The most unusual session at the “Insights into Regional Development” conference was conducted in a “speed dating” format. Ten speakers shared their work innovations in 10 minutes.
The director of “Garant” Foundation in Arkhangelsk, Marina Mikhailova, stated aloud: “I know 101 ways how to find money for your social project.” Such an announcement, of course, peaked curiosity and brought together a large group of participants. The foundation where Marina works has been implementing the “Dobriy Arkhangelsk” (Generous Arkhangelsk) project for several years already, and it has become a genuine brand. The project concept is that ‘packs of generosity” started to appear in large supermarkets, which are sets of small essential commodities.
Media expert Gulim Amirkhanova shared her innovative methods of promotion by the example of the “Living Asia” environmental project. Unique longreads, infographics and videos were prepared as part of this project.
“Treat everything with maximum consideration, for example, promotional items. We created bright patterns so that people want to buy our bags and T-shirts. Seek original ideas. In my opinion, innovations are not only about technologies, but also about the emotions that our content brings out”, – noted Gulim Amirkhanova.
Zulfiya Abdukhalikova, representing Reach For Change Kazakhstan, shared ideas about a three-layer model of a city that helps develop and promote social projects.
“Study the first layer – a physical space of a city or district. Make up a mental map of what memorable things there are in each district, and how they differ from each other. Study people living in this district. What they think about, where they go, how they communicate with each other. Use gamification methods in order to get different people involved in this, including your own employees. Study social interaction between people”, – Zulfiya told the participants.
“We have finalized a format of innovation labs when joint projects of media, NGO and IT specialists are created”, – explained the director of Internews Kazakhstan, Marat Bigaliyev.
“Study the various registration forms of your public associations. Official status for your organization allows for obtaining both international grants and loans in own country”,- noted Timur Nurlobekov from Tajikistan.
Anna Tadjimuratova, a founder of the first successful Baribirge.kz crowdfunding platform, spoke about how ordinary people can help implement projects.
“Are you short of money? Seek help from people! Significant ideas will always find support. Crowdfunding is an opportunity for finding support, associates, and promoting a project”, – she explained.
Noel Dickover from Innovation for Change presented on the capabilities of people and organizations’ global networks in terms of sharing ideas, discussing challenges and creating solutions. “True power is globalization, and joining efforts of mentors and CSO representatives”, – he stated.
Tatyana Sedova, a consultant from the World Bank Representative Office in Kazakhstan, shared her research and experience.
“Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan joined the international Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. It means that states must disclose data about extractive industries’ revenues, and public audit should be conducted. This opens up great opportunities for the nonprofit sector.”
Proposals on human rights protection were spoken about by well-known human rights advocate from Kyrgyzstan, Tolekan Ismailova.
“Compassion, not piteousness, is needed to tackle problems and to support people,”- noted Ismailova.
The “speed dating” format was a teaser announcement about topics, that were then extended during master classes within the framework of the conference. It is thanks to ‘10 minutes’ that participants could to quickly enter into a topic and make a choice. During the following conference day, experts conducted hour and a half long master classes with those participants who were really interested in the topics introduced via the speed dating format.