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Good news: I’ll take care of the FAO Emergency web activities

This week I have a very good news!

I’m  going to take care of the FAO Emergency Division website together with the related social media and the internet communication.

FAO Emergency

This is a very important news!

And now let’s  start working on the open issues.

First question is: how many people do browse the website and who are they?

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Social Reporting during the FAO Conference

After the very positive event in Dakar for the FSCA-PISA Workshop on ComDev, it is now time for a new experiment of Social Reporting.

This time it’s happening during the 37th FAO Conference which is taking place this week at FAO in Rome.

It is the first official experiment of this kind for FAO and I think it is going to be a very interesting experience for the organization. It is important to offer the house a perception of what social reporting could be during such an event.

We chose a very light approach with few people in the Team (mainly @faonews, @permreps_unrome and myself @neoluk) and a list of selected events during the week to follow and tweet about.


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Informal chat with Etienne Wenger on Communities of Practice

Early this week I met Etienne Wenger. The occasion was an informal chat at IFAD with several people also from FAO.

Etienne talked about Communities of Practice. Here are a some notes that I took during the conversation we had.

Genesis of Community of Practice:

There is a tension between being self organized and sustain a CoP to better organize it. There is no substitute for the internal energy of a CoP. There is no substitute for the “relation” itself. A Community starts with a sort of dating. I never thought that someone can START a CoP.

Ways to stimulate CoP:

Create the activities that allow people to understand the kind of relationship they can have among them.  Allow people to talk and engage about their practices. Asking for lessons learned is not a great technique!!! It is too vague. Rather, take advantage of every chance to learn from someone else.

Steps to go through:

Every CoP has its own rhythm. A good community is good for the members, not necessarily for you. Domain discipline: what is this CoP about? Community discipline: given this domain, who are the partners? Practice discipline: on the knowledge of some practice, define the size/shape of the domain. Find your rhythm!!!

CoP and Networks:

Nothing can tell us how long a CoP will last. Often CoPs dissolve into Networks. CoP is just a name. You can call them as you like. Technically speaking there is an identity which is based on the “domain”: this produces a learning implication. In a Network, the accountability is only on the “links”.

Role of Facilitation:

The facilitation can help the Core group of a CoP. Facilitation is not a substitute for leadership. CoP without leadership is usually a failure: look for the core group. A bit of support is very useful because lives are very intense and people can be busy. I changed my mind on this point! Anyhow, you have to create value for them: what do they need?

Participants’ imagination is limited: you have to propose them some ideas. Pulling someone is better than to push him/her. Try to set up activities that create a pull for people’s knowledge. Example: a concrete case for which you need a solution. We are talking about very common sense! Make a clear distinction between energizing and de-energizing tasks for community.

Tips:

Spend your time on strategic conversation about knowledge.

Connect knowledge sharing to one strategic objective of your project.

Most of the times people working for projects are considered focus groups rather than communities.

I have to admit that I agree almost at 100% with what Etienne said!

P.S.: Thanks Roxy and Willem for creating always good occasions to share and discuss.


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Here we come

We are just few hours from the official starting of the FSCA-PISA workshop on ComDev. It is night and I’m almost closing my laptop after having prepared the latest documents for tomorrow.

This afternoon, during “day 0“, the first important goal was achieved: the Social Reporting Team met to discuss our activities and share the tasks. We decided to go for pictures, podcasting and blog posts. Video is a possibility but we have to find time and support for that.

The Social Reporting Team

As you can see in the picture, the Team is officially (and initially) composed by Oumar Ndiaye (Senegal), Thierno Souleymane Bah (Guinee), Mamadu Aliu Djalo (Guinee-Bissau) and myself.

Follow us and you’ll have a great experience!


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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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Creating subtitles for videos on YouTube

The creation of subtitles for videos on YouTube is very easy.

Proceed as follows:

upload your video on YouTube,

– in the list of your “Uploaded videos”, select the one you want to manage and click on Edit,

– in the settings check for the tab “Subtitles

– download the automatic transcription of the voice (it is actually automatic for English voices only, but the file itself  can help anyway with the time schedule of the voice),

– prepare the translation, create a Caption file on the basis of the transcription and upload it,

– your video is now ready to be in two or more languages!

More details on YouTube Help site.