Introduction to the By Life Connected platform

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Logo By Life Connected

The greatest achievements of mankind are a product of collaboration. There lies strength in teaming up with people whose knowledge and skills are different than yours. Or to quote Abraham Lincoln: “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” To truly innovate and address the world's most pressing challenges, we need to work together across boundaries created by expertise, distance and status. But how can we discover the treasures that others bring, share our own expertise and experiences, and then team up to make extraordinary things happen?

In the greater Kafue National Park (gKNP), By Life Connected aims to build a platform that contributes to understanding and connecting people, whether they are local farmers, lodge owners, government officials or NGO employees. We think we can turn the challenge of interdependence into an opportunity by improving network connectivity with the use of information technology. We believe that every individual can add something relevant to the development and conservation of the gKNP. However, the system they are currently part of has prevented them to function to the best of their capabilities. By Life Connected will refrain from interfering with the expertise and day-to-day activities of the stakeholders. Instead we aim to take on a supporting role in which we want to provide tools that will facilitate stakeholders to act collectively. We see ourselves as a catalyst for collaboration so that you - the people and institutions of gKNP - can succeed in co-creating a park that will benefit all parties involved.

"If you want to go fast, travel alone. If you want to go far, travel together.
- African proverb -

How do we want to do this? For stakeholders to connect, a network, connectivity and communication are key. The choice to truly collaborate is determined by the level of uncertainty and the risk it entails. If the level of uncertainty is low, stakeholders are easier persuaded to take a leap of faith and start working together. By creating a platform, By Life Connected will form an extensive network which will increase the connectivity and communication between stakeholders as well as minimize the uncertainty levels.

This platform will be created by setting up several programs. These programs, however, are not set in stone. The opinion and needs of all the stakeholders in the gKNP are paramount. We will do anything in our power to proactively obtain and maintain an overview of all stakeholder-specific needs and change our services accordingly. The programs:

Community Association Program (physical)

By setting up community-based associations and organizing activities we want to inform, empower, connect and involve stakeholders in the gKNP so that we can enhance the cohesion of all stakeholders. Activities can be anything from sport tournaments and cleaning up villages to inviting experts for lectures or workshops. An important aspect of these community associations is that they will function as the link between the platform and the local people of the gKNP who do not have access to the internet.

Stakeholder Identification Program (digital)

We want to remove uncertainty for all stakeholders by clearly displaying as much information about a stakeholder and the gKNP as possible. Identifying the role of stakeholders in the gKNP is essential to achieve collaboration between all stakeholders. With this program we want to make sure every stakeholder can answer the following question: who is who, why do they do what they do, where and how?

Supply and Demand Program (digital)

The purpose of this program is to quickly and easily make new connections. We want to achieve this by classifying and linking the supply and demand of stakeholders in the gKNP based on relevant social sectors. This stimulates to meet local demand by local suppliers, sharing between stakeholders and building a circular economy. Stakeholders can post a review based on their experiences so that the identity created in the Stakeholder Identification Program can be authenticated. The question we want to focus on with this program is: who offers and requires what?

Data Analysis Program (digital)

The aim of this program is to collect, combine, analyse and visualize as much data as possible from all stakeholders so that patterns in the data emerge and can be clearly displayed. Stakeholders can then make informed decisions. It can be enlightening for stakeholders to know: what happens to whom, what and where through time and why?

Blog Program

We must prevent a single story from placing people, countries, a whole continent in a stereotype, as this robs people of their dignity. With this blog we want to tell moving and personal stories of people - the Zambian man, woman, child, elderly, widow, orphan, poacher, ranger, teacher, farmer, etc - who live in the gKNP. The goal is to portray a realistic picture of these people for all stakeholders in the gKNP, but also to the rest of the world.

Posted by bylifeconnected

2 comments

Chiel Bakkeren

Beste Kellie en Lars,
Van harte steun ik jullie inspanningen om natuur en ‘de maatschappij’ meer met elkaar in harmonie te brengen in Afrika.
Geweldig dat jullie dit doen. Ik heb zelf altijd het idee gehad om ‘nog eens’ naar Afrika te gaan om de mensen daar te helpen en/of de natuur te beschermen.
Het is er nooit van gekomen, maar jullie doen gewoon allebei!
Nou ja, zo gewoon is het natuurlijk niet. Ik heb veel bewondering voor jullie enthousiasme en energie en jullie plannen en hoop dan ook van harte dat het een groot succes wordt.
Uiteraard blijf ik het (hopelijk vele) wel en (hopelijk weinige) wee van ByLifeConnected en het greater Kafue National Park in Zambia graag volgen.
Keep up the good work!
Chiel
PS. Schitterende foto’s trouwens!

bylifeconnected

Hey Chiel,
Wat mega lief van je, dankjewel! We gaan hard ons best doen, ik weet zeker dat we wel iets voor elkaar gaan krijgen :).
En je bent heel erg welkom hier als je nog eens van plan bent naar Afrika te komen!
Liefs Kellie

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