Summary from Google Hangout today

Present in the calll: K, Caroline, Alberto, Nadia and Arthur

What? The Form storm is a way to boost reciprocal project development and barnraising around initiatives coming out of the community: both individual projects and ones that come out of collaborations between two or more community members.

Why? Funding application processes can be a powerful motivator for helping us get many more initiatives of the ground and driving support for existing ones. Because they motivate us to do the work of putting ideas down in writing. They offer a context and constraints within which we need to define and communicate the details of their implementation. And there is nothing like a deadline to focus attention to get work done. But the work is time consuming and frankly, boring. And if you dont win the competition it can feel like you wasted a lot of time for nothing. So we are building the #formstorm as a new tool to turn the boring, lonely work of crafting funding applications into something that is fun and worth the investment of time regardless of what happens once you hit the “submit” button

How? We are prototyping it by actually collaborating around entries for : 

  1. The European Social Innovation Competition, Europe, deadline: Dec 11
  2. Horison 2020 Calls, Europe, deadline: calls published in December.
  3. Digital R& D, UK, deadline: ?
  4. UnMonastery residencies, Global, deadline: ?
  5. Something else with deadline December 9 we heard about

These are 5 very different kind of competitions so the processes for their formstorms are different. During the call we got through the first two:

#Formstorm1: EU Social Innovation Challenge. Driven by: Ksenya 

  • Format: 3 hour event online to take place two weeks before the deadline. During which everyone does their own applications, but we all benefit from bouncing ideas and critiquing amongst ourselves. So they can correct ideas, break biases and then polish submissions. We also invite a lot of people around the form storm, both applicants and judges. And make it relevant for everyone who wants to see as good applications and refined ideas as possible. We can mobilise attention around the different ideas. E.g. through Twitterstorms.
  • Needed to make it work: 
    1. Persons to take charge of coordinating, tech support, follow up etc.
    2. We need scaleable method for this: google hangout only carries like 10. Are we typing on our own computers and then pinging people on hangout? Adil experimenting with different combinations of tools. Do consider this and write instruction sheet so people know what to do so when they show up they already know how to get going and use the tools. 
  • Some questions need to be answered: 
  1. Technical: what happens if we get more than 10 people? Maybe when nth person pops up we break out into different room...Someone has one computer for talking to each room. 
  2. Code of conduct: obstacle to collaboration is that many people worried about how can I know my idea does not get copied. We all commit to do it under good faith. If something happens we will stand on side of person who brought in the ideas 
  3. Instruction sheet: Clear and simple set of instructions for N00bs so people understand how this works, how they can contribute, and any technical instructions or documents they need to read or fill in before starting.
  4. Useful resources: Here's a practical guide on what the Judges are looking for based on Alberto and Matthias's experiences as well as the conversation during \#lote3: /t/making-lote3/360/how-to-win-the-european-social-innovation-competition-documentation

#Formstorm2:  Horison 2020 Calls. Driven by: Caroline and Nadia. EU funding does not mean you have a lot of resources. So you have to come up with smart, efficient and generative (opens other opportunities) ways of working. So we only apply for things people are excited enough to get behind because they contribute to a vision we have all committed to realising together.

Format: T.b.d

Needed to make it work:

  • Persons to take charge of coordinating applications: 
  • Vision: an inspiring idea that everyone is going for and that has so much excitement in it that people willing to hang on to each other. Only after we have this vision map filled out do we pick out out what looks the best and than build workpackages, put something together that could work. Only then review Horizon 2020 calls that are to see whats best to match what we want to do anyway.
  • Finding good partners you trust: where the motivation and shared goals are there and you can focus on getting the work done. 
  • Code of conduct: for if things go wrong. Liquid Law.
  • instruction sheet: Clear and simple set of instructions for N00bs so people understand how this works, how they can contribute, and any technical instructions or documents they need to read or fill in before starting


  1. Complete a Vision Statement based on what community members say.


This is awesome clarity. Lets do another one with more people, specially the fulltime formstorm crew which is having a daily hangout on this. How about saturday early afternoon?