What are the challenges involved in promoting collaboration online across borders? This is an issue in the two European projects I am currently a partner in at the moment. I presented the projects and some of the more pressing issues at the Global Education Conference in November 2014 but was prevented from posting about it here as my websites had been hacked at that point.
In the CCD FLITE project, the collaboration is to foster learning by doing. So IT graduates and IT professionals work together on a business idea to learn about entrepreneurship and some of the tools which could help them such as distributed ConCurrent Design. The end result is a joint business plan and elevator pitch which is then peer-reviewed by the other groups.
In the M-HOUSE project, the target group is adults who may be home-based and considering trying out some part time or full time entrepreneurial activity. Here the idea is not to produce a business plan but to learn from each other across Europe to transfer some of the competences gained in running a household and recognise their applicability to running a small business.
The conclusion is that there are several ways of promoting collaboration but whichever strategy is chosen needs to be built on the establishment of a solid basis of trust between the participants who do not know each other beforehand and who come from very different locations and backgrounds.