GKI Trainings Broaden Reach

2013 saw tremendous growth in the scope of GKI’s training.  We’ve developed new curricula and trained across several geographies, empowering a growing cohort of worldwide collaborative innovation experts.  Most recently, we’ve been training in Malaysia and Rwanda. In November, GKI-ers Sara Farley, Courtney O’Brien, and Andrew Bergmanson gave a series of trainings at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). Over the course of three days, GKI trained over 20 researchers and 60 students working and studying in fields like mechanical engineering, chemistry, architecture, and human resources.  Using a “Training of Trainers” format, researchers were not only instructed in the use of a number of Collaborative Innovation tools, such as Challenge Mapping, but were further empowered to use these tools in their own work, and in their classrooms, to help solve development challenges.  In separate sessions, UTM students were introduced to a similar suite of methods and tools. Both students and researchers were able to quickly make use of the skills and techniques they learned during the training at the Community Kickoff Meeting for the UTM-GKI Water Challenge.  […]

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Students, Researchers, and Community Members Initiate Water Challenge Collaboration in Air Papan, Malaysia

Settled onto the cool concrete floor of the boathouse, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) students furiously took notes as the fishermen of Air Papan, Malaysia explained their work, their challenges, and their hopes for the future.  There, between buoys and hammocks made of fishing net, with a view of the South China Sea, the UTM-GKI Southeast Asian Water Challenge began.  With 44 students and 13 researchers, UTM and GKI traveled to Air Papan, Malaysia November 15-17, 2013 to get to know the community, explore challenges faced there, and identify areas of alignment and opportunities for collaboration and solution creation. Before heading to Air Papan, GKI trained the researchers and students in methods for collaborative innovation research.  Deploying those skills with coaching from GKI, students and researchers observed Air Papan and its resources, interviewed community members to understand their perspectives on challenges, and created integrated challenge maps to illustrate how various perspectives on challenges relate to one another. This inquiry revealed pressing water challenges in Air Papan.  In the eyes of the community, solving water challenges in paddy fields, fishing, and tourism represent key paths to higher, more stable incomes for the 450+ residents of Air Papan. […]

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Report we’ve been excited to read: USAID’s 1st Water and Development Strategy

This week, the US Agency for International Development released its first ever Water and Development Strategy (2013-2018). We at the Global Knowledge Initiative were thrilled by this important step, both because of the importance of USAID’s leadership in international development and policy, and also because of the stake we have in sustainable access to and quality of water. In Kenya, we are working with a team based at Kenyatta University – and with partners Kickstart, Kenya Rainwater Association, Kenyan university partners, and others – through our LINK (Learning and Innovation Network for Knowledge and Solutions) project to identify viable business models for rainwater harvesting. In Malaysia, we are beginning a project with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) to gather water challenges from Malaysian communities and bring together students, university researchers, and community members to develop solutions. We salute USAID’s decision to release this important strategy, and we hope that together those of us working on this crucial issue will be able to improve access to – and quality of – water for all. […]

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