2014 Project update: Experiences in technology dissemination


This handout is a reflection of experiences in technology dissemination, especially the importance of team building, establishing relationships, and group facilitation. The handout was written by Lizanne Wheeler, World Food Logistics Organization and The Sonora Pacific Group, who is the principal investigator for the project "Evaluating small-scale postharvest cooling and drying technologies in various climates."

The flyer is a personal reflection on lessons learned related to technology transfer, technology adoption, and team building methods. Excerpt, by Lizanne Wheeler:

I have been asked to share some of my experiences in technology transfer, in one page. I begin by asking myself, “How can the participants relate to this technology? Can I make it relevant to their communities? Why should they even have an interest?” I have found that creating personal relationships is essential: Relationships between myself and the participants, between the participants themselves, and a personal relationship between each participant and the technology. To present the material in a way as to not be too overwhelming, I build a support group of colleagues…we build a team. As a foreigner, when I stand in front of the group, I find there are many distractions to the learning process: my speech, my mannerisms, the way I dress, to name only three things that might be more interesting than the subject at hand. The quickest way to learn a subject is to teach it, so I get people in the group begin teaching the material to their peers. They get experience in teaching, and they get to hear the information in their own language, terminology, and relevance. I present the information with spaced repetition: sometimes serious, mostly fun, sometimes theoretical, mostly hands-on. To allow participants to relax and stand up in front of a group of strangers and teach a subject that was just introduced to them can be challenging. I need to allow them to feel safe and part of a team.

The flyer was part of the project updates panel during the Horticulture Innovation Lab 2014 Annual Meeting, which took place March 17-21, 2014 in Hotel Real Intercontinental, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.