2011 LINGOs Member Meeting: Be There!

Posted by Eric Berg, LINGOs Executive Director

I wanted to share with everyone my excitement about the upcoming 2011 LINGOs member meeting October 11-13 in Seattle. I have been with LINGOs since the beginning and I can guarantee there has never been a Member Meeting as rich with resource as we have lined up this year.

We begin with Scott Macklin, Associate Director of the Masters of Communication in Digital Media Program and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the College of Education at the University of Washington. I saw Scott’s work for the first time at the Northwest Donor’s Conference in Seattle where he was doing a presentation on Building Organizational Capacity through Convening Community Stories – Storyteller Uprising: Narrative and Engagement Intelligence in the Digital Age. It was a long title but had a short message – high quality video produced on shoestring budgets can use the power of storytelling to reach almost any audience and move them to action. Flip cameras have made shooting video within the reach of everyone but actually using that video to tell a story and produce a finished product is not just a “point and shoot” process. Scott will share his experience with a broad range of storytelling projects including work done for African-based NGOs.

Then we have Tom Kuhlmann, Manager of User Communities for Articulate. Tom is already known to many LINGOs members as the author of the Rapid e-Learning blog. Unquestionably the most followed blogger in the e-learning community, Tom has over 80,000 people that eagerly await his bi-monthly blog. His posts are filled with the most practical, inexpensive and immediately useful ideas of any blog I have ever read.

He is a “rock-star” in the e-Learning world and we have him for almost two full days. Tom will be leading a couple of sessions during our general member meeting and then will be doing a workshop after the member meeting for those that want to get more intense time with Tom. I can’t tell you how fortunate we are to have such an opportunity. Tom’s extra day workshop all by itself is worth a trip to Seattle. I guarantee you will leave with ideas and techniques you can apply on your way home in the airplane (though probably not a good idea to apply the if you are driving to the meetingJ).

Then we are going to not only talk about impact measurement – we are going to do some hands-on designing that will be useful to every LINGOs member as you look at the difference capacity building activities have on the performance of your agency. Elvis Fraser, Deputy Director, Impact Planning and Improvement for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will lead the group in an Impact Measurement Laboratory. The idea behind this exercise will be to design and plan multiple ways that you might measure the impact of your work. We will look at individual interventions, agency interventions and capacity building in general and create concrete steps we can take to begin to answer the question of impact with real data. We will draw on the collective experience of everyone present to lay the foundations for work that can be carried on in the year to come.

Finally we have James Bernard, Director of Microsoft’s $500 million Partners in Learning program. With the simple charter to change the impact of education systems in the developing world, James has worked with the US government, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, country ministries of education and international and local NGOs to create models for improving teacher education and fostering innovation in the sector. He will share the successes and challenges faced by the program and the places where NGOs can make a difference.

Who knows – we may even find someone from Starbucks to drop by with some coffee and explain how they go about training their staff in other countries. Don’t have anything firm on that but we are working on it.

So that is pretty much our outside speakers but as everyone knows, we have a wealth of talent and experience within our members and staff. We will tap that in a variety of areas such as:

  • No-Cost and Low-Cost Learning Resources
  • Leverage Global giveback 3 to get custom courses developed
  • Social Media – marketing learning for impact; leveraging learning thru community
  • Building support and accountability for Language Learning
  • Webcast technology
  • 3-minute Member-led “show and tells”
  • Performance support
  • Updates from LINGOs team
  • Integrated talent management/career pathing
  • Mobile learning
  • PMD Pro
  • New Member Session

On top of all that, we will have a chance to visit the headquarters of two LINGOs members in Seattle. The meeting will be hosted at the new headquarters of PATH and we have an evening reception at the Headquarters of SightLife where we will honor a couple of the people that were present at the creation of LINGOs and instrumental in getting us through the first couple of years.

But wait – there is still more! In addition to the workshop with Tom Kuhlmann on the day after the meeting, there is another workshop available that focuses on the project management work LINGOs has been doing in Africa and Latin America and gives participants a chance to experience some of the tools and results created by that work. It will be led by John Cropper, Director of Project Management Services for LINGOs and formerly at Oxfam GB as Global Programme Manager and  Head of  Oxfam GB’s Management Accountability and Programme Info Department.

So you can see why I believe that this will be hands-down the best LINGOs member meeting ever. But no matter how much planning and preparation we do, it just isn’t a member meeting without you – our members. In all cases, it is your experience, energy and application of the resources available through LINGOs that makes the meeting and is the real draw for other members. We will be hosting a virtual coffee break later this week to allow members an opportunity to expand on the discussions already started in our Linked In Community Group and contribute their ideas for how we can craft this meeting so we are certain it exceeds your expectations. I encourage you to attend the Virtual Coffee on August 11th at 11AM EDT (GMT-5). You can find session info and link to attend available here.

You can see more information about the meeting, the two post-meeting workshops, and details on the block of reserved hotel rooms here. We even have a handy memo you can adapt and share with your supervisor to explain the value of your participation in the 2011 LINGOs Member Meeting.

If you have any questions about how to register, make hotel reservations or just want to talk about the meeting with someone, send me (eric[at]LINGOs.org) or Marian Abernathy (marian [at]LINGOs.org) and we’ll get right back to you.

By the way, we have put in reservations for sun for the entire week of the meeting and the Pacific Northwest is spectacular that time of year. I hope to see you in Seattle in October.


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