While Appsterdam is the best place in the world to be an App Maker, the world’s foremost experts on technology are scattered around the globe. We can certainly encourage then to visit Amsterdam, and many do, but we should also be able to grease the wheels a bit to accelerate the process. This is where the idea of International Genius Grants come from.
The International Genius Grant program provides a small stipend and a large ego stroke to persons we’d all like to see pay the city a visit. The formula is basic: the government of Amsterdam confers International Genius status, and public / private sponsorship provides a grant for them to visit the city, where we’ll plug them into our infrastructure to extract their knowledge, while showing them what we do.
During the pilot program we will bring folks over for a week. We would eventually like to expand this to a month or even the whole summer, bringing out not just the genii, but their families as well. The program is designed to impress them, after all, as much as they impress us. Then they will either choose to stay, or return to evangelize the City of Apps.
The ideal candidate for an International Genius Grant is:
– Acknowledged and high profile member of the international App Maker community
– Actively communication to the App Maker community (blogger, tweeter, etc.)
– Access to high traffic outlets (blog, paper, etc)
– Master in his/ her field
– Capable of teaching
We will provide the recipients of International Genius Grants:
– Transportation from nominees home to city of Amsterdam
– Housing for the duration of the stay
– An opportunity to speak
– An opportunity to teach
– An opportunity to meet the community
– An opportunity to share views and ideas with local government and decision makers
In exchange, we will receive:
– International exposure leading up to the visit
– International exposure during the visit
– International exposure after the visit
– High quality speaking session in the city. Can be advertised
– High quality teaching session in the city. Can be advertised
– Opportunity for local government and business to promote city and share ideas with decision makers our field
– Opportunity for the local community to get connected with international decision makers
There are three main benefits to these grants.
The first and most obvious is that we’re bringing experts to the city to train our App Makers and educate our governors. Just as the residents of Amsterdam know music acts on tour will stop by this city, we want to establish ourselves as a whistle stop for technologists.
The second benefit is that we’re showing off the city and it’s great technology infrastructure. There’s a very good chance that some of these people will end up relocating here, replacing their fleeting talent with a permanent feature of the city.
Third, whether they end up settling here or not, these influential people will inevitably talk about their experience on their high profile blogs. It’s not just the luminaries we’re after—we’d also like to reach their followers.
The cost basis is travel and lodging. That works out to about €2000 for a one-week grant, assuming transatlantic travel. Technologists from places like the UK will naturally be easier to bring over.
If we can make use of an existing room, such as the Waag Society’s artist residence, and get some tickets donated, we could do this for little or no money.
There are two other cost considerations, one of money, the other of time. We may wish to give people a stipend for living expenses if we bring them over for longer than a week. High profile people, like John Gruber, want 6 months of notice.