It's been ages since I blogged and I must say even I am surprised at how few posts I've been able to publish since starting grad school. Some of you have emailed questions concerning pursuing a graduate degree - to do or not, what to consider, the works. Once I have some free time I'll probably do a post on my candid impressions about graduate school. For now though I couldn't let this event pass without some mention on Circumspect: BarCamp Ghana 2011!
Globalization = (By Force/Voluntary) Partnerships
Life in this globalized era means many things. One of those is the importance of partnerships and collaborations. Like it or not, what happens in one part of the world resonates in another. Choosing not to 'participate' in the global system doesn't necessarily mean you're excluded anymore: case in point, the global financial crisis. A similar dynamic is evident at the local level and especially when you're actively seeking to influence your national or local system through one project or another.
Connections Vs. Networking
Everyone in Ghana has at one point or another encountered the need to use "connections". This usually entails having a family friend or distant relative put in a good word on one's behalf in order to improve one's chance at an opportunity. While it might get the job done, it's by no means a sustainable way of creating partnerships. What happens if your family has a falling out with that 'connection'? Does that mean your job (and everything invested) is on the line? And what about the thousands other people who you don't have an apparent link to? What opportunities are you missing out on there?
I think it's time the mindset in Ghana changed from "connections" to networking. Here, networking is not an ad-hoc (or last minute) attempt at getting your foot in the door, but a more long-term, strategic development of professional relationships that are mutual. From personal experience, nurturing relationships with people in fields I'm interested in, or just curious about, have had a positive impact on the opportunities I have undertaken. Already, the momentum around strategic career development is being built in Ghana and BarCamp Ghana 2011 focuses on exactly this.
Mentorship & Career "How-To"s
How exactly do you go about networking? What kind of things should you be thinking about with regards to pursuing a career in technology, public service, international affairs, etc? What exactly is a resume or CV? How about the 30-second elevator speech? All these things go into nurturing and developing one's career and laying the foundations for a successful career. Who better to give insight than people who've already been there?
BarCamps are in essence about networking and fostering collaboration around innovative ideas and solutions. Under the theme: "Establishing Partnerships to Transform Dreams into Action-Based Projects: Lessons from Mentors", BarCamp Ghana 2011 will take on the issues head-on and introduce inspirational and well-versed mentors who share candid insights on how they got to where they are, and what you need to do to get to where you wanna be.
So, if you're free on Sat. Dec. 17, 2011 from 8am to 6pm and would love to develop networks both in-country and abroad, then you wanna sign up to BarCamp Ghana 2011. As always, the event is FREE to the general public. Venue: AITI-KACE
NB: Final event details will be announced via the BarCamp Ghana Website: http://www.barcampghana.org/ and Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/BarCampGhana. Please see below for a press release and further details.
BarCamp Ghana 2011- Press Release