The Burning Questions- #futurespotters Egypt [work in progress]

Burning questions – big     questions that affect us. 14 people)

What issues/ big burning questions are people really interested in when we are asked to come up with them and prioritise?

How do we create alternative responses to youth unemployment? 1

How can I identify and make use my capacities to have an impact in my life? 4

How can we convert the energy protest to positive outcomes/actions? 3

How to make higher education more efficient and find better alternatives?

How can we cooperate effectively around a project for the good of egypt?

How to make my community benefit more from my skills and capabilities?

How can I balance multiple careers and know I am succeeding in achieving balance? 4

How to get people to take responsibility for their wellbeing instead of complaining?

How can we collaborate safely without getting arrested?

How do you build and manage communities with little resources? 1

How do you turn your passion into a sustainable initiative that’s good for society? 7

How to match people with more opportunities? 0

How to move from planning to execution? 0

Group 1: Five people. [add names/ handles here]

Wants to change education system and schools and simplify science and technology for students. Halim established own initiative called ana mubasher which is citizen journalism, live streaming; moving around with a camera. Another issue they discussed is exporting handcrafts and to create a network of craftsmen and try to sell products abroad. Another is interested in simplification of science and technology for students also. Mona said she wants to do two things; have a business based on designing environmentally friendly buildings and a communication arm to spread awareness campaigns on those designs. 

Outcome of discussion:  five ideas for things they could do. 

Question: how can you simplify science at schools?

Answer: Make robotics and science easier and a funnier way so students can digest it!

Comment Uli: Coming opportunity is something Im involved in called tomorrow’s innovators; hackathon create 48 education technology – learning robotics and teaching basics of mathematics and physics to achieve that. They work in hedayet el Quba

Group 2: [add names here]

How to convey your passion to others; mainly concerned about students and one proposed solution was calling up companies and finding opportunities for internships, launch competitions and invite people from embassies to be judges, provide incentives for students, marketing for projects, provide milestones for students, providing know-how and managerial skills, encourage team work, make them really involved in the project, before termination of project come up with an idea to write a manual about their experience and share the drawbacks they faced so as a lesson for others to learn from who are trying to do the same thing.

Outcome of discussion: came up with concrete ways in implementing project.

Group 3: [add names/handles here]

Universal approach of how to turn your passion into an initiative. Overall they recognized the importance of mentorship and getting advice from a more experienced mentor. They also assessed the importance of having a plan from the beginning in building your initative, business etc. Passion in solving the problem is very important for problems they have first handedly experience. Also, associating your work in a problem everyone recognizes, so like-minded people will come to you especially that it’s a shared problem. Identify problem that everyone shares. 

Hayk: Maslovs pyramid- at the base you have fundamental things you need to survive and then next comes social identity and relationships. There is a structured set of needs. So those who have problems in attaining their basic needs they don’t see other issues. Those who have basic needs met and are in the upper level of the hierarchy then comes collective action and collaboration; anything before that is individual. They are unmotivated if they can’t maintain their own basic needs.

Comment – we all have dreams and we can achieve them if we want too. Disagreed with maslov’s theory. 

Hayk: Mentioned a project he hasworked on in Mozambique where they introduced play dynamics to spread awareness and then the project provided participants with in kind awards -mobile phones for those that were fully involved in the project- A Egyptian participants is highlighting the different context in Egypt. but the Question remains: Are we sure we know what people really want? @dina questions Maslow’s pyramid here e.g.

Uli: challenge is finding the balance between things you are doing. The either/or thing or black/white is wrong. Balance is very much part of matching capacities to impact. 

Muhammad: the makers movement is a new paradigm in Egypt ice cairo is working on that on one side, and on the other side we work on green technology and diy theory – do it yourself- . People come and focus on one or other and believe they don’t have time to focus on the other even though there could be a synergy between both. For example, ice cairo is creating a toktok fab lab and take it to different universities around egypt and show them what the capabilities of these machines are to encourage the makers movement, this takes a lot of time; meanwhile they’re doing their other activities and they’re both just as important and it’s hard to identify what is more important. Even though they exhausted their capacities in one aspect of their work they still have to focus on the other. 

Hany: nadia asked can you connect biogas to other bigger problems? Do people see that? Hany responded saying that yes people do see a connection but it’s expensive so they can’t afford to use it.

Participant:  problem in convincing people that you can actually extract wood from the palm trees. one challenge is connecting your solution to the bigger problem; second challenge is getting people to understand and believe that you can use palm trees to create wood. Nadia asked how do you get people to believe? He responded by getting them to watch process and open the process for people to see.

Comment from Dina:  our problem is how to get people to buy the products. People love the idea of using and recycling plastic bags to make products but they don’t buy them; so that’s the main challenge. 

Comment from ahmed magdy: liking a product is not enough but you have to convince them that they actually need them.

Group 4: [Add names]

Discussed what initiatives they are interested in. conversation ended with identifying that there are a lot of ways that we can help each other. There’s no platform in egypt that collects all initiatives and interesting projects that people are working on in order to get connected and collaborate. But people have a competitive mind set and so many initiatives are alike but they don’t want to work together and just prove they’re the best at it instead of collectively working on one big project utilizing each other’s capacities and expertise. 

Comment: it’s problem of culture and mentality.

What is the source of that mentality and mind-set?

Comment: by laws and policies that forbid organizations from working together. 

Comment: this is the culture in Egypt.

Uli : why don’t we turn it around and not go to organizations and submit to their grant and funding policies. Go and demand this amount to implement a certain projects. Shouldn’t conform to their rules and not give in to what the organization wants from you, you should stay true to your own interests. It’s all about the development framework. Money is not an issue in Egypt it’s about distribution and how people deal with money and understanding of money is stopping the country from doing so any good things that could be done. Money is a challenge in Egypt but yet again it’s not, sometimes it’s easy to get money and sometimes it’s challenging. Should look more into the concept of alternative currencies which is finding different mechanisms equivalent to the monetary currency for example one hour of work could be equivalent to a certain amount of pounds. 

Uli’s challenge is that people see their work as more valuable than other’s

1 Like