terry gibson

Testing the idea that 'social networking' can enable communities to learn from each other

Much of my work promotes the idea that people can learn from each other, rather than from ‘experts’. This is termed ‘horizontal learning’. The ‘micahchallenge’ campaign started to discuss the idea that communities could learn from each other about what they call ‘integral mission’ – the responsibility of church groups to engage completely with their communities; addressing injustice and inequality for example. We introduced the idea that the growing phenomenon of ‘social networking’ could be applied as a basis for networking groups from very different situations together.

Linkspace images

The concept of ‘Linkspace’ is that church groups can collaborate, using the internet, to compare their ‘stories’ and to work together on particular issues that concern them.

The project is supported by Tearfund’s ‘innovations fund’ and is being piloted in a number of countries from October 07 – October 08. Already we have seen one or two examples of what I refer to as ‘learning from difference’. What I mean by this is the way that contrasts, and even provocative experiences, can lead people to fresh thinking about what they think and do.

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