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Tag: British Council

“People in Aid” – Board presentation.

A couple of weeks ago I gave a presentation to the People In Aid Board on the trends in the uses of digital and social media and how these might be used to provide improved services for the charity’s members, staff, field users and stakeholders.
People in Aid is a charity to support HR professionals and practitioners. In their words:
Promoting good practice in the management and support of aid personnel
People In Aid is an international network of development and humanitarian assistance agencies. People In Aid helps organisations whose goal is the relief of poverty and suffering to enhance the impact they make through better people management and support
The organisation already has a number of good web properties, but very much in the “publishing” tradition: centralised information ‘resources’ that are available ‘from the source’ – not always ideal in the field, nor necessarily reflecting the way people currently work internally.
The preparation phase allowed me to get a good understanding of the issues, challenges and opportunities faced by PIA – my thanks to Ben and his colleagues for their time and ideas. The presentation itself elicited some good questions and push-back and I’m looking forward to seeing the development of their web and digital strategies.
The slide deck is linked below, on

Hong Kong for the British Council

I’m slowly catching up with posts after my MT install imploded – welcome WordPress and at last a chance to post about a great experience: visiting Hong Kong to run a masterclass on ‘publishing 2.0’ for the British Council in January. I’ve been fortunate to work with the BC on a number of occasions but this was the first opportunity to see the work of the BC outside of the administrative offices in the UK. It was extraordinary to see the throngs of schoolchildren rushing through the offices in HK for their English lessons, as well as the numbers of people using the research/resource centre. Seeing too the ‘on the ground’ advertising of the BC’s services is a reminder of the impact that the Council has in promoting English learning and culture.

I had a great welcome from the BC team and the day’s session on their Online Transformation Programme was challenging and forward-looking.

Outside of the Masterclass it was great to catch up with Antony, who can now add “Tourist Guide” to his extensive list of achievements! A trip to the Chinese Opera over in the New Territories (a unique mix of music-hall, stylised morality tale, costume drama and comedy, all to a distinctive musical style) was the first treat. The surprise was how the audience behaved: chatting, walking in and out, generally not bothering to clap – indeed, running for the doors while the final chords still reverberated… Antony and I were the sole, but stoic, applauders at the end of the 3 hour marathon!

The highlights for the rest of the stay included:

The Graham Street ‘wet market’ (ie alive, wriggling about to be introduced to a cleaver):

Graham Street wet market

The view from the Peak – in the mist and rain:

The Peak in the mist

And of course the wanderings through the streets of Central and Midlevel, temples and street furniture:

Bollards in HK.

For those interested the rest of the photos (a restrained and highly-edited 46) can be seen in the Hong Kong 2008 photoset on Flickr.