Learning PPPs live with Hangouts and Twitter

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I would loved to have been at the PPP Days 2015 conference in London this week. But even though I was in Kyiv, I was able to join in. The opening plenary was streamed live, and on the second day, I was able to interact with a panel of PPP experts using Google Hangouts and Twitter.
Some of the #PPPMOOC-tagged tweets during
the Google Hangout. For more PPP-related 
tweets, follow @WBG_PPP.

I’m no stranger to either platform. I get most of my news through Twitter, and my daughter sends me messages from class on Hangouts (hi dady [sic], school is sooooo boring :P).
This time, however, I was engaging with giants of the public-private partnership (PPP) universe. Laurence Carter, the Senior Director of the World Bank Group’s PPP Group, moderated a panel of seasoned experts from EBRD, the Indian School of Business, and Meridiam, an investor in infrastructure. Together they provided perspectives on PPPs from international financial institutions, academia and the private sector. I joined about 200 other people from around the world and watched it live. But something was different: you could interact with the panel from afar and ask questions via Twitter using the hashtag #PPPMOOC ( go check it out).

I was aching to test the system, so I tweeted a question about the value of small PPPs at the municipal level, like the Malyn Biofuel PPP I blogged about recently. I could hardly believe it when Laurence asked the panel for their views on the subject. How incredible: from Ukraine, I was influencing the course of discussion of a panel of PPP experts in London! They talked about it for five minutes and offered some valuable insights.
But there is more. During the Hangout session, the audience could vote “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” at any point of the discussion. These are marked on the screen, making it possible for others to jump directly to those key points to find out what was said. At any time, you could jump back to any point in time if you missed anything. After the session ended, the entire session became accessible on YouTube.
This was the first Hangouts session on PPPs offered by the World Bank Group’s Open Learning Campus. It is one of several innovations coming out of the Bank’s PPP Group recently. The PPP MOOC, which sponsored the Hangouts session, is another, as is the PPP Knowledge Lab, a curated online resource on PPPs. Taken together, they offer a vast trove of resources to anyone who wants to increase his or her knowledge of PPPs.
Learn more about what the World Bank Group is doing in PPPs at worldbank.org/ppps and sign up for the PPP newsletter, which just published a new issue.


David Lawrence

International Development Consultant

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