Summary of Yesterdays SPF

Present in the call: Simone, Andrei, Tiago, Alberto, Noemi and Nadia

Topic: Supporting community members who want to pitch Edgeryders distributed foresight services to prospective clients. 
We agreed that
1. We will finalise a slide deck: Simone would finalise a skeleton with 10 slides
asking the questions e.g. "Slide 3 should answer the question: what is uniqiue
about this approach?" And the rest of us can fill in the answers on that slide.
2. We need a public facing group addition to the more private Meta group for Spot the future that we have been using so far, . A space where more people can join this shared learning-by-doing journey through how to build and pitch Spot the Future initiatives.
3. We need a public facing company site (Almost done).
Our Discussion
After weeks of online discussions we got together for a hangout to figure out what information or material is missing for community members who want to pitch an Edgeryders foresight exercise to their clients. And build it collaboratively. This way more people know how to get something like this off the ground from scratch and support one another to generate paid work opportunities.
Simone: Is talking to two large organisations in italy, A Teleco and an Energy company. 
Tiago: Wants to see an Edgeryders community grow in African countries (Nigeria, Ghana and Angola to begin with), and has ties to several companies with ties to governments and institutions through a family member.

Andrei: Wants to see an Edgeryders exercise in Moldova and has 2 options in mind for making that happen:

- UNDP, Government or other kinds of Institutions related to Moldovas
ties with the EU. Why now? Because this summer the association agreement will be siged with the EU. And there are many associations that dont know what the EU is and how we can understand it better. What are the dangers, costs and benefits?
- Moldovan IT sector. In a recent discussion with friends, told
me IT sector is growing so maybe some comopanies might be interested in ER.
Shared challenges: 
  1. Understanding the exercise and various steps involved, and articulating effective pitches to the different kinds of organisations.
  2. Describing the community
  3. Building a pitch that engages also people who have never heard of terms like social innovation, who are still learning. How do we convincingly answer the questions of how this approach is different and why is it so unique and effective.People are still learning about theses things so it's quite difficult.
  • What is the UNDP buying?
    • UNDP are using this information to design and roll out

      development projects. SO if they find out Moocs will be important in Egypt they will work with minsitry of education to work with this new trend.

  • What is the pitch, what are we offering?
    • What?
    • Why?
      • Buying accesss to people who would not talk to you otherwise.
      • UNDP are using this information to design and roll out development projects. SO if they find out Moocs will be important in Egypt they will work with minsitry of education to work with this new trend.
      • Ask Noah or others: Examples of are commercial companies are using results of foresight studies and how this is the next step?
    • How does the process work, what steps are involved and how much does it cost?
      • Overview: We start with some reading of what trends we are seeing in some parts of the world and seeing how this resonates with participants experiences in other parts of the world. E.g. education: what are trends that will influence how education happens in near future. E.g. are people going into Moocs? Are they trying p2p certification? What are people doing?
      • Steps/phases involved & how long they take: 
        • Research: identifying who we can engage that act as entry points into the new space
        • ?
        • ?
      • Key methodological innovations: A space for safe and mutually generative dialogue and interaction between the edges and centre: You can gain new perspectives on knowledge introduced by credentialled experts and already available in the mainstream. 
      • Budget: The budget for STF is 85K US$ for three countries.Then the actual cost depends on what activities we deploy. At a minimum, any new country requires an engagement manager; some budget to pay for content; some budget for travel; and some for ethnographic coding and translations.
    • When? There is a train leaving with UNDP. Other organisations pay for their own topic. If they like it can pay for bigger engagement later. UNDP would be delighted if external people were to jump onboard.
  • What are the outcomes/outputs? Specific outputs include 
    • A future focused research report and conference about what we see coming into play in Armenia, Egypt and Gerogia. It is obtained by running content obtained online and in physical workshops. Reference example: summary of ER1 and results.
    • Our International/Multi-country approach means that we can offer an comparative approach of what happens in your areas of interest with what the the best and brightest are doing in different parts of the world.  If you can find client in Italy who can pay to scan the western european horison. if you pay for scanning in place A, Edgeryders can pay for comparison with other places.
    • A space for safe and mutually generative dialogue and interaction between the edges and centre: See what the most innovative and least reasourced talent is working on, and discover possible new avenues for mutually generative collaboration with the next generation of creative talent. 
    • PR: 
  • Are large organisations, especially ones that have latin organisational cultures e.g. Italian, really interested in what is happening at the Edge?
    • "Partially true.Depends on company. Overall I agree but there are some little exceptions"
    • Check out: Alberto's paper on How governments learn to do new things and Bert Ola Berstrand's research on the same for large organisations (in Sweden/Nordic countries I think)
  • Is the community open, ie. anyone can participate  And if do we guarantee that there are "edge people", innovators, in it and not just "normal people with an opinion"?
    •  Yes the community is open. And yes lots of "normal people" participate. This is a feature not a bug because the way ths works is due to diversity. Anything you can think of we can guarantee that real experts will be there: in fact the voice of the loudest will have the most interesting things to say.  When we say community we dont mean people who have adress on platform now. It's new people who will also come and gather around a new context. Stratification and our harnessing of network dynamics allow us to continuosly grow the community with new participants and increase diversity without pushing away older members. The magic is not in finding THE person but building the community:  If you know who the experts at the edge are, they are not experts at the edge. the way you do it is by trevering social graph starting in the right places. E.g. resilience community in edgeryders grew around them. We reached out to the key people.
  • What are the boundaries in terms of topics and geography that can be included or covered?
  • What are the limitations to what kind of themes, topics or business related that can be explored with the methodology? Can I introduce queries about consumer products or other commercial topics? For example can I ask about mobile phone use in Africa?
    • There needs to be a minimum of coherence around values. If you are asking how we can make more money by selling phones in Africa regardless of whether people will benefit from it or not, this is unlikely to be uncontroversial.
  • What are Edgeryders credentials and what has already been done?