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CHIPS Articles: DON eBusiness Knowledge Fair

DON eBusiness Knowledge Fair
By Sharon Anderson - October-December 2001
Do you wish there were a place where all the knowledge sharing champions, government knowledge-centric organizations and knowledge management (KM) industry wizards could come together in an interactive, lively and innovative forum to foster the electronic exchange of information sharing? Well, there is such a forum—the Department of the Navy (DON) eBusiness Knowledge Fair, August 30, 2001. If you were unable to attend you missed a matchless opportunity to meet KM experts from diverse backgrounds championing the cause of electronic knowledge sharing.

The keynote speaker for the opening ceremony was the Honorable Gordon R. England, the 72nd Secretary of the Navy. In his remarks, Secretary England demonstrated his absolute commitment to electronic KM /sharing across the DON. He discussed the reality of information glut and the prediction that within the next 25 years as much knowledge will be discovered as was realized in the whole history of mankind.

Secretary England discussed the changing demographics of the DON; he said 67 percent of the U.S. Marine Corps is composed of Marines on their first tour of duty. For most of them Desert Storm is as remote as World War II, but they are most receptive to change and the DON must meet their expectations of a technology charged organization. He said he sees three challenges ahead: 1) Reengineering DON processes to foster KM; 2) Capturing the efficiencies of our changes thus far to funnel into combat forces; and 3) How to tap into the intellectual capital of Sailors, Marines, Civilians and industry partners.

Other opening speakers included: Vice Adm. Patricia Ann Tracey, Director Navy Staff, and MGEN Harold Mashburn, Jr., Commandant, Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

The Secretary of the Navy presented eGovernment Awards (linking eBusiness (eB) and KM) to the Naval Sea Systems Command Distance Support Team for Outstanding Warfighter Support; OPNAV N40 and OPNAV 09B HQWeb Team for Providing Web-Based Tools for Knowledge Management; the Naval War College, Wargaming Department, Global War Game KM/IT Team for Operationalizing Knowledge Management Concepts; NAVSEA Seaport Team for Innovative eBusiness Strategies; NAVSUP One Touch System Team for Leading Development of the DON's Integrated Supply System; SPAWAR WeCAN Project Team for Shipboard Collaboration and Knowledge Management; Capable Warrior Team of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Warfighting Lab for Excellence in Collaboration Innovation and the Naval Medical Information Management Center and the DON Smart Card Office DENCAS Teams for Implementing a World Class eBusiness Solution.

The fair showcased briefings; government and industry exhibits; center stage events: including a reverse auction demonstration; storytellers from WWII, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars; the Magic of Krendl; and side show events, which included a fascinating exhibit from the Naval Historical Society, Wakefield High School robotics team, the Newseum and Virtual Reality Pods. The robots from VIVA Robotics, Inc. were the mascots of the event. They joked and conversed with attendees in a really comical fashion.

There was an "idea lounge" where attendees could go to relax, chat with other guests and browse eB and KM materials in a quiet setting. Excellent speakers included Carla O'Dell, Ph.D., President American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC); Alex Bennet, DON Deputy CIO for Enterprise Integration; retired Rear Adm. Milliard Firebaugh, Vice President of Innovation and Chief Engineer, Electric Boat Corporation; Stephen Denning, author of The Springboard: How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations and Dave Wennergren, DON Deputy CIO for eBusiness and Security. Attendees commented enthusiastically on the incomparable value of the knowledge shared and diversity of fair events.

Guests said the fair was an enjoyable way to network with other IT professionals involved in eB and KM.

DON CIO Web site:

Photo of robots from VIVA Robotics Inc. The robots were the mascots of the eBusiness fair.
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