epOnsite

One activity within our "empowering people. Network" is a regionally based and hands-on oriented format of training opportunities: the “empowering people. Onsite”. After a pilot in September 2014 in Uganda, our next epOnsite-training took place in Bogotá, Colombia in May 2015. More information will follow here soon – and on Twitter #epOnsite.

Communicate to be seen and understood...

“It is obvious that you all love what you are doing – make it visible”, Irene Morales, expert on communications

After a successful inauguration of the concept in Uganda last year, Siemens Stiftung launched a second epOnsite in the focus region of Latin America. Once again covering the important topic of communications skills, several organizations that are based or are operating in the region were invited to deepen their knowledge with expert sessions and practical training. When the format of the “empowering people. Onsite” was developed, the overall goal was to equip social entrepreneurs from the Network with skills in different fields that are important for their day-to-day work.

As the subject of communications was of great interest to participants in the workshop in Jinja, Uganda in September 2014, the team decided to bring this topic to the group gathering in Latin America.

Between May 10-13, thirteen social entrepreneurs from all over the American continent came to Bogotá, Colombia to benefit from the expertise of the whole Network. The mixture of backgrounds and languages made clear how important verbal and non-verbal communication can be in different contexts and, as participants began supporting each other in communication, a solid team spirit could be felt.

This common ground was particularly felt when ideas and challenges on the field of communications were shared. On the first day, participants were provided with theoretical information about communication strategies and tactics by experts Irene Morales and Ana María Morales. The sessions also included presentations on search engine optimization, a tool relatively unknown to many participants. It soon became clear that the resources that primarily have to be invested are not economic ones, but time and dedication.

Hands-on practice in parallel sessions was much appreciated during sessions on Video and Photography, Interviews & Presentations and Social Media. In small-sized groups, members received intensive feedback and advice.

The working week was rounded off by participants preparing a final presentation on a communication strategy for one specific target group with one specific key message. Here the group was able to see exactly how much they had benefiting from the expert sessions.

Network members especially enjoyed the opportunity to share experiences and challenges. Benefiting from hearing the approaches taken by other members, participants felt they had indeed profited from the session. Anita Rivera from TriCiclos Chile told us “If you only see the challenges you face in your own work, you will never be able to improve. But if you hear the stories and experiences from others, the way it is possible in this workshop, your horizon suddenly opens up and you realize flaws and potential improvements in your business.”

Go to Storify and see what people were tweeting about the event.

Irene Morales

It's not enough to do a good job - you have to know how to tell about it properly. Be aware that you do not only communicate to be understood - you mainly communicate to not be mis-understood."

Irene Morales introduced the group in communication strategies and led the skills session on interview trainings and presentations.

She is highly professional in the field of media and communications and has worked in various different areas. Irene is currently SPR Group Managing Director for Colombia, Peru and Venezuela where she has been in charge of client’s relations from different sectors.

Ivonne Hernández

"What we have here within this group is part of the solution that we are looking for - in our country, Colombia and for sure also in many others."

Ivonne is part of the ANSPE team (Agencia Nacional para la Superación de la Pobreza Extrema - National agency for the overcoming of extreme poverty). She is working in the digital communication department of the Colombian government.

She was the Social Media expert for the group and shared her experiences in connecting the area of basic needs and proper social media coverage of ones' issues.

During the workshop, she kept the community updated on Twitter: @Bonchis15

Luis Betancourt

"Search Engine Optimization does not cost money - but time and dedication - and it is worth to be done!"

With Luis' presentation, the group was given an introduction in an area that was pretty unknown to many: the advantages and tricks in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Luis Betancourt is an expert in SEO, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Web Analytics and knows how important a proper placement within the web can be.

You can follow him on Twitter: @luis3etancourt

Juliana Bohórquez

"The 'empowering people. Onsite' format of the Siemens Stiftung is ideal for our continent and a very valuable concept in general. I loved teaching in small groups to actually transmit the message: use video and photography as the arms and legs of your communication."

Juliana worked with the participants on improving skills in video shooting and photography.

Juliana is a photographer, audiovisual editor and project manager. She is, among other things, the founder of Meraki and has a Master of Arts with an emphasis in Electronic Media and Time Arts from the Universidad de los Andes.

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