Where is Future Makers Global?


Small recap to know/ask ourselves weather are on the right direction. I posted this as a wiki to encourage open discussion, and turning this post into a final resource. 

Future Makers Global has evolved into a book creation exercise.

The Book is essentially a collection of case studies from six countries: Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Morocco and Ukraine.

The case studies content come from 2 sources:

  • Engagament Managers: Who reach out & document people
  • Crowdsourcing: Interested parties can document themselves

The process of creating the book (Design, Editing & Stylation, Revising, Publishing as an e-book, and publishing as a printed book) will be crowdsourced.

To manage the crowdsourcing campaign we started here and are now trying to crowdsource more case study content.

This leaves some open questions:

  • What is the timeline for the  process of creating the book?
  • What prevents this book from turning into a promotional tool for contributors?
  • What are hard criteria for acceptance to the book? Rejection from the book?
  • What is the book about?
We have diverting narratives: Is it a book about collaboration and its benefits? Is it a collection of thought pieces? Vanilla Case Studies? Analysis of the case studies?  

Some suggestions for moving forward:

  • Create a list of contents. So far we have 16 case studies submitted on the Case Studies Adventures Group
  • Create a publishing ready forward/introduction with the theme of the book. This should be preferably written by someone who has not contributed case studies: @Alberto or @Nadia, and be authored and owned by its writer.
  • Create hard criteria for acceptance to the book. Relying on a 9-person Jury will either lead to groupthink or conflict. 
  • Devise the process of creating the book

Thinking about this

Thanks, great contribution. I need some time to think: to a first approximation, I am missing a title, something that would orient potential readers and at the same time inform selection.

At the moment I am intrigued with the idea of communities as producers and stewards of public goods. I dedicated to this theme my TEDxPompeii talk, but the video is not online yet. Anyway, Can anyone propose a title?

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Theme of the book is as defined

Thank you for taking time to put the above together @Hegazy. Regarding your other questions about process and timeline, please look at this google doc.

Regarding narrative of book:

Our hypothesis is that collaboration is key for improving resilience of existing initiatives and boosting their ability to tackle large complex problems. But in order to see more collaboration happen we need to understand if and how collaboration between people driving projects results in direct benefits for them. Another condition for collaboration to happen is that people have enough insight into one another’s work, values, approaches and challenges to see where they have overlapping interests and complimentary strengths. So we build a repository of case studies so people can learn about one another.

The objective of the “thought pieces” are to bridge gaps between what institutions are supporting, and what people driving different grassroots/innovative projects outside mainstream are working on (and how they are going about doing it). Gaps we are looking at are not the ones between institutions and grassroots, but also between different projects that currently not living up to their full potential for different reasons. How do we approach this? That is what we need a shared analytical framework: people contribute thought pieces based on applying the analytical framework on submitted case studies.

Ask again/more if anything is still missing.


A bit meta, no?

I was thinking more about something like “Scaling the commons” (emphasis on Ostrom-like governance at a superlocal level); or “The DIY State” (emphasis on autonomy in producing public goods); or “Commons-building swarms” (emphasis on emergent collaboration towards building common goods). These are all quite ugly, but they are titles.

I like the meta-ness

After all it is a book and not an article, so some emphasis should go onto the bigger picture as well, no?

I can brainstorm a page full of titles if you want - but someone needs to sort through them. Also, it wouldn’t be cool if there’s only my favorite flavor to pick from.

Re this “So we build a repository of case studies so people can learn about one another.  - See more at: https://edgeryders.eu/en/comment/18638#comment-18638” it also serves as “projection space” for the readers where he/she will make a mental version of the own initiative on basis of one found in the book. This can help navigating the waters as well, especially if the reader’s project is in the early stages. I’d say that is the third role the cases have.

BTW: here is a (French) book that perhaps has a little overlap with our topic (though they are more design and mid-hi level focused). Still it may serve as example of what we want to do different in terms of layout or structure. @Driss or @hegazy maybe also interesting for some people you run across (because French and up-to-date).

Also I met Josef from https://twitter.com/mygreenstartup yesterday. While he probably has some interesting people in his network most of these things are heavily top-down driven. But he also does the local English Conversation Club - which is pretty much a tiny blip in terms of direct impact. However it is unfunded, very simple to pull off, and brings diverse people into contact (which is where quite some indirect impact is likely to come from).

I told him about Future Makers, and maybe Driss would like to interview him? Perhaps you can find other interesting (French language) people for additional interviews in his network as well?

Process of editing the book: community + core team

For this book we will use a rigorous editing process of 3 steps.

Step 1: Every author is coupled with the Engagement manager for their country, where both work together to get a semi-finished piece up.

Step 2: During the online campaign, we push out new semi-finished pieces on social media and engage community members to leave thoughtful comments with questions, links and suggestions on the semi-finished pieces. Each author is responsible for responding to questions and comments, and developing their semi-finished piece based on them.

Step 3: All edited drafts are reviewed, by another editor for final acceptance.

Editing would happen according to criteria determined by the team of engagement managers a priori. A minimum level of content to be present can be derived from the Interview framework. Writing style and wording can be matched to the Style Guides we discussed.


I suggest Social Commons Now.

Im being creative in borrowing the tile of Gurin’s Open Data Now, a book produced in parallel to conducting the Open Data 500 study at the NYU govlab. This is similar to our producing a book in parallel to drafting a report for the UNDP/UNV.

In this sense, our book can act more than just a simple repository of case studies, but an explanation of the Edgeryders hypothesis using the case studies as proof.