Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Knowledge management and regional politics

I came across a couple of sites recently which describe Knowledge Management initiatives in political regions.

Regions of the EU - image from wikipedia commons
The first is from the media firm "New Europe" and discusses ways in which European cities and regions can use knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer to drive societal innovation. The author Markku Markkula concludes his article as follows:

. Technology already offers enormous opportunities – but technology alone is not enough. We need more societal innovation. We need new types of human-centred mind-sets, effective toolboxes, and new competences for knowledge co-creation and shared knowledge management. And ultimately, we must have collaboration. Regions and cities should build their renewal on strategic cooperation, based on benchmarking – and ultimately, bench-learning. In this way they can become truly transformative.

The second is from the Caribbean, where CARICOM (a regional organisation of 15 member states) has set up, as one of its initiatives, a Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN). Part of Caricom's vision is "A Caribbean Community that is integrated, inclusive and resilient; driven by knowledge, excellence, innovation and productivity", and we saw this vision of knowledge and prosperity reflected in the New Year's address by the Prime Minister of Kitts and Nevis.

The main tasks of CKLN in the short term are concerned with building connectivity, and beginning to address knowledge sharing in critical areas. These tasks are listed by CKLN as follows:

  • Supporting functional cooperation in the areas on education, health, culture, environment and security amongst CARICOM Member States 
  • Providing a regional information management/knowledge management platform in support of collaboration and sharing of resources amongst CARICOM institutions 
  • Providing the appropriate e-infrastructure to support innovation and research 
  • Reducing the cost of connectivity and access 
  • Supporting the development of the Caribbean Single Market and economy

I think this is an interesting development for Knowledge Management. Initially a discipline developed in industry, KM moved out into public sector bodies (successfully so in the military sector, less successfully in government, health and other areas), and now seems to be foraying into regional organisations.

Here at Knoco we have clear ideas on how governmental and regional bodies can support KM.  Providing connectivity is one area, tertiary education is another, but there is so much more that these regional bodies can do, and it will be interesting to see how KM develops in this new playing field of regional politics and economic development. 

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