Nurturing Knowledge Communities

Nurturing Knowledge Communities

John S.C. Afele (International Program for Africa, Canada)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-039-4.ch003
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A distinguishing factor in IT-led knowledge for development models could be the concept of nurturing knowledge communities versus knowledge management, as advocated by Denning (2001). Knowledge management essentially implies the structural arrangement and aggregation of information or information sources while the nurturing of knowledge communities would include the psychology and philosophy of enhancing the civilization of the impact community, and the application of knowledge tools and resources to actualize those values. Knowledge management, by inference, is an important element in nurturing knowledge communities, but this practice in itself would not constitute the core activity that can transform an organization or a group into a smart community. Considering the permutations of words that could cover the vast field of sustainable development and communications, for example the challenges, assets, and opportunities of the impact community, it would be quite a challenge to arrange all development information entries and sources into subtitles that could be held by one or a few organizations for equal and user-friendly access by all in the community and globally. While such an arrangement of information is desirable and perhaps technologically feasible, the information revolution is ideally concerned with teaching people about how to find information and how to generate data about a community’s attributes, access complementary information from elsewhere, utilize that information, mine knowledge from the information and application, and generate innovative solutions that would enhance the attribute concerned; data could be spread on several Internet hosts, but technology can splice them into relevant information for local applications. Moreover, the realignment of the psychologies, philosophies, and other values of individuals, institutions, communities, and the nation-state toward application of IT as knowledge tools could determine the outcome of information and knowledge flows to a larger extent than knowledge management.

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