The Share Fair presents a unique opportunity and novel approach to find out directly from the staff involved, and exchange views with them, on how Bioversity International, the CGIAR ICT-KM programme, FAO, IFAD and WFP have applied new methods of communication and knowledge sharing to improve the effectiveness and impact of their work. It will also feature examples of activities at the country level and those making use of local and indigenous knowledge as appropriate.

Sharing information and knowledge through formal publications and corporate web sites has been a principal activity of the Rome-based organizations for many years. However, this only represents institutional knowledge which has been expressed in written form. The accumulated personal expertise, experience and practical knowledge of staff within an organization remains largely confined to themselves and the circle of people with whom they interact. Moreover, the current institutional culture has perhaps not always facilitated the sharing of personal knowledge within and between organizations. In many cases there is a common need to provide staff with the enabling environment to freely and openly exchange ideas, best practices and lessons learned in ways that foster and nurture networking, reciprocal trust and cooperation.

The Share Fair can therefore be seen as a concrete response to that need. It underscores the key role of knowledge sharing and collaboration between the Rome-based agencies. During this innovative event, the FAO Atrium will become a vibrant, interactive and collaborative workspace, a kind of “play area” for learning. Online demonstrations will be made at attractive stalls. There will be coached and facilitated sessions for people to learn how others have creatively used knowledge sharing techniques to improve the effectiveness and quality of their work, and participants will be able to assess how they themselves can apply similar approaches in their own areas of work. Some decentralized offices will be involved via web-conferencing, extending the event beyond the confines of Rome to countries that have perhaps the greatest need for knowledge and information.

In addition to Rome-based collegues many from CGIAR centers around the world will join us in this Fair. Stay tuned to hear from them what they are learning….