Sunday, February 22, 2009

A month later: Reflecting on the lessons and feedback from the Share Fair

Only a month ago, during the Knowledge Share Fair, the FAO building and atrium was buzzing with energy and had become a learning and meeting hub for members of management and colleagues from Bioversity, CGIAR ICT-KM programme, FAO, IFAD and WPF.

For three days it was a common sight to see the organizing committee's members of management running into each other, engaging in formal and causal conversations. For three days it was a common sight to see colleagues having an opportunity to engage in casual conversation with members of senior management.

Only a month ago, the knowledge tree in the atrium was experiencing a wonderful spring as participants added leaves carrying their ideas, experiences, words of wisdom and inspiration.

Only a month ago the various meeting rooms at FAO saw meetings held in a different and innovative way and witnessed enthusiastic participants rushing from one session to another.

Only a month ago the e-learning lab and facilitation room witnessing a wonderful buzz as participants were telling each other about the new knowledge sharing tools, methods and techniques they had just learnt.

A month down the road, all of us feel more enriched. We now have bigger networks, new friends and new peers. The Share Fair has managed to demystify KM for lots of people. As a result, the various organizations are embracing and embedding KM methods, tools and techniques in their core processes. There is more awareness about the power and potential of Web2.0 tools as KM enablers which has led to more willingness to use these tools. The Share Fair has also helped create new networks and partnership between and among organizations.

The results of survey launched during the Share Fair shows that 67.3% of the respondents considered the Share Fair as a breath of fresh air, while 55% thought it was innovative. 66.5% of respondents rated the sessions as interesting, 52.2% said that they learnt something new, and 31% considered the various sessions as creative.

The hands-on sessions were a smashing success, followed by the booths and the technical sessions. The poster and video sessions were far from being successful.

The feedback also indicated that there were far too many sessions and a suggestion was put forward to repeat sessions. Another useful feedback came from our non-anglophone colleagues pointing out that they could not fully benefit from the various sessions because of language barrier. All of these are priceless feedback and will help make the next edition better.

Only a month ago we lived the energizing buzz of Share Fair. Together we learnt that is possible to bring about change, convert the KM cynics to KM practitioners. Now the challenge is to keep up the momentum and as Anatole France once said: "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another." So when are we going to start working on the 2010 edition of Knowledge Share Fair?

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