So what do you do if you don’t switch on your computer before you enter a big, crowded room, like the one we were in this morning for the opening ceremony of the ShareFair in FAO? Not nice to disturb everybody with the typical start sound of Windows, so I decided to take notes and photos with my mobile.

Social reporting at the ShareFair09

Social reporting at the ShareFair09

While all the facilitators were conscientiously blogging and twitting on their laptops (and one iPhone), I was furiously typing away on my Nokia  taking notes. Which has a good side to it: being fast at typing, usually I capture lots of what is being said. Having to type with two fingers on a small keyboard helped me capture just the gist of the opening speeches.

I was also taking photos with my mobile. Quality is not fantastic, but still good enough to catch the spirit of the moment (all the good ones are included in this post).

When I got back to my computer, I transferred the notes and pictures to  via Bluetooth, put together the text and edited it.

And here’s the result.

Enrica highlighted the importance of sharing the results of
CGIAR research in innovative ways.

Enrica on screen

Enrica on screen

Rodney Cooke, IFAD, underlined that
effectiveness depends on how well they share their knowledge with partners. Anton Mangstl, FAO, talked about the recommendation of the evaluation to break down the walls among the thematic areas of expertise inFAO.

Then Geoff Parcell took the floor for a keynote packed with interesting examples of knowledge sharing both from the private and non-profit sector. He explained how the knowledge management strategy at BP came about and illustrated their KM framework.

BP's knowledge management framework (a slide captured from possibly the only one powerpoint slideshow at the ShareFair)

BP's knowledge management framework (a slide captured from possibly the only one powerpoint slideshow at the ShareFair)

Some key points from the keynote:

There’s no end to the databases that an organization can produce, the problem is that hardly anybody uses it. So KM cannot be considered a mere information system development initiative. There’s no point in producing more.

Knowledge can’t actually be captured, it’s more meaningful looking at KM over a spectrum between connecting people and collecting information. Conversations can work better than reading a great quantity of books.

There are different types of knowledge and each one of us makes sense of it out of their experience.  But experience of the world is different, sense making depends on sharing experience. We’re not neutral in this process. Generalising helps us towards a common way of sensing.

The final messages:

  • Let knowledge flow don’t manage it.
  • Reflection, advocacy and inquiry.
  • Recognise the strengths.
  • Recognise external knowledge.
  • Connect, collaborate, share.

About the last point: it sounds a lot like the ICT-KM’s tagline “Collaborate, Create, Communicate”.

More picks from the keynote in this post from Nadia and this one from Lucie