Interview Niels Koldewijn, Elos
How was the E-mpulse Festival that took place on 28 and 29 November in Madrid ?
Over 80 people attended the 2 day festival. The central theme was collaboration from the E-Motive perspective. Five guest speakers from all over the world brought the methodology into perspective.
They talked about self empowerment; in order to build alliances and to collaborate. A lot of people speak about passion, however, passion does not pay the bills. You have to be strategic and build alliances from a strategically point of view. The first day was about exploring, deepening and questioning collaboration. The second day was about building collaboration, acting upon it. The outcomes of the project were presented and a call for collaboration done. People ended the festival with plans and more connections.
Were very concrete plans made for after the festival? Are people actually collaborating?
Besides the open space, there were more moments of collaboration. For example the collaboration between Elos and Dragon Dreaming for sure is going to be developed. We also had a space where people could offer or ask for something, so all over the festival matches and connections were created.
What have you learned from the festival?
The format of the festival was very good and as a team together with our Spanish partner we were able to create a very good space for collaboration, also thanks to the right guests. The format in combination with the E-mpulse game works really well. It really inspired us to do this again. The live streaming for people who were not present at the festival, was something we would love to do again. This material is valuable and can be used for other moments and communications afterwards because everything has been filmed. A harvest of the most powerful outcomes, learnings and quotes will be made.
What kind of role did ´the E-Motive perspective´ play?
It was the opening on both days where we created a space through explaining the meaning of the ´E´ in E-mpulse, what the underlying way of thinking of E-Motive is and the intention of the E-mpulse game within that framework. An info package was given to the participants including a one pager about E-Motive. The values and central idea of E-Motive and how it was connected to the vision of collaboration were quite clearly shared. A lot of participants are inspired by the basic concept and the idea behind it. Toward and in the festival it created a lot of energy around collaboration, a different attitude of give and take instead of ´coming to help poor people wherever they come from´. It strengthened the concept and attracted some speakers. It created the right invitation for people with the right attitude to be part of it.
What is the impact on the participants and on Elos of the E-mpulse festival?
One of the stronger outcomes was that a group of E-mpulse players came together and there was a strong feeling of ´we´; ´We´re supporting each other in the realisation of our local projects. There was a very positive, inspired and enthusiastic feeling about it. If we would do it again, almost everybody would want to come again. We also created some interesting possible collaboration for ourselves which was the aim, so we succeeded. Now we have to follow up. It is perhaps hard to measure impact yet.
How do you see the E-Motive approach for Elos in the future?
I think it somehow has become a second nature. We´re are working from those values naturally. We would like to continue doing projects clearly doing it from that perspective and communicating it. We are definitely up for a new E-mpulse game or other projects where we can use our large international network and a variety of northern and southern countries to create collaborative projects where mutual learning is at the centre.
Would you like to propose a new strategy of the project?
Now that we have tried, I would say that in general the basic concept and framework of the E-mpulse game works and now we would like to make a beautiful plan so we can do this annually. We also made plans to work with migrants, displaced and refugees and we realized that this is of course not only a hot topic in Europe but actually a worldwide movement, for example the internal migration in India and Brazil is huge. We were thinking how we could make this a global theme for the network to work on the coming year. How can we learn from these examples and how does it work in different contexts? What methodologies work? That is one of the projects we are thinking of.
What are your plans for the E-Motive conference in Brussels in January 2016?
In the afternoon we have a workshop in collaboration with Young in Prison, also one of the pilot programs. During the workshop we talk about bringing the southern methodology to the north focusing on the power of participatory methods. The results of the University of Utrecht will be presented and we want to participate in that as well to learn about that. We are hopefully having some interesting European networks and people present and we hope to open their eyes and minds to other ways than we already use in Europe to tackle the challenges that we have. I´m behind that purpose of the conference and it would be great if a fund would say ´yes lets do a nice project in Europe´ but I think it´s much more networking and celebrating having many E-Motive examples displayed. It´s especially a celebration.
What is your final note?
The last thing I would like to add is the E in E-mpulse: the E from E-Motive giving people impulse to collaborate. Although the E-mpulse festival was the closing of the online E-mpulse game, it was another impulse in the sense of giving new impulse to something that continues. Our team and our partners are constantly creating moments of energy, information, connection that help people to move forward and the E-mpulse game was the digital format for it and the combination with the offline, face to face space is really powerful and will continue.
More about Elos
More about the E-motive Conference 2016