A new milestone in connecting virtually

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 :)


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Comment by rebeka sultana on November 15, 2008 at 7:07pm
hi Marlou,
writing from a kitchen table and being able to connect with all of them whom we care... is phenomenal.
While reading your blog post I remeber 18 yrs back when I got married I was a medical college student and my spouse went abroad for his masters. We were away for more than a yr and how we depended on letters...it would come after every 2 wks. Now we can contact, email, chat, call any one any where .....amazing! I salute the inventors. It's amazing with out seeing you and even spoken with you we became FRIENDS!! what else I want more? nothing.....this is beautiful and and now we all are virtually connected ...we are just a 'click' away!!

yesterday I called JL, through skype...that was the first time i used skype. when I hear him laughing .....i said wow......
we should use this internets and all this media to our advantage ...for each other, for all of us who dreams for a better world.

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on November 13, 2008 at 7:03pm
Hi Marlou,

Mindblowing! Marlou, your ability to connect people is remarkable. Though we have never met, you always make me feel like a dear one.You are one of the major reasons I continue to volunteer for ACP.

I remember when I rang you up for the first time. You said you were serving breakfast to your kids. I guess it was on the 'same table'!


Comment by Laurence Gilliot on November 12, 2008 at 7:50am

This is such a wonderful message :-) I smile and breathe. I enjoy soo much working with you, Marlou.
Thank you for being the wonderful person you are!

Comment by MariJo on November 12, 2008 at 5:00am
Oh, how I can imagine you in the kitchen table dealing with daily life while connecting to people around the world to build a new kind of linking that allows us all to grow the better of the seed we are.
I can only smile knowingly to that image in recognition of what kind of dream we share.
Comment by Jean-Louis Lamboray on November 11, 2008 at 10:39pm

This is the invitation! Please send that to all coaches, it is irresistible as an invitation!




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