United Nations

Working with the United Nations

Over the last six months, Modus Cooperandi has had the good fortune to participate in three United Nations projects. The UN's missions lend themselves well not only to collaborative management, but to lean and social media, too. While the UN will be quick to admit they aren't early adopters of the last two methods, they are nevertheless appreciative of the power of lean and social media, and are ready to begin implementing them in earnest. It's been exciting and rewarding to watch, and we feel privileged to be a part of this work. Our three projects so far have been:

Collaboration eLearning Packages

UN Food and Agricultural Organization - Rome, Italy

Modus Cooperandi worked with a team of 20+ authors, editors, and eLearning specialists to build a comprehensive set of lessons around collaboration, community, and team building. Jim and Tonianne helped devise a group writing system using a variety of online tools to facilitate communication and collaboration. Additionally, we were principle authors on three sections of the eLearning package itself. Once complete, the system will be translated into six languages, and made available to UN staff and those interested worldwide.

OzonAction's 2010 Social Media Plan

United Nations Environmental Programme, OzonAction Unit - Paris, France

OzonAction is the UNEP's group which, with the ambitious goal date of 2010, helped phase out the manufacturing of ozone depleting substances (ODS) such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Now, in its second phase, two additional ozone-depleting chemicals are on the chopping block: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and MethylBromide. While OzonAction could certainly use their existing and successful methods to meet their deadline for the removal of these two compounds, they've chosen to incorporate social media to eradicate them ahead of schedule. Their success in the past has not made them complacent, and Modus Cooperandi is helping to create a social media plan that will provide the organization with actionable steps that won't overtax their budget or their staff. The goal here is to provide the maximum benefit for OzonAction without getting caught up in the fads or hype of the social media movement.  OzonAction's goals are serious, and so their use of social media should be directed in a way to reflect that sense of gravitas.

2010 Human Development Report for Vietnam

United Nations Development Programme - Hanoi, Vietnam

Over the past two decades, with the rise of globalization, Vietnam has experienced unprecedented economic growth. With one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, Vietnam has graduated to a mid-tier economic power. For this nation in transition, the current global economic downturn has left Vietnam with both options and opportunities. Countries in the United Nations need to provide a Human Development Report (HDR) to guide policy and funding both internally and externally. In many cases, the HDR can be several years between issues, and Vietnam is no different. For this project, UNDP and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) have gathered researchers and scientists from several different agencies within and outside Vietnam to create the HDR. The goal of this project is to have a full-fledge HDR, with detailed and directed recommendations, ready for the Vietnamese General Congress in October. Modus Cooperandi is facilitating this effort by implementing a collaborative management system, coaching researchers on collaboration as the document is authored. Rather than merely having a document constructed of distinct sections authored by independent researchers, the goal here is to bring all the researchers together and inform the sections with one voice, and in real-time. This should result in an end-product that makes consistent points throughout, as opposed to individual points in each section. Recommendations will then be bolstered by coherent arguments threaded throughout the entire document.

Collaborating with the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The Food and Agricultural Office of the United Nations (Photo by FAO) Modus Cooperandi has begun a project to help the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) create on-line training courses in distributed collaboration.  Modus joins thought leaders and experts from around the world in building a curriculum that will help workers from FAO and other organizations collaborate from a distance.  The project's aim is to provide knowledge of patterns, practices and tools that facilitate distributed collaboration and knowledge sharing - making remote locations no longer isolated , and providing expertise more quickly and at much lower cost. The resulting materials will be made available in seven languages and is scheduled for public use by the Summer of 2010.