Joining OpenStreetMap

As a part of my EWB Norway ramp-up, I have agreed to get involved with their Missing Maps initiative, in one way or another.

Today, I joined as participant on my first “mapathon”, and here is the result – my “cell” that I marked with buildings. It is part of this project, and I hope to do a lot more mapping in this part of Malawi (GMaps).

Here is my OpenStreetMap user that I created today, and this is my diary there; just starting out.

I will first do my best to become an experienced mapper the next days in my spare time, and then later on get involved in the mapping community. My goal is to with time organize a mapathon here in Norway.

As always: One step at the time. Iterative processes.

(process video)

A new arena

Today, I had my first meeting with EWB Norway – Engineers Without Borders Norway. I decided to become an applicant to a position in their organization, a voluntary position. We will see how the application goes.

But I am new on this arena, and I hope that I will have a good time in this space. I really feel that the world needs more engineers, and more smart solutions. We need solutions that are practical, and often frugal technologies is the key.

I will attend the general assembly of EWB Norway next week, to get a firmer understanding of how it works and who the main players are, as well as the different sections and groups.

I hope that this new interest in this field; well — it is not really that new.

Actually, I have for a long time been interested in North-South collaboration. But the closest I have been to it is my 2010-2013 involvement with a Norwegian NGO that created home schooling opportunities for girls in eastern Afghanistan in partnership with an Afghani NGO.

So, it is about 10 years since I finished that project, and other things have been on my mind since. But now I want to get into the north-south collaboration (NSC) on engineering projects.

Here is another ChatGPT Prompt:

I am now a candidate for a position as head of an expert group for IT and digitalization in the Norwegian branch of Engineers Without Borders. The expert group is involved in different projects in different countries, and if I get the position (which is a voluntary position), I will be a coordinator between the Head Office of the Organization (In Norway) and the Members of this Expert Group, who are different IT professionals. What are the top 10 things I should consider in my campaign to get this position?


Congratulations on your candidacy for the position as head of the expert group for IT and digitalization in the Norwegian branch of Engineers Without Borders! Here are the top 10 things you should consider in your campaign to increase your chances of securing the position:

  1. Understanding the Organization: Familiarize yourself with the mission, goals, and values of Engineers Without Borders. Demonstrate your knowledge and passion for their work in IT and digitalization.
  2. Research the Expert Group: Gather information about the current projects, ongoing initiatives, and past accomplishments of the expert group. This will help you identify areas where you can contribute and make a difference.
  3. Showcase Relevant Experience: Highlight your previous experience and expertise in IT and digitalization. Emphasize how your skills align with the needs of the expert group and how you can effectively coordinate with IT professionals.
  4. Leadership and Coordination Skills: Clearly articulate your leadership qualities and your ability to coordinate between the Head Office and the expert group members. Provide examples of how you have successfully led teams or projects in the past.
  5. Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial in this role. Highlight your ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing. Discuss how you can facilitate effective collaboration and information exchange among team members.
  6. Networking and Relationship Building: Engineers Without Borders is a collaborative organization. Illustrate your ability to build and maintain strong relationships with team members, stakeholders, and potential partners. Emphasize your networking skills and how you can leverage them to benefit the expert group.
  7. Cultural Sensitivity and Adaptability: Given that the expert group operates in different countries, emphasize your cultural sensitivity and adaptability to different environments. Showcase instances where you successfully worked in diverse settings or demonstrated cross-cultural competence.
  8. Strategic Thinking: Present your ability to think strategically and identify innovative approaches to IT and digitalization projects. Demonstrate your capacity to envision long-term goals and develop actionable plans to achieve them.
  9. Passion for Social Impact: Engineers Without Borders is dedicated to making a positive impact on society. Express your passion for using IT and digitalization to drive social change and improve the lives of communities in need.
  10. Commitment and Availability: Voluntary positions require dedication and time commitment. Assure the selection committee of your availability, willingness to invest the necessary time, and commitment to the role and the organization’s objectives.

Remember to tailor your campaign to address the specific needs and priorities of the organization and the expert group. Good luck with your candidacy!

Source: ChatGPT 3.5 based on my own prompt.

Well, all those 10 pointers were pretty standard in my thinking, not much new. But it was interesting anyway to get my strategy confirmed in this way.

New prompt:

What would be the biggest growth for me in this position if I get it? I have a lot of experience with networks in different contexts from before, and also international projects. My goal is to – over time – become an expert in North-South collaboration, and to have an expertise in projects in such organizations.

If you secure the position as head of the expert group for IT and digitalization in Engineers Without Borders, there are several growth opportunities that you can pursue:

  1. Enhanced Leadership Skills: Leading an expert group will provide you with valuable experience in managing a team of IT professionals and coordinating their efforts. This will further develop your leadership skills and ability to guide and inspire others.
  2. Project Management Expertise: You will have the opportunity to gain expertise in project management within an international context. As you oversee various projects and initiatives, you will learn how to effectively plan, execute, and monitor IT and digitalization projects in different countries, further enhancing your project management skills.
  3. North-South Collaboration: Given your goal to become an expert in North-South collaboration, this position offers a unique opportunity to engage with projects involving different countries and cultures. You will gain firsthand experience in bridging the gap between diverse stakeholders, understanding their needs, and facilitating collaboration for sustainable development.
  4. Network Expansion: Engineers Without Borders operates globally and has a broad network of professionals and organizations. Through your role as head of the expert group, you will have the chance to expand your network and forge connections with individuals and organizations working in the field of international development and IT. This network can provide valuable insights, partnerships, and future career opportunities.
  5. Holistic Approach to Problem-Solving: Working on projects in different countries and contexts will expose you to a wide range of challenges. This will enable you to develop a holistic approach to problem-solving, considering technical, social, and cultural aspects in finding sustainable solutions.
  6. Expertise in Development Projects: As you engage in IT and digitalization projects within an organization like Engineers Without Borders, you will gain specialized knowledge and expertise in the context of development projects. This experience can be highly valuable if you aim to pursue a career in international development or work with similar organizations in the future.
  7. Cross-Cultural Competence: Collaborating with professionals from different backgrounds and working in diverse settings will enhance your cross-cultural competence. You will develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for cultural differences, which is crucial for effective North-South collaboration.
  8. Knowledge Sharing and Learning: Through your role as head of the expert group, you will have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences with other professionals while also learning from their expertise. This exchange of knowledge and ideas can further enrich your understanding of IT, digitalization, and international development.

By actively engaging in the role and seeking opportunities for growth and learning, you can develop into an expert in North-South collaboration and gain substantial expertise in projects within such organizations. Remember to set goals, seek mentorship, and continuously expand your knowledge and skills throughout your tenure in the position.

Source: ChatGPT 3.5 based on my prompt

The cross-cultural competence is something that I aim for. I particularly want to get experience from Africa as well as Middle East.

I am 45 now, and single. My son is 12 years old, and even though he is with me during the weekdays, he is pretty independent. So if I spend the next 3-5 years working voluntary in this organization in my spare time, I could get a lot out of it perhaps. And in either case, I feel like this kind of work is more interesting, long-term, for me than many other things I might be going for or spending time/energy on.

We will see how this goes. I guess the result from my candidacy will be clear in a few weeks.

[Video of process; 14m28s / 84MB]