The Power of Networks to Empower Communities
Cambridge, UK | 26 November 2014
By Audrey Gerber, Marketing & Communications, Israel Inter-University Computation Center (IUCC)
A network can mean many things – to many different types of people and organisations. Advanced ICT networks are the core of the GÉANT project, and the core of the local, regional and affiliate members and partners. But if we look beyond the routers, switches and fibre cables, we will find the secret to a successful network. People. With diverse needs, cultures and aspirations. By intelligently and sensitively networking these networks of people, unique and powerful communities are nurtured. These communities enable benefits that extend traditional boundaries inherently defined by network topology, and by geography and culture as well.
An outstanding example of this is the workshop programme spearheaded by the Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) and the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN).
Picture: Dr Leslie Lobel (left) oversees drawing of blood from an Ebola survivor for his study. (Courtesy of Leslie Lobel)
Combatting Dengue Fever
The first dedicated Dengue Fever workshop, held in January 2014 was jointly hosted by APAN (Asia-Pacific Advanced Network) and TEIN*CC (manager of the TEIN network) in Bandung, Indonesia. It brought together over 30 clinicians and researchers from within the multi-disciplinary Dengue Fever community, public health officials as well as NREN representatives from across Asia-Pacific. Under the banner “Dengue Fever- Let’s STOP it!” the workshop provided a forum to share experience and discuss best practices, mobilising a new community dedicated to helping combat the spread of this devastating disease.
All virtual participants were able to view the presentations and follow discussions in real time using the multipoint videoconference system supported by their respective national R&E networks and the regional TEIN backbone. Participants experienced videoconferencing as a time- and cost-effective collaboration tool and saw first-hand how video and web conferencing over R&E networks can save time and money for meetings and clinical case discussions.
Beyond the scope of collaboration on scientific material, participants enthusiastically agreed to follow up with virtual meetings around areas of research interest.