Although there might have been a little less people showing up for breakfast on Day 3, this was more than compensated for by the stream of people that joined the Sharing Fair in the afternoon, where companies and other players from the collaborative economy got the chance to present their projects to the wider public. A nice way to end three days of conference, co-creating and connecting, and to make people aware of the new way of doing business in the 21st century: collaborative and open.
Decoding Open Source Festivals in the Factory
Who knows better how to organize an open source festival than the people who have actually done it? Day 3 in the Factory started with a panel on how to organize an open source festival, featuring OuiShare’s own Francesca Pick, Lars Zimmermann from Open It Agency and John Thackara from Doors of Perception. What seemed to be one of the key take-aways from the panelists’ experiences was actually that festivals are not about lessons from experts, but about encounters and co-creation. Francesca underlined that also things like sponsorship has to be rethought in these terms. No wonder then that so many of the OuiShare Fest partners were actively participating in various workshops and panels, not as sole experts but as co-creators. The rest of the morning in the factory was further dedicated to the themes of distributed leadership and horizontal organizations, for example dealing with the potential synergies between “traditional” cooperatives and peer-to-peer structures.
Mapping it out
At the boat there was a long and intense morning workshop about Mapping the Collaborative Economy, with examples from all over the world of local initiatives triggering a “It’s just around the corner and I didn’t even know about it” effect. Participants further discussed how to coordinate the various projects and databases in place to show the power of the collaborative economy to the world.
“What do grown-ups share? Not enough!”
Clever words by the far youngest OuiShare Fest speaker Pearl before the start of a panel about circular economy, followed by a series of talks on the environmental implications of the collaborative economy, led by OuiShare co-funder Flore Berlingen. You can see her speech about what kids and adults share in this 1 minute video.
One of the keynote speakers during the morning was Robin Chase from Buzzcar, who stressed the urgency of starting to change things with the stuff we have right now, and not wait for technology to solve our most pressing problems, like for example climate change. Taking the exponential evolution of AirBnB as an example, Robin said that peer processes have a lot to contribut towards building a string “community muscle” to respond to complex challenges.
“We want a sustainable new economy, and the sharing community is a big part of that” – Robin Chase, Buzzcar
Helen Goulden from Nesta followed up on the theme of climate change, pointing to sad fact that in many studies, climate change often turn out to be of little concern for people, at least in relation to closer, more tangible issues. She also saw a collaborative paradigm as a way to respond to such challenges in a new way, seeing that “stitching” sustainability into existing businesses does not seem to be working all that well.
The morning at the Circus proceeded with an interview with Nathalie Foster, executive director of Peers, who expressed that she had come to the OuiShare Fest to learn, but also to bring back messages to her colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic.
“I’m a transmitter” - Natalie Foster, Peers.org
Another important person who was at the OuiShare Fest to learn was the French Deputy Minister for Digital Affairs, Axelle Le Maire, who surprisingly entered through the back stage to meet the crew working in the “coulisses” of OuiShare Fest. She said that one of the most important reasons to be there was to meet people working “on the ground”. With over 1000 visionaries gathered in one place, we hope that the minister was pleased.
"I can’t be blind. This is happening" - @axellelemaire about sharing economy - Gayané Adourian via Twitter
The chance to meet with people form “the ground” was indeed provided during the Sharing Fair, where OuiShare Fest opened up to the public during the last afternoon in the Circus. From everything to more known businesses like BlablaCar to the Basic Income movement, the fair reflected the diverse fields in which the collaborative economy can be found.
Tools for learning
In the meanwhile in the Camp, the afternoon was dedicated to chances for projects and start-ups in the collaborative economy to learn about new tools and opportunities to develop their ideas further. For example, the European Commission sponsored project Digital Social was holding in a Q&A session about funding opportunities for digital social innovation: a topic that lies close at heart for many collaborative Start-ups. There were also many useful tips and tricks given by various specified companies on how to build community, trust and a sustainable business model. These aspects are of course inter-related and there is no one-fits-all solution. However, what seems to be important for services in the collaborative economy is to find the right focus, be personal, and of course to solve a problem for users in a clear and easy way.
Awards and celebrations: #OuiShareLove
When it was time to close the there days of conference, co-creation and connecting, the winners of OuiShare Awards were announced and called up on stage, including: Copass, Common libraries, Guerilla translation, Sofa Concert and Symba, who will all be coming back to Paris this autumn for a one week acceleration program among OuiShare peers.
But also for those who did not win a price, there was still reason to celebrate the new knowledge acquired or new contacts made during the fest. With excellent music provided first by the Brass Band, then by great DJs, including OuiShare Fest Co-Chair Benjamin Tincq who amazingly was still standing after 25hours straight of work putting his records on.
Before going away for a few days retreat on the French country side (kindly organised by La Mutinerie) the OuiShare Fest team would now like to thank to all people attending OuiShare fest 2014, and for making it such an unforgettable experience. Now lets use all the positive energy gathered during these three days to bring about changes to our local areas and fields of work. The collaborative economy is everywhere, and to borrow and remix the expression of Michel Bauwens on the FLOK society:
Lets collaborate this, lets collaborate that… Lets collaborate the world!
See you at #OSFest15
Delivered by: Stina Heikkila, OuiShare Fest communications team