Africa in Virtual Worlds

…Journal of our Experiences with Social Media and Virtual Worlds to date…

African Roundtable off to a Good Start…

 

The past two weeks were so interesting, as we managed to get the prototype of the African Roundtable initiative off the ground. We have signed up volunteers from around the world that will participate in the first event on 24 August, and then give feedback to improve the process prior to launching it to the broader education community. Let is not be forgotten that there are more than 150 universities and numerous schools using SL as platform for learning already!

Roundtable2

Once again, we have been blessed by the generosity of the SL community with Johnny Austin from Joysco Productions building and donating our building which will host the Roundtable. (See picture where we put out the red carpet and test some tiling). We are looking forward to work closely with our volunteers to test the prototype and refine the process. Equally important, we have been approached by various Universities over the past few months and hope to formalise some of these relationships in the context of the Roundtable and Virtual Africa.

The Roundtable is – in fact – a virtual (adapted) version of the Roundtable on Sustainability hosted by the Coventry University since January 2007 around the world. Coventry University’s Applied Research Centre in Human Security describes the iniative as being “multi-stakeholder learning forums bringing together diverse groups of people (mostly, but not exclusively, practitioners) from business, government, non-governmental organisations and civil society; big and small; institutional and non-institutional”. Roundtables have been taking place in Brussels with the European Academy for Business In Society; Toronto with the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network; Cape Town with the Sustainability Institute; and Geneva with the ILO.

Roundtable3

We participated in the real life roundtable outside Stellenbosch and found the experience refreshing and encouraging. Uthango then decided to bring the philosophy and approach of the Roundtable to Virtual Africa in an attempt to incorporate the views of ordinary, and extraordinary SecondLifers…

One of the key issues that will stay central in our discussions – how to ensure that civil society participate in solving challenges that face them from the inside-out… For Uthango, we have (of course!) ensured that the virtual roundtable has a twin model (and application) in our clients’ realities here in South Africa.

Adding this piece to the blog entry (19.08.07): On Friday 17 August, we met with the research fieldworkers from the Guguletu township in Cape Town. We were joined by two development practitioners from the NetherLands and we discussed POVERTY and similarities of public solutions. The intercultural roundtable discussion was dynamic and challenging and we discovered some female partipants announced they plan to move abroad because government will give them a house when they fall pregnant without work! The Dutch visitors shared with us that they find the youth inspired and motivate to make a difference in the community…

Gugs Roundtable

Hope you will join us in Africa or in Virtual Africa to develop the prototype of the African Roundtable, or sponsor these events virtually or in Africa itself. Please remember we are only testing the roundtable concept on 24 August and if you desire to be part of the volunteer team, you need to be in touch in the next day or two… Do not hesitate to contact us in-world. We plan to formally launch the initiative later the year – after refining it for maximum benefit to SL and African residents.

We look forward to more discoveries…

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2 thoughts on “African Roundtable off to a Good Start…

  1. Pingback: UgoTrade » Blog Archive » Thinking Globally, Connecting Virtually: Anshe Chung Makes a Home for Non-profits on SL.

  2. Pingback: UgoTrade: Second life nonprofits… « Identity Unknown

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