Vintage Bank Vault (Brook Ward/

Death of the knowledge bank

Reda Sadki Learning strategy

The complexity of the networks in which our organization operates is scaffolded by a corpus of mostly-unwritten, tacit knowledge and ‘ways of working’ that we learn mostly from our peers. It would be impossible to justify time to study even a fraction of the written corpus of policies, procedures, regulations and other instruments of bureaucracy that provides the legal and operational framework – and even that would not provide access to the tacit knowledge that we need. So we learn as we go from our colleagues. In some contexts, we may proceed by trial and error, making adjustments when we receive negative feedback. When asked where we learn such knowledge, sources may remain apocryphal. We seldom reflect on where, when, how, and from whom we learn. Relegating learning about operational complexity to the informal domain may seem to present a risk for the organization. In practice, we find that we do tend to …


Thick knowledge

Reda Sadki Content strategy, Learning strategy, Quotes

Toby Mundy on books as thick knowledge: […]Books have a unique place in our civilisation […] because they are the only medium for thick descriptions of the world that human beings possess. By ‘thick’ description, I mean an extended, detailed, evidence-based, written interpretation of a subject. If you want to write a feature or blog or wikipedia entry, be it about the origins of the first world war; the authoritarian turn in Russia; or the causes and effects of the 2008 financial crisis, in the end you will have to refer to a book. Or at least refer to other people who have referred to books. Even the best magazine pieces and TV documentaries — and the best of these are very good indeed — are only puddle-deep compared with the thick descriptions laid out in books. They are ‘thin’ descriptions and the creators and authors of them will have referred extensively to books …

Audio source missing

The End of Paper: Interview with Richard Padley of Semantico

Reda Sadki Writing

At the 2010 Tools of Change for Publishing conference in Frankfurt, we met Richard Padley of Semantico. He spoke at the conference about mobile platforms from the perspective of publishers faced with multiple delivery models including apps and the web. We started off our interview with Richard Padley by asking: What does the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement mean to you? So, is it the end of paper? Even if I tell you that 30% of IFRC’s membership don’t have e-mail? Many people seem to think that PDF is a usable digital format for publications. So, what’s wrong with PDF? Even though EPUB is the basis for eBooks, in 2010 few people are familiar with this format. What’s right with EPUB? The Kindle is a single-purpose device. It does one thing, and is meant to it well enough to convince people who love printed books to cross the digital divide. …

George Siemens at TEDxNYED (3 June 2010)

A few of my favorite excerpts from George Siemens’s Knowing Knowledge (2006)

Reda Sadki Theory

My own practice (and no doubt yours) has been shaped by many different learning theorists. George Siemens, for me, stands out articulating what I felt but did not know how to express about the changing nature of knowledge in the Digital Age. Below I’ve compiled a few of my favorite excerpts from his book Knowing Knowledge, published in 2006, two years before he taught the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with Alec Couros and Stephen Downes. Learning has many dimensions. No one model or definition will fit every situation. CONTEXT IS CENTRAL. Learning is a peer to knowledge. To learn is to come to know. To know is to have learned. We seek knowledge so that we can make sense. Knowledge today requires a shift from cognitive processing to pattern recognition. Construction, while a useful metaphor, fails to align with our growing understanding that our mind is a connection-creating structure. We do not always …