Notes and Information from the May 14 Workshop at CSIR/Pretoria

You can find all the general resources, slides etc on this page.
SOME of the photos can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/choconancy/sets/72157623952208749/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/35494899@N07/page1/
Original Event Invite: http://events.linkedin.com/Stewarding-technology-online-communities/pub/273952

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Three Words feedback at end of workshop


  • Wow interesting technology
  • Aha vibrant frustrating
  • Visit website at last
  • Inspiring infectious creative
  • Humbling opportunity re-apply
  • Exciting experiencing overwhelming
  • Linking Social <with> IT
  • Spidergram SWOT analysis
  • Interesting confusing --
  • kick in the brain
  • change thoughts future
  • interesting surprising --
  • creative socialites go-getter
  • change culture --
  • purpose-driven technology
  • learning conceptualizing planning
  • informative session
  • tools fit community
  • fun eye-opening exciting
  • rethink spidergram purpose
  • communities define success
  • discussion wiki discussion
  • complex do-able inspiring
  • new perspectives --
  • think different <in> future
  • purpose with commitment
  • -- switch --
  • Consider user communities
  • Purpose purpose purpose
  • Inspiring collaboration
  • Much to ponder
  • Social connections
  • Snooze <and> you loose
  • <right> attitude confidence engagement
  • Focus plans roles
  • Rethink rethink let go (copycat do)
  • Chocolate time thanks


Pretoria Agenda

Workshop Description

Technology has changed what it means for knowledge communities (project teams, work groups, forums, communities of practice, learning communities) to ‘be together’. Digital tools are an integral part of the habits – the way in which most such communities’ exist. One of the key questions online communities have to address is selecting the most appropriate technologies to support their needs. Together with Etienne Wenger and John D. Smith, Nancy White developed a new literacy and language to describe the practice of stewarding technology for communities.

Technology stewards are people with enough experience of the workings of knowledge communities to understand its technology needs and to be able to take leadership in addressing those needs. Stewardship typically includes selecting and configuring technology, as well as supporting its use in the practice of the community. This interactive workshop will focus on the development of the aptitude, skill and ability of professionals to lead as technology stewards.

  • The concept of technology stewardship and significance thereof in today’s world
  • Community orientations and how to design digital habitats for these
  • Designing and facilitating for polarities in online communities
  • Methods for introducing new tools, and working with barriers and resistance.

Draft Agenda

8:00 - 8:30 Human Spectrogram Exercise
8:30 - 9:15 Introducing Community Technology Stewardship & Digital Habitats
9:15 - 10:00 World Cafe on Technology Stewardship in Our Work
10:00 - 10:20 Tea
10:20 - 11:00 Introducing & Mapping Polarities
11:00 - 11:30 Introducing Community Orientations
11:30 - 12:30 Community Orientations Exercise
12:30 - 1:30 Lunch
1:30 - 2:30 So what about the technologies? Scanning, Picking and Implementing (case study)
2:30 - 3:00 Tactical Tool Introduction Strategies
3:00- 3:15Tea
3:15 - 3:45 Peer Groups on Personal Next Steps
3:45 - 4:30 Looking to the Future - World Cafe and reflection/summary (we didn't do this)

Who is Coming?

If you'd like to share a bit about yourself in advance, please register (look in the upper right hand corner) and then click "edit page" and you can add a bit about yourself and if you would, something you'd like to see happen at the workshop.

Dries Velthuizen. I am a KM consultant focussing on the interface between research, knowledge production, learning and community or bussiness innovation. I need to learn more about the use of technology to enable collaboration and sharing among people. I am specifically looking for practical tools that can be implemented in the "real world", meaning developing societies.

Ria Groenewald: The way technology can connect people that would never have met in real live, and what it can do for research blows my mind. Still, I sometimes feel that some of the tools available overflow and confuse people. I am looking forward to learn more on the "how to" of technology stewardship and using it to enhance our working environment.
I am especially interested in how this fluid environment can be preserved for ongoing future access.


Elmi Bester: I am passionate about the new ways of relating, knowing and working that is unfolding in the Knowledge Age, and extremely curious to see and understand the dynamics of all these new tools and spaces out there. Sometimes this 'wave' feels more like a tsunami - so I am looking forward to this opportunity to learn more about how to go about how to understand what tools fits certain communities and contexts, and also how to on-board people into these community spaces! It is more than only showing them the how-to's. This is JIT learning for one of the major initiatives we are working on - namely establishing the so-called Virtual Knowledge Commons in the CSIR.
And you can learn a lot about gardening and cooking in this brave new 2.0 world! Lastly, I have a confession - I am a Farmville addict -rationalising it by saying that maybe we need to learn from Farmville how they manage to lock in so many adults in this ongoing quest. Just imagine if we can have this network of knowledge farms... (Please forward me the details for Farmville Anonymous)


Adèle van der Merwe: I need to understand the new ways of relating and the related dynamics of the tools, especially in the context of curation and preservation of that which is shared - how can we ensure access in future, how do we select what to keep etc. And in light of major security gaps in Facebook and similar tools, what should be shared.

Marié Theron As Information Specialist at the University of Pretoria Library Services my enthusiasm for postgraduate students research support offers many opportunities for innovative ideas. I hope to learn from this workshop how online communities may present new ways of supporting our valued postgraduate researchers, as well as undergraduates.

Heila Pienaar (UP): I am involved in the design and development of VRE's (virtual research environments) / subject gateways with Martie van Deventer of the CSIR. I think this course could give us interesting insights. I also think that librarians can play the role of technolgy steward for their communities.

Refilwe Matatiele (UP): I am an information specialist for Economics and Business Management. I think the subject librarian of the 21st century need to be on top of things as our users needs and expectation are ever changing. there are chages in the economy, IT and there is a global pressure in the information services outside the library. it is cources like this that will keep us informed and knowlegdeable

Melanie Sutton: I like to think of myself as a global knowledge citizen ;0). I work as a KM consultant and am involved in various Communities of Practice. Currently, we are putting together a new KM Network Community with the intent on reaching far and wide both in South Africa and globally, to encourage physical and virtual collaboration about Knowledge Management and associated topics. We are interested in creating links between existing networks and not reinventing the wheel! I am extremely keen to find out how we can use digital communities to make our vision a reality. I am also keen to see what other people are doing or would like to do! And I love being at the Knowledge Commons even if it means crossing the 'boerewors curtain'! ;0)

Di Kruger: the Bank is starting to implement Sharepoint and I hope to learn how to encourage people to contribute and learn to share their knowledge.

Retha Prinsloo: I work for a large financial institution and would like to explore the balance between regulation and participation to support sharing of knowledge and expertise.
The old concept of 'capturing knowledge' and making it explicit has always underestimated the processing required to enable standardisation and re-use on a broader scale. Apart form near-immediate interaction social networking tools are also a way of capturing knowledge for processing. The following statement captures is nicely:
“There exists a massive amount of information that needs to be processed, packaged and presented to those who need it, and thus become usable knowledge,” he explains. To be effective, such provision of knowledge must not be a static one-shot presentation, but a dynamic, systematically updated source, he advises.
- Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN GAID) Source: http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33007:un-portal-promotes-development-goals&catid=262
I'm of the opinion that good moderation and a bit of stucture (in capturing) can ensure secondary use (after processing) of a lot of the content of social networking databases - and then there's text mining type research, BI potential and other types of initiatives that could ensure real use of the content captured by both clients but also employees....

Madelein van Heerden: As part of the team responsible for the establishment of virtual spaces for the CSIR's research impact areas I look forward to learn more about applying appropriate tools and technologies to support the needs of our researchers.

Martha de Waal (UPLS): I am the project co-ordinator for the Centre of African Library Leadership (CALL), established within the Merensky Library at the University of Pretoria. I am involved in Library Leadership development with the need to facilitate online communities of practice for emerging library leaders and the alumni of the Library Leadership Academies that are being offered by the CALL. I am looking forward to learn how online communities can assist in uplifting the leadership standard of the library profession.