Lessons Learned about Lessons Learned Summit: Fall 2014

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 A “Lessons Learned about Lessons Learned” Summit: Fall 2014
Philosopher Santana was noted as having said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” People around the globe have, through trial and error, been forever learning tactical and strategic coping responses to local hydro-meteorological hazards and disasters. Much of what they have learned in their local environments could, if shared be of value to others facing similar hazards far away.
Corporations, educators, government agencies, the military and other security organizations, among others, have engaged in searching for and collecting of lessons resulting from their activities. There is a sub-field of researchers focused on the theory and practice related to learning lessons. An Internet search exposes widespread writings on lessons, positive and negative, in science, culture, politics and the application of science to societal concerns.
Some organizations wait till a project has ended in order to seek lessons or guidance with regard to future responses to hazards and disasters. Others undertake mid-course reviews of their activities to change those activities that seem in need of correction. Still others favor using a “scribe” from the outset of an activity to record possible lessons throughout the project for later evaluation. Using a scribe circumvents the problems associated with a loss of
memory about lessons that might have been identified but not recorded by participants.
In just about every local community country, corporation or government ministry around the globe lessons are sought in one form or another. Foreign assistance agencies, specifically, often review their projects to identify and evaluate the impact of their work, matching progress again the project’s mission statement.
Searching for lessons has been carried out in formal, structured and routine ways or can be undertaken in an informal, ad hoc way Some organizations collect lessons, organizing and guarding them for re-use at a future time. A “lessons learned” process could identify and store lessons for internal use, not wanting and not for sharing with outsiders.
In Sum, A Lessons Learned gathering could identify and share insights on how best to use previous lessons that had often been learned at great expense to life, livelihood, and property.