Starting the ryde

What I would like to explore in this mission is how I came to be an Edgeryder and what interests me outside of here and why it’s important for everyone to have an interest in shaping their own world.

To start I was raised in a very politically aware household. Whilst I was growing up my mum stood for council and was an active member of my schools parent/teacher association. Then she had what I had now; a desire to be able to make the world a better place. She raised me to believe that I could achieve whatever I put in my mind to do, and without that support, and political knowledge my interests and career wouldn’t be where they are now.

I have, for most of my career, worked in the public sector - usually local government and government sponsored bodies. Regardless of the area of expertise, I always found it reassuring that there was someone in the world who knew how to understand the laws and practices of government, as to your average person there is very little chance they have to understand the motivations of government and how their decisions effect the daily lives of the general public.

My work is mostly a support worker mostly involved in administration and communications; the ability to communicate in a way that is open and understood by everyone is something I feel very strongly about, but I’ve always been interested in the policy sector that I find myself supporting more often than not, yet I have longed to find my own way in to being more actively involved in this area but due to my lack of a university education I’ve never really got anywhere. Then I met Vinay, and I was invited along to his Truth and Beauty events. There I was able to discuss things that mattered to me, and others, without feeling that my lack of education restricted me in anyway. My passion was what was important. I know plenty of learned people who can fill in the details for me, but without passion, very little gets done.

From Truth and Beauty, I discovered Edgeryders, and having this forum to be able to speak, and to read others inspiring stories has allowed me to realise that I can be a part of a movement that can change the world, and where my opinion is respected and in some cases, sought out. It is a truly inspiring project to be a part of and I look forward to meeting up with a lot of you in Strasbourg where I could well create projects and relationships that may bring about yet more positive change to the lives of those who may not have as much of a voice for whatever reason. Hopefully then I may inspire others to take up their own path to being the change they wish to see in the world.

If it’s not an imposition, can I ask…?

How come you don’t have university education? I spent the couple of days carefully reading your reports, and you’re obviously a free, independent spirit, so I’m guessing it was your own choice…

And it’s interesting also because working close to governmental bodies you’re also in touch with the conformist views, maybe a bit more mainstream than your alternative lifestyle mentioned previously in the post on family… I find it very intriguing, it’s like a duality. And I’m super curious to meet you in person in Strasbourg!

Oh it’s not an imposition at all.

When I was of the age to go to university, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I was studying media studies at the time, and to be honest, wasn’t great at it, so I decided to forego university and get a job instead, and do work based training.

I tried to go back to university in 2010 and started a BA in English, passing the first year, but then I had health concerns which has meant putting studying on the back burner, which may prove to be an indefinite thing as I’ve taken a wage cut and fees are rising quite considerably. I may revisit it at another time, but for now, it’s best to keep working. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to afford a university education.

As for my views I think because I’m a rather strong character, I make my own decisions and I’m not afraid to hang on to them. Also being a support person means I’m more on the edge of government working, but it gives me a unique vantage point to get involved where I like, and back off from what I don’t. Some people look down on us lowly admin types, but we’re allowed our opinions and there is a freedom there that others don’t have. Gives me time to encourage my knowledge and interests without being too involved. It’s a good place to be :slight_smile:

Looking forward to meeting you too as I’m very interested in the social sciences so would love to know more about what your interests are in this area.

Hello Missy K8, I have the same impression as Noemi mentioned before and I really admire your passion!

I think that motivation and passion is the key to achieve in all the sectors even if you don’t have the proper educational background. As I have said in other reports, I support practise than theory and work trainings are the right place to do it!

But, I have another question for you: you said that you have mainly worked on the public sector, how easy is to get a job without the academic experience? Do you think as well that working experience can provide the skills you need?

See you in Strasbourg :slight_smile: Really nice to have you there

Thank you for your kind words Chara :slight_smile:

I’ve been working now for well over a decade and getting in to the public sector was much easier back then. Also going in at an administrative level means there are a lot more positions and regardless of what is going on in government, there will always be a need for this sort of skill set. Working experience has certainly helped and for the past 6/7 years all of my positions have been public sector as I have experience of working within it, so I have an idea of what a position might be like.

On the job training has been invaluable for me. I’ve come across people with doctorates who don’t know how to use a photocopier, believe it or not! Also whilst working on what others may see as something quite dull, gives you opportunities to read more, attend meetings and conferences, and gain knowledge from others.

See you in Strasbourg :slight_smile:

Wow, questions keep coming to my mind, but I understand what you’re saying about the lax environment and your personal education.

I have friends who work in say less demanding jobs - e.g. coffee shops and they get to read 2-3 books a week because the nature of their job leaves them some time on their hands, at the job I mean. Which I think is great on one hand, it keeps you in close touch with your passion when for some reason your job and your passions are not the same thing.

In respect to myself I find that I gravitate towards work that inpires my personal learning and matches my beliefs. I’m not at all oriented towards money, but more to helping people, and I find that sends me in the direction of public sector and charities. If I’m inspired by the things around me, it tends to push me towards further interests outside of work. Keeping in the know about certain sectors means that I tend to read more about it, listen to radio programmes, that sort of thing. If I were in a menial position I think I would find it difficult to keep my education up, but I definitely appreciate that my time is fairly relaxed and whilst my work is busy, it’s not so busy that I don’t have time outside of work.

“Work Retail”

I saw a fantastic piece years ago, I can’t find it now, which was called “Work Retail” and it was advice to young artists suggesting they get a job they really didn’t care about - something not too difficult, in fact - and then work the hell out of their art in a completely disciplined way.

What it was suggesting, very carefully, that people avoid was interesting jobs which were more fun and more likely to distract people into thinking that the work mattered or was important in its own right.

It was about conservation of meaning, keeping one thing in your life meaningful (the art) and letting the job be background, something not worth worrying about or investing in. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea, but I’ve never been able to arrange my life that way… or make my most intersting work actually pay the bills.

Such is life?

A lot of my musician friends have jobs like that. Something that will pay the bills, with generous leave, that they don’t have to get too stressed out about, so that they can really get in to creating their music and have time to build that side of their lives.

Whilst I don’t necessarily have that as a reason for my chosen lifestyle, I know that stress is not good for me and to be honest, I’d rather have some time to myself so I form another life for me that isn’t all work, work, work. The idea of working my life away for very little doesn’t inspire me - If I were helping make the world a better place, now that would be a worthy cause to invest in.


hey! your post is really interesting again!! i am completely and utterly against the lack of appreciation of skills, knowledge and personal experiences of absolutely everyone… and it looks to me like you really have a lot of all of them on top of passion. vinay’s truth and beauty event sounds fantastic and i’m really thrilled it has brought you here.

so! valuing and appreciating diversity, that really means something to me. where one person may provide super-fascinating learning and reading, it amounts to less if there are fewer perspectives to see it through - provided by other people’s responses and thoughts relating to it. vice versa with passion - it can drive more things if there’s the variety of things to drive! what do you think?

Homo sapiens governmentalis

It is something that bothers me a lot, the ‘lack of appreciation of skills, knowledge and personal experience’. Because in the model of open government (which is dear to me), for the emergence of a true collaboration, there must be respect and recognition of the value of each person.

I have met many government officials who perceive citizens as stupid beings, with no brain, unable to decide for themselves, and that must be steered by the hand. They are not all like that of course. But those at the top of the scale unfortunately tend to think like this.

So, when asked about changing models, and when suggested to opt for more collaborative methodologies, some official’s first reaction is to immediately complain that the stupid-not-knowing-how-to-express-themselves-properly will risk ruining everything and will cast out the smart guys. Which will then make them ultimately fail.

The Homo sapiens governmentalis make my neurons connections run faster, in a search for solutions to their locked pattern behavior. Last November, I had a very interesting conversation about locked behavior, here at Edgeryders, with philosopher Michel Filippi.

To appreciate a diversity of individuals (at least to tolerate them), I believe that there has to be more diversified types of personality within governing institutions (ie applying a different model of leadership).

I agree with you, Malcolm, more things can be driven with a variety of things to drive. It takes a certain open-mindedness to allow a variety of things. With a gradual introduction of individuals carrying different values​​, this could help transform the culture of a government (or another environment).

I just don’t see how the people unable to appreciate anything, will suddenly start appreciating everything. It blocks in my head, when I try to visualize this!

I too have come across some government officials who think that way, like somehow they have the answers to everything without even considering what or who their policies might effect. We’re all very different with different lives and views on what does and doesn’t work for us and open government, where people from all backgrounds can be heard to make things better for everyone - why would anyone be scared by such a notion?

Naivity flushed down the drain

I naively thought that good ideas being adopted throughout the world would naturally have a chance of being embraced with thrill and excitement. This past year has been like going to a school about human behaviours. Understanding how people think and behave has been more relevant than keeping up with info about opengov or opendata.

Once I noticed that officials had reached their limit of information they can digest, flodding them with more has no effect whatsoever. Why some have very little room, or even no room at all, for what come from outside their circonference of thought? Can this limited space be extended? If so, how?

Persuasion: I don’t believe is the magic course of action, or magic skill that will do the trick. I am still looking for solutions.

I have found that a lot of people working in government have been for a very long time, and as such, are stuck in their ways and new ideas are batted away for fear and lack of understanding. Most the open government stuff is taking place outside of government with very little backing from inside it.

People wonder why young people don’t get involved with policy, well that’s because any new ideas they may come up with for better working are just not listened to. Young people need their voices listened to, and not just tolerated - there’s lots of open working groups here in the UK but I haven’t seenthem make much impact, and I find that very disappointing.

It’s funny watching Truth and Beauty come up…

In general, #TRUTHandBEAUTY was written up as a failure because it didn’t get that many people interested - it was never more than a couple of dozen people regularly. And yet something really really interesting happened, and I see the energy and interest from those conversations spreading out in concentric rings like a rock dropped in a pond.

You can read a bit about the ideas here:

and see videos from the events here

Completely agree with you!

As people have different experiences and interests in the world, there will be differing passions as well. Everyone can’t be in to the same thing and I wouldn’t expect any one person to feel exactly the same as I do. Sure there will be crossover and some agreement, but each have their own approach and ideas that fuel their passions.

I am also interested in valuing diversity because this colours how people see the world, from how they were brought up to politics to interests. Everyone sees the world differently and for policy and government work to thrive, it needs to consider all people and ideas to create a more rounded response.

There is a reason

As a fellow policy wonk you are going to appreciate the full implications of this better than most: your opinion is appreciated and sought out because you are obviously a citizen expert. My considered opinion is that citizen experts will become full participants in policy design, actively sought out by institutions, in the near future.

Edgeryders is designed to attract citizen experts on the field of the transition of youth - which is tricky because nobody knows who they are. So we just do spin the tale and wait for them to come together, just as you have done. The context is there for you to matter and to inspire, not only fellow Egderyders but also European institutions: as for the content, well, you are doing a great job of that :slight_smile:

Thank you Alberto. It is really refreshing and good to hear that my opinions are valued :slight_smile: