Podcast: Alberto Cottica – I have fallen in love with the Edgeryders community

In this interview, Alberto Cottica discusses the community-driven successes of the Edgeryders project ahead of its policy summit next month.

Cottica, the manager of the joint Council of Europe – EU online ‘citizen’s think-tank,’ notes that a sense of “personal agency” and crowd-sourcing are keys to Edgeryders’ appeal.

“The strengths of this project are in the community,” he says. “People interacting in a constructive way is always a very uplifting spectacle to behold.They bring true human voices to the policy debate.

“There is so much intelligence, competence and passion dispersed in society. If we can tap into that, we can become a much smarter world with much smarter governance.”

Interview with Alberto Cottica – Part 1

Interview with Alberto Cottica – Part 2

Edgeryders is an online sharing platform, allowing “citizen experts” to contribute to European policy discussions on the transition of youth from formal education to an independent and active life.

Since its launch last October, Edgeryders has inspired a community of more than 800 registered users, with some 100 new members added each month.

So far, it has generated more than 2,210 comments on the content of some 320 blogs, or mission reports, which focus on key youth policy themes, such as the changing understanding of the family, surviving austerity Europe and the re-design of state education.

The project’s authority relies on the sharing of personal experience. “Edgeryders seeks to map what young people are doing to complete their transition and where they are investing their time, energy and resources,” says Cottica.

A two-day conference entitled ‘Living on the Edge,’ (Twitter handle: #LOTE) starts in Strasbourg on June 14. Policy-makers from the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the European Parliament, aswell as representatives from European cities, will meet a 150-strong Edgeryders contingent to discuss aspects of youth policy.

Cottica adds: “It is an example of open, Internet-enabled governance. Apart from this one physical meet-up, all of Egderyders happens online.”

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