Wednesday, April 17, 2013

International development conferences and new ways to present them

Have you already heard about sketched notes? Have you already experimented new ways or new IT tools to engage participants in conferences and meetings?

Networking, knowledge exchanges and debate are very important in global development. Here are a couple of examples of new ways of conferencing.

IT for dynamic conferences

Last week I found and interesting post from Duncan Green on his blog "From poverty to power" talking about some impressions and conclussions from the 5th Global Forum on Development discussing post2015 and what comes after the MDGs.
These international events are for Green sometimes  "a series of soporific panels in a lightless room", but for this OECD event, there where some IT tools that have made the conference more participative and attractive.

The first innovation was a twitterwall: "tweets with the conference hashtag appeared on the same screen as the speakers (and on the monitors that the speakers used to see their own powerpoints). "

The result was that participants (whether inside the room or watching online) were feeling more freedom to criticize (the most critical ones were from junior OECD staff).Twitter brought "democratization" to the conference's Q&A times, acting as an ally of meritocracy, the voice of strangers.

The second innovation was using a conference app called wisembly.com where people could vote for questions and issues as they emerged during the seminar and ‘like’ the tweets.

Live visualization and sketched notes

Another great initiative is what Julian R. Kücklich did during the German Development Institute's Forum for Media and Development 
Kücklich wrote on his site " I was also interested to see people’s reactions, but in the end I was too focused on what I was doing to look around much. However, the feedback I received afterwards was overwhelmingly positive."

Watch below the slideshow of Julian's sketched notes, a "graphic recording" of interesting information about Global media development, human rights, press freedom, new technologies, transparency, African News innovation challenge, social media, Data journalism, etc.

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