Long time followers of this site, will remember that a while back I mentioned the Young, Creative and Digital evenings that I set up with a couple of friends in Abidjan. In total, we organised three (I think) following a similar format of short interactive presentations and some sort of performance in the second half with drinks and nibbles. The idea was to have an evening for exchange between young people involved in the web/tech/design/fashion/culture sectors.
So how did it go? The starting principal was that you don’t need very much to go ahead with this sort of thing. We financed ourselves through a few people giving 20,000 cfa to get the thing off the ground. Thanks to the provision of a venue by the folks at AMN, it was all quite simple. Sadly the organisation was a bit irregular, but I think all three evenings served a purpose and helped moved things along a bit. They also got more and more organised, so that was good.
Sadly there haven’t been any YCD evenings since my departure, which probably means it wasn’t sustainable. Having said that there has been an incredible flowering of tech meetings and organisations, almost none of which predate YCD, so perhaps we were able to show in some small way that things are possible with a bit of effort. Abidjan doesn’t necessarily need YCD now – if anything there is a need for less meetings and more concrete action to build a living and breathing community. Still, I think YCD was special because it tried to reach out a bit from the web sector to the arts and culture. In a sense it was trying to capture a movement of young people wanting to exploit the possibilities of 21st century technology to build a new Abidjan, that could have an influence well beyond the country’s borders. That’s a work in progress.