I was over at the University of Northampton running a Research Data Management Training for Librarian’s training session with a colleague yesterday. We were in the library and I spotted the Dialogue Café. This is a “a global non-profit initiative that uses high-end video conferencing technology to enable video conversations between diverse groups of people from around the world so that they can share experiences, learn from each other and collaborate to make the world a better place“. Apparently it is a way to provide students and staff of the University with an access to a network of over 4000 likeminded organisations and communities across the globe and the opportunity to share, learn and contribute to the work of others. The main technology used is Cisco TelePresence.
The Dialogue Café is the world’s first open videoconferencing network specifically designed for civil society. There are Dialogue Cafés all around the world: in Northampton, London, Rio de Janeiro, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Lisobon, Ramallah (Palestine), Cleveland (US), Paris and Wroclaw (Poland). They have a Flickr site with images of people using the cafe, and are also on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
What a great idea! I wish I’d had something like this when I was a student, it would have really helped with some of the projects I worked on!