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Fail Faire at IFAD

innovating&failing

The 29 October I went to the Fail Faire at IFAD.

Roxy organized and promoted the event to help all of us to openly discuss and share professional failures. The objective was, and is, to be able to manage failures and get the best out of them: learning by doing, in a certain way.

I met interesting people like Tim Harford, Aleem Walji, Dave Snowden and Ashley Good, who animated to the event, heard very fascinating stories about failures and errors, and brought with me the following key messages:

  • We need to realize that we do a very complex job. Working for the UN is not as easy and simple as you can think. The level of complexity due to the very different people, the languages, the topics and, most of all, the “politics”, is incredibly high. This should be much clearer to everyone and, in my opinion, would require much more attention, time and efforts than the ones currently dedicated;
  • If you don’t fail you did not try to innovate. It is only changing that you innovate. It is in the change that you take your risks. Think about it if you are proud of not failing in your job;
  • Communication is fundamental for what we do. We should talk and talk and talk. And then talk again in order to be clear and aligned and always ready to move ahead together. Think about your recent past, make the “failures emerge” and then talk about them with someone you trust in order analyse them and focus on the the reasons and try to avoid them in the future. If you talk about the reasons of you failure with someone they will be evident and it is more difficult for you to repeat them in the future.

Last but not least: trust is always a key element in this learning process.

 

The event was very useful mostly because it is fundamental to think and zoom out from what we are currently doing, and develop new and better ideas for the future.


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Today, the ComDev Expert Consultation starts

Today, over 30 experts from all over the World will convene at FAO Headquarters in Rome to discuss about the state of the art of Communication for Development.

The situation is uncertain. Users and professionals of development lost confidence with the concept of ComDev and are not any more able to fully distinguish it form traditional communication.

For the few who does not have a clear idea about the topic, have a look at Mario Acunzo’s interview. I also remind the definition of ComDev has formulated during the World Congress on Communication for Development in 2006 at FAO:

Communication for Development (ComDev) is a social process based on dialogue using a broad range of tools and methods. ComDev is about seeking change at different levels including listening, establishing trust, sharing knowledge and skills, building policies, debating and learning for sustained and meaningful change. It is not public relations or corporate communication. (WCCD, The Rome Consensus). The ComDev process goes beyond information dissemination to facilitate active participation and stakeholder dialogue. It highlights the importance of raising awareness, the cultural dimensions of development, local knowledge, experiential learning, information sharing and the active participation of rural people and other stakeholders in decision making

Experts will gather to understand what happened in the most recent years and formulate guidelines on how to proceed further, find a better positioning and design a new offer.

You can follow the event through the outputs of the Social Reporting Team on twitter, picasa, youtube, blog and on this blog.


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My greatest satisfaction!

What you see in this image is one of my greatest satisfaction ever!

AFE at work

My mother, on the right side, is using Google Images, to identify actors on historical movie pictures. This is necessary in her job to archive thousands of photos of the ASC – Archivio Storico del Cinema, my father’s historical archive of movie pictures.

She discovered the Web recently but now she is a great fan!


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The Cynefin framework

Thanks to IFAD and @rsamii we had a very interesting morning yesterday meeting Dave Snowden for a lecture on his Cynefin framework.

Dave talked for more than one hour and I was overwhelmed by an incredible flow of inputs, suggestions, questions and doubts. These kind of moments are fundamental for professionals like me who have to afford the complexity Dave is describing in his approach.

To be able to “probe, sense and respond” we must be always open and willing to look for and receive new inputs from outside.

Complex systems

@snowded said: “We must create new architecture where applications work”. To do that our brain must be always stimulated and fight the risk of being stuck on our desks, behind our monitors, locked in our rooms.

Dave Snowden at IFAD