Knowledge Management in Scientific Organization

from 03/09/2009 to 03/11/2009

Damascus, Syria

Description and Objectives

Knowledge Management (KM) is the combination of strategies, business processes ontology and ICT technologies for the purpose of capturing, organizing, storing and disseminating knowledge and experiences of scientists in an extended-environment of scientific organizations. Knowledge management facilitates organizational learning and enhances their performance and contributes an added value to their scientific output.

First generation Knowledge Management involves the capture of information and experience so that it is easily accessible in a corporate environment. An alternate term is “knowledge capture”. Managing this capture allows the system to grow into a powerful information asset–knowledge capital. Faced with the theoretical and practical failure of first generation techniques to live up to its promise, theorists began to look more closely at the ways in which knowledge is created and shared across local, national and international borders. Organizations came to be seen as capable of learning. Thus, a link grew between learning theory and management. At the same time hierarchical models of organizational structure were replaced by more process-oriented models, which see effective organizations as capable of structural change in response to their varying environment.

KM processes and technologies are main topics of the workshop with keynote speeches and exercises covering the following

  • Knowledge Generation 
  • Knowledge Preservation 
  • Knowledge Distribution 
  • Knowledge Utilization 
  • KM technologies: Information and Communication Technology, Internet, Intranet and Extranet, Data Mining & Warehousing, Knowledge bases and information repositories, Information retrieval, Intelligent agents and expert systems, Groupware and collaborative systems

The conference will include a review of learning from Oxford University’s research into

an e-science initiative. This initiative deals with the impact of the next generation internet on collaboration amongst scientists and virtual learning environments and the associated implications on privacy, confidentiality, intellectual property rights, trust and risk.

Main Topics

Syndicate Exercises

The application "Syndicate Exercises" within the program is designed as opportunities to increase audience participation, develop a Knowledge Sharing environment and  accelerate learning as well as  interaction with the experts. Willing participants would  ideally form smaller groups where under the tutorship of invited speakers they would  reflect on learning from each session and address three issues:

1. Identify the top three learning points and how they can be applied ?

2. What are  the key factors that will support implementation ?

3. What are  key cultural, organizational and technological  factors that will act as barriers to implementation ?

Either the invited speaker or a member of the group would present their group conclusions on above issues to the wider participating group.

Scientific Consultant

Richard Cross, 

KM Magazine, UK


Dr Jack Whalen , Palo Alto Research Center, USA

Is a principal scientist at Xerox’s world famous Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC), USA where he is currently leading a project on software engineering work practice. Previously, Jack led a three-year project on system engineering practices in Japan. Prior to that, he conducted a project with a U.S. auto manufacturer to develop an information system for manufacturing engineers. Before that, Jack was a member of the Eureka project a groundbreaking and best practice Knowledge Sharing research project focused on Communities of Practice. Jack has also led several related efforts such as LinkLite/Angelo with Telecom Italia. Before joining PARC Jack was on the faculty of the University of Oregon for eleven years, and also worked as a researcher at the Institute for Research on Learning in Menlo Park. Jack’s research interests cover three areas:   knowledge sharing in work communities, artificial intelligence applications in the workplace; and the use of documents in concerting and coordinating organizational work


Dr James Shanahan , CEO Church & Duncan Group

Has spent the last 20 years developing and researching cutting-edge information management systems to harness information retrieval, linguistics and machine learning. He recently founded the Church and Duncan Group (CDG), a data consultancy firm whose clients include and Prior to CDG, James was Chief Scientist at Turn Inc. where he focused on the development and deployment of an online ad targeting system (CPA/CPC/CPM-based) in a principled and measured way that leveraged advanced statistical and machine learning techniques. These responsibilities included leveraging the entire reservoir of data assets in order to develop methods for identifying key optimizations, deploying relevant analytical tools and improving the user experience. James was Principal Research Scientist at Clairvoyance Corporation where he led the Knowledge Discovery from Text Group. Before that he was a Research Scientist at Xerox Research Center Europe, where, as a member of the Co-ordination Technologies Group, he developed Document Souls, a patented document-centric approach to information access.  In the early 90s, he worked on the AI Team within the Mitsubishi Group in Tokyo. He has published 6 books and over 50 research publications in the area of machine learning and information processing. James received his Ph.D. in engineering mathematics from the University of Bristol, U. K. and holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science from the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Mr Richard Cross , Editor Inside KM Magazine. UK

Richard Cross’s educational background is in politics and international relations and, on graduating, Xerox sponsored Cross to study organizational development (OD) while he was working in its management-development unit. He believes that his education has provided the theory that has supported the practical elements of his career. Back in the 1980s, organizational development was a discipline that Richard Cross describes as eclectic. The ethos was to take a dual perspective: to improve the quality of life for members of human systems and at the same time to increase the institutional effectiveness of those systems. Above all, Cross was able to focus on supporting and creating organizational and cultural change – a focus that was to shape his career.

Mr John Kelly , former CEO European Quality

Has launched and built several world class magazines and marketed some great brands.  John is an expert in high level business publishing, with a deep knowledge of communication techniques, logistics, marketing and what it takes to make a world class organization. John was an instrumental and pioneering figure in promoting the discipline and practice of Total Quality Management across Europe as Managing Director of European Quality for nearly thirteen years. There John was responsible for a group of high level strategic management journals focused on TQM, business process management and performance measurement and improvement.

John also has experience working for the Harvard Business review, Reed International as well as the Economist. He also launched the iconic Business Magazine from 1986-1990.

With recent experience as CEO and publisher of Prospect magazine, Britain’s leading politics, current  affairs and cultural monthly. John is uniquely positioned to provide a global  and visionary perspective on the Knowledge Management movement and how countries and organizations can compete at an international level. John is familiar with all aspects of business management and has extensive cross cultural experience both as a journalist and adviser in enhancing the effectiveness of today’s organizations tomorrow.

John has a first class degree from Manchester University in English and American studies and is currently studying for an MA in history of Ideas at Birkbeck College.

Mr Pól Ó Móráin , advisor and consultant to global businesses and governmental organisations in technology

Has worked as a consultant and in senior management roles to many global brands including BP Plc and Xerox Corporation. He previously headed up the European consulting business at a US consulting firm whose clients consisted the major global technology players. At Xerox Corporation, Pól managed the UK operation of the corporate venture fund (Xerox Venture Lab). In that role he was responsible for the creation of new technology businesses based on intellectual property emanating from Xerox’s global research operations. Since leaving Xerox Pól has acted as an advisor and consultant to global businesses and governmental organisations in Technology, Communications and Energy.

Pól has a long association with, and interest in, Knowledge Management and has led a number of industry knowledge initiatives. This includes Founder and Chair of the Strategic Planning Society’s Knowledge Economy special interest group in the UK, knowledge initiatives at Xerox Corporation as well as the creation of Europe’s largest Call Centre Industry user group in the early 1990’s.

Pól acts as an advisor to a number of international firms in sectors ranging from software to engineering, and spanning Europe, South Asia and the Middle East. He is qualified with an MBA in International Business and a post graduate degree in Business Analysis from two of leading British business schools.

Scientific Committee

Mr Richard Cross, KM Magazine, UK,

Dr Assef Diab, HCSR, Syria,

Dr Imad Khudeir, AECS, Syria,

Dr Ahmad Nasri, AUB, Lebanon,

Dr Samer Dakak, HIAST, Syria,

Dr Iyad Zoukar, SSRC, Syria,

 Dr Maher Agi, HIAST, Syria,

Short Papers

Authors who are involved in knowledge management activities or research are invited to submit a short paper on their experience or research. The short papers should be written in English and not exceed 5 pages. The submission should be done by sending the paper in an electronic format (Microsoft Word) by e-mail to the address:

 The name, complete mailing address, phone/fax numbers and e-mail of the author/authors must be submitted. In the case of several contributors to a short paper, a corresponding author should be designated. Papers should be sent to ASST with the attached application form no later than 12 January 2009. The Scientific Committee will review all papers on the basis of their originality, contribution and compliance with the specified requirements. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 9 February 2009, with the comments, if any.


A booklet of  full text of invited talks and accepted short papers  will be made available to participants upon registration. The proceedings may subsequently be published by an international or local publisher in a book format.

Dead Lines

Monday 12 Jan 2009: Receiving short papers, participation forms, fellowship (Travel or       Accommodation) requests.

 Monday 9 Feb 2009: Notifications of accepted short papers and fellowship awards.


Interested parties in all fields related to Knowledge Management in scientific, organizations public services, and enterprises are encouraged to attend the workshop. The majority of participants will be chosen from the Arab World, with a few openings available for Arab specialists working abroad.

How To Apply

Simply complete the attached application form (cf. the last page) and return it to ASST no later than 12 January 2009, (No registration fees are required). All applicants will be considered on the basis of their qualifications and experience. Accepted applicants will be notified by 9 February 2009.


Workshop venue is around 30 km from Damascus international airport. For Visa information please call nearest Syrian Embassy.  Check Transfer from airport to hotels will be arranged provided advanced information about flight details that must be sent to ASST before 2 March 2009.

Organizing Committee

Dr Maher Agi, ASST Secretary General

Violet Kalemkerian, Secretariat

Ismail Al Khen, Accounting Manager    

Ramzi Rifai, Public Relations Officer

Souraya Kanawati

Sahar Shalati

Alia Kouatly

 Nagham Nassif

Weather and Currency

March weather in Syria is early spring with possibility for light rain showers. Average low temperature is about 3 oC and average high temperature is about 18 oC. Check on internet for up to date info and 3 day forecast before departing Syrian Pound (SYP) is the official currency with exchange rates against Euro and Dollar as follows: 1 Euro about 60 SYP, 1 US $ about 45 SYP.

Transport Accommodation

All participants, except those who received an accommodation fellowship from ASST, are expected to cover their accommodation expenses. ASST will handle hotel reservation requests if received before 2 March 2009.

 After this date, reservation requests should be addressed directly to the hotel. In addition, airport reception and transportation to and from the hotels can be arranged for participants who submit to ASST their travel details.

Fellowship Information

ASST will offer, to a limited number of qualified participants whose short papers have been accepted, one of two types of fellowships:

Travel grant: covering round trip economy class airline ticket

Accommodation grant: covering half board 4 stars hotel residence

Fellowship applicants must indicate their preferred fellowship type.


All queries, e-mails and printed material should be sent to workshop organizer:

Arab School for Science & Technology (ASST)

P.O. Box 7028, Damascus, Syria

Tel: 00 963 11 511 8904

Fax: 00 963 11 511 1083

E-mail: asst@

 Workshop wiki:


Wed 11th Mar 2009

Tue 10th Mar 2009

Mon 9th Mar 2009

8.45-9.15    Registration

Session 8

Session 4

Opening Session

Chairman: Dr Ahmad Nasri

9.00 – 9.45 KM and Innovation Commercialization strategies & Realities

Mr Pól Ó Móráin,

9.45 – 10.30 The role of patenting, Spin Outs & disruptive strategies in KM

Mr Pól Ó Móráin,

Chairman: Dr Ibrahim Othman

9.00 – 9.45 Organization  Network  Analysis

Mr Richard Cross

9.45 – 10.30 The role of IC technology in KM

Dr James Shanahan

9.15-9.25 ASST Secretary General,

Dr Maher Agi

9.25-9.35  Scientific Committee chair,

Dr Assef Diab

9.35-9.45 SSRC Director General,

Dr Amr Armanazi

9.45-10.30 Introduction: Defining KM, Aims & Approach Mr Richard Cross

10.30 – 11.00          Coffee Break

10.30 – 11.00          Coffee Break

10.30 – 11.00          Coffee Break

Session 9

Session 5

Session 1

Chairman: Dr Imad Khudeir

11.00 – 12.00 Implementing Knowledge Management; research based lessons

Deploying Management  in the scientific community

Mr Pól Ó Móráin & Mr Richard Cross


12.00 – 13.00 Syndicate  Exercise 

Chairman: Dr Samer Dakak

11.00 – 12.00 The challenges facing  the development of future knowledge & information systems; The state of the Art. 

Part I

Dr James Shanahan

12.00 – 13.00 Syndicate  Exercise

Chairman: Dr Amr Armanazi

11.00 – 11.45 Introduction to KM Evolution and History Mr Richard Cross

11.45 – 12.15 Syndicate Exercise: Cultural issues in KM

12.15 – 13.00 Knowledge Sharing: the real work of knowledge work Dr Jack Whalen

13.00 – 14.00              Lunch

13.00 – 14.00              Lunch

13.00 – 14.00              Lunch

Session 10 

Session 6 

Session 2

Chairman: Dr Iyad Zoukar

14.00 – 14.45 Lessons from history-  the Quality Revolution and the Knowledge challenge Mr John Kelly

14.45 – 15.30 Personal organizational and economic Challenges in building the 21st century organization and  economy

Mr John Kelly

Chairman: Dr Samer Dakak

14.00 – 15.30 The challenges facing the development of future knowledge & information systems; The state of the Art 

Part II

Dr James Shanahan

Chairman: Dr Assef Diab

14.00 – 15.00 Knowledge Sharing: creating and converting local ‘community’ knowledge into organizational action Dr Jack Whalen

15.00 – 15.30 Syndicate  Exercise 

15.30 – 16.00          Coffee Break

15.30 – 16.00          Coffee Break

15.30 – 16.00          Coffee Break

Session 11

Session 7

Session 3

Chairman: Dr Amr Armanazi

16.00 – 17.00 Panel Discussion & Closing

Chairman: Dr Imad Khudeir

16.00 – 17.00 Short papers

Chairman: Dr Assef Diab

16.00 – 17.00 Short papers

Media gallery