Managing “le savoir”

The date is set: 5 October 2009, in back to back with the annual KM4DEV event, the first cobbles on the road to a francophone community of practice on learning for development will be paved, in Brussels the modern Babel tower!

The objectives are two-fold:
– to introduce the IKM Emergent discourse in the francophone arena;
– to explore the possibilities of developing a community of practice on learning for development.

There are a couple of very interesting aspects around this double bill: a francophone community of practice could potentially emerge out of the discussion, even though the ever shardy question of funding remains unclear so far; it will be an excellent opportunity to explore the discourse around learning and KM among francophones and find out how the francophone and anglophone communities could complement each other – discussing different topics in different ways – and establish bridges between them;

The question for me a) what is really driving the francophone learning agenda (if there is such a thing in the first place) and b) whether francophones and anglophones can indeed have meaningful joint group discussions.

I obviously think it’s important and necessary but our work in West Africa shows that it is a real challenge to stimulate learning and sharing across languages – though perhaps for other reasons in that region such as administrative differences making experiences very difficult to compare. As for the first question, it comes from a lot of doubts I have had regarding the way quite a few francophones seem to frame the concepts of learning and knowledge management. A discussion that took place in 2007 about this on the KM4DEV mailing list is briefly referred to in Julie Ferguson et. al.’s meta review and scoping study of knowledge management for development (See pp. 28 and beyond).

Multiple knowledges, multiple=

Multiple knowledges, multiple languages: cacophony or symphony?

At any rate, I cannot wait to start this and hope that the results will exceed my expectations. With a Spanish-speaking community of practice in shaping in the KM4DEV community too, the ‘multiple knowledges’ that form the red thread of the IKM emergent programme are all coming to the fore. Will it be a symphony or a cacophony?

If you want to join the reflection about setting up a francophone community of practice or wish to join the discussions in October, simply let Ewen know or register and leave your details on:

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