Shadow the Leader CPsquare will follow “MelkenoverdeGrens”

Posted on Monday, 14 September, 2009 by


CPsquare, an international learning community of people interested in communities of practice,  each year follows a leader of a community. By talking over a phonebridge monthly for an hour, the small group of participants get a sense of the community. Reflecting on change over time during the course of the year is interesting.

I was surprised to see there was interest to follow my recent project (together with Co Scholten) “Melken over de Grens” for a year. I welcome this opportunity to receive informed advice for our community and to put my own learning and reflection on the agenda. Secretly, it helps as an incentive to keep developing Melken over de Grens.

Shadowing Josien Kapma – Milking on the border

During the next year, CPsquare will be shadowing Josien Kapma, a Dutch dairy farmer living in Portugal.

Trained as a Water Management Engineer (MSc.) Kapma earned a postdoctoral diploma in Development Management. She’s the mother of 3 children and an active member of KM4Dev and CPsquare. In CPsquare, she’s participated in the Foundations of Communities of Practice workshop, in the Connected Futures workshop, and been a mentor in the Foundations Workshop as well.

We’ll be shadowing her work as a leader of “Melken Over De Grens” or “Milking on the border” It’s a global community for expatriate Dutch dairy farmers that’s developing its learning agenda and trying to find its legs at the same time (in terms of organization, business model, funding, and learning activities).

Join us once a month (starting on Wednesday, September 23 at 20:00 GMT) to reflect on the birthing and development process for this community. We will consider questions such as:

* In what ways is diversity and a global diaspora a resource for a community? In what ways are those characteristics a challenge?
* What individual and group interests are served by the community? How are they balanced? What leadership is needed and can leaders be compensated for their work, apart from learning as a leadership benefit?
* What activities make sense and what publications are useful in the development process?

Meeting notes, audio recordings, and synchronous exchanges will be gathered here.

more about

Dutch milk farmers have emigrated to all over the world and they often maintain contacts with other local dutch dairymen. I felt there is scope for a global dutch “milking across the border” community. I found a co-initiator who manages a thriving dairy farmers community in the Netherlands; our project builds on several existing on- and offline communities.

We privately invested money for a site and continue to invest up to 8-10 hrs a week for community nurturing. We hope to be able someday to earn back (part of) our investments.

We aspire to ‘grow’ a platform for learning and open innovation of Dairy Farming, where farmers, dairy production chain partners, advisors, agribusiness, students and researchers have conversations and engage in projects. While the platform should remain farmer-led, companies and organisations will fund it in the future. We realise this may take years or may never succeed.

Where we stand now: our first posts appeared in July 2009. We post 2-3 posts a week. For the last 3 weeks, we received 2400 visits a week. We get some reactions from readers, in the form of articles they submit as blogposts and comments, but no real discussions as yet. We are talking to people we know who work in agribusiness companies and try to get them interested to become “partners”.

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