Kickoff of KYOPOL at the “Devil’s Inn”

Kyopol Kickoff - La posada del DiabloLast saturday the kickoff event for the construction of the Kyopol System took place in the cellar of the “Devil’s Inn” in Alcalá de Henares.

Kyopol Kickoff - Javier presentandoAs you probably know, the Kyopol system (ie: “Symbiotic City”) aims to foster civic activation and citizen involvement in the municipal and regional levels. It will allow citizens to get informed, to “educate themselves” and to collaborate with each other in improving their living environment. Each of them working precisely on those issues that are more important for him/her. Kyopol will thus facilitate the interconnection between people with common interests and concerns, while at the same time increasing the effectiveness of their proposals and actions.

Saturday’s event served to re-launch the collaborative building process of Kyopol, to be led by the association and directly coordinated by me, currently acting as the association’s president.

The event consisted of three different parts:

  1. Kyopol Kickoff - Pedro presentandoVISION:  Initially we talked about the general context of the project, the work of the Association from 2006 until now, the Kyopol Systems and our plans build it collaboratively and run a series of pilot projects with it.
  2. DIALOGUE:  We all discussed about the project, completed the gaps of the previous presentation, clarified doubts of the participants and reflected together on the problems and difficulties that could stand in the way of the construction and testing of the Kyopol system.
  3. REALITIES:  We reviewed the “numbers” of the project and of the association and requested the support of the audience for a period of one year. This support was meant as contributions in time, knowledge and skills, as well as little financial contributions such as financial contributions to cover some of the project’s costs.

Kyopol Kickoff - AsistentesThe event was attended mainly by the “usual suspects” in a kickoff of a social innovation project. The “FFF”: family, friends and fools. The first two, made of people closely linked to the project promoters, and the third group composed of some “crazy people” that nobody knows why or how, but are there, and seem to have a genuine interest in the project and the willingness to support it. All in all, we end up having a much assorted audience: activists, academics, representatives of political parties, babies, retired…

Many of them have already been involved in the project, as members of its “Core Group” and its “Pioneers’ Collective”. The members of this latter group are our “alpha testers” and represent different types of users who use the system (citizens movements, associations, government, media, etc.) and will help us assessing the system and making sure its functionality, methodologies and teaching resources are appropriate. The kickoff event provides all of us with  an extraordinary opportunity to renew our energies and commitment.

Event’s video

We are editing a video that provides a good account of what happened. But it will take a little time to produce it. Meanwhile, you can listen and see the live broadcast we did for our more distant participants. It’s in Spanish, sorry!! [Update 2013.03.11: We got the video!! Millions of thanks to Óscar Santos for his superb work filming and editing it!!]

Results of the event

The balance of the meeting is very positive.

First of all, it was very encouraging to see so many and so different people together, united by a common goal. But additionally, we also achieved significant commitments, both personal and financial.

Kyopol Kickoff - Carta CompromisoWe haven’t still received all the commitment notifications, but we estimate that for the next year we will have available monthly inflows of nearly 450 EUR. It is not enough to remunerate the full-time and “full-soul” dedicationthat, as coordinator, I will give to the project, but it will significantly help to make my financial situation a little less awkward.

By the way, if you want to take the opportunity to contribute to the project, both financially or with your habilities and time, you can express your commitment through this formulary.

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