18 December 2007

The GK3 Phenomenon

Last week I was in KL with my colleague Charlotte, Dr Mangstl Director of FAO’s Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building Division, and about 1700 other great people dedicated to KM/IM/IT for development.

The meeting brought together all levels and focuses in development, or as the program said, GK3 sought to explore issues of emerging people, emerging markets, emerging technologies, and emerging solutions.

My congratulations to GKP and all those involved in organizing what came together as one of my “top 10” events for this year. The conference was well organized, dynamic and diverse, full of people with enthusiasm and a will to get things done.

Some conference highlights for me were:

  • the e-Agriculture forum (of course!)

  • catching up with the "new generation" who make up Thai RuralNet and similar organizations - they give me hope for the future (yes, I am getting older myself…)

  • meeting so many great people from industry, governments, NGOs, CSOs and other organizations that share a vision

  • playing with a OLPC laptop and learning more about the potential this offers
  • the infectious enthusiasm of the GKP staff that really made this event so great

  • the GKP 10 year anniversary party!

  • many more things, but this list has to pause somewhere…

There were many new friendships made and networks established and expanded. So many good ideas came up I think 2008 is going to be a very busy year! Stay tuned for more about what develops here :-)

17 December 2007

What is Web 2.0?

To me that question is actually pretty simple, albeit the term “Web 2.0” probably causes more confusion than it should. This isn't really about a new version of the World Wide Web. It's not a version upgrade of some traffic management switches or software.

Web 2.0 is about new technologies that bring the web closer to people. It is about new way to create content and communicate with others. It is about new means for networking, collaboration and idea generation.

Web 2.0 is: this blog; my del.icio.us bookmark collection; Wikipedia and Google docs for collaborative creation; Flickr managing images online; etc. If you have better examples, please share them with me.

Web 2.0 is the evolution of participation on the web.

A week-long dialogue took place 21-28 September 2007 focused on the use of information, communication, and associated technologies in sustainable agricultural development and food security. Known as "e-Agriculture week", this unique event included the Web 2.0 for Dev conference that opened with “The Machine is Us/ing Us”. If you have not seen this video clip, take 5 minutes and watch it on YouTube. It’s a great opener to these exciting and ongoing developments.

BTW, I've got a lot more to say about e-agriculture soon...

KM to Me (aka "Looking Back...")

I've been working in the field of information/knowledge mangment for development since I first joined the UN (FAO) about seven years ago now.

In this time the terms have evolved, "information", "knowledge", "ICT", "ICT4D", "KM", "KM4Dev", Web 2.0, etc., but in most cases I believe the intent remains the same - to help others by improving rural developoment (both the processes and the results).

My work involves capacity building (e.g. IMARK), networking people (e.g. PhilAgriNet), information management standards (AIMS), studying successful examples of rural ICT, and some other things. I'm devoted to the Asia-Pacific region in my current capacity. It's a great job, one that has opened my eyes to the world we live in and one that has hopefully allowed me to give something back.