Linkages Update represents one of IISD's first forays into the field of knowledge management.
In 1995, soon after the Director of IISD Reporting Services, Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI, created “Linkages” – our website – as one of the first websites on the nascent World Wide Web, we began producing Linkages Update. This new publication included information about meetings that we covered with our flagship publication, Earth Negotiations Bulletin, along with information on other recent and upcoming meetings related to sustainable development. Even though we had established a website, we distributed the initial issues of Linkages Update through email and even in hardcopy, since there were still a large number of government offices – and individuals – who had no access to the internet.
Since then, the delivery formats for the information we include in this fortnightly publication have evolved. Prior to the current format, we created chronological lists of meeting reports on our Linkages website, and linked the stories in Linkages Update to those lists. The current version of Linkages Update connects to the posts on our knowledgebases to provide a more dynamic platform for readers to find additional information and related posts. The creation of connections between individual information points is a critical element in the art of knowledge management, and we are continuing to innovate ways to facilitate these connections.
This issue of Linkages Update is being published one week before a very important date for our organization. The first issue of Earth Negotiations Bulletin (then called the Earth Summit Bulletin) was published on 2 March 1992, during the fourth PrepCom for the UN Conference on Environment and Development. As we celebrate this 20th anniversary, we are looking back at how far we have come and looking forward to where we will go next. The title of a presentation that our Director is delivering in London tomorrow summarizes much of our last 20 years: “IISD's Knowledge Management Tools and Products for Policymakers: Forming and Informing Epistemic Communities.” Look to this space in future issues of Linkages Update for more information on where we have been and where we are going.