Today amidst major building work at Varley Park in Falmer, a group of academics and representatives of local community organisations have been summing up the learnings from the seminar series New Practices for New Publics. The seminars took place over two years, hosted by Brighton University and aimed to create a space for interdisciplinary exchange between academics and civil society organisations [CSOs] in health and social care, youth work and education about practice theory approaches.
Some of us are using the summer break to get something done, like writing a book, for example. This summer we’ll have an interesting range of Book Sprints coming up in Europe.
Book Sprints in July and August
We’ll be facilitating a Book Sprint for the New Practices for New Publics project at the University of Brighton in the UK from July 19 – 22.
During the same week (July 20 – 22), another Book Sprint will take place with Brigitta Wurnig Coaching in a spa resort near Hamburg, Germany.
And also in Germany, in a monastery near Ulm, Die Akademie will be hosting a Book Sprint from August 8 – 11, 2017.
The last two will be producing books in German which we rarely get to do!
Looks like it will be a good summer.
At re:publica last week we talked about free internet activist Bassel Khardabil and his love for free culture, and the love of the free culture community for Bassel. Bassel Khardabil was unlawfully detained in Damascus in March 2012. His name was deleted from the prison’s register in October 2015, and there have been no official news about his whereabouts since.
#FreeBassel at re:publica 2017
It has now been 5 years since Bassel’s imprisonment. Therefore we used re:publica’s motto “Love Out Loud” to call attention to his case again. Although I don’t know Bassel personally it wasn’t easy to talk about his situation. But it was good to see the audience engaging with the story, writing personal notes about their thoughts on free culture and creating a wall of notes in support of the #FreeBassel campaign.
Re:publica recorded the presentation by Barbara Rühling and Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay.
Cost of Freedom Book Sprint 2015
As one of many activities of the #FreeBassel movement, friends and supporters came together for an impromptu Book Sprint in November 2015. You can read about all the past and ongoing activities at freebassel.org. And consider signing the campaign letter to demand his freedom.
The Book Sprint in 2015 focused on the topic “Cost of Freedom” with many stories around the personal costs people in the free culture movement have experienced. The book is freely available here: costoffreedom.cc
And you can check out the slides of the re:publica presentation here:
Yesterday was the final day of the epic dual-language Sprint in Accra, Ghana. The policy paper written for civil society about how to engage the private sector in climate change adaptation initiatives was headed by IBIS Ghana, ABANTU for Development, West African Civil Society Forum and SOS Sahel.
The paper is rich with case studies of business opportunities which yield profit and positive effects for communities and the environment. Examples range from a micro-insurance scheme to protect small-scale farmers in Burkina Faso against drastic weather to innovative crop storage bags which improve food security across countries in West Africa. The paper ends with a set of recommendations for civil society and the public sector to create a conducive environment for, and guide the private sector, into funding projects which seek to adapt to the changing climate and mitigate its harmful effects. We hope the paper will prove useful to the field!
Below some of their impressions:
You can check some of the photos of the Book Sprint here
Yesterday we started our first ever Book Sprint in two languages. Oxfam Ibis has gathered a group of half English-speaking and half French-speaking participants to write a policy brief about financing climate adaptation through the engagement of the private sector. Climate change adaptation refers to the efforts to reduce or minimize the harmful effects of the future climate and to make use of the opportunities which arise. This is part of Ibis’ two-year project on West African Dialogue of Private Climate Financing, aiming to build the capacity and strategies of civil society to engage the private sector in climate change adaptation efforts. The participants from across West Africa have come together to share their experiences of effective climate adaptation efforts and provide a set of recommendations as a tool for civil society to use in dialogue with the private sector.
The Book Sprint process itself is very challenging since traditionally we rely so heavily on quick and lively exchange between contributors, rapid production and reiteration of content, and equal weight of all voices. For this Sprint we have had to adapt our strategies, abandoning the simultaneous translation by the second day. We are running two parallel processes with the two language groups and finding moments to come back together and merge the two groups’ outputs. Luckily we have a few bilingual people who are acting as our bridges.
See photos of the Book Sprints here on flickr.
In review, 2016 was a year full of interesting Book Sprints and some changes to the management of Book Sprints Ltd.
Founder Adam Hyde is now the director of the board and appointed Barbara Rühling as CEO and Katerina Michailidi as COO of the company. The new management is based in Berlin, Germany. Our amazing team is based all around the world between New Zealand, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, USA, and Nicaragua.
The full team includes:
- Adam Hyde (NZ) – Founder and director
- Barbara Rühling (GER) – CEO
- Katerina Michailidi (GR) – COO
- Mark Brokering (USA) – Client Liaison
- Juan Gutierrez (NIC) – Developer
- Raewyn Whyte (NZ) – Textual Clean Up
- Julien Taquet (FR) – HTML Book Production
- Henrik van Leeuwen (NL) – Illustrations
- Faith Bosworth (ZA) – Facilitator
- Laia Ros (AND) – Facilitator
Thank you all and a happy 2017 to everyone!
Book Sprints on four continents in 2016
2016 saw Book Sprints taking place on four continents. From east to west, we facilitated Book Sprints in Tokyo, Japan – Bern, Switzerland – Bad Honnef, Germany – Marrakesh, Morocco – several in Maryland, USA – Salt Lake City, Utah – and several in San Jose, California.
Below is a list of the Book Sprints we facilitated this year.
Change Maker Education
This Book Sprint, hosted by Ashoka, captured the wisdom of 12 highly inspired and passionate “ChangeMaker” educators. The book Changemakers: Educating with Purpose is a meaningful and usable guide for other educators wanting to implement similar practices in their schools. The book is available on Amazon: http://a.co/hq6jrEB
Power Purchase Agreements in Africa
The second USAID Book Sprint produced Understanding Power Project Financing, a handbook that focuses on the financing challenges of power projects in Africa. It was later translated into French. Both English and French versions can be found here: http://cldp.doc.gov/programs/cldp-in-action/details/1603
F5 AFM Operations Guide
In March, the fourth Book Sprint with F5 took place in San Jose. Eleven F5 Engineers, Technical Training Developers, Security Solution Architects and Sales Engineers worked together to write the F5 BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) Operations Guide. You can download the guide here: https://devcentral.f5.com/articles/the-big-ip-afm-operations-guide-20511
Cisco VXLAN EVPN Guide
In April, another group of Cisco engineers from all over the US and Europe came together in California for the fifth Cisco Book Sprint. The wrote the guide A Modern, Open and Scalable Fabric: VXLAN EVPN. Available for download here: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/support/switches/nexus-9000-series-switches/products-configuration-examples-list.html
GIZ Treasure Hunt
At the end of May, a group of ten contributors wrote the book Treasure Hunt – How Good Financial Governance can support resource-endowed countries in achieving the SDGs. GIZ (Germany’s agency for international development cooperation) has been doing extensive work on improving governance in the extractive sector, and used the Book Sprint to document and evaluate these strategies.
Tokyo Development Learning Center Operations Manual
The Tokyo Development Learning Center came back for a second Book Sprint. In 4 days, they developed an operations manual for a new partnership program with the Government of Japan.
Handbook on Liquefied Natural Gas in Africa
In November, a group of experts organised by the US Energy Association and the Department of Energy created a handbook for African governments wanting to set up natural gas development projects. The first version of the book is available here: https://www.energy.gov/ia/downloads/understanding-natural-gas-and-lng-options
Guide for Managing and Mitigating Conflict Risks in Mining Contracts
Also in November, the World Bank invited eleven experts of open contracting and mining contracts to Kent Island in Maryland. In three and a half days they designed a guide to prevent, mitigate and manage conflict risks through the mining contracting process.
Guide for the development of electoral codes of conduct
At the initiative of the Human Security Department of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (HDS) and International IDEA, six participants came together in Bern in December. Collaboratively they wrote a book to guide domestic ‘honest brokers’ working in transitional contexts (facilitators such as party leaders, EMBs, peacebuilding experts, democracy assistance practitioners, etc.). The book draws on experiences from successful dialogues between political parties for the development of codes of conduct that contribute to the holding of peaceful elections.
You can find photos of all the Book Sprints here:
Testimonials by Book Sprint participants
Here are some of the things participants have said about Book Sprints in 2016.
This is my second Book Sprint experience and it left me even more enthused about the validity of Book Sprints as an effective knowledge management approach. – Phil Karp, The World Bank
It’s fun to work with other folks in the group because everyone brings in their own experiences and personalities and it is really an interesting experience. – Lilian Quan, Ciscoo
Overall I was pretty nervous, how are we going to get all this work done in five days? But after the first day I recognized, yes, we can absolutely get this done. – Jason Gmitter, Cisco
I did not think it was possible to write a book in five days. I enjoyed working on something and having something to show for it in such a small amount of time… We have an end product that we can be proud of. – Vibhuti Jain, USAID
It was a journey from the unkown to the known. We started of with barely nothing, just a couple of ideas, but as the week went by and after lots of discussions and lots of thinking it came to a result that is very good, the end result is actually something to be very proud of. – Lucy Chege, Development Bank of Southern Africa
International IDEA and HDS How-to-guide the development of electoral codes of conduct Book Sprint finished
The Book Sprint for International IDEA and HDS finished up on Friday afternoon. During five days, six participants from IDEA, HSD, NIMD and the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue pooled their expertise to build a practical tool for the development of codes of conduct aiming at celebrating elections in the best conditions.
The Book intends to guide domestic ‘honest brokers’ working in transitional contexts (facilitators such as party leaders, EMBs, peacebuilding experts, democracy assistance practitioners, etc.) and provides lessons learned, essential steps and considerations drawn from successful dialogues between political parties for the development of codes of conduct that contribute to the holding of peaceful elections.
The guide will illustrate each step with comparative examples allowing its users to make informed strategic decisions both in relation to process and content. It will now go through a final review by IDEA’s publication team and we look forward to seeing its release!
To see pictures from this Book Sprint click here
Today it’s our second day of a new Book Sprint in the charming city of Bern, the capital of Switzerland.
The book is an initiative led by the Human Security Department of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (HDS) and International IDEA.
Taking as a starting point that political dialogue is a major conflict-prevention mechanism, the group is writing a practical guide on how to facilitate dialogue initiatives in the context of electoral processes in transition or conflict countries (codes of conduct).
Participants will bring their hands-on facilitation experiences to illustrate with practical examples the different steps and essential considerations.
You can check the photos of the first day here.
Book Sprints founder Adam Hyde blogs a lot about publishing, open source and collaboration. If you would like to read his posts have a look here!
His latest post about Attribution and Open Source is a particularly good read but there is a lot of good stuff there:
This week, the World Bank invited eleven experts of open contracting and mining contracts as well as a Book Sprints facilitator to Kent Island in Maryland. In three and a half days they set out to collaboratively design a tool to prevent, mitigate and manage conflict risks through the mining contracting process.
There have been various Book Sprints with the World Bank since the Open Contracting Book Sprint more than three years ago, and at least three of them have taken place in Kent Manor, this pretty place.
Highly concentrated and only very slightly distracted by the elections playing out in nearby Washington DC, the group is developing a guiding tool to offer good principles to government officials and the private sector in the immensely complex mining contract process.
See more photos here.