E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

Photography

Gran Canaria – The Beginning of a New Dawn

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This is probably one of the very last weblog posts that I would be creating where I would be massively linking to a number of different stories that keep popping up both from within the traditional media as well as within the Spanish Gofiosfera on the recent tragic events where one third of the entire wooded area from the island of Gran Canaria is now gone after the fires have all been under control. And a similar situation, thank goodness, is starting to emerge in Tenerife.

There was a reason why I was linking to a number of different resources, more than anything else, it was all due to the fact that I wanted to share some of the grief that most of us is going through at the moment. That painful experience of seeing how one good chunk of you is taken away just like that in a matter of hours and without any further questions.

Back at the beginning, when I was first writing the initial blog post from this series I mentioned how it hurt, how painful it surely was to witness that tragedy taking place and myself not been able to do much on the subject. Now a few days have passed by and still feel the same, like something that I was part of was taken away from me very abruptly. For good.

In one of my twitterings earlier on today, I realised that most of the pictures from the collage that I have for my Twitter background are actually from several of the different places that are now completely devastated by the fires. Yet, there they are, as impressive and stunning as ever and with a strong message that at one point in time they will be back! Just like in the good old times, but better. Way better! I am not sure if I would be here still that long, but if I am, you bet that I am going to enjoy the time quite a bit where I will be capturing those precious little moments that will remind me of what it all once was and where we have moved on to: onwards!

Because there is no other way to go. Now more than ever we need to move on, we need to learn from our past mistakes, we need to ensure that events like this one would never happen, at least, at a similar scale, of what we have witnessed since Friday last week. I, for one, would be incredibly excited about when that time would come, because I know it will be coming back again, and at that point I would be as much proud as I used to be (Still am very much so, in case you are wondering!) of one of the places that accepted me back three years ago, with no questions asked, like if it was the prodigal son coming back home. Finally! I never left home. I know now. Perhaps too late. The beginning of a new dawn starts now! Want to join me?…


Oh, and before I let you go, I can certainly recommend checking out the index of YouTube videos that various different people have put together that CanariasBruta has been able to collect thus far. And also watch the following one as reported by mainstream media (In Spanish):

And here you have got a couple of pictures that different folks have been taking thus far:

Courtesy of Canarias7:

Courtesy of tonyatlantico:

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Gran Canaria Fires – Almost There! Almost under Control…

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And while the reactions and different news items keep showing up all over the place with folks sharing their thoughts on this tragic set of events, it looks like things are starting to become normalised, to a certain degree, that is, because we cannot say just yet that everything is under control. Not yet. The struggle continues. The fight is there, active, more than ever, to try to put an end to it all. And we are getting there, for sure. Slowly, but steadily. Hopefully, one more day. Just one more day. Tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Best of luck to us all.

Weather conditions have improved quite a bit with temperatures around the 30 degrees Celcius and with hardly any wind, at least, from this side of the island. Definitely, not as windy as in the last couple of days. So there is plenty of hope that everything would be back to normal soon, if we could say that because I doubt things would ever be the same again. Not after watching this catastrophe for over 5 days now.

The first evaluations, editorials, extensive opinions and reviews, reservations, etc. etc. are starting to flourish now, and perhaps I will talk about them some more later on, but I just thought I would leave you for the day with something that I have found incredibly amazing and a life-changing experience, for sure.

Check out the impressive Flickr set of pictures that tonyatlantico has been putting together, where he has been covering what Ayagaures looks like after the fire. A place which is just about 20 minutes by car from where I live. Then also take a look at a couple of pictures I took from the same place some time ago in all its splendour.

All I can say at this moment is that it still hurts… and quite a lot!

(Oh, and don’t forget you can keep up with what the Spanish Gofiosfera is thinking about over at Planeta Canarias)

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Gran Canaria and Tenerife Disasters and Some Mixed Feelings

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While the news items keep popping up on what has been named as Gran Canaria‘s worst ecological disaster in recent history, we can already start seeing some folks coming out of the places where they have been hiding for a while, looking for those who should be responsible for such tragic set of events. Yes, that is right, while we are starting to witness some of the political games coming from various fronts, all of them blaming someone else, probably like it usually happens in these cases (Blame your neighbour, it’s easier), the fires are still blazing away while we all hope that the high temperatures and the strong winds would give everyone a break to finish off the job.

Over the course of the last few hours, there have been a number of different webloggers commenting further on what is actually happening out there and I just thought I would share a few links in here to give you a sense of some of the mixed feelings that we are all going through these tough times:

Canarias está ardiendo
Arde Gran Canaria (5)
Hace fuego
El incendio de Canarias en la red
Incendio en Canarias: el fuego arrasa reservas de la biosfera
Arde Canarias
Fuego arrasa 65 por ciento superficie “Palmitos Park” y afecta a 60 por ciente animales y plantas
— Special Canariasbruta coverage
Mi isla se quema

I have been sharing a few pictures already over here on what is going on at the moment, but I would strongly encourage you to have a look and check this weblog post, Pictures, from Isle of Gran Canaria, to see the kind of impact that this disaster is having.

And, like you would not have expected otherwise, the first video clips from YouTube are starting to emerge. So instead of sharing some more additional pictures I am just going to embed some of the dramatic clips put together thus far:

Finally, here is a detailed description of the events as they are happening and courtesy from Canarias7. And thank goodness, it looks like things are starting to improve a bit as mentioned in Gran Canaria tiene “estabilizados” todos los focos tras 100 horas de incendio, pero desconfía de las cambios de viento. Although, still on guard, of course.

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Dramatic Weekend in Gran Canaria … and Now Tenerife, Too! – Part II

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And while several different fires continue to spread around the South-West of the island of Gran Canaria (With one soldier injured at the moment) and while there are more and more news items coming through just as horrifying as the previous ones, things are getting a whole lot worse now with another massive fire spreading around like mad in Tenerife, the other major island from the Canary Islands.

So far here in Gran Canaria 10,000 hectares have burned with 5,200 people evacuated, whereas in Tenerife it is already going for 13,695 hectares and 4,200 people on the move. An unprecedented catastrophe for all of the Canary Islands and Spain, no doubt! From here onwards, here is a positive message going out to everyone affected to let you all know: we will get things back again in shape soon, we have to, we don’t have a choice, we will:

[…] sólo os puedo decir que no olvidéis ni permitáis que os hagan olvidar.” (Comment in Spanish from a weblog post shared in Mangas Verdes by Dani)

Here are some more pictures from the catastrophe thus far:

Courtesy from Pablo César, a.k.a. pcesarperez / AdAstra

Courtesy from artevirgo (Impressive set of pictures):

Courtesy from Víctor, a.k.a. rvr:

And perhaps one of the most impressive, courtesy from GrJMontero (For a more recent one from both Gran Canaria and Tenerife click here):

PS. There is also a Flickr group: Incendio Gran Canaria – Julio 2007, where we can share the pictures we have taken about the fires. Feel free to add yours as time goes by.

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Dramatic Weekend in Gran Canaria

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I know that this weblog post is very much off topic, and you would have to excuse me for it, but if there are ever pictures out there that would be worth while 1,000 words, the following set would be those that would provide you with a intensive sense of drama, if not tragedy. For all of us:

My dearest paradise is burning and it hurts. It truly hurts…


(Pictures courtesy from JrGMontero, rvr, elesar1)

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APQC – The Conference on Knowledge Management and Innovation – May 2007 – Houston, TX, US

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First day back after the long Easter break and it looks like this time around the everlasting battle between work / life balance was won by life! What an incredible weekend I have had! Checked out lots of different places and had a really good time! I took a whole bunch of pictures that I am hoping I will be sharing shortly in my Flickr account, as soon as I get back on track from catching up on everything! Goodness! How much e-mail can you get after being a couple of days off? At least, I am now done with it and back on track with almost everything.

Anyway, that is not the reason why I wanted to create this particular weblog post. Over the last couple of weeks I have been working on a presentation that I will actually be using very shortly as beginning of May I am heading over to Houston, TX, US, to attend the APQC event on The Conference on Knowledge Management & Innovation.

Yes, that is right. From May 10th till 11th I will actually be attending what promises to be a fantastic event, if you get to read the 7 Reasons why this KM conference is a must attend. The list of keynote speakers is rather impressive as well as you can read over here (Dave Snowden, Jimmy Wales, Carla O’Dell, amongst others). No doubt. But there is actually a whole lot more. From May 7th till the 9th there will also be some specific Knowledge Management training and I have actually decided to attend a couple of the different courses offered: Knowledge Management: Strategies and Tactics for Business Results and Measuring the Impact of Knowledge Management.

So in the end I am going to be there from the 6th of May till the 13th enjoying what I am sure is going to be a great learning opportunity to find out some more about what is going on around the world of Knowledge Management at the moment. As I have mentioned above, I am actually going to be speaking, along with two of my fellow IBM colleagues (Alice Dunlap-Kraft and Mary Ellen Sullivan), during the event as well as one of the different breakout sessions. The title of the session is Communities: Hotbeds of Innovation at IBM and I have taken the liberty of reproducing the abstract over here so that you get to see what we will be covering during the couse of the breakout session:

"IBM’s culture emphasizes innovation, and its leaders rely on communities of practice for innovation. The innovation culture permeates communities from the very top, where IBM’s vice president for technical strategy and innovation issued an executive challenge to communities, to the grass roots, where ThinkPlace catalysts evaluate new ideas from their communities. Community members swarmed around the buzz of new ideas in a recent 72-hour Innovation Jam, and IBM’s Academy of Technology created an outreach program to link to community members. The growing use of social software has increased the number and diversity of collaborators working on new ideas."

As you would be able to see, we will be talking about how communities have shaped the way knowledge sharing and collaboration amongst community members have taken a new wave of interactions within the enterprise by which innovation is thriving back again thanks to the adoption of different social computing tools, like wikis, weblogs, social bookmarks, podcasts, tagging, Web syndication, etc., in order to help those same knowledge workers drive that same innovation. And all that along with the usage of one other tool that has certainly grabbed a lot of interest already: ThinkPlace.

The final presentation has not been made available just yet. We are just giving it the last finishing touches, but as soon as it is ready to go I will actually be sharing it over here, so that you can have a look well ahead in advance of what we will be talking about. You can imagine how excited we all are with the whole thing, not only for making it to the event and present on some of the stuff we have been working for the last few months, but also because of the incredible opportunity it would be to attend some KM related training along with meeting up with a whole bunch of other passionate KMers and do some heavy (social) networking. Perhaps one of my favourite activities from every single event I get to attend 🙂

Will you be there? Will you be making it to this years’ APQC Conference on Knowledge Management & Innovation? If the answer to both of those questions is Yes! and if you would want to meet up for a drink, do not hesitate to drop a comment over here or contact me offline and we will be able to hook up, I am sure. Look forward to meeting up with those of you who may be going to the conference!

I may create another follow up weblog post with some final comments as the final dates approach, thus stay tuned for some more to come!

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