Go Viral creates a basis for networking in Central Asia


Today networking, relationship building, and community have become some of the most common tools in the arsenal of representatives from different economic sectors to promote their services and products.

In November 2021 the IWPR CA team held three networking events called #GoNight in Almaty, Bishkek, and Tashkent cities.

#GoNight is an informal monthly offline gathering of Go Viral Central Asia community members. On October 1, 2021, IWPR CA started the implementation of the Go Viral project throughout Central Asia. The goal of the project is to increase regional connectivity, support economic development and strengthen civil society in Central Asian countries.

Panel discussion in Bishkek

What hinders the development of media, business, culture, and technology in Kazakhstan? How to find investment outside the IT sector in Kyrgyzstan? What does a creative audience need in Uzbekistan? These questions formed the basis of the #GoNight meetings.

In each country, the meeting responded to local needs with the participation of local experts.  The second part of the event in all three cities was held in the format of a networking session of the World Café. The participants were divided into small groups to discuss case studies on media, business, technology, and culture development, peculiarities of video content in these sectors, and funding opportunities.

“Through events like today’s we hope to unite creators, startups, and creative people not only in one city, region, or country but in the entire Central Asian region,” said IWPR Regional Director for Central Asia Abakhon Sultonazarov.

The first offline events brought together a total of more than 120 people in Bishkek, Almaty, and Tashkent – active and progressive members of their communities who want to develop in the fields of media, business, culture, and technology and collaborate with creators and innovators in Central Asia.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly shaken the economies of the countries and it will take some time to recover. To accelerate the pace of development, Central Asian countries need to become one space for the rest of the world. This is how we will become interesting for investors, foreign businesses, and tourists.” Abakhon Sultonazarov added.

IWPR Regional Director Abakhon Sultonazarov

The participants were enthusiastic about organizing offline meetings and are looking forward to new events and introductions within the Go Viral community. Moreover, #GoNight inspired participants in Tashkent and Almaty to create micro-communities.

And on December 30, the IWPR CA team will host a regional #GoNight online event for all community members in Central Asia.

Elvia Valle, Public Diplomacy Officer
of the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan

Elvia Valle, Public Diplomacy Officer, of the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan, noted in her welcoming remarks at the event in Tashkent that Uzbekistan’s wealth is not only the country’s natural resources but also its people.

“In order for them to prosper and realize their full potential, it is important to exchange ideas and experience not only in different sectors but also with experts and specialists from different countries in the region,” she said.

Go Viral is not only an annual three-day festival but also a platform for networking and a community of representatives from different sectors and countries. Thousands of people meet, unite, communicate and collaborate to find answers to urgent questions and inspiration, to meet like-minded people, and seek solutions to community and local problems. The project is supported by U.S. Diplomatic Missions to Central Asia.

This article was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings, and conclusions stated herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.