Joe Researcher has been working on a smallholder cacao project in Ecuador. He gradually realizes his role is not only that of a researcher, but also as mediator in his project partners’ network between his fellow scientists and the cacao farmers. When he reframes his work to consider how knowledge emerges, flows, and is shared across the project, he was amazed to discover how productive and focused his team became. Three of his early lessons were (1) network weaving – finding and connecting people; (2) convening useful gatherings for project work; and (3) keeping the project information flow moving outwards. He used to think the third lesson or area was his priority, but discovered that without the first two areas, the information was often ignored or misapplied. After investing in the three areas, he finds that, in fact, he had more time to do his research and easier access to his partners for consultations.
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