For those of you who are fairly new to the concept of WikiStage, allow me to spend a few paragraphs explaining our mission and achievements so far. Back in 2013 when we started this project with an event at ESCP Europe, we wanted to establish a network of events around the world that would tackle different issues, from start-up entrepreneurship to Immanuel Kant’s philosophy.               We set ourselves a mission to use modern technology to revolutionize the way events are organized worldwide. Only 20 years ago, the reach of most conferences was restricted to their immediate audiences. Some of these events were probably very inspiring (some of them probably only had an exciting buffet), but there is no way for us to check that unless we know someone who went. Today, the situation has unfortunately not changed that much. Still, there are hundreds of events worldwide that are either not recorded or are recorded in such a way that makes it impossible to follow, or share on social media. For example: the videos are too long (4 hour long videos with all event talks and discussions), the videos look boring (shot from one position), the individual talks are way too long (2-hour dictator-addresses-the-United-Nations style talk with the help of a PowerPoint presentation). Luckily, things do not have to be like that anymore. Digitalize the events! It is the sharing revolution. It is the death of PowerPoint. Our events have not always been TED-like events with audience of thousands; we wanted to include smaller events - WikiStage Corners, where speakers give talks to a smaller audience. The common denominator of all these conferences is not just the WikiStage branding but also the fact that all event talks (short, focused - WikiTalks) were recorded and published on WikiStage.org. The idea was to give an opportunity to mainly young and enthusiastic people to organize events and give their speakers a global audience, regardless where in the World they are, or the lack of finance or logistics they might be facing if they wanted to organize a full-fledged high profile conference. The idea was not just to digitalize events, but also to democratize them.                  Three years later, we take a look back and we can say we have succeeded in making WikiStage a global brand. With a network of over 500 volunteers we have organized more than 70 events on 4 different continents. We have had over 350 speakers, total number of Facebook followers of all WikiStage pages has exceeded 55.000 and people have spent 2 years equivalent of time watching our WikiTalks. Beyond our initial partner ESCP Europe, we partnered up for individual confrences and recordings with the World Bank Group, SUEZ Environment, YESS, MEDEF, OuiShare, the French Embassy in Berlin, Maison de l'Europe de Paris, and many other. What’s next? We are still far from done in our mission to revolutionize the way ideas travel from events to audiences. Our next mission is to become THE platform for event talks. We seek to establish partnerships with event organizers around the world in order to add their event talks to our platform. We add the talks to different #debates in order to have videos on similar issues from a variety of events at one place, where the users can have a comprehensive overview of the issue, compare different positions, and vote for the best talks.  There are several types of partnerships we offer to conference organizers. The most lightweight is the one when events are already perfectly recorded, speeches are already short and focused, everything is online and ready to be shared. In this case, we only integrate the videos on our platform. In this way, we give not only a bigger audience to these event talks, but also an opportunity to compare them to the ones from other, related events. Further on, in case an event is filmed but the video is too long and/or shot from one position, we offer two types of partnerships. First, our video editing crew edits your event video and publishes all event talks on our platform. Second option, which can work together with the first: our film production crew records your next event, edits the talks, makes them look awesome and we, again, publish them on WikiStage.org. And, as they say in those cheesy TV commercials - that is not all!   A closer WikiStage partnership includes our team of professional presentation coaches who help the speakers of a partner-event prepare their talks and rock the stage. Short and focused talks that have a long-lasting impact on the audience and a potential to go viral – this is the format they teach the speakers through really amazing workshops and individual coaching sessions. Organizers can also, in case they are not already using a similar format, opt for organizing WikiTalks as a distinct part of their conference. A great example for this would be an academic conference. Imagine having, for example, a group of leading physicists dealing with the theory of relativity doing WikiTalks next to their main, scientific event, in order to transmit their knowledge to the general audience. Amazing, right?         Will we become THE platform for event talks three years from now? We will do it even before, because we are not just a platform, but we offer a full service to event organizers, in-house, in one organization - WikiStage - led by young people (all employees are less than 30 years old), true to its original mission and enthusiastic about making the World a better place. Are you an event organizer and you are interested in becoming a partner of WikiStage in any of the ways described? Contact us at partners(at)wikistage.org. Do you want to organize a WikiStage event? Check out the organizer guide and get in touch with us!
By Sanidhya Painuli   “Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking and pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.” ― Gautama Buddha Can an inclination of a person towards knowledge change the world? If you think “No”, then meet Johannes Bittel, Founder of WikiStage, a free platform for learning and democratic debate. I met Johannes in a cafe in Berlin where he confessed his passion as a student to search on Youtube for information ranging from Electric Cars to benefits of Vegetarianism. However, he felt a bit lost because he could not easily find quality videos on many topics. As a result, he started to get involved in organizing conferences such as LSE London Development Forum at LSE and he organized the first TEDx event at a French Grande Ecole: TEDxESCP in Paris. Yet, he felt that something was wrong, that made these conferences elitist and hindered the free flow of democratic knowledge and that obtaining a license for, for example, a TEDx event is very expensive. As he elaborates that to apply to organize a larger TEDx Event one must attend a TED Conference that costs $8,500-13.500. This became the founding idea of WikiStage, where people around the globe who share the same quest and motivation can fill a simple form on www.wikistage.org and organize free WikiStage events, inviting experts in community to discuss issues ranging from education to refugees or from corruption to free speech. The first conference was organized in Paris in 2013, and since then there is no turning back. The network has seen exponential growth to 45 conferences in 2015 and in 2016, he expects a 100 unique conferences such as the recent conference at École Militaire: Necessity to think differently, where people who decide over life and death discuss what it takes to have such responsibility. He believes that this flexibility towards organizers combined with democratic and creative thinking of organizers is taking this concept to new heights such as upcoming WikiStage Conference at ESCP in March 2016. The organizers at ESCP will organize 5 conferences simultaneously in Paris, Berlin, Madrid, London, and Turin, where eminent speakers will discuss the “Good of Finance”. Recent events such as the possibility of a Brexit, the refugee crisis and debt woes of Europe, together with anemic growth have threatened or posed serious questions to the European identity and global financial order. As the future becomes uncertain ESCP Europe wants to emphasize on unity and strength of European identity, leading to an idea of 5 conferences. Christian Wortmann, president of WikiStage ESCP Europe sees a great future for the format of a unique pan-European conference which allows speakers, the audience and those who join the debate online to look at European challenges from five different perspectives. Moreover, he and his team are already working on the third edition in 2017 while organising the conference series of 2016. One team member from Madrid recently said “It is a truly European initiative and it is enriching in terms of personal network, shared knowledge and understanding of other cultures”.
Team Enactus ENSET Mohammedia is organising the 19th of March 2016 at 2pm an event called WikiStage ENSET Mohammedia. The central theme of this event is “Dynamic of young social entrepreneurs: Where are we now?“. Wikistage is a succession of interventions of specialists, artists and enthusiasts who will have the distinction of being filmed and shared on the WikiStage platform to create a library of videos that is totally free to use: the WikiTalks. This event aims to transmit a clear message: that “the Moroccan youth is a movement”; it allows to know the place of entrepreneurship within the scholar environment. Also, the goal of this event is to realize the steps to follow and to move from the will to act - to the courage, to dare, to achieve the objective which is the societal progress. We promise very interesting workshops, and musical performances for a warm and rich atmosphere. We hope for all of you to come or at least follow us on Facebook for updates. Loubna Terrada - Communication Manager of WikiStage ENSET Mohammedia.
Barkha Sengar has recently organised WikiStage ESCP Europe on 5 different campuses across the continent. She invited speakers to deliver their WikiTalks at events spreading from Paris to Madrid to Torino, London and Berlin. Barkha is a student at ESCP Europe Paris, where she is a Master’s candidate in Management and Finance. She wanted to host the event because she saw it as a great opportunity to gain experience in leadership and event management. She says herself, “I wanted to be a leader, but when I first became an organiser I wasn’t so sure in myself […] however, after the event, I feel like a better leader and I would organise a WikiStage event again.”   The theme of the events was “Direction Europe,” which was intentionally created to give the co-organisers at the other campuses the possibility to invite the speakers whom they preferred. In total Barkha managed 36 people all over Europe, and she says that it wasn’t always easy. At one point, Barkha’s team had difficulties finding an organiser in Berlin and when they finally found one, she had to organised the event herself. However, with a new plan and a lot of encouragement they hosted a great event in Berlin. All of the WikiStage events around Europe were hosted with success thanks to Barkha and the team the she had recruited. Which brings us to another extremely important task -  recruitment. She needed people with knowledge in different fields such as marketing, raising sponsorships, finance, et cetera. Ultimately, this experience gave her an opportunity to manage and lead a team, as well as to learn a lot about team work and management. As she says “when I work in teams today I know how it is to be the leader and what responsibility that carries along.”   At the onset of the event, Barkha didn’t have much previous experience in event managing. Yet, she organised the WikiStage event with a considerable success. In fact, she did it with so much success that at the very end of it, many were interested in organizing and participating in a WikiStage event themselves.   The WikiStage team is very thankful to Barkha and other organizers who constantly invest their best efforts to maintain and further build our community. They are the most valuable part of our network and we are always looking forward to working with exciting and motivated people all over the world.
Thanks to technology today, the world feels like a smaller place. Because of this, it's important to understand what's going on in other parts of the world. On Monday May 25, WikiStage IRIS SUP' addressed the importance of understanding the world by hosting 15 speakers to talk on topics ranging from environmental issues to think tanks to international relations. Rachel Marsden, CEO of the leading global strategic communications and political advisory firm Rachel Marsden Associates, asked an interesting question in her talk: "Why is China a humble power?" It almost sounds like an oxymoron, but Marsden brought up interesting points to support her theory. But she warns, "it would be a mistake to equate humble with benign." Other talks discussed the impact of psyops, the relationship between Cuba and the USA after the embargo lift and the influence of think tanks. Mika Mered, CEO of POLARISK Group, brought up a controversial topic about: "Will the Arctic compete with Suez and Panama?" In his talk, Mered informed listeners about the growing number of shipping hubs in the Arctic. It is predicted that by 2035, there will be more than 2000 hubs changing the way we ship items. "You can't fight what's happening in the Arctic, just adapt," he says. At the end the successful two hour event, you left with your mind processing the informative talks that got you thinking about everything happening in the world today!
(This article is a contribution from Loubna Terrada, coordinator for WikiStage ENSET Mohammedia's first event May 27) We are all aware that young people today face many difficulties in seeing their ideas through. The fear of failure is present and can prevent projects from being completed. However, it does not negate the fact of wanting to build a brighter future. The support for a new business start-up is a common concern in numerous countries. Recently, Morocco was encouraged to enact public policies that will help increase the number of entrepreneurs and stimulate company growth. Business incubators are included. To speak about incubation means speaking about the accompaniment, about the inspiration and about the help to facilitate the creation of future projects. With this vision in mind, WikiStage ENSET Mohammedia will host an event May 27 under the theme: "Business Incubation: Incubators as tools for entrepreneurship promotion" to show the importance of incubators in encouraging and supporting young, project leaders. Of course, we should all be optimistic when thinking about the future and work hard to see our projects through.
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