We talked, now we build : After Spot the Future and #LOTE4 Edgeryders is hiring from Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Morocco and Ukraine

Last year Edgeryders and the United Nations Development Programme started collaborating around a new project in three countries: we called it Spot the Future. It engaged over a 130 participants in Georgia, Armenia and Egypt in a massive, peer to peer conversation online (on the Edgeryders platform) and offline (in various workshops and a  final conference, Futurespotters). It succeeded in bringing together people doing groundbreaking work at the edges, who did not know one another before the project, and who had little previous interaction with organisations like the UN in a real conversation: many have remained in contact, and we have seen several collaborations spring up between participants after the project ended.

It turns out Spot the Future has already made an impact - If you participated in the project last year you have contributed to a major strategic change happening at the United Nations. To prepare for the next step, we are hiring engagement managers in Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Marocco and Ukraine for a new project.

The new project is about youth volunteering. It is run jointly by UNDP and UNV, the United Nations Development and Volunteering arms respectively. It works like this: mature political élites tend to see youth as younger versions of themselves. Their values and practices are assessed as a function of their proximity of those embraced by their elders. This is understandable on a human level, but it is also a cognitive bias: young people are not defective older people, and what we do best may be something completely different from what our elders excel at.  As a result of this bias, change tends to come from directions that mature political élites are not looking in, and to take them by surprise.

An obvious example is politics: while established players complain that youth seem uninterested in politics and civic engagement, young people are busy inventing new, exciting political movements at the same time as we are turning our backs on traditional party politics. The world of volunteering, too, is undergoing profound transformations; one of the findings from Spot The Future is that many of us are donating our time to activities not normally thought of as volunteering: social startups, social enterprises, digital campaigns, market activism. Wherever we look we are seeing signs that social innovation (often in a form that de-emphasizes financial sustainability, or accepts very high risk of failure) is a new form of civic engagement.

Partially as a consequence of meeting the Spot The Future crowd, UNDP and UNV have taken all that onboard, and are out to look at volunteer-driven initiatives in a new way. They are looking for new partners: individuals and groups, often as the edge of society, trying daring, radical new strategies to thrive in a changing world. If you are reading this, chances are they are looking for you, and your friends and partners. This means you have the chance to get involved in designing a new United Nations program for the future of youth volunteering in employment, social protection and data. This covers a lot of ground, people: from leadership programmes through soup kitchens all the way to civic hacking. It covers almost anything these days.

For now, we are shaping up for the project. We are recruiting engagement managers and reaching out to our peers in Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Morocco and Ukraine. If you are interested in joining our team or simply learn more about the project and how you can get involved, join the weekly community call (every Thursday at 11, see events for more info) or just leave a comment below.


Country Manager


I would welcome the chance to be a country manager and assist you in managing events in Georgia. I have a proper experience.

Hi Rostika :slight_smile:

Thank you for getting in touch.

I guess you followed #futurespotters a bit and saw that there were many events in the project? This one is slightly different in that the events are less in focus than the online exchange here on the edgeryders platform. Maybe have a look at this wiki describing the work in detail that I just posted here?


Hello everyone

I hope you are well. I read your e-mail and I would welcome the chance to be a country manager and assist you in managing events in Armenia. I have an experience in voluntary sevice, also I participated in futurspotters event in Georgia.  

Hi Zara, nice to hear from you.

Hope all is well with you and thank you for reaching out to us. I thought about the questions you sent me about the work and compiled this wiki describing it in more detail with concrete examples. Does it answer your questions?

Hello EdgeRyders, Armenia is Calling :slight_smile:

Hello, EdgeRyders,

I am Amalia. I joined EdgeRyders community a year ago. Initially, I was trying to make out this new, not-ordinary and exciting project by trying to be active: commenting on intersting posts and ideas; contributing to the Spot the Future group by sharing an exciting story. However, within time I became more a passive follower trying to grasp the essence of Edgeryders. So, when I got the email on this project I knew this Is the chance to truely get to know how Edgeryders work /after all, I always complete what I started once/ by actively engaging in the project, learning new things and acquiring new skills /especially, connected with working with online community/, as well as, utilising the skills of mine that can be useful for the project /language, writing, analytical, networking, communication skills/. The most exciting part for me in this project is’ finding interesting things and activities in our local environment’ that can inspire others to take up an initiative. So, a whole three months full of finding ‘sources’ of inspiration, being inspired yourself  and insiring others. Cool! Yes. I say Yes! I want to be ENGAGED! :slight_smile:


Amalia, hi!

Lovely to hear back from you. How’s life?

Yes, Edgeryders is one of those spaces where you learn by being actively involved and it is hard to get a general idea from “outside”. I’ve been thinking about your comment and Zara’s questions…plus others we received while building past projects. I boiled it all down a kind of introduction/expectations management document here. Have a look and let me know what you think/if anything else is still unclear?

Hi, Nadia!

I’m doing great, thanks.

Thank you for the Wiki piece, it’s really useful. The examples displayed tell a lot. Stiil, commitment and enthusiasm are the keywords. :slight_smile:

Country Engagement Manager

Hello Nadia and Neomi,

This is Samar Ali from Egypt and I’d like to join as an engagement manager in Egypt.

I’ve a good experience through working as a community manager for two cowork spaces in Egypt, Helm in Mansoura and QafeerLabs in 6 of Octobers. Also I know most of the social startups that doing good impact in Egypt as I’m doing one already for healthcare.

I’d like to be hearing from both of you.

Hi Samar

Welcome to Edgeryders :slight_smile:

Checked out  your co-working spaces online, which I had had time to visit in person when I was last in Egypt but the time was too short. Maybe next time :slight_smile:

I’m curious how you interpret the community management role in your work? Does it look something like how we work in Edgeryders?

Country Manager from Egypt

Dear Nadia and Neomi,

It will be my pleasure to join your amazing team as a Country Manager from Egypt. With my relevant work experience with GIZ and UNHCR, I believe I am qualified for this position in your project.

I have a strong desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives and I believe I would be an asset to your project if given the opportunity.

You can contact me any time.



Hello and welcome to Edgeryders Fatma.

Maybe have a look at the detailed description of how we work and see if it matches your expectations/interests?

Ahlan :slight_smile:

Yes, The description of the job matches my profile, skills and experience perfectly, and it will be my pleasure to help you in Egypt.

So you have my mail and looking forward to more details about hoe we can cooperate. 

Hi Fatma, see my comment below?

The final step is for people to answer two questions and pick a timeslot for a skype call with me.



I’m Mohamed Hegazy, an Egyptian technologist with an interest in how digital changes how we do things. 

I like Edgeryders approach to consulting: A Data-based digital-platform  connecting Netizens. It is in line with today.

I would like to apply to the Country Manager Position; what I lack in professional community organising I make up in motivation, data-literacy & professional network.

Cheers :slight_smile:

Startups are part but not all

Hi Mohamed, welcome to Edgeryders and thank you for taking the time to get in touch.

Curious about how you found out about the project. In any case since you are new to the community I think having a look at the expectations manager wiki I put up might be helpful in getting a sense of what the work really involves. Check it out here and post any questions you may have in the comments?

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I agree

Thanks Nadia, 

A friend on your mailing list forwarded the project to me. The Power of Networks :slight_smile:

I took a look on the work on stewardship and am quite intrigued by the use of Ethnographer. However, I’m left wondering about what a time analysis of the semantic development would reveal, i.e. how did the conversation during LOTE4 actually develop over time? As all fruitful conversations eventually do, I’m sure it ended differently from how it started.

Going on to your expectations for the eventual Engagement Manager: I am assuming you are currently in the early stages of planning for LOTE 5 and want to get the process started?



This was a first test of the OpenEthnographer in alpha/beta.  If you want to see how network conversation developed over time there is edgesense to play around with (use #lote4 or possibly some of the  ethnographic tags Inga used).

Re connection to getting LOTE5 going- there isn’t one :slight_smile:  If people want to get involved in driving LOTE5 that as  well that’s great, but it’s a different project and conversation from this one. #LOTE events are completely designed by the participants and they go wherever participants want to take them (including setting the theme and location- who does the work calls the shots). The project we are recruiting for is one done in collaboration with UNDP and UNV and several parameters are set by factors outside our control- it’s part of what makes this work so interesting. Essentially what we are learning to do collectively is building generative interfaces between self-selecting and largely self-regulating networks, and institutional actors that have many rules, obligations  and priorities to balance.

There is some spill over people involved in one or more of the projects also get involved in the other projects and activities in the community but this is never something we push, if it happens it’s because people see value in staying in touch and building together. More on this in the call.

Lots to discuss

Seems like there’s lots to discuss, looking forward to that call :slight_smile:

Available for Armenia

Hi all,

I see that you already have candidates from Armenia. That’s great. Please count me as well :slight_smile: I joined Edgeryders 2 years ago I think, but I got acquainted with you IRL only last year October in Matera.

A short update on what I am doing right now: I am a student at American University of Armenia (so I get in touch with many students and student organizations daily). I am board member of Wikimedia Armenia and project manager of Utopianlab (coworking space). Thanks to this two organizations I know a quite broad network of people in Armenia, mostly young and aspiring people, who are interested in media and technology, social innovation and activism.

I also (in many cases personally know) people from other similar organizations in Armenia and have the experience of working with media companies here (TV, radio, press). So if I can be useful to this project, please let me know :slight_smile:

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