The Panel I Loved at GK3


Source: Full Circle Associates, 17 Dec 2007


Flickr Photo Download: Ehomemakers for the full sized image.

Last week at GK3 there were plenty of boring panels. I’m afraid to report the panel I was on on the future of KM was probably one of the boring ones. Panels are not a good use of face to face time, especially when people have flown in from across the world. We should be sitting in circles talking with each other. But there are politics of meetings like GK3.

Some people figure out ways around them. The E-Homemakers group sure did. They organized two sessions in a row and also sold products in the main hall (I bought two baskets and some fabric!). The first was rounds of story telling by women who have developed home based businesses (mostly around craft related products) in rural Africa, India and Malaysia. Each woman told her story three times, all the while a newly minted graphic recorder created an image to capture the story. (We trained together to prepare for this last Monday.) Dimanche, Zarah and Allison were amazing. When I walked in and saw their images, I was filled with joy and a deep affirmation that we all can draw as a way to communicate and connect. It was blissful. I’m sorry I was not able to be present for the first session, but I was graphically recording for the E-Health session.

The second session was actually a panel session – sort of. The moderator first invited everyone to go see the story charts and talk about them to refresh their memory of the stories. People did not want to start talking. I overheard a deep discussion about feminism at one chart that was on fire. Eventually our erstwhile moderator, Chong Sheau Ching, Executive Director, eHomemakers, Malaysia, rounded people back to their seats and asked the project research leads questions about their projects. Then she brought in the audience. I was drawing like crazy trying to capture it all. To top it off, I kept hearing the words “beauty,” “love,” and “listen to the roots.” It was everything I wanted to share in the KM session, but utterly failed to do.

Afterwards people came up to continue talking. We had the storytellers sign the chart and invited the researchers to amend anything they saw. There was lots of conversation and a ton of photos being snapped. People didn’t’ leave. There was a lot of energy in the room, particularly because this was a cavernous room and there weren’t that many people attending the session in the first place (sadly).

The women in that room had a lot of passion and power. Large political meetings aren’t going to change the world. These women are.