1st AltShift Festival: safe place free of egos and organizational weights

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Thu, 15 Nov 2018 - 03:50 GMT

Under the theme of “Platformisation...Global Trend ⇆Local Applications”, the French-oriented AltShift Festival was held in Egypt at the end of October - Courtesy to Facebook

Under the theme of “Platformisation...Global Trend ⇆Local Applications”, the French-oriented AltShift Festival was held in Egypt at the end of October - Courtesy to Facebook

CAIRO – 15 November 2018: Under the theme of “Platformisation...Global Trend ⇆Local Applications”, the French-oriented AltShift Festival was held in Egypt at the end of October.

The three-day cross-disciplinary event aims to create a "safe place free of egos and organizational weights" for change-makers to connect, ask new questions, learn, experiment, and work together on the complex challenges of our time.

AltShift is a first of its kind event in the MENA region with a zero-waste policy. More than 30 change-makers from six countries cooperated intensively to deliver this unique event. The event has been held in many European countries.

Ehab Elia, the founder of Ouishare Egypt, joined hands with The Good Summit to bring this festival to Egypt. The Egyptian entrepreneur, Elia told Egypt Today the story behind AltShift and how his dream to bring this event to Cairo turned to reality.

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AltShift Volunteers welcoming

“I work in a worldwide NGO called Ouishare. This organization was established in 2012 in Paris and now we are present in 40 cities around the globe. We work mainly in four fields; organizing full events, consultancy, working on academic research papers, and providing incubation programs for social enterprises,” Ehab Elia, the founder of Ouishare Egypt, told Egypt Today.

It was in 2014 when Elia first attended this Ouishare festival in France as a volunteer and since then he has started thinking of transacting the philosophy of this event to Cairo. After four years, Cairo saw the first AltShift event.



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AltShift Participant discussion


Elia told Egypt Today “The event is called (Alt)ernative Shift as we seek to express that it’s a shifting moment; everything around us is changing in a very high speed and complex manner. It seems that the shift is happening to us not with us; we don’t have a hand in a shift and we don’t know where we are going but we are going. So the idea of the festival is that we need an alternative shift: AltShift.”

The festival was based on three pillars: Human, Technology, and the City. The Human pillar included tracks like “Human Futures of Work” and “Health”. Another discussion on how the use of new media and storytelling can foster women leadership in Egypt was held in partnership with the Womanity Foundation.

The second day discussed "Technology" which included tracks such as “Open Organizations,” “Decentralized Technologies - Blockchain and other decentralized technology,” and “Fintech.”

The final day invited participants to co-create a “Regenerative City Model.” The Regenerative City Model aims to bring together different positive concepts around regenerative cities and demonstrate how they can be applied in different contexts to make cities more resilient. "There are a lot of positive concepts and projects, but never together. Imagine putting the maximum number of these concepts into a city to create a Regenerative City Model," Elia stated.


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Participant working on the Regenerative City Model


Two hundred people attended the event which presented 56 local speakers and seven international ones.

Elia also talked about Ouishare saying that “It is a global community or network of independent persons who could be change makers, entrepreneurs or officials. They all have the idea that our mode of production and consumption should be changed to be more efficient or more in phase with the world where we live today.”


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Ending AltShift with participant, volunteer, and the team


“Wait for us from 18 to 21 October 2019 at the second edition of AltShift Festival,” Elia concluded.

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