after

  • Preparation: Collecting and discussing case studies, preparing initiatives for the hackathon, Pre-event introductions and networking
  • During the event: Rigorous documentation, definition of a list of follow up action points with clear allocation of roles and responsibilities, open participatory budgeting for the activities.
  • Follow up: Rapid deployment of the actions (1 week cycles), followed by open participatory evaluation and codesign of next cycle based on lessons learned.


  • Accessible & Inclusive: Everything online for free, multilingual content & facilitation, video + audio + text alternatives.

  • Fast to deploy: we do all of this in partnership with an already active online community on an already existing open source online platform that has been running for over 7 years. It has been used to deploy similar processes for the World Bank, UNDP, EU funded research project

Why this, why now?

section text cocreated with @jean_russell, inspired by an older text contributed by @hexayurt

How we have been organizing resources and markets so humans have food on the table and a roof over their head has proven to be fragile in the midst of a pandemic. Most complex challenges (like getting food on the table for your family from a hundred sources and locations), are not one well-defined problem (grow apples), but a constellation of interdependent issues (transportation logistics, factory sorting and processing, demand & supply negotiations, regulation etc) undergoing constant redefinition and renegotiation. Any one organisation, no matter how efficient and smart, has no hope of containing any such challenge.

At the same time we see that in the face of large shocks to the system, organisations optimised for efficiency and profit cannot provide the means for material, relational, and existential resilience of neither individual nor society at large. Case in point: When supply chains are broken, even benevolent governments in affluent countries cannot access the equipment or protective gear to protect frontline workers on which we all depend to stay alive.

On the other hand, communities are getting smarter. The Internet has produced decentralized, scalable tools for coordination, archiving, and retrieval. It has also spawned cultural practices and ethical rules that incentivize people to collaborate with strangers. As a result, leaderless “swarms” of dedicated citizen experts are writing encyclopedias, mapping the Earth, doing science, developing and maintaining complex, successful software stacks. In each of these areas they outperform powerful businesses and government initiatives.

These initiatives display uncanny speed and efficiency, because communities are better than organizational hierarchies at making use of human intelligence. They treat every person – not just the top echelon – as a potential or actual expert, rather than as a passive consumer or beneficiary. They ask people to help, rather than charting their needs, and they have more human talent to throw at problems. They weed out under-performing initiatives in a healthy and natural way, making way for new life to emerge.

Wikipedia’s a good example of the combined power of Smart Swarms to change the world. We all use it every day, and it’s taking effective action on both poverty (poor people are using it too, all over the world!) and ecology (it’s saving huge numbers of trees on paper books.) People are working together to solve a real human problem - access to knowledge - and it’s improving everyone’s lives. There’s a tiny thread of financial capital – running the servers, say – but Wikipedia is a community-driven enterprise. It shows what can be done.

We want to achieve resilient lives and livelihoods. Contributing to Wikipedia doesn’t put food on the table or ensure that communities support one another to mitigate the consequences of social distancing. Or even keep our mental health intact when automation wipes out the need for many professions, the foundation on which many of us build our identity and sense of purpose. We need to use a similar kind of effect to meet the material, relational, and existential needs of individuals and communities. And we need to develop sources of prosperity that secure their resilience by serving these needs.

This is not just semantics: it is about reframing livelihood generation from a lonely, competitive activity that only is accessible if you have money to sustain yourself while you build your business or have specialised training. To one that is collaborative, mutualistic, and accessible to all, regardless of your personal background. We frame the building of sustainable economic livelihoods as that of building an ecosystem, made up of many overlapping circles of people engaging in different activities. Commercial activity always relied on cooperation more than competition (but that was called an old boys club).

This summit is part of a series of activities aimed at co-designing experimental new social, business and investment models to withstand the shocks which will besoon be upon us as climate crisis and ecological devastation unfold. Ecosystems of economic resilience and regeneration.

About the Organisers

  • The Edgeryders organisation was created in 2012. Is an international community consisting of 5000 members in 80 countries. It’s members mostly interact through and an open source digital platform with it’s own custom made digital tools for large scale dialogue and coordination, as well as through community events such as workshops, conferences, retreats and festivals.
  • Notable members: Robin Chase, Founder of Zipcar, Amelia Andersdotter former MEP for the Swedish Pirate Party and Digital Rights activist, Fabrizio Barca - Ex General Director of division chief at the research department of the Bank of Italy, Chief of the department of development and cohesion policies at the treasury with previous tenures as chief at the research department of the Bank of Italy,and the president of the OECD’s territorial policies committee.
  • Mission: Support a diverse groups of people with the relations ships, information, knowledge, tools and opportunities to accelerate the transition to a greener, more equitable and humane society for all.
  • Born out of Council of Europe Research project on social cohesion at the Council of Europe, an international organisation which houses the European Court of Human Rights, which enforces the European Convention on Human Rights in Europe. It’s stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.
  • It is supported by a not for profit company with the same name registered in Estonia. The company is stewarded by 6 directors based in Belgium, Germany, Sweden and the United States.
  • The company develops its own technologies, methodologies and insights through academic research cooperations with leading Universities.
  • Current and Previous Partners, Clients and funders include: University of Bordeaux, City of Matera, City of Galway, City of Milan, City of Amsterdam, Stockholm School of Economics, Nesta, Aarhus University, EIT- Climate Kic, World Bank, UNDP, European Commission and the Rockefeller foundation.

How you can partner with us

If you can grow our visibility, contribute financially to offset costs or open doors to others who can do so please get in touch with us!

Write to to schedule a phonecall or meeting.

How is this all financed?

This event is part of the NGI Forward project Generation Internet (NGI) initiative, launched by the European Commission in the autumn of 2016. It has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 825652 from 2019-2021. You can learn more about the initiative and our involvement in it at

Ngi logo

Eu emblem

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As myself a founder of a company, I am very interested in comparing notes on how people are rethinking their business models. Underpinning these thoughts, of course, are the scenarios people are considering. Recession? Green-slow-utopia? Zombie apocalypse? These scenarios have some of the characteristics of prediction markets, because people allocate their money and time depending on them.

I would also suggest this. Coincidentally, I know that David Rinaldi and some of his associates have in mind a “barefoot consulting” service. It aims to the nano- and small enterprises, and its UVP is funded on access: barebones and cheap services for companies that can’t or won’t hire your typical expensive consultant with all the bell and whistles. They invited me to a brainstorming meeting, and it was interesting to see the kind of consulting products they are thinking about: flow charts, or wizards, to get a back-of-the-envelope idea of whether you should close or not. Do you want to talk to him? Maybe he and his associates (at least two of which are lawyers, dealing with things like bankrupcties and debt restructuring) would be interested in participating somehow.


yes please! @kajafarszky could I ask you to help us set up a call?

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Sure. @alberto, do you have David Rinaldi’s contact? I don’t find him on the platform. Thanks.

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I can help providing case studies/plans of / include connect webinar and online workshop course examples developed in context with NGI and Covid response:

  1. The "ViConnect ": Workshop series teaching how to use VR technology together with analogue drawing to articulate and discuss challenges and ideas regarding online education, home office needs and play for children.
    2.“Own your cloud” Webinar discussing ethical implications of subscription models and ownerships in commercial clouds and teaches how to set up your own open source cloud.
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I can help with this part if needed.

Also, talking with @andreja, we were thinking we could contribute to networking and general promotion of the event, maybe create some content for the future project opportunities, explore funding options and build partnerships.


I can help in different ways:
Marketing side: give to this Online Summit the pre-visibility it needs and bring people in.
Technical side: If needed I can manage or teach how to manage a video mixer software for live streams so we can give to all of this a professional look.
Network side: I can ask a couple of EU friends in businesses like commerce or Saas (software as a service) if they want to participate and show their experience (if they have something interesting to tell of course).

Always thinking about this area I would suggest, where possible, to have another format: one or two main events with one or two big names for a high profile “lectio magistralis”/round table/ speech / [put what you prefer the most here].
The first names that come to my mind are Yanis Varoufakis (I would love to see him and, for eg. Fabrizio Barca, around the same table discussing the near future), but also Naomi Klein in this situation would be interesting like Edward Snowden (not sure if they want to be paid for this). But apart from this, the idea to put some big names above a series of other events would be beneficial in my opinion for the entire Online Summit.


Naomi Klein already is doing some interesting webinars (this happened in the last month):

I think partnering up with a venture that has more chances of bringing big names in could be helpful. Or just try and send invites, who knows :slight_smile:


Sounds attractive and very ambitious! I have two things I could contribute:

  1. programming support - case study collection and community reporting.
    This could be sessions where 1-2 people summarize the coping methods reported in the conversations so far and offer them for others’ to learn and contribute. Threads mostly focus on how people: navigate uncertainty of the work mentally, try to change the way they work and adapt, conclude, learn, project, voice concerns about the future of the world, and maybe others.
  2. content delivery - building a food business from lockdown. Here I would want to work with @yannick to put together an overview as struggling food entrepreneurs ourselves.

Ok - Feedback from Katya (she’s not on edgeryders, mentioning it to be sure to acknowledge her contribution):

This seems like a very timely and worthwhile event. It is certainly a fertile ground for innovation as things post Covid will never be the same as pre Covid.

  1. You outline Wikipedia as an example model. This is often called a folksonomy as a group of people build it for common purpose. But perhaps find another example which has a commercial angle.

  2. The internet is designed for resilience as are many supply chains, can you invite those people into the conversation?

  3. Perhaps talk up the commercial imperative more. Nothing wrong with the altruistic angle, but ultimately profit will drive change and there is plenty to be made when making the world more tolerant of such crisis’

  4. Also want about more resilient financial services? This seems like an important things going forward too.


Making some suggestions to address the commercial imperative.

…form an essential support system for sustaining livelihoods in times of crisis. This support system will ultimately help everyone gain access to new people, tools, opportunities that reduce the constraints of doing good work and create new possibilities for financial stability.

We need to use a similar kind of effect to meet the material, relational, and existential needs of individuals and communities. We want people to gain access to financial stabilily as a basic need and be able to prosper by making good work count: not just a subjective measure, but as a financially rewarded life.

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So Katya’s input kicked off a stream of thought re people it could be interesting to involve:

  • Dee Hock:
  • Esther Dyson is a friend of Erik Osiakwan’s, I could maybe ask him what he thinks?
  • Then there is Gunnar Camner who you met in London (remember when we went to see Lisa?): GSMA | Gunnar Camner | Mobile for Development
  • Katya’s brain - These topics can easily veer off towards monoculture and wishful thinking, which would be a waste of everyone’s time. Katya and I have never met, our social, political and ideological views diverge on many points. Something that I appreciate and learn from. I think she could add valuable perspective.
  • Seda F. Gurses: Post-doc fellow at Department of Electrical Engineering at KU Leuven. She studies new networked systems and optimization of their functions. Which is critical towards understanding the relationship between tech architecture and how we work.
  • Dimitry Kleiner and the crowd behind CoopCycle - a food delivery app for courier and restaurateur coops.
  • Also, Mark Graham - Professor at Oxford Internet Institute & Director at the Fair Work Foundation which is auditing & organising platform economy labour.
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Hello @noemi and the rest of the team

This Online Summit really looks interesting.
I would like to help on what’s possible to discuss from a food business perspective, seeing also all the different kind of initiatives around me (Enstoemelivery, Home Gourmet, A producer owned distribution coop, …) and the personal struggles & possibilities i’m going through right now.

But when we tackle food & COVID we are touching a quite complex subject.

Yes there is a search for what i cal “localism” within the food industry and part of my fellow niche food entrepreneurs are being able to stay afloat of it. But i don’t know if this is something that is impactful on a societal level, because i think it’s a higher middle class solution.

It’s an ethical question i’m looking into at the moment, while i truely believe in the values our type of niche producers are bringing to the table, will it be able to feed the whole table? Is our model based on time, higher quality & more involvement scale-able to the whole society?

If somebody wants to be part of that discussion to think further about it i would like to be more involved then in structuring the program on that part

And what about the ARTS? i don’t see it pop up in the discussion or am i missing it?


Uf, difficult one. I can only think that adding yet another ethical dimension to the anyway ethics driven work that socially minded entrepreneurs are doing risks leading to self-flagelation. It is commendable though, and humbling, seriously.

ARTS is less present I think because we have not been able to figure out what is really happening there - @bob mentioned some efforts at the big networks’ level, and @MariaEuler, @matteo_uguzzoni and others in the creative field reported on some things, but not so in depth overall. And our Culture Squad is struggling this year from lack of leadership. That said, it’s not missing with intention, so ideas are welcome…

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Yes it’s a question of checks and balances i think too. But when i see discussions between good informed and engaged citizens condeming the local producers of not being trough to their value because they are using and other platforms to sell their products while they should be “investing in small IT firms, as we invest is small food business”, it raised that question.

It’s more in a how can we strengthen each other without the whole morale value contest…

On the cultural field i hear different concerns, it’s also really interesting, but all depend if subsidized, if unionized and even which type of art. I’m most afraid of the world of cinema, but that’s maybe because it’s the one i’m most in contact with

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My own changes: Linux perhaps is a better example than wikipedia. It’s a good example of a commons, cooperatively built and sustained by commercial actors that rely on it - IBM, Redhat

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Ok I want to set up three sessions related to our virtural coworking stack

  1. A listening exercise to exchange different experiences of remote/distributed collaboration
  2. A listening exercise with people who run and who use physical coworking spaces to come up with ideas to help the spaces pivot to digital
  3. A hackathon to do some development on some of our open source tools


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Hi, I can help with adapting the announce as well as social networks infos about the online summit for the Polish users. I have ideas and contacts for pre-event introductions and networking. I would like to work on documentation, data analysis, summarizing and presentation of the anthropological research in form of synopsis which allows to learn from others’ past experiences. Please consider me for the deployment of the actions as well.

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Hi @everyone:slight_smile: My name is Asli Telli and I live in Germany at the moment as an exile academic. I’m a member of Academics for Peace Network, advocating for Peace Front in Turkey and Europe since 2011 (Academics for Peace | Front Line Defenders) and also initiator of Mapping Funds ( through which my research team maps freedom in academia. I recently co-initiated diverse_precarious network; we are contributing to “hypothesis” knowledge hub on lack of diversity and precarity of knowledge workers: ***Dissent in European (and beyond) higher education*** | Academia

I’m excited to hear your online summit plan and would like to contribute, possibly with a session on the conditions of higher education, knowledge workers as well as students during and beyond corona times. Hope to continue the conversation. Keep up the great work:)


Hi and welcome @atelli :slight_smile:
Had a quick look at the mapping funds initiative - Curious to know how did you come to work on this, what sparked it off and what challenges you have been/are coming across along the way?

Re the summit: Yes it would be lovely to have you do a session! Starting with the mapping methodology and exploring how it can be applied to making visible existing support for new forms of livelihood generation. Presenting the results of your findings in the domain of academia, but zooming out to a broader perspective.

You make know that edgeryders started out as a research project on how youth in Europe where coping with the transition to healthy and satisfying adult lives in the aftermath of the financial meltdown. It started out that way but it was clear even then that the young were canaries in the coalmine- the precarisation of growing sections of populations at large. So we took an open approach asking how people, anyone who wanted to participate, were coping with life. How people were trying to make a living, managing our learning, trying to build healthy relationships with others and with ourselves and… practical resilience. The diversity of participation lead to a number of things coming out of this including an experimental initiative in Italy called unMonastery. The diversity I think was due to the zoomed out perspective we took, starting from topics and challenges that matter to everyone. This could lead to novel perspectives, and
collaborations across a number of fields and disciplines… what do you think?

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