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Re: Starting "collaborators connect"

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  • Janet Feldman
    Dear Pam and All, Thanks immensely for this exciting and uplifting letter, and especially for the possibilities of meaningful (and magical !) collaboration,
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 22, 2011

      Dear Pam and All,


      Thanks immensely for this exciting and uplifting letter, and especially for the possibilities of meaningful (and "magical"!) collaboration, both together with one another, as well as with the spirit and the legacy that was and is Maria Agnese.


      I am delighted to see names I know in your letter--John Dada, Christina Jordan, Tobias Eigen--in addition to members of our various circles, from Dadamac to Holistic Helping, Mendenyo to LearningFromEachOther, Nafsi Afrika Acrobats to ActALIVE.


      I wanted to post this acknowledgement today, and a note about being offline tomorrow, but back on Thursday, when I will be able to respond in a more meaningful way. I hope a number of us will post something before March 26th, Maria's memorial, and that we will each hold her in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts on that day, so that--wherever and however far-flung we may be--we will be collaborating together to honor her and what she meant and gave to her friends, colleagues, and to the world.


      With blessings and greatest appreciation, and love to all! Janet

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Pamela McLean
      Sent: Mar 22, 2011 10:01 AM
      To: dadamac-collaborators-connect@..., Janet Feldman , learningfromeachother
      Subject: Starting "collaborators connect"

      Dear Janet - and other potential members of "collaborators connect" at http://dadamac-collaborators-connect.posterous.com/

      Starting collaborators connect

      Janet - You asked about “collaborators connect”.

      It's an idea that been with me for some time – and now I'm doing something about it. Like many things I do, "collaborators connect" comes from recognising people with shared interests (interests that I also know something about) and then helping them/us to do useful stuff together (thanks to the Internet). Exactly what will happen in “collaborators connect” is something that will emerge as we start to connect with each other and collaborate. I do have some thoughts and expectations, but it all depends on who decides to collaborate, and what their interests are. I hope to facilitate rather than direct.

      Connections with Maria and others

      Maria and I had talked "collaborators connect" and related issues now and again on skype, and she was keen to be included. That is what makes me think that starting the group now would be an appropriate thing to do, while we are thinking about Maria, and her life and work, and how projects and people that were dear to her heart can continue to be connected and active together.

      Other people that I shared the idea of “collaborators connect” with early on were Christina Jordan and Tobias Eigen. Christina's work has been in Uganda, with a strong ICT element to it. She is based in Europe now, but is still actively involved. Tobias is the founder of Kabissa, which is well known for its innovative work in ICT and for enabling organisations in Africa to use the Internet more easily. They both liked the idea that we should collaborate, helping each other to connect up with people and to develop collaborative projects, but there was no urgency to get anything started.

      Now it is different. We do have a reason to get started, as part of our memorial to Maria. The idea behind "collaborators connect" is simply that we can do more together than we can do apart.

      Existing foundations

      “Collaborators connect” will build on the foundations of the kind of collaboration that John Dada and I have been doing in Dadamac (I'm the “mac” of “Dadamac”). I suggest that we all look at what is useful from what John and I do together, and then see how we can help everyone in collaborators connect to help each other in similar ways.

      I know John well, I know his work at Fantsuam Foundation first hand, and we have collaborated with each other in one way or another (online and face-to-face) for many years. This means that when I'm in London, and when I'm on the Internet, I can act as his eyes and ears, and in many situations I can speak for him. I can recognise situations and opportunities that would be of interest to him, and let him know about them. Also, when I meet people who have a genuine interest in what is going on at the grassroots in Nigeria, I can put them directly in touch with John. I can help them to exchange information, to learn from each other, and to explore possibilities for collaboration. Also, and this may be the most useful thing, I raise the visibility of his work on the Internet and I provide an “online space” where he can store and share much of his information. (Obviously, I don't have the same close connections with everyone who might join “collaborators connect” as I have with John. This means I can't represent everyone's interests in exactly the same way - but the structures and systems that I've set up for him are available to share and we'll develop more.)


      Within the group different people will be able to help each other in different ways. These are some things that I can do:
      • Provide a focal point and “online home” where we can connect and collaborate
      • Make available the structures, and information handling systems, that we have developed in Dadamac
      • Raise the visibility of people and their projects
      • Share any useful information that I find online or in meetings in and around London
      • Help everyone in collaborators connect to share information, to network, to bring in new people, and to support each other.
      I don't want to say too much about how I see the group emerging (other than putting the emphasis on information, knowledge and networks). I hope it will become what the collaborators want it to be and need it to be. 

      Digital not physical

      Please note that the emphasis is on information, knowledge and networks. I see "collaborators connect" as a way to share information, and work together in ways that are appropriate for online collaboration - because online collaboration is what I can offer.

      If people decide to collaborate on projects that involve “physical stuff” not just “digital information” that is somewhat different. Such projects can be started in “collaborators connect”, but as " physical stuff” is not really the focus of "collaborators connect" it may be best to work on the details in a separate online space, to avoid confusion (I can help to set up such spaces).

      Posts to "Dadamac collaborators connect" are public

      This e-mail may come to you individually or through the posterous site http://dadamac-collaborators-connect.posterous.com/ or in some other way. (Please feel free to pass it on to other potential collaborators). 

      Please note that posting to our posterous is like writing a blog - but as easy as sending an email.  It is a shared blog, all people named as contributors can write to it. Blogs are written for anyone to see, they are very public, however your e-mail address will not appear when you post, that will remain private.

      If I add your name to the contributors list then you will be able to post directly to the group and everyone on the Internet - you just send your email to dadamac-collaborators-connect@....(if I have not added your name yet as a contributor but you would like to be included please email me, pamela.mclean@...). I'm guessing who will want to be included - I apologise for any mistakes I may make initially by adding anyone who does not wish to be added, or being slow to add someone who does want to be included)


      I invite you to join in “collaborators connect” and see how we can be stronger together by connecting and collaborating.


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