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Localization Now! Insights from the Skoll World Forum

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April 12th, 2022

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Many thanks to all speakers and participants for their openness, authenticity, and many insights throughout the event. We're equally grateful for all the interest and excellent questions about our co-created localization model during the open sessions. The recording of our Ecosystem Event on localization at the Skoll World Forum is now available below.

Participant interest in the Power Footprint Project was equally strong, as evidenced by the feedback received across the breakout groups. To watch the 5-minute presentation of that project specifically, simply click here. As noted at the end of our Ecosystem Event, we're organizing a follow-up session on Thursday, April 28th, to start thinking through some initial metrics to measure our power footprints as international organizations. Again, we'll be drawing on all the feedback generated during our Skoll event to guide this initial work on the power footprint.

In the meantime, as we didn't have time to get into every question shared during the Skoll event, you'll find the answers to these remaining questions below.

  • Q: I would really like to hear from the team their reflection on what really enabled the success of their model.

Multiple ingredients went into co-creating this successful recipe. We go into each of these in detail here. There were no "magic" ingredients, e.g., that one unique spice that really makes a recipe, almost independently of all other inputs. If pressed, we would say that mindset and agency are (just) two of the essential ingredients. What kind of mindset? A philosophy that celebrates The Power of Local. One who is genuinely ready to walk the talk is also where agency comes in. "The difference with you is that you're actually doing it, you really mean it, you're not just talking about it" was one way that a well-respected development expert with 30 years of experience recently put it. Equally (if not more importantly) is the agency, motivation, determination, and expertise of those leading Flying Labs. It always comes back to individuals.

  • Q: I'm interested if WeRobotics/Flying Labs was conceived and formed with locally-led action/localisation at its heart, or was that a later shift? If so, how was the process and experience of that shift?

Yes, absolutely. WeRobotics and Flying Labs were conceived and formed with locally-led action at their heart. This is why we had two different identities from day 1: WeRobotics and Flying Labs. This post (from our series on shift the power) explains how our communication strategy on this evolved over time and why we felt the need to focus on the technology before doubling down on localization.

  • Q: Could you say more about the relationship between WeRobotics and Flying Labs - legally, financially, and in terms of decision making and the 'negotiations' Queen was talking about?

Our recently co-authored localization report goes into detail, so we recommend consulting that resource. Thanks!

  • Q: How have you been able to get around the continued reluctance by funders to support local action directly?

This continues to be a work in progress. We share successes and failures in the localization report vis-a-vis our efforts to press funders to support local action directly. One approach that we're particularly fond of is this one, set up by Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). This is the model we'd like to have with all funders.


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