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Week '99 home page
24 - 26 March, Westfields Conference Center, Virginia
Briefing for 24 March

World Bank Rural Week 1999 opened on Wednesday evening with a reception, dinner and welcoming addresses. Alex McCalla, Director, Rural Development, identified Rural Week as an opportunity to interact, network and learn from one another. Ian Johnson, Vice-President, Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (ESSD), highlighted the importance of the meeting's theme - the political dimensions of rural development. He said the links that should be forged between the Bank's rural and social families would fit into the meeting's discussions. He also stressed the international dimension and said the Bank increasingly has to play a savvy role on the international stage, noting linkages with the WTO, the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Stephen Denning, Program Director of ISGKM, updated participants on developments within the World Bank's Knowledge Management program. He highlighted achievements since the program was launched in 1996, including a shift in the perceived role of the World Bank in international development from marginal to mainstream. He emphasized that while modern technology facilitates global information sharing, a sense of community is fundamental to its success. He characterized knowledge sharing as an organizational culture shift from vertical to horizontal information flows and called to mainstream knowledge sharing.

Photo and RealAudio highlights

Meeting participants milling about, waiting for the doors to the dinning hall to be opened.
Scene from inside the dinning hall
Alex McCalla, Director of RDV, welcomed participants to Westfields Conference Center and introduced the evening's speakers- Ian Johnson and Stephen Denning.
RealAudio of the speech by Ian Johnson, Vice-President of ESSD
RealAudio of the speech by Stephen Denning, Program Director of ISGKM

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