CTLab is underway!
Participants are introducing themselves. Here is a brief summary:
Aaron (USA) : I work with the World Bank's capacity development wing - the World Bank Institute. The focus of my unit is on knowledge exchange, how to design things like communities of practice, virtual dialogues, study tours, etc... for measurable results. Specifically, I work with online communities - at both the strategic and hands-on levels. I am interested in exploring the intersection of new tech and local-to-global community building. My personal mission is to democratize the way we do development by giving people a real voice in the projects that affect them (or should!). I'm looking forward to learning from you all and hopefully will be able to return the favor.
Abby (USA) : I'm an independent consultant and work with a mix of international organizations, mostly from the public sector, on knowledge management issues. Increasingly, this is including communities of practice.
Adrian (UK) : I work for the Knowledge Services dept at the Institute of Development Studies, UK - mainly in supporting our projects and partners to mobilise knowledge via online interactive spaces. Within this role I am the co-ordinator of Eldis Communities, an umbrella space for individuals and groups to share their experience and learn from others. I don’t consider myself a technologist (I have a Masters in Gender and Development!) but have worked for 10 years on web-based projects. I find I have become something of an interloper between two groups of professionals – those who are have strong research / editorial / project / communications skills but are less confident with technology, and those who are the opposite. The struggle I have is to listen, understand and respond to both groups in a way that relates those of their counterparts (and my own) so that projects progress and achieve their objectives.
Arief (Malaysia): Working to build the bank's KM capability. My community consists of KM practitioners within the bank group and one major challenge we face is the lack of a common technology platform for us to bridge between the Group office in Malaysia, with all of our regional offices and subsidiaries across Asia, UK and US. We fear that this can limit our agility in the midst of the ever changing regulatory landscape across various international jurisdictions. In order to achieve the above, the community would have to address the current technology stewardship in the bank in terms of security, technology and processes.
Bev (USA) : I'm an independent consultant working with organizations, networks and communities of practice across different sectors. A (WBI) project into which I am channeling a lot of my energy at the moment is a community of practice that is made up of two regional networks of Parliamentarians involved in Public Accounts Committees in Southern and Eastern Africa.
Bruce (Uganda) : working on agricultural innovations and technology currently piloting the use of SMS to help farmers identify fake and genuine products.
Charles (Zimbabwe/Italy) : My keen interest is how technology is changing our manners, attitudes and practices as human beings. I work in agriculture and rural development mostly in Southern Africa. Currently, I am with IFAD in Rome trying to stitch a relationship that will probably mate lessons from the grassroots with 'big beast solutions' being pushed by big organisations. In the course of my work, I have incubated both on-line and face to face CoPs. Face to face CoPs have outlived and outperformed online CoPs because many of the people I work with are still to fully grasp technology. Virtually, we started off with something called Business in Zimbabwe Network (BIZNET) running on yahoogroups but we are no longer very active due to invasion by all kinds of spammers and uninvited advertisers. I have now been assisted to set up BIZNET on Dgroup and we are migrating to this new home.
Courtney (USA) : I am an independent KM consultant who has over 15 years of experience ranging from ICT/KM organizational strategies to monitoring and evaluation of online communities to development of peer-to-peer learning networks. I am currently supporting the development of an online community through a partnership between Devex.com and USAID's Global Partnerships office covering the emerging public-private partnerships community--what many call the convergence between the public and private sector development in global development. Formerly, I worked for 10 years at the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency on online services for investors and for the IFC on investment climate reform and for USAID contractors on international health and population projects.
Daan (Tunisia): Currently I'm the Knowledge Manager at the African Development Bank and in particular tasked to improve knowledge uptake of the Water Program, Communication and deployment of Sharepoint as knowledge exchange platform. Contrary to other observations on the use of this platform I'm very enthusiastic using this platform which in itself is a learning experience. However, learning from water projects in Africa, sharing experiences what works and why constitutes a lot of learning elements and exploring new pathways for sharing, collaborating and learning is an activity I like to contribute too.
Davide (Kenya) : International development practitioner specialized in knowledge management and social media. Currently facilitating a Community of Practice of 17 Joint Programmes on Environment and Climate Change, collecting Lessons Learnt. Wiki geek and architect (recently designed and developed the new semantic wiki for KM4Dev).
Deependra (Nepal). I work for ICIMOD as KM & Web Specialist.
Gada (Sudan) : An “activist academic” - research on KM applications in two specific domains: health and conflict, with growing interest and engagement in Community Technology (or to me technology to empower the "people"). My motivation to join this group is my current project on the implementation of a community conflict monitoring system in the Nuba Mountains (30 women using ordinary mobile phones)
Ian (USA) : I’m the team leader for Knowledge Management in the UN Development Operations Coordination Office, and was formerly working on knowledge management in UNICEF. I’m currently working for the most part of sharing knowledge on UN coordination within the UN system. I also blog on http://kmonadollaraday.wordpress.com
Jaap (Netherlands) : Starting, supporting and facilitating communities in a diverse and decentralising organisation. Strong tradition of trying new tools (“perpetual beta”) – currently using Google Apps for information management and knowledge sharing. Interested in document/file management, hang-outs and using mobile devices.
James (Australia) : Supporting Best Practice Transfer programme with over 20 thematic Communities of Practice spanning locations in Australia, Spain, Texas, Jamaica, Suriname and Brasil. Purpose of Communities is to share knowledge, solve problems, document standard practices we can transfer globally, train new engineers and get involved in events where we gather experts to deploy a suite of new practices at a location.
Jennifer Bayawa (Uganda) : My usual area is communications and right now I am between jobs. But soon I will add on a new area of qualifications and experience when I graduate next month with a Msc in KM. In the meantime, I thought I should learn from practitioners as I get ready practice KM myself.
Jennifer Trujillo (Colombia) : I'm part of the core team of La Arenera, a community of learning and practise of social innovation and entrepreneurship. This month I'm organizing the Social Innovation Week in Colombia, powered by La Arenera + HUB as part of the KM and Sharing strategy of the community.
John (USA): I'm really interested in how communities contrive to "be together" and KM4Dev has always seemed like a great example of one with diverse leadership but substantial value over the years. One ongoing project of mine is supporting CPsquare, a community ABOUT communities of practice. A project in that community is looking at communities that use Ning as one of their platforms (such as http://km4dev.org where most of the conversation actually happens on Dgroups, but the Ning site has an important landing-pad role). If anybody would like to dive into describing how your Ning fits into the community's life, it would be great to have you join us: http://cpsquare.org/wiki/Ning_Stackathon_project
Lizzie (UK) : KS programme for partner organisations in Africa & Asia (36 countries) – facilitate study tours, placements etc. for people to go to other countries for first-hand experience of good practices which they can take back and adapt to their own organisations’ work. Considering possible extension to include virtual knowledge sharing, and communities of partners. Also looking at internal KM/KS across the international organisation. Currently strong “vertical” flow between central offices & field offices but much less “horizontal” sharing / collaboration between programme offices. Lots of great experiences but only shared as through ‘reports’, which people don’t always have time to read, and might not have been described in a useful format for them. Pilot programme to encourage busy people to connect more with each other. Currently trying out Chatter. Culture of teleconferences but not previously used to facilitate CoPs
Lucie (Belgium) : Freelance consultant applying different participatory methods and using a variety of interactive tools to support knowledge sharing. I've been involved in KM4dev since its beginning in 2000 and acted as a part-time coordinator from 2002 to 2010. In that role, I facilitated the last focused discussions that had to do with using technology within the KM4dev community back in 2008-2009.
Nancy (USA): I co-wrote "Digital Habitats", along with John Smith and Etienne Wenger. So while I should theoretically "know" all this stuff, don't be fooled. I don't ;-) The contextual elements plus the rapid changing technology and social landscape in and outside of development makes this a place where learning is the number one job. You simply can't "know it all!"
Neil (UK): Involved with large, inclusive discussion space that brings together thousands of people to discuss issues around how to achieve a complex development goal. A “Community of Purpose,” using a specialised moderation approach called Reader-Focused Moderation.
Pete (UK) : Freelance, operating at the intersection of Knowledge, Information, Communication, ICT, social media and Development.
Peter (Italy) : the 'communities' I am involved with vary from district level stakeholders in WASH northern Uganda, to state and federal level WASH sector planners in Sudan and South Sudan to a still to emerge potentially large group of WASH stakeholders in Mali, Burkina, Niger and Ghana. Not to mention various thematic and regional groups within IRC and partners; my Netherlands based cycle club and of course... KM4dev in all its various permutations. At IRC we start to understand how to best use gotomeeting but not for CoPs so far. I reckon that Google+, including hangouts and the integration with virtually all other Google facilities has potential! But then some of us dream of using Rizzoma ;-)
Riff (Switzerland): Supporting development and use of corporate intranet (soon to also be an extranet) also providing coaching and direct facilitation of CoPs internally and among partners.
Rituu (India) : I work as share facilitator with a non-profit organisation. Part of my work is facilitation of a Ning community. Getting members to share is a challenge and I have used phone calls, skype and facebook to get responses. If I can learn more on this it will be very valuable in my work. I facilitate participatory practices and work with communities like sex workers, drug users, youth and geographical communities. Often communities want to use technology for sharing and learning with communities from other states or countries but there are challenges of literacy and internet connectivity. In one case, mobile phones were tried but most community members could not read text messages. I am looking for experiences and examples which have addressed such challenges and enabled virtual sharing.
Rob (Netherlands) : I work for ICCO, in a program that “embeds” ICT in economic activities of producer organizations and NGOs supporting them in 2 Latin American and 4 African countries. As a member of the Policy and Development team of ICCO I tend to play partly a Technology Steward role, but I also tend to stress process, (learning-) objectives and interaction-communication much more than technology. In this work I feel strong tensions between the tech-savvy front runners, with strong likes or dislikes for some specific functionality or disfunctionality, appeal or ugliness of any tool. I still think that e-mail is the best in our type of work where discontinuity in electricity and connectivity is a key feature in most of the towns and capitols we try to work with/from. Or will this quickly change with the smart-phone revolution?
Steve (USA) : I work at a US-based non-profit and support both domestic and international education programs. I've had experiences leading a number of professional learning communities across a variety of platforms.
Theron (USA) : I'm the Conservation Systems Program Director for The Nature Conservancy.
Willow (USA) : One of the things that I am working on as part of the Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project includes making digital literacy a core competence for leaders, managers, and those who govern in health. This is a follow-on project to the Leadership, Management, and Sustainability Project, which ended last year. The LMG Project just began in October and we are still sorting out connections, collaborations, and how to be generous with knowledge exchange using appropriate technology.
Worlali (Netherlands) : I am a graduate intern working with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). I have a background training in Agriculture and ICTs. My job (www.web2fordev.net) involves coordinating the organisation of Web 2.0 and Social Media training in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions and supporting the management of our online community. I also have a personal project of building an online community for professionals in Agriculture and Rural development related field in Ghana where I come from.