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Response to Andrius on MyFoodStory/working at HH and other forums

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  • Janet Feldman
    Dear Andrius and All, It s great that this project is swinging into action: immense thanks to you and Greg for your work to make this happen, and my very best
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 20, 2006
      Dear Andrius and All,

      It's great that this project is swinging into action:  immense thanks to you and Greg for your work to make this happen, and my very best wishes to the teams doing upcoming segments.

      Since you want to start a new group of his own for Sam (in conjunction with his MFS work), I may in future--if I lead a team for MyFoodStory--decide to do so at Holistic Helping. Perhaps I can do chickens...I will tailor it around the stories and needs of the communities in which I'm working, so I will see what feedback they have about this (around what foods there are the most stories, and what will be useful for them as producers and consumers).

      I do not have time to lead a team until next spring, though (at the earliest in Feb), so if anyone at HH wants to lead a team on our behalf,  I will be delighted to host one project, and will be available for advice, networking, and for helping in whatever way I can. Perhaps Maria would be interested, or Kennedy, Lenny, Helen, Ibrahim, Tom, Wendi, Benoit?  As you point out, Andrius, there are many great potential investigators at HH, and each one of them could either lead a team or be a member of one.
      If anyone at HH wants to work with a team in another forum, that's fine too. I would like to see some work on this project happen at HH, however, if possible. This is not so much about the money--though some of our members could put it to work at the local level in invaluable ways--as it is abt teamwork, and even more pertinent the focus on agriculture, nutrition, food security, social justice, fair trade, which interests most or all members and has some direct connection to our individual and collective work.

      I am very interested in the work being done by Wendi and Actwid Kongadzem on artemisia, and this is a plant with many uses, so there is a holistic aspect to that. Wendi, would this interest you?  Alternately, Kennedy and I could do some good work on MyFoodStory in linkage to GRASSUP NOW. I'm very interested to work with Steve-Jeff-Dante too, wherever and however we can work together.

      I have been thinking about leading a team at Learning From Each Other. While I greatly appreciate the honor and offer, I am not sure this is the best approach for me time-wise or in terms of energy and focus, so I hope Pam will be able to lead a team herself, or perhaps find someone w/whom she works directly, at the grassroots in Nigeria. I am open to re-evaluating that next spring, but wanted to let you know where things stand now in my thinking.

      I am happy to do networking as needed too for others, to gather stories on foods or crops (from those w/whom I may have a link on that particular crop).

      Sam, Tom, Wendi, Maria, Lenny, Helen, Benoit, and all, let's continue to work at HH on projects about which we are passionate, and in particular related to e-learning, learning centres, and sustainable development. 

      Andrius, I want to respond to your observation too:   "please let's realize that we will be engaging people and they are of a very wide range of consciousness, at least in the online sense.  Janet and all, it is very important to keep separate how things seem to you (a few handfuls who may be signed up to 10 groups) and how they seem to 90% of our 1000+ lurkers (who typically are signed up to 1 group) and all the people in between.  My goal, with our help, is to plan out how to engage people who will be participating at different levels."

      I am all for trying to engage people who are at different levels of interest, involvement, participation, and online ability. My comment on your desire for an "explosion of email" relates exactly to this point:  some people may be at different levels participation-wise because they want to be (so might not want any more mail than is generated already), and those who have a smaller email capacity may not be able to handle an explosion of mails, whether in one forum or 10.

      A number of people in HH are signed up with different forums, and have been among our most active members, with locations in the USA, Canada, Africa, Europe. My concern is to ensure that they do not get overwhelmed, and this extends to others in all forums too. You yourself mentioned this as a concern, asking me how many mails you think people can handle at HH. My answer is partly related to your question. People might be able to handle 4-5 mails a day, but that may be the max, and if there are many more forums and also a lot more mail, that will become a challenge if not a problem--at least in the short term--until we "evolve" to address this growth.

      I'm concerned about this process of growth for the Lab possibly conflicting with the focus needed for the MyFoodStory project. That's why I would ask us to consider having a place which is "mail central" for the project. This might be at SA, if Steve is amenable to the idea?  The reason being that all mails-research-stories-reports could be posted in such a way that teams would have one convenient place to converse, converge, and otherwise tap into whatever is going on with the project (I mean a forum, not just a website or wiki).
      This could be especially important for investigators, who may not be Lab members. If they are at the grassroots and have less email access, they would most likely welcome having communication, information, and a linked-in feeling with other teams, while not having to subscribe to a number of forums and get lots of mail from each.

      I am eager to see the same growth as you are; to me it's more a question of timing and linkages. Members, the Lab, our work individually and collectively...these are as important to me as they are to you and to us all, Andrius.

      With all best wishes and blessings, Janet

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