NorFA‘s network seminar

01.02.2002
Approximately 20 new network co-ordinators gathered at Voksenåsen, Oslo, on 30th and 31st of January 2002.
Approximately 20 new network co-ordinators gathered at Voksenåsen, Oslo, on 30th and 31st of January 2002.

NorFA‘s rector Hans Gudmundsson introduced NorFA to the seminar participants, and adviser Peeter Päts outlined the history of NorFA‘s networks.

Three experienced network co-ordinators, Nils-Kåre Birkeland (of the University of Bergen), Olav Eklund (of Turku University) and Jón Ólafsson (of Iceland University) shared some observations from their own networks. Their conclusions were among other things that development of this type of relations takes time, but once it works, this allowes flexibility and the establishment of useful contacts.

The network consultant and author Johny Alm stated that networks as a phenomenon need more research. They are used for transferring knowledge and resources and to create new organisational structures. A network is based on a vision of a future condition or state. Networks that are managed by a core group tend to be more successful than the ones that are organised by an induvidual. The core group should consist of different types of personalities that complete each other.

The co-ordinators were then divided into groups to discuss the role of the core group, success criteria and possible problems. Several groups mentioned the danger of bureaucratisation and too little time left for the main activity as possible dangers, and that the core group should function as the creator of the network‘s vision.

The consultant Bent Egebart of Colorweb, Denmark, outlined the nature of information spreading, focusing on the Internet and web pages. His main message was that the web page should be regarded as an integrated part of the network, and that it should be used to spread news and results both to the network members and to the public.


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