April 2010 Archives

Editorial note.

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Last week, the number of Facebook fans unexpectedly climed quite a bit and I have no idea why. Maybe a snowball effect?


Fishbowl presentation.

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The Other Librarian has an interesting alternative for giving interactive presentations to big groups, called the "fishbowl presentation technique":

    • You place 5-8 chairs in a space separate from the audience (usually inside a circle, but there are other ways to do this as well).
    • You invite some members of the audience to fill the seats, except one of those 4-8 chairs is always vacant.
    • Then you offer the instructions:
      • People inside the fishbowl can speak at will.
      • If you are outside the fishbowl and want to speak, you sit down in the vacant seat.
      • If this happens, someone in the occupied seats ought to leave the fishbowl (at the most convenient or appropriate time possible).
I think this could be a great way of making plenary sessions at AIMs, JB or national board meetings more interesting.
The Other Librarian also has great instructions on how to prepare a 15 minute talk.

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Editorial Note.

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It's Digital Detox Week, so no post 'til Sunday!


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Atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

Image via Wikipedia

Suggested Theme.

These days, Barack Obama is gathering world leaders in Washington to discuss the future of nuclear security. A good time to consider the topic for CISV! So many things are connected to the topics we deal with:

  • Does the existence of nuclear weapons support or disrupt world peace?
  • Is nuclear energy a solution to global warming?
  • How to solve the issue with Iran's nuclear ambitions?
They're all highly political questions, but CISV could provide the setting to get a clearer picture and discuss different opinions. I remember an activity on this topic during my Seminar Camp, that was quite intense.

I suggest taking the chance that the newspapers are full of great articles these days in order to set up a theme package.

Oh...and wouldn't the title "Nuclear Minicamp" sound sexy?
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Berners-Lee on data.

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I've talked about using data within CISV before and received a bit of criticism in the comments thread regarding effort, usefulness and practicability. But, I'm still convinced that there's more in it for CISV.

Here's Tim Berners-Lee (yes, AKA the inventor of the internet), talking about how govenment data can be used to generate mash-ups:

And here's a friendly reminder that all the hosting data Bebbe gave me is available online and available, if anybody out there is in a mash-up mood.
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Library goes live!

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library.pngThe much awaited CISV Library is online - looks a bit messy on first glance, but I like the use of the 6-color hexagon that appears to become a central navigation element in our documents. Inside there's still work in progress, some links don't work but I'm curious to see how it develops. I'm mostly looking forward to a new and more useful activity database.

IPP video.

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I've long been promoting the use of video to explain and promote what CISV is about, so I was happy to discover this new video apparently created during the RTF on IPP:

It has a whole bunch of great quotes, and I also like the fact that it underlines the "intergenerational" aspect of IPPs.

I'm a little unsure what the purpose is, but probably it's supposed to promote IPP within CISV.

If you haven't noticed anything, then everything is alright. Because I just spent the last hour updating Movable Type, the blogging engine behind FTB, to version 5.0. This mostly affects how I write posts but shouldn't change anything about the way the blog looks or works for you. If stuff doesn't work as usual, like you can't comment etc, please let me know by e-mail.
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Everybody has her or his own way of reading content on the web. So, next to visiting this website directly, subscribing to it through the RSS-feed and reading the posts inside facebook, now you can also become a Twitter follower. To each his own.
Not too long ago with a lot of ballyhoo Google started its own social networking service called Google Buzz. There was quite some press coverage concerning privacy issues and the general thing about Google competing with Facebook and Twitter...

Now, I'm unable to answer the above question, because I disabled the service three days after it launched. But I'd like to refer to two articles that outline some opportunities CISV should consider, because Buzz is apparently everything but dead, even if loads of folks never really got into it:

Think Social: What Can Google Buzz do for you: A study for Non-Profits.

4 Ways Non-profits Can Use Google Buzz.

Just KiDding.

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Cheap, short, national - Germany hosts "Kinder in Deutschland".

When I was 11, a whole bunch of kids who were either to young, to old, weren't chosen for a village spot or simply didn't have 4 weeks to spare went to a national youth meeting called Pilz Camp (Mushroom camp). For reasons unknown to me, Pilz Camps ceased from happening in the nineties, but luckily some clever people remembered the concept.

So in 2009 after an initiative from Germany's national board, CISV Hannover - a chapter that was only founded in 2008 - hosted Kinder in Deutschland (KiD) with almost 30 kids. The staff wrote an extensive report, and from reading it seems as if they got the content absolutely right.

kid.pngBut it's more the practicals, that make me think, that KiD is how CISV is supposed to be: The camp participation fee was only 250 Euro. That's less than 1/3 of what families pay for a village spot. From the chapter perspective it was enough to cover a camp site with all meals included - no kitchen staff needed whatsoever. This and also the small size, made it possible for a chapter with no hosting experience to make this camp happen. The two-week timeframe made it easy for the host chapter and the staff to commit. Needless to say that a two-week national camp for such a small participation fee made CISV an option for families who would otherwise have been left out.

Is "cheap, short, national" a formula for the future?

If you look at CISV's new areas of Peace Education - Human Rights, Diversity, Conflict Resolution and Sustainable Development - I'm more than convinced that these can be dealt with in such a setting, just as good as in a village. Imagine how much more reach and impact we could have, if we would spend our energies on these kind of camps instead of our high-flying international programmes?

I know this post has "Mosaic" written all over it: KiD wasn't officially approved as a Mosaic project, because it wasn't announced officially in time, even if it fit all the criteria. I also know that some NAs are hosting national youth meetings in various formats (Canada and Brazil especially - I'd be curious to learn more about them.) But isn't it time to develop a more specific and standardized setup for national camps, so that all NAs can learn and share experiences? Shouldn't we being investing more time and effort if we emphasize inclusion (see old strategic plan) and outreach (see new strategic plan)? I do think so.

On a less enthusiastic note, the KiD for 2010 was cancelled two months ago. But that's a topic for another article

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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