Date and Venue

Date: 1st & 2nd June, 2013

Venue: DAL Excellence Centre, Khartoum North, Sudan

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Workshop Announcement

Guest Speaker: Professor John Tharakan, Howard University, USA
Organised By:     Sudanese Knowledge Society
In Collaboration with:
    Global Compact Network Sudan
    Sudanese Centre for Engineering and Environmental Studies
    National Energy Research Centre
    Sudanese National Academy of Sciences
    Sudanese Environment Conservation Society

Call for Participation
The main objective of this workshop is to “speculate” about the significance of knowledge management to the wide-ranging environmental issues confronting Sudan and other countries in Africa. Knowledge management (KM), a multidisciplinary field, is concerned with how people can produce and use knowledge. It recognises that the most important organisational assets are its people and their knowledge.  It also considers and strengthens the strategies, practices and technologies that are used to identify, create, represent, distribute, and enable the adoption of insights and experiences with the aim of improving the organisation’s performance. Knowledge management offers ways to support the acquisition, accumulation, integration and use of large quantities of information. This information are typical of environmental management projects and their impact assessments, the documentation and incorporation of local environmental knowledge systems, the creation of knowledge sharing systems for urban and rural development projects such as agriculture and housing plans, and the engagement of the citizenry in conservation efforts. It is vital that environmentally relevant knowledge be available and put to use, in projects that deal with construction of the build environment (roads, buildings, dams) as well as management of resources (water, land, minerals) to improve the  environmental impacts of these projects leading to greater sustainable development.
In the workshop we will consider a number of examples of KM use in environmental conservation such as data collection, archiving, retrieval and visualization, and in particular 3-dimensional digital resources which are essential knowledge carriers and important building blocks of simulation systems and engineering mechanisms. The uses of KM in digital media is not only related to visual aspects and rendering processes, but also involves an adequate representation of domain knowledge to exploit and preserve both the expertise used for their creation and the  comprehensive information content carried. The uses of KM are not limited to handling environmental data only, but also about strengthening collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst its workers dealing with the environment, and integration of different knowledge sources. Some of the issues that occupy environmental workers in Sudan fall along the lines of global concerns such as climate change and chemical pollution. They can also be related to a sector (e.g. energy, health) or a natural resource (e.g. forest, river); or they can promote a particular paradigmatic approach (e.g. appropriate technology). While KM can offer valuable tools for improved access to information on these concerns, it can also offer tools for popularising environmental knowledge that act on changing perceptions and behaviours. Moreover, KM can assist in the wide collaboration between different expertises leading to multidisciplinary approaches when dealing with issues that affect the shared heritage of natural resources.
Outline of Workshop Programme:
·         Keynote Talk “Cradle to Cradle - Pollution Prevention and Waste Management for Africa in the 21st Century”.
·         Introduction to KM uses in environmental management projects and rural development.
·         Overview of relevant environmental knowledge/information initiatives.
·         Invited presentations of local case studies e.g. the Nile, Dinder Park, agricultural schemes, dams, Red Sea; and projects on solar energy, waste management, emission reduction, business for peace, etc.
·         Knowledge Cafes for thinking out of the box and thinking about the future.
·         Tutorial on CmapTools (open source software for knowledge capturing and modelling).

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