Internet Society regional Chapter Leaders workshops bring together Chapter leaders to discuss chapter management related issues, share ideas, knowledge, content and experiences. 

The 2014 Africa Regional Chapter workshop in Dakar 23 & 24 August 2014 hosted an interactive and cherished discussion among a group of 29 Chapter leaders and 4 Internet Society Staff and workshop leaders Ruud Janssen of and Merrion Siobhan on behalf of API. Each participant brought up valuable experiences and contribution that was designed to be shared in a collaborative exchange format. 

We’ve bottled up the experiences in a series of video snippets which you can sample below in this blog post. On August 23 they started off with the Positive Political Intelligence workshop presented by Siobhan Merrion. The participants assessed their Political Intelligence Profile and learned to positively influence the politics in their organisation. 

Subsequently they identified how to use this learning within their chapter work particularly to activate the multi stakeholder approach.

The recap of that session can be found in the video trailer below. 


The evening allowed for further conversation and socialising during a dinner in Dakar. 

Bright and early on Monday 24 August the Chapter Leaders reconvened. Workshop designer and Facilitator Ruud Janssen of TNOC | The New Objective Collective encouraged the Participants to look at multiple perspective of the experiences in their chapters. The sessions were designed to be participant centric and extract the core learnings from the experience and insights from the ISOC Chapter Leaders. 

To generate user generated content and celebrate the various perspective, a camera was passed around to take picture of the personal perspectives. 

To view the photos taken by the participants see the link here: 

To see the photos taken of the sessions whilst in progress see the photo album here: 

Every participant added their presence to the ISOC Chapter Workshop World Map (soon to be available online) and out of the submitted topics, each participant voted on their personal top 4 topics to be discussed. 

After the break the room was transformed into a fishbowl setup where in one hour time slots the top 4 topics were discussed. 

To get a taster of the second day of the workshop see the video compilation:

Below a recap of the 4 topics and the core outcomes. 


Fishbowl Topic # 1 = How to best finance your Chapter activities

Key Ideas / Points 

A) Identify influential people to bring into the Chapter who can assist in forming key funding partnerships with other organisations, government etc.

B) Develop an action plan for diverse income generation: sources could be: ISOC, government, membership fees & value added services (eg. education & training), donations, “sponsor for life” partners, tenders and grants

C) Identify those in the chapter with “fundraising competence” if not, seek to develop these skills in the Chapter.

D) Learn from others: look at what other NGO’s do eg. crowd sourcing.


Fishbowl Topic # 2 – Capacity Building for wider community participation on Internet Matters

Key Ideas / Points 

A) Training is key to capacity building: e.g., use and train “ambassadors” that can lead and mentor the different communities of interest. The representatives can then have a ‘multiplier’ effect.

B) It is essential to develop a plan, so the capacity building can be properly defined and scoped (capacity building on what? For whom?).

C) An appropriate ‘platform’ needs to be used: define your messages/topics and select an appropriate technique and platform to “spread the word”



Fishbowl Topic # 3 – How can we make ISOC Chapters more influential in Policy making decisions by Government

Key Ideas / Points 

A) It is important to ensure that members of the Chapter understand the objectives of the ICT strategies of government so you can work with them to help them achieve their goals.

B) Chapters should try to ensure that they include some of the key decision makers in the chapter or if do not, try to establish relationships with the key decision makers.

C) Identify, lobby or engage with key influencers who can make things happen at the chapter level and within important committees. 

D) Raise awareness of the issues among different communities of interest, thereby enabling them to work together achieve the mutual objectives



Fishbowl Topic # 4 – How to best find and motivate volunteers to contribute to ISOC     

Key Ideas / Points 

A) Find out the interests, passions and skills of the volunteers and tap into those

B) Consider attaching benefit and/or value to their volunteers membership of the chapter eg. if you volunteer for this, you get “x”.

C) Expand your “network” of supporters, and get influential people on board to serve as motivators.

D) To recruit volunteers, every Chapter should have a clear vision, supported by a statement of objectives which describe what the Chapter is trying to achieve. These can then be translated into targeted actions for the volunteers.


After the 4 Fishbowls, every participant identified 1 specific personal action on which they gave up for adoption to their neighbour and got peer consultation on how to move forward with this action in a 90 minute interactive format called “The Solution Room”

Human Spectrographs were made to illustrate the consulting power in the room (>150 years in total of Internet Society experience in the room!).

The Solution Room allowed participants to consult their peers and be consulted by their peers in 7 minute rounds and the key takeaways and actions were noted down on the table in hand drawn pictograms and action points in the form of mind maps. 


Then these actions were transferred onto (self addressed) postcards which every participant will receive within 2 months after the workshop towards the second week of October 2014. 

The level of interaction and energy in room came to a maximum at this stage where the readiness to action the learning was second to none… 

See some of the testimonials of the experience in a selection of videos below: 

English Testimonials (spontaneous in the Room) 

#ISOCdakar14_Spontaneous inroom Testimonials English from Ruud Janssen on Vimeo.

Reactions Francophone ( en salle) 

#ISOCdakar14 Réactions Français from Ruud Janssen on Vimeo.

 Testimonials by #ISOCdakar14 Chapter Workshop participants 

#ISOCdakar14_Testimonial Bakary Njie – Gambia Chapter from Ruud Janssen on Vimeo.

#ISOCdakar14_Testimonial Aisha Saho – Gambia Chapter from Ruud Janssen on Vimeo.

#ISOCdakar14_Testimonial Ibrahim Alio Sanda – ISOC Niger Chapter 2 from Ruud Janssen on Vimeo.

#ISOCdakar14_Testimonial Aji Saine – Gambia Chapter from Ruud Janssen on Vimeo.

#ISOCdakar14_Testimonial Pravin Selukoto Paupiah – Mauritius Chapter from Ruud Janssen on Vimeo.

#ISOCdakar14_Testimonial Daniel K Nanghaka – Uganda Chapter from Ruud Janssen on Vimeo.

See the link here for all the videos in the Internet Society Chapter Workshop Channel online: 

Last but not least, probably the most important nectar from the workshop is what the participants shared and think of their experience. Below you will find the User Generated Content from hashtag #ISOCDakar14 in a storify. (  ) 

A BIG thank you to all the participants

#ISOCdakar14 Group Photo

BURKINA FASO Jean-Baptiste  Millogo BURUNDI Jean Paul Nkurunziza CAMEROON Augustine CHII Ngek CAMEROON Sylvain Baya CHAD oumar Ousman CONGO Emile Milandou DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO Didier Kasole COTE D’IVOIRE Kassim Kouadio Assirou GAMBIA Aisha Saho GAMBIA Aji Saine GAMBIA Bakary Njie GHANA Vitus Foli Aborogu KENYA Daniel Otieno  Omondi LIBERIA Philip F Johnson  MALI Yacou Keita MAURITANIA Cheikh Ould el Mabrouk MAURITIUS Pravin Selukoto Paupiah MOROCCO Cherkaoui Leghris NIGER Ibrahim Alio Sanda RWANDA Justin Rugondihene SENEGAL Aminata Ndiaye SENEGAL Rodrigue Bissawou SENEGAL Fatou Ngom SUDAN Tarik Merghani SOUTH AFRICA Ingi Deutschlander TOGO Jean Robert Hountomey TUNISIA Larbi Soussi UGANDA Daniel K Nanghaka ZIMBABWE Verengai  Mabika
On behalf of the organisers, Anne Lord, Joyce Dogniez, co-presenter Merrion Siobhan, we are humbled by your dedication & enthusiasm to make the Internet Society thrive in Africa,
your moderator,

Ruud Janssen 

#wec14 flashpoint rehearsal – great crew, setup + production! Looking forward to launching #EMGcanvas tomorrow in North America! with Roel and Miranda at Minneapolis Convention Center – View on Path.

Delighted to have met @DeepakChopra at #WEC14 today, a quick pic after a mesmerizing talk with Roel, Liz, Steph, and Deepak at Minneapolis Convention Center – View on Path.