Friday, 15 June 2012

Proud to receive a Knowledge Management award as part of UNDP's KM team

During the last three years, I have been working in a small team at UNDP's Knowledge Management Group working on a number of KM initiatives such as connecting UN agencies with regards to KM topics, supporting UNDP's communities of pratices on development topics related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and on establishing the social collaboration platform "Teamworks" for UNDP and its partners. I am therefore quite proud that UNDP as an organization has now received the prestigious "Column of Knowledge Award 2012" by Knowledge Management Austria (KMA) in Vienna, Austria, for its “outstanding efforts and achievements to promote the idea of knowledge societies”.

The UNDP website features a respective article here, quoting the Managing Director of KMA, Mr Andreas Brandner, highlighting “UNDP’s role in connecting UN Organizations with Knowledge Management" and in particular emphasizing Teamworks as “the most promising knowledge management initiative within the UN focusing on knowledge networking within a global knowledge partnership”. Mr Brander also mentions UNDP’s “effort on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals, to document MDG (uneven) achievements with case studies, good stories, supported by videos, and other media, which were tremendous and outstanding within the UN”.

My colleague, Giulio Quaggiotto, UNDP’s Practice Leader for Knowledge and Innovation at the UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava accepted the the award on May 31st on behalf of UNDP, and during his keynote speech highlighted the importance of focusing on people and cultural change, becoming a real time organisation by harnessing the power of social networks and the digital footprint, and harnessing the knowledge outside of UNDP through initiatives such as the RioDialogues (see my earlier blog post here).

According to KMA's letter to UNDP informing the organization about the award, "the Knowledge Management Award is presented annually by Knowledge Management Austria to one personality with outstanding achievements in the field of knowledge politics and knowledge management, as well as to one international organization with a global impact on knowledge societies." Since the foundation of the Austrian Knowledge Partnership, two other UN organizations have received the award, namely the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2010 and UNESCO in 2011.

For more information on Knowledge Management Austria and the award ceremony, including pictures, presentations and the entire Laudation text, please follow this link:

Friday, 8 June 2012

Working on global crowd-sourced recommendations for upcoming Rio+20 UN Conference

Many of you know that I work for the United Nations, but usually I don't talk so much about the specific UN-nature of my work as my thoughts regarding Knowledge Management can have a live by themselves, regardless of whether I work for the UN or not. As of late, however, my team was working on a project which is so interesting (and still very much KM-related), that I definitely want to share it here. I need to give background information though...

20 years ago, all UN nations met in Rio de Janeiro to discuss for the first time as part of a world summit issues around sustainable development: the idea that we as societies and economies need to develop without jeopardizing the health of the planet and the development of future generations.

This July, 20 years later, the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development will review the status of the world and progress made, and discuss further measures. In preparation to this conference, the government of Brazil invited 12,000 people from NGOs as well as normal citizens to the "Rio Dialogues", a process to discuss which issues should be brought forward to the heads of states during the upcoming conference. The topics of these Rio Dialogues have been clustered around ten areas 
  • Food and nutrition security
  • Sustainable development for fighting poverty
  • Sustainable development as an answer to the economic and financial crises
  • The economics of sustainable development, including sustainable patterns of production and consumption
  • Sustainable cities and innovation
  • Unemployment, decent work and migrations
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Oceans
  • Forests
Our team in UNDP has been working with the Brazil government on this, providing them with a social knowledge platform (the Teamworks platform that UNDP has developed and is using since 3 years), adapting the platform to the purposes of the Rio Dialogues, as well as supporting the process with a number of knowledge management and community facilitation specialists to make the discussions a success, as well as staff providing technical support for the platform itself. 

For each of the above topics, ten recommendations have been selected by the 12,000 platform participants (done via a crowd-sourced market mechanism within the platform) to be put to a public vote in which every citizen of the world can participate! The top three recommendations resulting from this global public vote will then be brought forward to the Heads of States (including yours!) that this is what the global citizens want.

Such a direct link of public opinion to the negotiations of heads of governments is unprecedented, and marks a milestone in the process of including civil society in international policy processes. 

So seize the opportunity and be part of this historic milestone, cast your vote for the future you want

until Friday, June 15 at