The Edge of Funding - Sustainability and Financial Models

[Editor note: The following notes were made during the “The Edge of Funding - Sustainability and Financial Models”, of OpenVillage Festival (19th October 2017). Quotes are not verbatim but summarize what was said. If you feel something is mis-represented, please tell us in a comment or with the “Flag → Something Else” feature and a mod will fix it. – @anu]

Group for personal financing

With Paola, @Noemi and @Heba
Takeaway: ideally you find an angle which helps make some aspect of your work attractive to a funder. This validates the project and you, Once you got in the first time then its easier in the next times.

Paola: my theory is that collaboration is super expensive. Is should be paid because it is a lot of investment. We can convince foundations or orgs to pay people to collaborate.

Heba: When people have no idea how to make a product, how do you do it?

P: What inspired me is community organising. It happens for the sake of community. Same with collaboration.

The reason we do it is because we want to, not necessarily for an outcome.
You bring your own perspective: you ask questions, how tech and openness and care interact. First try to diagnose what collaboration is possible, we are creating a framework with which we can operate.

Q: What happens when an organisation like ACLU gets empowered through technology? (Data for Justice project). That was a question that starts it, You have the organisation and the community, so you promise to create a framework, That makes the funders to understand that they are creating a tool.

Its also a guide for how to design a project.

Heba: still starting her project, doesnt know how to write a proposal. Working in a hard context in Egypt where its hard for civil society to work. Shes working on her project and not getting paid, but she has a support community which she can rely.
Now collaborating with Hazem to write a concept not for the project to create a cycling infrastructure in Alexandria.

She wants to gather activists, see what they can do and put it out there to the community, then assess.

P: There are urban fellowships to create this. IE Women cyclists scene - your output would be normalizing the attitudes.
Friend who was a bicycle strategist in Mexico. The fundable project could also be: looking at how other cities did it.

Noemi: can you hop from project to project, while you are already giving most of your time to a core organisation, similar to a full time job?

Q: What do you think of the civic tech. Civic hacking scene?
Paola: worked with or for the Mexico Innovation lab, or Code for America. They try to substitute the government, but the gov doesnt work. So its practical, but its not long term. The gov gets away with problems they dont have to solve, because the hackers do it and do it for free.