talk-share-learn

web 2.0 for development


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Share Fair 2011 – day 2

Today inspiration came from the great intro by Rob Burnet who talked about the incredible experience of shujaaz in Kenya. This series, which is using comics, radio, internet mobile telephony and video, introduces agriculture to the Kenyan youth. Rob strongly suggested: “Go to the point. What does your audience is looking for?” and “It is not the what. It is how. Push does not work at the end.”

Rob Burnet introducing Dj B

In the afternoon I joined @etiennewnger‘s and @NancyWhite‘s Community clinic to look for suggestions on how to solve problems of the CoPs that I supervise. In particular, I wanted to reflect on the FSCA community that it is still not very active after the workshop in Dakar. We came out with the answer I already knew: when the need is not clearly expressed by the members, then it is more difficult to have the group working as a Community. And this reminds me what I heard this morning during Rob’s address.

The class listening to suggestions during the Community clinic

I closed the day meeting Ms Tukhikyan from Armenia who shared their experience in the attempt to mitigate plastic pollution. Recycling plastic bottles + substituting common plastic bags with other bags to diminish their use.

An alternative to plastic bagsWhat to add? An intense and inspiring day. The days you need when you are missing ideas and want to find new inputs for your daily work to refresh it and reinvigorate.


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Share Fair 2011 – day 1

The first day of the Second Global AgriKnowledge Share Fair was really great. I follow Willem’s suggestion and I had lots of fun.

Etienne Wenger at sfrome

In the morning, Etienne Wenger‘s words were really inspiring. His approach, which compared CoP and dating, was really striking. That sense of deep trust that you develop in a relationship can be felt in a community where you offer something for free, exactly in the same way. And this is so true that is very difficult to convince people that it is real! Most of them remain sceptical about the kind of knowledge/experience you can exchange in a community because they consider it impossible to be done. But in reality it really happens. It is a sort of miracle, a combination of the best merits of a human being: altruism, trust, consciousness, generosity. What a liberation! What a dream! What a real thing! It really happens! It is true even if it does not happen elsewhere. The heart makes the difference, Etienne said. The feeling inside and not the tools or the techniques.

Later in the morning, I had a training session on photosharing. Few participants but very interested and full of questions for me about the topic I was teaching. We essentially talked about flickr, its features, its pros and counts, and the ways to get the best out of it.

The class at the photosharing training at sfrome

In the afternoon I followed Nancy‘s training on graphic facilitation and I loved it. More than anything else I’m grateful to her because she showed me that drawing is possible. That I can do it. That, again, it is a matter of heart and feeling, not a technical issue. I did my tests, I drew my men, my icons, my circles and lines. I did my final examination with “my personal toolkit” test. And my level of satisfaction is really high. I look like a child when I showed my drawings home to my girlfriend because I really realized that I can do it. That potentiality is in there and it is just to me to exploit it. Such a good lesson for my job and, much more, for my life. And there we go again: it is a matter of heart.

Efforts to draw at the Graphic facilitation training

This first day was passionate as few before. It was necessary to remember all of us that, before anything else, we need to put ourselves in what we do, open the doors of our offices, get out of them and then come the rest, like tools or techniques.


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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


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Rome group of KM4Dev met yesterday

Yesterday the Rome group of KM4Dev met for the second time since January ’09, when the idea was launched during the ShareFair 09.

km4dev-rome

As you can see for this picture everybody enjoyed the meeting and the idea of creating a new group. 😉

The main topic debated was: CMS implementation and related training needs. The discussions grew over the present need to give a house on the Web to many different teams inside the organizations we are working for. FAO and IDLO are actually using TYPO3 to produce new websites and online environments but this created some problems both for the final users and the facilitators/trainers/knowledge managers because of the lack of specific skills and appropriate technical knowledge that this tool specific system needs.

As a consequence, awareness has raised in the group that appropriate training, both for users and for facilitators, is absolutely needed. In our case, the intermediaries between technical departments and final users (officers of different departments and their team), it is important to pass the ownership of the sites to the final users and create real capacities. Lately, the perception arose about high costs and difficulties (at least in Rome) that specific training on TYPO3 have.

While discussing these problems, a voice from outside the “chorus” told the assembly: “This choice seems to be particularly inefficient both in terms of cost and time. Why did you choose such a tool that is difficult and cost much in terms of training and knowledge acquisition? Have these parameters been considered at the moment of the choice? ”

This observation led the group to conclude that, while evaluating a tool, the analysis of the final users’ needs and abilities is fundamental (if not the main parameter to consider for the final choice).


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Share Fair 2009

A nice briefing session started today the “public” activities of the Share Fair 2009 that the Rome based UN organizations (FAO, IFAD, WFP, CGIAR, ICT-KM Program and Bioversity International) are preparing for late January 2009.

Gauri and Steve introduced the event, the basic principles and the collaborative spirit that are behind it. Now all departments and divisions of FAO and the other organizations are really welcome to propose topics for discussions and question to be treated in the open spaces which will take place for three days.

One intervention focused on the importance of exchanging the “common good sense” many of us use daily to solve problems. This is a crucial point to me: it can help people to understand the deep value of their “common good sense”, with a potential multiplier effect on the awareness of the important of their experience and capacity of doing things.

To put the accent on this spirit of sharing and interaction, various online tools have been set-up using to keep everyone informed about what’s going on:

The Call for proposal document is ready to be downloaded to present these ideas before October 31st.


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FAO HLC and the attitude to share

Ban Ki-moon talking to the assemblyFAO is doing a huge effort to produce and distribute a long list of content about the actual High-Level Conference on World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy.

The website is a good channel to be virtually and ideally in touch with the event: the video, the pictures, the speeches and other material are available live on the dedicated website. Information is overall seriously taken in consideration. Not the same I can say for communication. My consideration is that, still, this material is not “web 2.0 oriented”. FAO talks but what is the attention for those who are listening to? Where is the intention to share?

What do I mean? there is a lot of good stuff but all this content, as is, cannot be incorporated and shared by other sites, bloggers, social networking people. So, the maximum I can do to talk to you about what’s happening in Rome is to link to their site, their images, their video…

Well, I actually have the habit to do something more than that to blog about something. What about your habits? Do you feel this up-to-date or a bit old-styled?


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Web2forDev

web2fordev

Ok, it is now open and living: it is the Web2forDev Conference, held in Rome at FAO Headquarters, from 25 to 27 September, 2007.

The title talk about participation to support development. I’m really looking forward to see if people will focus on tools and technologies OR on the “2” of the title, that stands for: interaction, Internet, human relationships, online sharing, mutual trust, knowledge exchange.

Development really needs interaction and people who want to be open and sharing. The web could help a lot in this direction and I really hope people fully understood the potentiality of this media to support international cooperation projects. I’ll get back about it after the Conference.