Today is a special day. We are inviting coaches to our virtual platform that is linking people accross the globe around the issue of competence.
I am excited about this new milestone in connecting virtually with my good friends in all places in the world.
I remember so well my first 'AIDS' workshop, in Bulawayoo 1998. Thirty facilitators of local responses came together - and in the room was a clear sense of agreement on the importance of learning from these local responses. The need to stay connected was loudly expressed - at a time and in a world where new media were only just being explored by most of us. We have gone a long way since.
There was a local response e-mailing list with the 30 first pioneers, we had video-conferences, we co-developed eWorkspaces where 300 members stayed in contact, and now....there is Ning. A multimedia platform where we envision soon 3000 people sharing, talking, listening to and seeing each other, focussed on AIDSCompetence. And learning from each others experiences.
I know - technology can not replace our face to face interactions - but I am convinced that this new tool can help us (complementary) in spreading AIDSCompetence faster then the virus.
Many of you know how for many years I have been working from my 'kitchen table'. That table, with a simple laptop on it, helped me combining my being a mother of 4 with playing various roles in the Constellation. Friends would ask me: are you not lonely - all day alone with that computer, without seeing your colleagues? I just smile. I think about how on that table I feel connected to so many people in the world. I have learned there with many of you, while sometimes the soup was cooking behind me - or the children were playing with playmobil on the floor, under the same table. And you know that we have been sharing laughter and tears as well, me at my table, you in your setting. Some of you joined me on that table for 'real' meetings and I so much enjoy the moments when I actually get to visit you in your own context. They are precious to me and make the virtual linking afterwards only more fuitful.
This all just to say that yes, I believe that virtual networking, sharing and learning is possible. And I am excited to have the coaches now coming in as well. I know, some of you will join and run with this platform from day one, others will be more hesitant. That's normal. And some say already: "you would need to pull me on my hair and force me in that platform, but I would scream and resist". And that's fine too. Will continue to meet those friends in person.
Back to the dishes now :)