Thompson T & Vetter T (2014) Report on the Digital and Youth Learning unConference and Scholar Knowledge Exchange. IDRC. Canada. http://hdl.handle.net/10625/53740
Integrating ICTs into development programs is complex. Although research can inform decisions made by practitioners as they embed new technologies into learning and work strategies, the synergies between research, practice, knowledge, and learning are not always fluid. Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), a Canadian-based international social enterprise, designed an innovative approach to address these tensions: The Digital Youth & Learning unConference. This project may help conceptualize more innovative approaches towards knowledge exchange and prompt critical re-thinking of scholarship and knowledge generation, particularly within a global context. African and Canadian scholars, alongside DOT’s youth beneficiaries, global and regional staff, donors, and local and Canadian partners worked to increase research and learning capacity within DOT and its extended network, deepen and widen contributions to key development issues, and generate new collaboration modes. African-based research focused on ICT, youth, gender, learning and pedagogy, and entrepreneurship served as a catalyst. Outcomes include: an innovative re-usable approach to multi-sectoral knowledge exchange, the development of an online model and platform to support an unConference format, and increased capacity within the NGO to engage with the research community. This report outlines the main activities of this project as well as key learnings and important questions this project raises for future research and knowledge exchange initiatives.
knowledge exchange; unConference; ICT; youth; research-practice; social entrepreneurship