Playing the Cupid’s Role: Creating Connections for Collaboration

February 18, 2016 | Leonie Pock | SDC Experiences, SDC Networks |


Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Alfonso Team LAlfonso Flores is a networker. He definitely has a networked mindset when he has the idea to connect his Latin America team with the Learning & Networking team based in Switzerland. After having participated in the digital storytelling workshop organized by the Learning & Networking team, his aim is to bring not only the idea of short digital stories back to his colleagues, he also wants to connect them with the Swiss team. To do so he asks the Learning & Networking team members to explain their services in short video statements. And what he shares back to the Swiss team is this blog post.

 Alfonso Flores Bermúdez, SDC Nicaragua


It is well known that these days many people start any type of relationships in the internet. Of course, not all of them have a happy ending but let´s focus on those who do. From friendships to affairs and even marriages, the number of stories of people who have been captivated by a picture or a video posted by someone else on the internet is just overwhelming and that made me wonder if an audiovisual source can play the same role among work teams? I must admit: YES, it can.

Since I joint the SDC´s program office in 2011 as a communication specialist, I became a member of the communication network in Latin America, Redcolatina, by its Spanish translation. This network aims to facilitate experience sharing in the field of communication and knowledge management within SDC and its counterparts in the region.

In August 2015 I participated in a storytelling workshop in Bern, organized by the SDC´s Knowledge Learning Culture division (KLC). They design strategies and plans to promote and foster experience and knowledge sharing within SDC. Workshops, network facilitation and even this blog is part of what they produce. During the workshop I realized that we both, Redcolatina and KLC division, have been working on similar fields and that there would be a sea of possibilities to collaborate between each other – in other words: to connect the networks!

We all understand that members of a network need to keep in touch with each other. Accordingly, their association will last as long as they get mutual benefits as a result. So I decided to play something that I called “the Cupid role” between KLC and Redcolatina. I asked my KLC colleagues to send me a short video, recorded with their smartphones, with a simple but meaningful message to Redcolatina: an invitation to seek opportunities to collaborate reciprocally. “We are in the process of designing our 2016 learning and experience sharing plan and keeping in touch with our colleagues will surely be useful in this process” said Nadia von Holzen in the video.



I put the videos together and showed it during our Redcolatina annual face to face meeting in La Paz, Bolivia. At the end of our meeting, encouraging reactions flourished on the table. Rocío Pérez, communication specialist of the NGO Swiss Contact in Peru, said: “It is amazing to see our colleagues through this video and listen to what they say encourage us to collaborate within this networking processes”, while Maricarmen Alarcón, from Bolivia, underlined that as Redcolatina: “We aim to strengthen the sharing of good practices and learned experiences within the field of communication for development in our countries, and keeping in touch with KLC opens the door for an infinity of mutual benefits”.


Related Stories:

The power to share, learn and cooperate in networks – el poder de trabajar en red



Comments to“Playing the Cupid’s Role: Creating Connections for Collaboration”

  1. Thank you Alfonso.
    You address a very important effect of audiovisuals, which sometimes I struggle to explain. — What is being said in the above video could have be written on a A4 paper and handed out to your colleagues. The effect would have been certainly different. Wile the video propelled your colleagues of thinking of cooperation opportunities between KLC and Recolatina, I believe that the A4 page would have generated a yawning (I am being provocative ;-). – The audiovisuals cannot replace a face to face encounter, but they are a step into this direction: quickly you feel connected to the person on screen. Like watching a movie: you want to go on a journey with the main character.

  2. Nadia von Holzen says:

    Dear Alfonso, thank you all very much for your contribution. And for connecting! Through your initiative you make us think. I am curious what are the key questions for the Redcolatina Network at the moment? What is keeping you busy? By working out loud (see #WOL on Twitter), by showing our “tiny work“ (see we can be of help, share and learn jointly and cocreate. We would be happy to receive some hints!
    Best, Nadia

  3. Dear Hynek
    I agree you! Audiovisuals have a particular impact when it comes to connect people. Reading is Ok, but watching is more personal. Thank you so much for all your advises.

  4. Yaoska Cantón says:

    Thank you, Alfonso. It´s a good news for me to know everything that I can do with the support and knowledge of the KLC department. I´m going to share with my colleagues (Nicaraguan Office) and I´m sure you´re going to get some questions and a few job from us!.

    What is the process to have your support? For example, I´m working in “Communication workshop” on june,2016. I would like to receive ideas to facilitate the workshop and dynamics that can be performed with the group. Do you have some steps to provide support?

    Thank you!
    Yaoska (CANYA)

  5. Nadia von Holzen says:

    Dear Yaoska,
    thanks for your comment. And please connect with us directly for any question regarding workshop facilitation. Also have a look at our share web for tool and methods:
    Best, Nadia


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