Welcome: Simone joins the Spot the Future group and helps us polish our pitch

Everybody, I added [Simonedb] to this group. Simone is an Italian sociologist (not academic, private sector) – I will leave him to introduce himself. The best way is obviously for him to complete is profile (here). The rest of you, come say hello!

Simone is looking for new challenges, and he is considering pitching Spot the Future to his clients (mostly private sector companies). After some preliminary discussion, he remarked pitching in the absence of a specific tender requires a something he calls a Sales Deck. [Nadia], aided by [AD_admin] for copy, has done some work on this – there is stuff on Edgeryders’ Linkedin page and the corporate minisite here on the Drupal installation (still not looking that great, according to her). Simone came to me with an interesting example – I will let him share it, as I am not sure it is ok for me to do so.

The deal is this: I am hopeless at visualizing. Can you guys – [Nadia] and [Noemi], mainly – engage with him and make sure he knows what to do next?

questions and suggestion to understand and promote ER

Hi all, nice to virtually meet you.

As you know I took part to Kublai, wikicrazia and first edgeriders phase, also thank you to the cohousing project I realized in Milano. Then basically in my normal life I worked for about 15 yrs in market and opinion research companies (ipsos, milwardbrown – being global players- and GPF, Lorien as Italian local agency but much more oriented towards consultancy in mktg, communication, strategy based on surveys , data analysis and social media.) I am also part of a digital start up in SFO called pick1, created by some Italian entrepreneurs. I have worked for the main Italian companies and institutions in the last yrs. at the same time I have contributed to social and cultural activities in Milan and Italy. Now I feel the need to find a kind of synthesis of all this experience that can be board and more meaningful (still being economically sustainable).

I feel I can contribute in several ways (remember I am still full time job with the main company plus advisor to pick1 so I must find a way to have the normal thing I do at the service of ER not adding much stuff until it has become mature enough)

I had an email /gdoc exchange with Alberto. And I ll start from some of the keypoint trying to explain my doubts and questions also in order to be helpful to the preparation of a “sale deck” that can be useful for anyone promoting ER everywhere.

Lets start from the sale deck issue. Pls find a link here of an easy example. Pick1 is “only” a tech platform for social media pools, so much less sophisticated than ER. Its simple, focused and specific. Despite this its very difficult from clients to understand what is it and above all what to do with it,. Which benefits come from it. So the sale desk try to support the storytelling during the presentation. The use of images is very important to fix things in the mind/memory. The slide don’t tell evry detail and keep some things open, because the usage depend often on the client side (situation, needs) and this is a good tip every time. Keep the “product” open…and talking about open consultancy we are already there…but don’t have to be too open or the client comes out with the impression that there is not really its just smoke but no chicken there!

The Er website is well done and full of info but they must been seek and found . on the other side is probably good for the users and the member of the community but a bit too chaotic for a “client trying to understand it”

I feel its important to clarify in a 10 to 15 slide pres

  1. What ER do (trying to keep clear but open)

  2. How (this very important)

  3. Try to clarify what is not and not to confuse “conversation” with just “talking”

  4. Why delivers: saying report or consultancy is not enough. Why is the benefit and the concrete take out fro a client (of course there can be several options and level)

  5. Credentials (council of Europe, cases)

  6. The story of Er, Where it comes from, without being too much apologetic. Tis the less relevant because it talk of the past

  7. Why different and better – key key eky

  8. Who is ER, definition of people, competences

  9. Eventually a knowledge slide with reference to the key ideas, the core scientific ideas (this depends on the presentation style and flow, can be optional)

  10. Company profiles, few core info on the company team, legal

  11. Cases done, cases that could be done

The slides are not enough, people using them should be aware of many hot topics in order to give proper explanation and answer, but at least they help giving communication more efficacy.

It’s good to use graph, schemes and so on. Nadia coming from consultancy should be already used to all this

Sale deck example:


So here below some questions or suggestion from a first read/thought

1.comunity description (statistics) , possibly indicate some top profile (anonymous names). Qualify the community, state the value of knowledge in understandable term. Radicalism is a value, it’s not a clear content. What is a citizen expert and expert in what?

  1. how it works . IMPORTANT: phases, tools, options, who does what, how much time last, take out. Example: selection of issues, problem, topic, community activation, moderated discussion…Role and commitments

  2. who take parts: the ER + local stakeholder + client + anyone willing to do? So how much is public and why. Which are the plus and cons. Probably there should be a typology of different situation along a continuum of “micro issues – global scenarios” and “ER alone – ER with local stakeholder or clients experts - ER with all the people who wants”

  3. concepts of participation/social dialogue and online conversation are abused, I see you did already a scale of level of people participation is a good image for explanation. Here we must qualify why the coming out of these conversation will be very interesting and useful for the client. How possible to “guarantee” the outcome of a conversation, is very intangible. The number of pages doesn’t matter.

  4. which are the topics ER can cover and which not? Examples happened in my life. How much they fit?

Help telecom italia to define what tio do with about 30.000 old telephone points spread out in Italy which now are not used because of mobile tel.

Help Unicredit bank understand the new trends I banking retail and services

Help Unicredit bank understand the development and impact of new form of money…

Help unicredit or intesa bank better connect to the local territories in roder to enhance developments

Help the Sardinia region or Savona provice to define their strategic future being now in a critical economic situation

Help enel identifying good projects /action to sustain better the communities and the areas where their energy plants created environmental problems. Or where they are closing up and so there will be high unemployment. Or future area where they are gonna set an energy plant.

All these big corporation they also have social foundation that do interesting social stuff around the world. Plus they buy too manager training and scenarios/foresight but the usual mckinsey and so on…

Check them out also for other countries. They are present in many countries, not just itay. See links here:






  1. Which outputs deliver? Probably a scenario setting can be a report a presentation a conference, while the others should become much more “concrete” in terms of saying what to do and how. Here I really believe that a top down work (even if done with open consultancy) will not be enough, involvement of local people is crucial. Delivery a live community is still something that describe the process. What at the end of the process ?

  2. selling is very difficult in time of crises more…in Italy…conservative countries much more…so important to map the influencer that can support ER in terms both of media and scientific publications and in term of introduction/support to potential clients.

  3. map potential clients (banks, big companies, foundations…) which is the target?

  4. possible to realize a mini pilot on a interesting topic in order to use it to show to all clients or to make a big media case? Having done something is always better that

  5. idea of time/budget for different projects. Just to have a broad idea.

Wow. I wrote a lot and not sure how much clear/useful

Thanks for reading. We can spoke on the phone – skype - hangout too.



1 Like

video nadia- GREAT !


Welcome Simone and yes I agree

Hi Simone, great to see you back on Edgeryders.

So I read through what you posted above, and the example deck of slides. And I very much agree this is the right approach.

At the moment this “productification” of what we do is the single hardest thing to put together. I have made two attempts

  1. The hidden company website. Even though I did most of the work of putting this together I am not happy with it
  2. Work in progress here and here. But again these are too vague and I am not at all happy with them.

It would be good to see how much of the questions above the three links I shared have answered as this would help me in evaluating how much of the communication we already have is clear, and how much is less useful. What do you think? Have a look and comment? Then I am willing to put in the work to prepare the slides with you.

i cant see the square space files.

consdier me as a “first reader” who check for comprehension and ask doubts or suggestion. at this stage i am not able to procude material and on the other side i will be so slow in doing this , so not good i am execuitive on the slides.

let me know how to access the other files


Help much appreciated!

Hi Simone, I remember you well, welcome again :slight_smile:

Quite interesting approach the one you mentioned, I checked the slides and seem to have understood what Pick1 is about even without a live presentation.

I guess the public facing website comes as #1 priority, and slide presentation after? The thing is, and you probably know this, you start to write, then rewrite and remix content hoping everything falls into place. At some point you lose the objective eye which you’d need to make sure the message comes across as intended, and you need someone to tell you exactly what works and what doesn’t, and how to change it. I guess the more concrete and pointed the advice you can give us, the better… Many thanks again!

website is imporrtnat of course and also website is too decriptive but “empty” of soemthign specific.anycase its fine the website is mroe generic the slides must be very comprehensible of the value and about how everything works. so pls elt me access the other fikles read my first long message. many stimulus already there (some are questions to be asked , some are propts for the rpesentation) i know the process of redoing…we did presentation often…but when you ahve clear ideas laso rpes come out easier. rememebr you should explain the value the uniqueess. in terms of usefulness not of story or eprsonal experince. you are syaing somebody else. let0’s do this ebcasue there are benefits for you, the comuty and os on. of course depend on target, for this reason i asked many questions about targte and what to do… what to do - how - why good - for whom are the 4 milestones to set clear in mind before in writing. then thing develop we all knwo…this is the starting point ciao s

Shared access to squareapace with you and Noemi

ok catching flight now

comment on website

ciao nadia

i like the aestetic. images, your pic…and also the shop idea.

but i really feel its very week in terms of engaging and conveying the strenght of knoeldge

by the way i had a prelimianry call at unicredit innovation they may have some intersting issues regarding

  1. security

2.distrupting business models - new banks in new society

  1. role of payments - new money

  2. scenarios

but we should cliemt at very top level with concrete and solid proposal. middle manager take part to h-far for banks. i sent you a link yesterday. but that is for service delivery. imagine comparing edgryder witht that three day seminar offer. should help to point out the strnght of the ER community

see here all the examples

Is this a change of direction?

[Simonedb], I have been following this thread, thanks for your input. I now want to say three things.

  1. you already know this, but it bears repeating: [Nadia] is now in Thailand. For the rest of the month, she (and I) will work as little as possible. However, [Noemi] and [AD_admin] (Arthur, why not change your user ID to something more human reader-friendly :-) ? ) can keep working with you on this.
  2. I was speaking with [AD_admin] yesterday, and he is taking charge of the corporate website. Your point of view is really valuable, seen as you engage with private sector clients every day. Do you, SImone, think you understand Edgeryders enough to attempt putting together the sales deck yourself? Even if you do it in Italian, even if we need additional visuals, we can add translation and beautification later. What matters here, it seems to me, is the value proposition. Notice the difference: so far you have advising us on how this is done; with the next step you would be leading this yourself.
  3. Your latest comment seems to point to a change of direction: we are not talking about Spot the Future anymore, now it's about meeting the needs of a specific client, a bank. Am I correct in this? If so, you might want to check out the writeup for Market Clearing, a format for a constructive dialogue between finance and radical innovators (Bitcoiners, proponents of non-transactional economies like elf Pavlik, who has not touched money for four years and is now one of the first unMonasterian, etc. etc.). Market Clearing was designed as a track within our Living On The Edge conference – we had the idea of selling tracks to clients to fund the conference, but failed. Is that something that could go under your points 2, 3 or 4? 

lets try on the deck

i am on a train to Rome meeting clients today

i feel i can prepare slides with chapters and a few point for each (also with questions), but the real slies, are on your side.

after those are establish a more creative and good in design person can transform words into images, schemes, graphs and so on. this kind of documents should speak the more possibile with images, not with words (20%)


the unicredit example would be a way to make things a bit more concrete, but the topic at beginning is always the deck which is also a way to stabilise knoledge, language and everything. above ll for me. which si the one with less clarty about what exactly ER is.

i feel i can try to write y

light feed backs and ideas

ciao I am not sure if this is the right place to write this short note. anycase waiting for the time to get the chance to prepare some very draft flow of charts index for the presentation (probably week end) i have started teasing ER a bit with friends in informal speech. i am coming out with some interesting insight, positive things and FAQ. on the other i am learning how surprisingly some people find it interesting for something we have (i think) thought about. probably some of this idea are and will be out of the reach. but I feel its interesting to share. for example confcommercio in Rome (it’s a business official association of all the small and medium size company - from shop to b2b- than make lobbying and services for retail and shops). thinks it can be interesting to develop new ideas for local trade, local commerce, neighborhood activities and partnership. of course they think more as some kind of pr and communication think…but well. it means involving hundreds of thousand or more of local shops… its a starting point of a dialogue i ll start not immediately because the situation is still too much fluid to feel confident to start projecting and negotiating other side. a community of high level professional dealing with company and consultancy mainly - also some C level of big corporation are member - see ER as a chance to bring some new strong ideas and cases within companies (so its kind of speech, training, workshop things) i feel that its the kind of thing that when start find its own way, in several also unexpected manner. but de action and the delivery should be really interesting. here its all a matter of reputation. so creating, developing, the good contents and expertise and the good way to dialogue with stakeholder, clients, project team people and so on its the base of effectiveness. On the other side, to state clearly what ER stands for or we just get into so many things that do not fit the mission/the expertise/the style/the values of the community

are you eventually thinking to some funding for the company to support promotion and developments of the activities?


I don’t get it

[Simonedb], I don’t understand what you mean.

If you mean that Edgeryders could help Confcommercio set up an online community and get paid for it, the answer is definitely yes. This is a lucrative line of work with very few risks, as expectations tend to be low. We are definitely a world-class team on creating and maintaining community. Of course, we will not take just any gig: it depends on whether we see any chance of succeeding, on how “good” or “evil” the client is etc.

I don’t understand your final question. To figure out whether any gig in particular is in line with ER values and ability to mobilize, just ask us until you get a feeling for it yourself.

idea of slide workflow for the sales deck

as promised i worked out in a organised manner a light starting proposal for a slide workflow for the sales deck.

its here: http://goo.gl/Cq2jNi

pls note that some of the questions aronsen in this tread (the more “internal” ones should not put be there…even if some are still open for me…i ll ask about them alter.

added stuff in the doc

Thanks Simone! I felt I had little to contribute, but I left some comments and added my view on some slides, have a look? [ArthurD] can you help further?


Thank you Simone, saw you had posted a first draft, I very much appreciate this and would like to have a proper look at it when I am back from travelling in a couple of weeks time.

few points


enjoy Asia…as long as you can

to put some things in order. i apologies for being a bit chaotic. I should be better with the time…

1- I fixed some notes on the gdoc concerning the presentation deck

  1. I don’t feel confident enough to write content on ER on my own

  2. I tried to speak about ER to few friends in order to understand more. talking helps. and also understand their feed backs. the general take out is that ER uses “common words” in a very specific way /innovation, experts, community…) and normal people anchor these words to their usual meaning. so we must be careful

  3. the presentation deck should be as general as possible in order to be sued by anyone in any contest to set the discussion, whatever the “product” of interest can be from scenario study to conference to training to local development activation process. for this reason I am trying to have you set ER products name within a framework. is this tread the proper one. while, if we want to discuss to any specific opportunity where should i be done (like bank, telecom, confcommercio)? Any case better to do it after the scenario is set or we just get more confused.

  4. a biz dev action is relevant for ER. we should “stimulate” attention and demand, that would increase enormously the door to door selling action. credibility and visibility of the “seller” should be empowered. how? for example making a demo about a kind of scenario thing (which sounds to be the more feasible in terms of production but also the more broad in terms of interests) to show it in a workshop-conference where we have guests and discussant and media relevance. if anything of this kind is already available great. this will also be a way to show the process. we can engage people to participate on the process “for free” giving it the value of the conference and the interest in networking and be part of something new and interesting. Of course their participation will be modest but valuable

Pls consider that since the “social” has become a mainstream and the crises is beating harder all service companies and not only are trying to enforce their relations with potential key people or clients which means that attention and “participation” –“co creation” and so on has become regular words and a strategy to keep the client. So…also key people has become less willing to do it unless they feel that its really a big thing…or they can get personal relevant advantage (sad to say but true)

interesting example

i found this website/copnay, dealing with other stuff.

of course is different from ER, but smilarity are good to consider

  1. the way they stress the value of knowldge

2 the way they present the community and team

  1. balance between images, videos, texts (still too much for me)

  2. the way they call clietn to action

hopefully useufl for comparison. inspiration


i am not sure

how thigs develop now.

shall wait untill new commetns come or maybe nadia/alberto back from vacation in india…i see nadia wanted tto revise the presentation’s proposal document…