Little drops of knowledge: The National Knowledge Fair, India

Little drops of knowledge,

Added to our work;

Will put us on a ledge,

And give us all the perk!


Around half past three on Saturday 3 Mar 2012, I realized it was the last but one session of the The National Knowledge Fair, that SIAAP, and India Competence were facilitating in the serene and spiritual environment of DMI Training Institute, at the Hilltop of Saint Thomas Mount, in Chennai, India.


I was to introduce the concept of Peer Assist, and sharing of knowledge. At least seventy of the original hundred participants were present in the room.

"Let's play a small game!", I told the participants, and almost everyone looked up inquiringly. "How many of us are there in this hall?" I continued asking them, clarifying that approximate numbers would do, and waiting till they came up with an agreed upon number of fifty.

"What do you think will be our average age?" was my next question. And this time there

 was a quicker agreement on the average age as thirty.

"And therefore," I continued immediately, "what would be the total age of all of us in this hall?". Not suprisingly, I got the quickest reply, namely 1500 years.  


My next  statement was more a reflection, stating that there was over 1500 years of experience in the hall presently. And I popped the final one which did not require an answer: "Will any of us live for 1500 years?"

There was a moment of silence, before everyone started clapping hands on realizing the importance of sharing our experience immediately. "Yes" I confirmed, "the moment for sharing experience or knowledge was now!"


Then I continued the game further. "Joel", I said,pointing to him "works in a bank, and let us suppose we both exchange a rupee. At the end of the transaction, we are both left with what we began with, namely: one rupee!"

Seeing  a few nods, I continued, "However, if Joel gives me a savings idea, and I in turn being a doctor give him a health idea,  at the end of the transaction, we are both left with two ideas, namely we have the idea we shared, in addition to the one new that we have gained from the other!"

"So, that is the difference, when we share or exchange ideas, as opposed to sharing money!".This time the claps began earlier, and were louder!


I then invited Joel, who then proceeded into the Peer Assist session with this intro. Alternatively, we can summarize this as a calculation:

Approximate participants = 50

Average age = 30 years

Total age of all participants = 50 X 30 = 1500 years

If as stated by almost all participants in their recap, they shared each day one new idea and learnt a new one, then the total number of new ideas exchanged during the three days of the National Knowledge Fair, in Chennai India is:

= 50 X 2 X 3 = 300 ideas

Also, if as as stated by almost all participants in their final AAR that they would implement one idea each in future:

= 50 ideas

Accordingly, implementation rate = 50/300 or nearly 17%.

(It was Steve Glovinsky, the founder of Solution Exchange, UNDP who gave me the idea of total years of experience in a room. As for exchanging ideas it is a quote of George Bernard Shaw. My acknowledgements.)

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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on October 11, 2015 at 10:08pm

I am glad that you wrote a blog and we can again learn from it Rafique. Thanks Rafique for guiding me yet again:-)

Comment by Bheri M R on May 1, 2012 at 1:07pm

I experienced,all participants actively involved in this activity and  it is easiest way to make people understand the, a group of people has greater than an individual  community has rich experience than any individual experts and  there are many more underlying principles in the story thanks Rafique for the best example of  CLCP


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