Overview...

What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Networking

Networking is going to be the most important, yet most complicated and time consuming aspect of this planning process.  The more people we know in Sierra Leone before I go, the more depth my trip will have.  There are going to be multiple aspects to this process, but in short they will be:

  • A US based network of people, companies, and organizations 
  • Individuals and organizations located in the US but already affiliated with Sierra Leone  
  • Sierra Leone based organizations working in country
  • Globally based individuals and organizations affiliated with Sierra Leone (new) 
The tricky part of these lists is that it is a lot of flat out tedious work.  To find, to research, to contact (and usually not get contacted back).  But this is what will make this project successful, so it must be a priority.




Regarding US based organizations working on Sierra Leone, I have come up with quite a few names and Meredyth (not sure which advisor label she gets yet;) has found some good information regarding US based organizations dealing with Sierra Leone that I will start working with.  She lives in the Washington DC area and was talking about helping me set up some meetings with organizations based down there.  I think the best way forward is to contact all on these lists and see who expresses interest.  Ultimately, at minimum we want people to start following the blog, but it would be great if they would help network the project into Sierra Leone and its global community.  We'll make an excel spread sheet with each possible contact and go from there.

US based organizations and individuals looked to for various levels of support would include those volunteering time/expertise, giving both emotional and/or financial/material support, and could be anything from Vibram for sponsorship to friends and family for emotional support.  This list will remain rather small at first in the beginning as I don't think of putting friends and family on a list like this as they are easy to keep track of mentally, but Vibram will be the first on it and eventually this list will be more about other institutional donors and lenders as the project expands into a full blown organization.  

Finally, and perhaps the most pertinent, is the list of Sierra Leone based organizations.  This list will contain anything ranging from local NGO's to country specific media sources.  If we can start getting walking lion linked in to local Sierra Leone news, government, tourist, and business related media concerns we will slowly start to become part of the fabric of the country's media scene and gain more and more notice.  I believe that now that I have purchased a plane ticket, and have the website to a place where there is a broad enough range of information and introductory material, that it is time that we can start marketing the website and the project to these types of entities.  

We just have to do the research and put the excel sheets together!!!


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