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.
(This article is a contribution from Laurent Calmus, doctor in organic chemistry and ESPCI-ParisTech engineer, and is a preview for the WikiStage SoScience event May 16) Responsible research and innovation is an emerging concept in natural sciences. It originated in the US about 10 years ago, and it aims is to find solutions for today's social and environmental challenges. Through responsible and reflective scientific activity, methodologies and agenda, it hopes to establish sustainable and greener societies. The field is emerging, and there is much to be said about it. But since it is so new, there exist no place for participants in the field to express themselves. So we believe a WikiStage event is perfect to start a conversation. The goal of this first conference is to present responsible innovation and foster curiosity about it. After introducing the key topics, there will be different talks centered around the three following points: “The impossible becomes possible" / How to make it happen / The emergence of a new reality. It is crucial to present the different aspects of responsible research and innovation processes. For example, academic and industrial researches, funding, intellectual property and politics are essential parts in the definition and development of responsible research and innovation.  “Evidence can take so many forms” / Examples of different projects. Different exciting projects are ongoing in several research areas. To understand what is happening in responsible research and innovation at this moment, what could be better than to let researchers present their own projects and goals?  “Make it yours” / Access of the crowd. We think that responsible research and innovation can’t truly be effective without a serious relationship between researchers and society. To innovate in the right way, researchers have to be aware about society's main goals. On the other hand, society should be informed about recent researches in order to engage in discussion with the researchers. If you are curious to learn more about responsible research and innovation, feel free to attend the event on Saturday May 16 at 1 PM at ESCP Europe Paris Campus (79 Avenue de la République, 75011 Paris).  
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