November 30, 2008

Scriptoria Blog

Bringing the house down in Mozambique

Just a quick bit of late breaking but exciting news - a tropical storm has forced everyone to abandon the huge marquee housing the conference booths.

I’m told that workmen will repair the main tent tonight and have it back in a safe condition by tomorrow. But, I don’t know what they’ll do about the small marquees covering the walkway because (as you can see in the picture) they all blew away.

Still it’s all exciting stuff. I was very pleased with myself as I managed to rescue one of our display stands before it was blown away - that’s the one I’m waving around in the picture.

All the best,

Jim

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November 29, 2008

Scriptoria Blog

Planes, babies and photo guides


After a reasonably quick trip to Mozambique via South Africa, we touched down in glorious sunshine today. I’m pretty tired however, because instead of sleeping on the flight I took the opportunity to catch up on all the latest films – I’m just sorry I didn’t bring any popcorn.

Jim (Weale) was in the row next to me chatting to everyone as usual and by chance met an amateur photographer. So of course they started talking about the Field Guide to Photography we produced for RIU recently to help not-for-profits take better photos in developing countries. (more…)

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November 28, 2008

Scriptoria Blog

A quick trip to Mozambique


CGIAR - 2008Some of the Scriptoria team are off to Mozambique this week to attend the 2008 CGIAR Annual General Meeting. This major conference concentrates on agriculture and new agricultural options as key methods of reducing poverty.

But agriculture isn’t the only issue on the menu for the thousand high-profile delegates attending. The conference actually also deals in water, energy, climate change and a wide range of other sustainable development issues that we at Scriptoria are expert in communicating.

We have many clients among the CG Centres and partners, and one reason we’re attending is to catch up with them face-to-face.

Another reason is the fact that we’re repositioning and rebranding two major organisations this year. So we’ll be organising launch and pre-launch activities for them while we’re there. But, we can’t say any more yet - you’ll have to wait until the meeting gets underway.

So, expect to hear more from the team members tomorrow as they blog from Mozambique - the lucky devils.

All the best,

The Scriptoria team

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November 23, 2008

Scriptoria Blog

It’s a tough life working on a tropical island paradise


Alex Tilley

Alex Tilley (an old friend of mine from university) recently wrote to let us know that he was on TV. Great stuff I thought, because Alex is a conservation marine biologist and the programme provides a very interesting but quick insight into life on an environmentally friendly research station on a tropical island paradise.

Importantly, it’s also a great example of how researchers can use good communications to quickly, clearly and simply raise a whole host of important issues. As well as talking about the work of Alex and his team, the programme also talks about sustainable day-to-day living on the island through, for example, the use of environmentally friendly toilets. Well done Alex, this is great. To watch the video click more (more…)

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November 19, 2008

Scriptoria Blog

Journal article writing course


Obama election win - sustainable development

While the rest of the team have been busily working to put the finishing touches to materials for the up-coming meeting in Africa, Sandy Williams and I managed to sneak away to Cambridge to teach a group of researchers at Abionics how to write better research articles yesterday and increase their chances of being published.

One of our strengths here at SCRIPTORIA is that we aren’t just great communicators – most of us are also PhDs in a range of fields. This means that as well as being able to (more…)

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Scriptoria Blog

Busy, busy, busy


Obama election win - sustainable development

Sorry for the silence over the last week, but it’s been a very busy and exciting time here at SCRIPTORIA. We’re gearing up to ship our booth to a major meeting of World Bank funded programmes in Africa next week. And, at the same time, we’ve also been creating exhibition booths for several different major poverty reduction programmes at the same event – one run by the UK Government, one by the African Union and another hosted by the FAO.

“Gosh!” (I hear you say) “where do the team find the time?” No problem we say, because we love this work. Anyway, that’s not all that’s been keeping me away from my blogging duties. We’ve also been kept busy reviewing and revising the International Water Management Institute’s 2009-2013 Strategic Plan and (more…)

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November 10, 2008

Scriptoria Blog

Richard Mkandawire wins top African development award


Obama election win - sustainable development

Congratulations are due to Professor Richard Mkandawire for recently winning the pan-African Drivers of Change Award. Richard, who is head of NEPAD’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), won this much coveted development prize for his work to guide African leaders in their efforts to tackle hunger and poverty through a “green revolution for food security”.

We couldn’t be more pleased for Richard, especially as it was SCRIPTORIA who rebranded CAADP last year. I was particularly touched that after winning his award Richard wrote to me to thank me for “significantly boosting CAADP’s visibility on the world development stage”. So we say “watch this space!” Because we’re now working with CAADP to develop build, and launch, an impressive new website.

Congratulations again Richard from everyone here at the SCRIPTORIA Team

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November 8, 2008

Scriptoria Blog

Communicating science can be fun


Communicating science can be fun

I recently stumbled across a website called Null Hypothesis, and I’ve got to say that I thought it was fantastic. It’s a “light-hearted look at the weird world of science and technology. A mixture of spoof science and fascinating real research.” It made me laugh out loud several times, and I’d definitely say it’s worth a look. So, I give the link to it below.

With my serious communications professional hat on, I also have to say that you’ve got to admire Null Hypothesis because it’s a very good example of the way that serious issues can be raised and tackled through humour. Some very well-respected academic names are (more…)

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November 5, 2008

Scriptoria Blog

Barack Obama’s election win provides new hope for sustainable development


Obama election win - sustainable development

We’d just like to say a heartfelt ‘congratulations’ to Barack Obama following his US election win. Obviously we’re pleased here because he’s pledged to double, by 2012, US annual investments in “building the capacity of the world’s weakest states and providing them with what they need to reduce poverty, build healthy and educated communities, develop markets, and generate wealth.”

The annual spend of $50 billion dollars that Obama is promising, coupled with statements that such economic expansion must be sustainable and climate friendly are good news indeed. Add to this (more…)

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November 3, 2008

Scriptoria Blog

Improving your conference communications


Conference communication - sustainable development

We can’t help wondering why in this day and age the results of important conferences often take weeks or months to be disseminated. Admittedly this isn’t true in the case of business events, but many of the major players in the sustainable development, climate change and poverty reduction arenas still follow the same old practices: hold an event, compile the proceedings, check that people agree and then publish them in a thick volume that very few people can be bothered reading.

Now we don’t disagree that in many cases you do need conference proceedings that can be filed and referred to in the future. But, we’d also say that you should be taking advantage of instant communications media like (more…)

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