nadia el-imam

nadia el bw

[matera, s italy]

intro’d to Nadia when David Weinberger tweeted this post of hers:

nadias post

siemens glue law.. global do-over.. ie: a nother way

Nadia writes:

One of the things I love about social media is how over a few years, the world has both become so much smaller and infinitely bigger. Our lives and fates have always been connected, but we are so much closer now…our stories and dreams so much more within reach. And even that is under threat as those who would have us be afraid of one another and trade our liberties for a false sense of security are breaking our Internet.

Can we do something, a shared effort to keep the hatred out of our thoughts, conversations, relationships, news, streets, parliaments and governments this year?

[picture above is from feb 16, 2012, learning w/o frontiers future of learning conf  – with others such as, Mitch Resnick, Noam Chomsky, Sir Ken, … ]


find/follow Nadia:

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nadia el

Nadia co-founded edgeryders, ..

…a distributed think-tank of citizen experts, combining the intense focus and rigor of consultancy with the scale, openness and democratic legitimacy of citizen consultation.


sci fi econ lab


The unMonastery is a project born from from the Edgeryders network; EdgeRyders is a community that assembled itself as a “distributed think tank” of citizen experts to advise the Council of Europe on European youth policy. The Council of Europe conceived it and provided a platform for interaction (both online and physical) in late 2011 and 2012. By the end of the project, EdgeRyders had about 250 active contributors from over 30 countries and a staggering amount of high-quality content about how young Europeans transition to adult life in a time of crisis. This content was compiled in the EdgeRyders’ Guide to the Future and released as a Council of Europe publication.

which starts out:

Edgeryders has been a unique experience for many of us working in public administration with responsibilities for framing policies. This online platform, co-founded by the European Commission’s DG for Social Affairs, Employment and Inclusion and by the Council of Europe, had a specific aim: to understand, via an innovative approach which deliberately sought not ot impose any institutional forms of dialogue, the difficulties faced by young Europeans and the solutions they come up with, based on their experiences of the transition towards an independent life, in a rapidly changing environment in which insecurity is increasing all the time.


nov 2015 – open care video


what members of edgeryders have in common: experimenting with alt responses to systemic crises

systemic ness – deep enough

3000 + people in more than 40 countries

ie: of tool developed by edgeryders – open ethnographer – huge data base.. to treat own convos as ethnographic data, tag/analyze

on project: opencare – how to reform european health/social care by using collective intelligence

4 min – open care a way to break out of zero sum game

on breaking out of refugee circus

requires us to take a giant leap

leap frog ging

6 min – wikipedia, open street map, … whenever collective intelligence kicks in .. disruption develops

counter intuitive.. that randoms can overcome experts…

self-selection and social networks .. completely emergent.. can’t be predicted…

working on things you’re passionate about.. and when you choose.

10 min – w/no command/legal structure

11 min – on cross generational support/expertise

12 min – communities doing care .. is the default for humanity

making space for new people requires a fundamentally diff approach to care (refugee ness)

an approach that doesn’t pit us against each other

opencare – designs/test community driven model: 1\ progress in collective intelligence research 2\ new developments in digital fabrication 3\ rise in global hacker community

way to build this is… figuring it out.. we build this thing together the way we want to..

model ness…

not interested in research for research’s sake.. outliving opencare…

perpetuating us.. rather than not us ness

[notes on Yanis video (at bottom of page linked above) here]


jan 2016 – i am not your project:

Alberto points out in this post:

“Transition zones is where most edgeryders live. It is there, we believe, you will find the key to successful societal adaptation. Why? Simple: because only there do you find both the incentives and the capacity to drive change. In the center, the élites have little incentive to adapt – they are not on the firing line. In the periphery, the dispossessed have little capacity – staying afloat is a full-time job. But on the edge it makes complete sense to try long-range, radical stuff out.”

Unfortunately, many well-meaning efforts employ charity-based approaches that position people currently in the asylum process as “weak” recipients of our benevolence… rather than potential allies in tackling systemic crises. These narratives pigeonhole people now seeking asylum as costs to the system. They also risk fueling mechanisms of exclusion, ensuring the newcomers will never be treated as equals in our communities- with all the rights and responsibilities that this entails…


Whoever you are, welcome to join us for our open event that takes place on February 25-28, 2016 in Brussels.  It is called Living on The Edge and brings together people from different walks of life to learn from one another’s experiences…and hopefully build new solutions to shared problems.

LOTE5’s program is open; it is built by the participants who propose sessions around things they would like to learn, teach or build together with others. Some examples:

  • Ezio Manzini, one of the world’s most famous service designers, is leading a workshop on how to make our care services.
  • U. N. innovation specialist Milica Begovic is doing a presentation on how new financing models are breaking the development sector.
  • Security expert (and science fiction writer) Meredith Patterson is introducing us to the arcana of debt interoperability.
  • Data scientist Guy Melançon is setting up Masters of Networks, a hackathon-like event where we hack networks.
  • Bob Palmer, Europe’s top cultural policy expert, will reveal how and why most cultural policies fail. Expect gory details. To top it all up, Ida Leone, Ilaria D’Auria and Roxana Bedrule will explain how you can still fail even by succeeding. Exhibit A: Matera, Italy, crowned European Capital of Culture 2019.  Exhibit B: Bucharest, Romania, shortlisted for European Capital of Culture 2021.
  • Open data protagonist Mohamed Hegazy will be building solutions in response Cairo’s failure to plan its public transport network.
  • John Coate, the legendary WELL community manager, will be teaching us how to cope with meltdowns in communities.
  • Vinay Gupta, Ethereum release coordinator, will go through failures in finance and contracts. As well as how he thinks blockchain technology can help solve some of them.
  • Nadia EL-Imam , Co-Founder of Edgeryders, will present cases of abject failure – and a path to unfailure – in responding to the so-called “refugee crisis”.

To register for the event: go to, create an account, and sign up for the event here:


jan 2015

Back in Brussels from the land of ballroom dancing and eating of cakes.

So besides joining a 3.5 hour long contemporary dance workshop by mistake, what was I doing in Vienna?

Last week the city convened mayors from Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Austria, Germany and Sweden at an event called NOW.

What the participants had in common is that their cities were amongst those who had received the largest numbers of people escaping the war in Syria.

I wanted to hear about their experiences, how their communities are reacting, etc. In order to better understand where it makes sense to put in some effort.

Here is what I learned:

In a short time the populations of small countries in the region, Lebanon and Jordan, have grown manyfold (1.1 Million refugees in Lebanon, 630,000 in Jordan – in addition to Palestinian refugees already there)


We all agree that at the system level good documentation saves everyone time and resources. At the individual level it is more difficult to motivate the additional investment of time and effort


Take a minute to think about what this means.

If the participants in the event want to see the transnational cooperation happen in practice, then they will have to learn to think and work as networksof individuals interacting inside, outside and all around different organisations. Each working at the hyperlocal, micro-level, while sharing and learning with others working in different contexts as a natural part of the everyday workflow… not just something afforded to people who can travel and spend 2 days talking with one another at a conference. And all of this done inways that build granular, immediately relevant and continuously updated institutional memory accessible to all. Affecting behavioral change at this scale is hard, but it can be done.

I think we can contribute in two ways.

1. At LOTE5 we are organising this reflexive design exercise on Collaborative inclusion: how migrants-residents collaboration can produce social values.

2. We also have a way to produce cheap, accurate ethnographic data around problems like the ones mentioned above, with a focus on surfacing creative and actionable solutions.

and/or – self talk as data.. as the day



Grief. Rage. Resistance. Resilience.This is where we are at. Thoughts?

Yesterday (November 22) we presented an actionable plan for how we can get started on making this happen. Right now, without waiting for anyone. While boosting our individual economic and psychosocial resilience.

It’s a first stab at articulating something we have been working towards for some years now.

Here it is, what do you think?

from slide 11

The post- truth scenario changes everything. Who do you trust when every http packet is the carrier of a lie?

fake ness

We propose building a political terrain that is *so hyperlocal and fragmented as to be too expensive for narcissistic strongmen and Machiavellian schemers to enter. A move so lateral that it will not even exist in the same space as post-truth politics.

gershenfeld sel ness

from slide 12

Many of us are exploring new paths into the future. While some  states, e.g. *Estonia, are starting to build plans for location independent people and organisations, we are still **missing many critical infrastructures and services for small-and-global initiatives. As well as social and economic settings that enable their protagonists to live up to their full potential as active, responsible citizens that participate fully in the life of a community and the planet at large.


**mech simple enough

from slide 16

perhaps try – hosting-life-bits as all of it



“How can grassroots and community initiatives better achieve their goals through open science, hacking and making?”

want to get at entire pop..ability to communicate w/one another affects entire community

all of us for dance to dance ie: host life bits


rt from Nadia

op3ncare (@op3ncare) tweeted at 6:30 AM – 1 Jun 2017 :

Get An OpenVillage Ticket: Invite your Intellectual Hero at the event! #openvillage