Yours, network!

May 28, 2013 in Work

my network on APD 2013Nice. I just found this new feature of the Alumniportal Germany, that shows a map of all my contacts (click on the picture on the left side to see the large version). [Disclaimer: I work at GIZ’s unit managing the Alumniportal Germany]

Hi to everyone, from Canada via South Africa to Indonesia. Let’s stay in touch! And I am happy to see that the portal is moving one step closer in the direction of “showing” networks and communities. Which is a genuine challenge, as I discussed in a previous blog post titled “Non-“Sense”?! Why you can’t touch an online network (yet)

P.S. 1: unfortunately I had to cut the Fidji Islands and my friends from over there from the picture for space reasons, sorry). P.S. 2: If you are a user of the Alumniportal Germany, you should find the map with your own network at MY CONTACTS -> MY NETWORK. The URL should be [replace YOURUSERNAME accordingly] https://www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/community/pg/netzwerkkarte/YOURUSERNAME [This will be a link to content within the Alumniportal Germany (register or login first to access the link)]____
Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.

„Amorphous action communities for commons-based peer production“ – some thoughts on networking in the future

November 1, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

seibold_future of global networking for international cooperationYesterday, I tried to put the future of „global networking for international cooperation“ in one slide –  looking five to ten years ahead. My first problem was to find a name for the future. I ended up with „Amorphous action communities for open innovation and [commons-based] peer production (globally connected, innovating locally)“.

Then, I outlined some of intermediate steps in networking such as „Open networks of trust“ and „Communities of Practice“, which we are already seeing popping up. My final guess was on some of the driving forces, that will lead us from today’s networks all the way to the „amorphous action communities“.

So here’s the picture, with the steps and the driving forces:

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Why open innovation helps to scale up development impact – Great new article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

September 6, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

Steel Wool Sparks on the Beach

Now that is sparkling (innovation?) – Picture by: Evan Photo Extremist, licenced under CC BY-ND 2.0, source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thevlue/5813641070/sizes/z/in/photostream/

The Stanford Social Innovation Review just published an article on “Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling” – Good chances, that this paper will become my personal “favorite article of 2012”. Why?

Well, the paper manages to explain in just two pages and in plain words, why open innovation has the potential to drastically increase the impact of development interventions. It is very prone to scale. As they sum it up: “Open innovation enables community participation, distributed accountability, and knowledge creation—all behaviors that provide the groundwork for scale”.

So let us all work on getting the five tips right in our own work, which are:
Tip 1: Turn beneficiaries into co-creators
Tip 2: Move from enterprise to ecosystem
Tip 3: Master the art of gifting
Tip 4: Spark entrepreneurship inside and outside your organization
Tip 5: Allow for mutability

Very relevant stuff indeed for development cooperation and international cooperation. For more info (on two pages), check Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling or here on the Alumniportal: APD-copy of Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling [This is a link to content within the Alumniportal Germany (register or login first to access the link)]. Cheers, Balthas

P.S. Thanks and Kudos to Jeremy de Beer who pointed me to the article.

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Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.

New course sign up! Tutoring for eLearning Communities, Tutored Online Course of the GC21 E-Academy

August 2, 2012 in Freedom to learn

The GC21 E-Academy of GIZ has just started to take in applications for a new round of an online course on “Tutoring for eLearning Communities”. This might be of interest to anyone who works for institutions involved in e-learning or who is closely related to a network of institutions that aim to enhance their capacity on e-learning within their country and/or region. More on the site. Cheers, Balthas

Link: shop.gc21-eacademy.org

Non-“Sense”?! Why you can’t touch an online network (yet)

June 18, 2012 in Freedom to learn

Can you spot the community on this picture? Servers of the Alumniportal Germany - photo: Balthas Seibold, licence: see this website's license.

Can you spot the community on this picture? Servers of the Alumniportal Germany – photo: Balthas Seibold, licence: see this website’s license.

Recently, I had the pleasure to host a group of international experts who wanted to learn more about our alumni networks as part of a “sensing journey”. So I tried to have them “sense” the 50.000 plus members of the communities on the “Alumniportal Germany”, which in real life live in in more than 180 countries. But of course, there is no way to “sense” an electronic networks, to “touch” the links between the members, to “feel” an online profile or to “enter” an online group. The only thing that you can see in our building is a couple of grey computers (hosting all of the above, see picture.)

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India, the (knowledge) commons and a plan for the future of democracy

April 25, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Asia

copyright: wikipedia, licensed under a creative commons share alike license, see www.wikipedia.org

An example of a self-goverened commons: Wikipedia. Copyright: wikipedia, licensed under a creative commons share alike license, see www.wikipedia.org

It is rare these days to see high-level government thinkers talk about the commons. Here is one: Arun Maira of Indias Planning Commission makes the point that commons-based models are important tools to plan for the future of democracy worldwide.

Here is the summary: “The world is full of complex problems, but humanity’s main organizational tools — governments and markets — leave much to be desired. Arun Maira, a member of India’s Planning Commission and previously the chairman of Boston Consulting Group in India, points to a third way.”

Statue of Gandhij in  Baroda, now called Vadodara, India / Picture by Brian Glanz / Licenced under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianglanz/2767070246/

Statue of Gandhij in Baroda, now called Vadodara, Ghandi, in my view, was one of the inventors of the “commons” for a common good.  / Picture by Brian Glanz / Licenced under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianglanz/2767070246/

I like his focus on “Four L’s” — localization, lateralization, learning and listening, and of course his praise of Ostrom. My only criticism is, that the piece is not dwelling enough on the issue of “knowledge as a commons”, but that may be the next topic of the Indian planning commission …

And here’s the full piece.

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Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.