November 25th was a special day for Dadamac. Like many Dadamac things it gradually emerged as various loosely related pieces came together, so I'm describing the various pieces for the benefit of newcomers to our story.
I'm a member of GlobalNet21 (GN21) and last August I was one of the members who took up the invitation to speak for 5 mins at a GN21 event called Speakers Corner. I talked about Dadamac - based in UK, Nigeria and online. Speakers Corner led to a longer slot in another GN21 event about Africa which in turn led to the formation of a GN21 and Africa group.
Dadamac and John's visit
Each week I spend an hour online at the Dadamac UK-Nigeria meeting. Dadamac is short for "John Dada and Pamela McLean" (I'm Pamela McLean). When John told me he'd be in the UK in November it seemed ideal to have him as a guest speaker for the GN21 group, so it was announced - although at first we didn't know the exact date or location.
Impact Hub Westminster
Fortunately there is a good relationship between Impact Hub Westminster (HubW) and GN21. Indy Johar, co-founder of HubW said we could meet there and gradually we sorted out what date and which space would suit everyone. Indy joined us on the panel (representing HubW and also because of his interest in development projects in India) which increased the global perspective of the event (see eventbrite announcement).
Arranging things was also made easier by the fact I'm often at HubW, currently as a Launchpad scholar.
What I do
When I'm at HubW I often struggle to explain what I do. It's all very well saying that I do various things all connected with "21st century lifestyles, learning, and livelihoods" but what does that really mean? Well, it's about what I call the "Landscape of Change" - the impact of the Internet, the changing patterns of work, how our lives are increasingly an ongoing interweaving of our learning and our livelihoods. It's about local experience and global perspectives. It's about learning-by-doing and then reflecting, learning-from-each-other, meeting in online spaces to "rub minds", and doing practical things together. Dadamac is part of all of that.
21st century systems, emergence and field work
Dadamac in its entirety is a kind of case study, a proof of concept of emerging 21st century systems. Scratch below the surface and you can find a mass of inter-related initiatives demonstrating different aspects of true "death of distance" and cross-cultural collaboration.
Dadamac is an additional layer on top of the integrated community development of Fantsuam Foundation. Dadamac supports Fantsuam Foundation in having a global, as well as a local, perspective and relevance. It's a conduit that enables information to flow between different cultures and that promotes and supports collaboration at a distance. Dadamac is one of my main "personal study centres" where I learn by doing and by reflection and discussion.
I'm a habitual life-long-learner. I'm intrigued by the patterns of change I see emerging as I work/learn in areas where my true interests lie, and as I move between the different groups and spaces where I either belong or where I slide, in and out, along the boundaries.
We've had a Dadamac Day of some kind every November since 2005. It's a celebration of our continuing collaboration. Its form has varied through the years, reflecting our changing situations, current concerns and future vision. Early in October (after the October First Thursday meeting) David Mutua and I had started discussing a new online approach for this year's Dadamac Day.
David and I had collaborated on the first ever Dadamac Day back in 2005 - when it was celebrated as "the first anniversary of Teachers Talking" (see Overview of Teachers Talking)
However our plans for 2013 changed, as October progressed it became obvious that the "John Dada in London" event was going to be the November high point for Dadamac and therefore the natural contender for the title of "Dadamac Day 2013".
This was a combined GN21, HubW, Dadamac and Fantsuam Foundation event. I feel that this event has taken Dadamac's work to a new level and that we are starting to develop a real team here in London. I look forward to discovering what will emerge as we work together.
As I said in the GlobalNet21 comments section "I was helped in so many ways, large and small, to make this happen. I can't begin to list how, and I will not try to name everyone individually."
Something I noticed with pleasure was that the team signing people in on Monday represented the GN21 group and Dadamac - which to me demonstrated beautifully the way that these two separate entities are naturally coming together.
Feedback - two blogs and a video
Already, to my great delight, feedback is coming and there is more to follow:
- Report from Janet Chapman
- Blog by Liam Barrington-Bush - Integrated development: Embracing mission drift in rural Nigeria
- Feedback video from Steve Podmore (the man behind FastTractor and the money raising done under the umbrella of Dadamac Foundation)
I found the feedback video inspiring - it captures the spirit of the evening from people as they are leaving. Enjoy!