A Great Year for the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education

A Great Year for the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education

Dalai Lama

As some of you might know, my background is actually in urban geography. Working at Affinity Bridge is a bit of a dream job for me, as someone with a passion for sustainability and positive change, because our clients are doing such amazing work to make our local and global communities a better place. It makes me feel like I'm helping contribute in a greater sense, and that I have a way to be involved in many vital projects.

I sometimes think of the process of planning, developing, and launching websites as very much like urban planning projects. There is this somewhat vague online space that someone has decided should be built. We spend time asking questions about goals, user-bases, technical requirements, feelings we want to elicit from those who visit this space. Then we tease these into a concrete plan, and create this space and structure that will house interactions between people, ideas, and information to be shared with the outside world.

It's like building a park, and then handing it over to a its owner, hoping they will make it inviting and keep all of the plants alive. And then more importantly, hoping that it will be appealing to the people who see it; that they will like it, keep coming back, and that it will provide some usefulness and meaning in their day-to-day lives. Every time we launch a website and then watch as it establishes its place in the online world, it makes us extremely proud of our clients and the work they do.

One of the major redesign projects we did last year was for the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education. Their previous site had become outdated, and they needed a platform that allowed them to update their content more frequently and easily. They also needed a site that was better equipped to grow with them, and support them in their foray into the world of social media. As an organization that gathers and shares knowledge from a variety of sources, the website had to provide a repository for the collection and distribution of these knowledge resources.

Moving them onto a content management system, where they could update and organize content on their own was the biggest contributor to empowering them to make their website's content communicate all of the amazing ideas that are being cultivated there. The ability to feature images and videos, and integration with their Twitter account (which incidentally is one of my favourite sources of inspiring quotes), helps foster an engaging dialogue.

Twitter / Dalai Lama Center: Rev Mpho Tutu:

The Dalai Lama Center did a fantastic job of harnessing the new tools their site provided for publicizing their extremely successful 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit. The Peace Summit brough together thousands of people passionate about peace and educating the heart, hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama and several Nobel Laureates for a dialogue about peace, education, and women's issues. Video of the Peace Summit can still be viewed online, and these couple great articles are worth reading:

Since the Summit, the Dalai Lama Center has been creating excellent content for their Blog and Knowledge Resources, and continuing the dialogue on Twitter. We are thrilled for them and the great accomplishments they've had in the last year. Undoubtedly more great things to come.