We're reading, reviewing and submitting articles for Spot the Future in Armenia, Egypt and Georgia. Join us!

Making Spot The Future a generative experience for everyone involved requires a combination of knowledge about really interesting and little know initiatives happening all over the country, journalism, creative communication, social media engagement and access to many different kinds of personal networks. It’s quite a challenge but we think we can do it together. In this post we discuss the content already submitted and 

Over the past week I have come across some interesting posts: Hazem’s story about people hacking the motorway in Egypt, Gillikins story about a blacksmith in Georgia, the biggest hackathon in Europe, stencils telling women to stay at home or trying to create smoke free environents in the city. And we are just getting started.

I’ve been thinking about what they say about the current situation on the ground. Both from the perspective of the protagonists and initiatives in the stories told, and from the point of view of others who interact with them.

Which approaches or projects seem most promising and credible to people interacting with them? What obstacles are they coming across and what small steps do they feel could be taken to address them assuming no one else is coming? What obstacles require more state level intervention, or even just peer to peer collaboration on a global scale?

Helping one another to develop a shared understanding and credible answers to these questions is core to this project. Because it is a necessary foundation for collaborating around solutions to our problems.

So as a first step towards fostering this kind of solutions-oriented discussion, we need to produce a small number of well written articles that present a number of inspiring initiatives in Armenia, Egypt and Georgia. The submitted posts are a good starting point, but I think they need to be developed further.

Because unlike articles for passive consumption, Spot the Future articles ought to be written in such a way so as encourage readers to actively engage with one another. Each article should end with a call to action for three things:

  1. Share more stories of interesting initiatives so we can inspire more of the same. 
  2. Reflect on what obstacles the initiatives face and what could be done to work around them. Assume that no one else is coming to the rescue and all we have are our minds and bodies to work with.
  3. Reflect on how the initiative relates to one or more of these themes and topics. What do they say about realistic approaches towards addressing the challenges in your country?

Where does it all go?

The tour of workshops in Armenia, Egypt and Georgia is going to be very heavily based on the insights generated through the discussion sparked by the content of the commissioned articles. The purpose of the workshops is to get people working together in a more hands on way after having interacted online, both with people around the corner as well as with peers who live all over the planet.

It will also require a lot of work to reach out to people and invite them to participate in this conversation here on the Edgeryders platform, rather than on Facebook or twitter.  As far as we are concerned those are just channels to to draw engagement on to this platform: This is a prerequisite for us to be able to set the scene for collaboration between community members in different parts of the world.

Yes Edgeryders has social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter etc. But we don’t have a lot of traction in Armenia, Egypt or Georgia. So we would need you to help get the word out to our peers in the country. So whoever produces the articles and calls to actions will together with the online community builder for their country ( [Vahagn] in Armenia, [Inge] in Georgia and t.b.d. in Egypt) have to be active in getting the word out to people in their local environments.

Each selected article selected for publication on the coming project website will be paid 200USD and the author will be eligible for one of a small number of paid travel grants to the International conference in Georgia at the end of the project.

So, any idea where we can find pieces of the future to build on together?

Do go ahead and submit a Spot the Future story and encourage others to do the same.

Very much looking forward to working together.

getting more people active

is difficult in Georgia. What works best is an individual approach. So if it’s ok with you guys, I’ll actively start to approach people in Tiflis HamkariCoop.geGeorAIRDima Bit-SuleimanWehelp.ge, Guerilla GardeningUni HackVake park ProtestACCT, members of Think Space, and Tbilisi Makerspace.

I already posted in their groups, but it will probably better to do it at an individual level, add them as friends on facebook and explain. Also, I have a feeling that 200USD is nice, but most people will not be necessarily attracted by that here. What does work (to some extend) according to jumpstart is to stress: your opinion counts, creativity, leadership. 

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You’re right ofcourse

It’s really not about the money, if it were we would be doing something else entirely :slight_smile:

An idea might be to gather the stories collected and the discussions they foster into an ebook we publish and distribute to everyone who has been involved. Actually we have the means to do this if someone is up for doing the editing and driving already. It could be put up as one of the outcomes of the project. Check out books.edgeryders.eu

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Token of respect

Inge: of course people are not necessarily motivated by money. We use small cash payments to signal respect and appreciation. This has become useful in a Western European context, because of so many digital sharecroppers who “poach” participation and turn it into a source of legitimacy for themselves, without giving anything back in terms of influence and power. Everyone is saying “participate! make your voice heard!” but all they want is to be able to say “XXX people have participated in my cool project”. In too many cases, the majority of the people that do engage never get a reply, or a nod, and their contribution is counted, but does not count.

Maybe this is not the case in Georgia, I don’t know really.

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absolutely agree!

It is a nice token indeed :).And i know what it means not to be getting paid for writings, so I absolutely endorse the idea.