Author copy: The new enlightenment: a potential objective for the KM4Dev community

The network Knowledge Management for Development, KM4Dev, has been
growing around the idea that knowledge can contribute to the development of poor
countries and groups in a disadvantaged situation. This idea has a great potential,
because knowledge is the meta-resource of all resources. However, the role of
knowledge in development refers to a systemic and macro phenomenon that goes
beyond the field of management, and cannot be approached only from the micro
perspective of management. For bridging the micro and macro perspectives of this
problem, two experiences were analyzed: The British Enlightenment in the eighteenth
century and the current flow of emails in KM4Dev. The first experience was visited
as a source of inspiration for applying knowledge in development, and the second was
analyzed to explore concrete possibilities. It was found that KM4Dev is a highly
effective network, answering questions almost at real time. The conclusion is that
KM4Dev can lead the creation of a new Enlightenment in the context of twenty-first
century. To reach synergy, the component of knowledge management should include
the programmatic challenges that development agencies are facing currently, and the
component of knowledge for development should focus on creating the right
environment for making local innovation successful.

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