Working out loud | OpenVillage organising

An overview of the work Edgeryders team and community have been doing so far, organising the opencare community event.

About openvillage Festival:

Happens on 19-21 October, Brussels; it is the final OpenCare community event. Its aim is to showcase opencare as a nascent ecosystem and inspire knowledge sharing and reflection around how projects can support each other. Aside from a show and tell, the festival makes room for practical work around spotlight projects and high potential collaborations.

We’re organising the event around tracks which represent different perspectives and angles by which to understand and build upon the overall concept of OpenCare.

Day 1 OpenCare project & protagonists

Day 2 Spotlight project workshops around sustainability, finances & scaling

Day 3 Spotlight project workshops around policy & investment 

Web Minisite:


Default: Edgeryders Reef in Brussels

Fallback: The Egg or other commercial venues in the city - see: Location de salle d’événement pour votre organisation à Bruxelles

Key features

“Clearly, community members are using the posts shared by other members as a means of tapping in to learning and expertise” (Gehan)

  • Open event: community gathering where anyone who wishes to participate meets, shares knowledge, works together with others ahead of the event
  • Open design: OpenVillage is built by participants - the program is curated by community members, both old and new
  • Intimacy as care: It is an inclusive event, built as a common journey where participants build stronger ties with each other and set a solid basis for working together beyond the opencare research.
  • Barnraise around projects: Using the runup to the festival to raise concrete support for initiatives, and build legitimacy and reputation around the projects at a greater scale


Session examples - Citizen Science and Open Science 

Themes are domains of care in which diverse communities are active, and group different sessions together along common work. There are various overlaps between themes, reflected in common questions.

  • 3 themes (so far), each curated by an OpenCare Fellow: themes have been submitted earlier, or are emerging from existing conversations
  • 3 types of session formats emerging
    • Talking sessions: talks, panels, debates
    • Doing sessions: science workshops (DNA damage testing); outdoor activities (fly fishing), soft care sessions (yoga)
    • Harvesting: (de)briefing along common questions

Registration and support for OpenCare participants (Day 1)

Tickets are available to people who contribute to making the festival a high quality, generative and rewarding experience - they are offered in exchange for contributing 1 story (+ 3 comments) OR 1 session proposal OR other organisational tasks.

Participants who received a ticket: cca 35.

Confirmed participants: cca 25 (including team)

Connecting and coordination happens through regular activities facilitated by the edgeryders team: OpenVillage coordination group to crowdsource activity proposals in an open way; Call for participation with stories and comments by focusing on a topic or set of relevant seed stories every week (blogpost); Social media sharing in a distributed way via three emails/ week (hashtags #opencare #openvillage); Weekly Wednesday community calls to welcome new people and discuss ideas for the event.

OpenCare community attending

  • OpenInsulin team in Oakland (US) and Ghent (BE)
  • echOpen in Paris (FR)
  • Hackuarium in Geneva (CH)
  • Bagmati River project in Kathmandu (US, Nepal)
  • GalGael in Glasgow (UK)
  • Acupuncture clinic (UK)
  • unMonastery collective and Tiny Houses in Galway (IRE)
  • Woodbine community for learning care prevention and first aid from nyc (US)
  • FairBnb platform in-progress (European)
  • Co-housing project in Lancaster (UK)
  • Help Refugees tbc (UK) 
  • MIR?? (IT)
  • OpenRampette?? (IT)
  • Soundsight?? (NL)

New questions, interactions and collaborations

The way we build the festival is organically.

We’re seeing community members advancing from having met each other - to socializing around work - to delivering festival content together with the help of the curators.

Ideas to involve OpenCare partners expertise

A. The nascent open care community ecosystem. Presentation and validation of research findings. 

Led by Amelia, Federico. See proposal here.

  1. GraphRyder ethnographic play and restitution

  2. Present opencare findings in a synthetic way and generate hypotheses /questions

*** Can we take the discussion beyond validation? Ex: We’re seeing initiatives going off the grid legally, but also some which are keen on working within existing frameworks. Where do you see the boundary between selfregulating to route around the system, and working with existing institutions? Have you experienced a change in how you collaborate with diverse actors?"

B. What have we learned about open care and potential to shape current healthcare and welfare systems? 

Participated by OpenCare partners, EU reps, OpenCare Fellows.

Modelled on the session from the beginning of OpenCare at LivingOPEN CARE FILES - Welfare through the looking glass. tbc.

C. Meet the Policy Maker: debate around policies of open care 

Led by the City of Milano team and involving other cities and community groups.

Make the most out of experiences in creating conditions and infrastructure for open care: open and collaborative policy making. The session would be playing out as a debate with community members and other (senior?) city representatives in Europe.


  • What is a good way to influence policy by active community groups who achieve promising results?
  • How do we ensure compliance with legal frameworks and patents?
  • What kind of policy supports citizen impulses around collective care rather disrupts?
  • ...

Great, help put together an event program booklet?

I’ve been invited as a speaker to Ouisharefest (July 5-7), a heavily media covered event and unqiue opportunity to get out what we are doing far and wide.

it would be a good opportunity to present what we are doing in the form of a succinct booklet to share with participants… I need your help to compile the following information:

A summary (incl methodology) of the OpenCare research some early results and visualisations from the research bits.

Could you take an hour or so to put something together during consortium meeting @Amelia  @melancon @Lakomaa @Rossana_Torri  @Costantino @markomanka @Ezio_Manzini  @Alberto ?

As well as a short description of the fellowship program @noemi and  work you guys did at CERN @markomanka

Deadline: July 1 in order to have time to include it in my talk.

and the maker in residence programme?

It’s still ongoing but I feel like the Maker In Residence programme would be a good addition besides the fellowship program and the CERN workshop.

What do you think?

a picture + 1 feature project?

@alessandro_contini can we hope to get at least a project team or team leader joining OpenVillage? If you guys follow the instructions to register here, send me a hi res picture relevant for the project idea and a paragraph description, I’d be happy to include it.

Storytelling to engage partners/ high profile experts

Guys, I stand by my advice:

I propose each partners writes the story of OpenCare and where you see it culminating, from your organisation’s perspective - what @Rossana_Torri mentioned about how we got here in the project, how the themes for the event came about from ongoing conversations… all you need to explain to your network.

An example is a post @Alberto wrote ahead of an Edgeryders event which brought in high profile people, and civil servants at the table with change makers. While the guests were invited by people in the network, the post served broader communication and “connecting the dots” (@Costantino .)

Diversity trumps ability: why senior civil servants, political leaders and entrepreneurs are teaming up with hackers, squatters, artists and activists in the name of stewardship

There is even the post in Italian, see here?

PS The posts can inform the session B. which I proposed here in this wiki (see above).