a global community
One initiative I took on as part of the IFAD synthesis project got going due to a conversation with Philipp Grunewald where we were wondering how a community like KM4Dev could guide a researcher’s activities. Philipp was willing to give 2 hours a week to the community in some kind of research effort, but wanted to find a topic that was useful or valued by the community, rather than imposing a researcher’s perspective on the community.
We experimented with http://allourideas.org (or “wiki surveys”), a tool for public opinion and consultation, and indeed we got new ideas and some interesting guidance on the most popular and resonant ideas. The ideas that we came up with to seed the inquiry seemed to stimulate new ones but did not swamp or block the thinking. I think that this tool could be useful for KM4Dev in the future and it might play a useful role for other free-standing communities that are long lived and have grown large enough that too much conversation is a bigger problem than not enough.
The wiki survey is now closed but you can still look at the results in detail here: http://www.allourideas.org/grunewaldtopics/results. I’ve written up some of my thoughts on the tool, which might be interesting to some people in the community. Hopefully Philipp will follow up with some thoughts on the actual ideas and the next steps for his research project.