As George Roberts posted earlier today, the Emerge project JISC bid to support the Users and Innovation strand of the capital programme was successful.
I went along to the formal interview with George (Oxford Brookes), Chris Fowler (Essex), Michael Gardner (Essex) and Steven Warburton (Kings College London) on Thursday, where we had a really productive discussion and got very excited about the project again.
My role will be focusing on supporting JISC’s community of practice by providing appropriate infrastructure and tools, and ensuring that support and training is designed around the needs of group members.
I’m very much looking forward to working with Team Elgg, since we will be using an Elgg network to support the community members as appropriate (a lot of the flesh of the project, including tools and services, are going to depend on user need and preference) and as a base for the project management. Elgg was the obvious choice for me for a bunch of reasons, but in particular:
- It’s open source and supports a number of open standards. The January to June roadmap points up a lot of interesting new developments, including OpenID.
- Elgg has been designed to support distributed practices and user choices. This means that people in the group can choose to work where and how they want to, in small or large groups, or as individuals. We’ll be able to support the connections they want to make using the platform, and provide a great entry point into networks of practice.
- Relational granularity/Smart networking: posts, resources, and even elements of profiles can be public, shared amongst groups of any size, or private.
Entirely appropriately, while I was over at elgg.net checking out George’s post, I stumbled over another just-up post from Sam Rose, which pointed in the direction of a very interesting piece by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze, Using Emergence to Take Social Innovation to Scale.