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Collaboration, Education, Livelihoods and Development in a Changing World

Pamela's blog

Dadamac Connect Update "2014-09-17"

Dadamac Connect believes in doing things in the public domain as much as possible. So here goes with my personal "Connections" update - in no particular order. It will be what comes to mind first (knowing that some good stuff will get left out and that I don't have time to put in live links).


Nikki and I are working on making our ideas about Dadamac Connect become real. See our tweets #dadamac for odds and ends of progress - not just for Dadamac Connect but for Dadamac Foundation (which I connect with on a deep level - it's my unpaid "passion" work) and the wider Dadamac community (which influenced our decision to start providing the services of Dadamac Connect).

Dadamac Connect's First  Founder Member

The most exciting connection for me this week was with our first Dadamac Connect founder member - William Dyer

We met yesterday at Hub Westminster in the DIY kitchen (one of my favourite regular haunts for meeting new and interesting people). He kindly agreed to give me some feedback on the first ideas for the Dadamac Connect logo. Of course that led to more information about Dadamac Connect. 

Simplest starting points include that it's a new social business and it's a membership organisation.

Emboldened by a recent challenge to "Get rejected more often" I told William that, if he had £10 on him, he could become our very first founder member - and he did.

Kabissa-Dadamac Collaboration

Kabissa and Dadamac are exploring areas of overlap and how we might collaborate in 2015.

First connections with Kabissa

Way back in about 2002, when I was trying to find my way on how best to continue the work of the late Peter Adetunji Oyawale, Tobias Eigen (founder of Kabissa) provided support.

Kabissa enabled me to publish a newsletter telling the unfolding story of Oke-Ogun Community Development Agenda 2000 Plus (OOCD 2000+) and the  Information Centre at Ago-Are. I felt we'd been given the Kabissa "seal of approval" and I was greatly encouraged.

Learning support online

I remember logging on to Kabissa and being very uncertain of how to set up an account and post my first newsletter. I made mistakes and asked for help. I remember the patient and supportive emails from Tobias as he helped me through the process. (I was somewhat in awe of him because of the reputation of Kabissa, so I was doubly impressed by his help.) That was probably my first experience of one-to-one learning support via the Internet.

When people talk about e-learning my first thought is always about this kind of practical, when-it's-needed, individual support (rather than traditional set courses and the one-to-many approach of MOOCs  - "Massive Online Open Courses").

First Thursday Meeting Updates

Updated monthly

September  meeting update

Something completely different. The problem of using the etherpad has not been resolved (see note below for August for more information.)

Last month I tried facebook and it was a fruitful expereiment - as evidenced on my facebook page. 

This month I'm taking a similar low key approach. i.e. no reminders sent out about first Thurs but I'll go visible somewhere in the cloud at the usual First Thursday time and see who I connect with. It may be a total failure regarding making any contacts as I'll be on the move and trying out my new smart phone which is still very unfamiliar to me, but it will be good use fo teh time as a learning experience. 

I'll see how I get on with Twitter, or Facebook or Skype, and that will help me decide what to do next First Thursday, and for the rest of the year. In 2015 we have various plans for a new look Dadamac, and as those firm up they will have an impact on how First Thursdays will develop, so I'm happy to just experiment a bit for the rest of this year if the etherpad is not available.

Dadamac Connect - first announcement

This first announcement about Dadamac Connect is aimed at people who are already in contact with Nikki Fishman and/or me (Pamela McLean) in some way. Others are welcome to read this of course, but it will make more sense to people who know us. 

A new enterprise

Nikki and I are setting up a new enterprise called Dadamac Connect.

As individuals, inside and outside of Dadamac, we have a track record of "connecting the dots" in various ways. For years, in a comparatively informal way, we've been:

  • Bringing together new combinations of ideas, individuals and organisations.
  • Introducing people and helping them to do useful stuff together. 
  • Enabling people to collaborate despite communication barriers (such as separation through distance, and belonging in different cultures).
  • Building people's skills, confidence and connections as they face new challenges and opportunities.

Connecting the past and the future.

Now, in Dadamac Connect, Nikki and I are creating a point of connection for all the things we've done in the past and all the things we'll be doing in the future.

Dadamac Connect is going to be financially sustainable, earning its living through the services it provides. It may do some pro-bono work, especially while it is developing its client base (and later when it's rich enough to do generous social corporate responsibility projects) but it is being set up as a business. If we can't see a way to make something pay, then we won't do it.

Organisational issues of 21st-century systems and #RSA

This was first published (August 27, 2010) as an open letter on posterous. I'm reposting a (slighly shortened) version here as posterous no longer exists and I need to refer to it.

Hi Kellie.


A year or two back, I was involved in a workshop relevant to your interest in 21st century organisations. It was organised by a group connected to the RSA, and the day involved exploring issues related to the formal, long-established, RSA and a complementary informal network.

It was definitely not a typical talking shop. I think it would have appealed to you. We were divided into three or four groups and started in a fairly normal warm-up way of telling our neighbour what we knew about the RSA. In theory we had all brought with us an object that was in some way was representative of the RSA, so those objects were included in the discussion. Then we had to express what we had described using Lego and plasticine - and our brought objects.

During the course of the day we developed our ideas about the RSA and about the network, their similarities and differences, their present relationship with each other, areas of difficulty, and how these difficulties might be overcome. At various points in the day the groups got up to visit the models forming on the other tables, and to have them explained. (There were photos and video recordings – perhaps they still exist somewhere.)

In appreciation of "The Evolution of Trust"

"The Evolution of Trust" by David Brooks is a helpful and clear explanation of how things are changing regarding trust. He writes

I’m one of those people who thought Airbnb would never work. I thought people would never rent out space in their homes to near strangers. But I was clearly wrong. Eleven million travelers have stayed in Airbnb destinations, according to data shared by the company. (snip).

And Airbnb is only a piece of the peer-to-peer economy. People are renting out their cars to people they don’t know, dropping off their pets with people they don’t know, renting power tools to people they don’t know... (more - "The Evolution of Trust").

Open letter to Matthew Partovi #ResponsiveOrg

The Responsive Organization is a movement of people who want to help their organizations become more responsive to a world that is very different to that of the Industrial Age. Together, we can support and influence each other to make this change happen faster.

Hi Matthew

As you know I appreciated attending the #ResponsiveOrg - London unconference (and I appreciated your encouragement to attend in the first place because I don't belong in a 'normal organisation' so I wasn't confident that I should be there).

This post is rather long for an email (or even for a blog) so I've inserted numbered headings:

After AD3 with AFFORD

I was at AFFORD's Annual event AD3 (Africa Diaspora and Development Day) which took the theme "Africa's Population Growth and Youth Unemployment" (AFFORD is the African Foundation for Development). During a conversation afterwards I was asked for more information about Dadamac and our related interests, which I share below:

Dadamac connects people to each other and helps them to communicate and collaborate. It started with some friendships. Thanks to the Internet it's possible for friendships, and practical collaborations, to be sustained at a distance. Dadamac emerged through a combination of UK-Africa connections - personal connections and Internet-enabled ones.

My personal involvement with Nigeria came about through the late Peter Adetunji Oyawale. Then I met John Dada (a Nigerian who, like Peter, lived in the UK for several years, but John moved back to Nigeria.) John Dada is director of Fantsuam Foundation and he helped David Mutua and me as we tried to continue aspects of Peter's work. In 2004 I was able to help John (by doing Teachers Talking for him) and Dadamac began to emerge. It continues to develop, grow and change shape.

Examples of online collaboration for Dave Pollard

On the Deep Time Walk we learned some impressive lessons about fungi and co-operative relationships going on under the ground. Fellow "Deep Time Walker" Dave Pollard tells me we were learning about mycorrhizae and mycelia. (More about the Deep Time Walk in Returning from Schumacher College and Dark Mountain)

Online collaborative experiences

As part of our ongoing email conversation Dave has asked me to write up one or two of my best online collaborative experiences. It's hard to choose because all of my involvement with people and projects in Africa has had a strong online element. How else could I have stayed in touch with my contacts over the years in between my working holidays?

To begin at the beginning

It may help to give a little history. Back in the early days of helping Peter Oyawale there was only one person in Peter's entire network in Nigeria who had a phone, and that was Mr (now Chief) Adetola who lived in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State. Peter's networking from London to "back home" in Oke-Ogun, a large rural area of Oyo State, was done largely by phone, through Chief Adetola's amazingly effective, on-the-ground, person-to-person networks, which stretched right out into the rural areas where Peter had spent his childhood.

Dave Pollard - Through the Dark Mountain: A Harvest of Myths

Dave Pollard, like me, was at Dark Mountain last week. He's written about it - Through the Dark Mountain: A Harvest of Myths":

I spent last week at a Dark Mountain retreat at Schumacher College in Dartington just outside Totnes, UK..... (we) explored our shared worldview of the coming collapse of civilization, the myths of our culture and the possibility of creating new stories that might be of better service to us in the challenging decades ahead.....

A myth is a story that many people believe to be true. It may or may not be true.

The danger with myths is that if people live their lives as if a myth is true, when it is not, they can destroy their lives, the happiness of everyone they know and care about, the world, everything. For a photo and the full text see Through the Dark Mountain: A Harvest of Myths"