Our World as a Learning System: A Communities-of-Practice Approach

  • William M. Snyder
  • Etienne Wenger


We live in a small world, where a rural Chinese butcher who contracts a new type of deadly flu virus can infect a visiting international traveller, who later infects attendees at a conference in a Hong Kong hotel, who within weeks spread the disease to Vietnam, Singapore, Canada, and Ireland. Fortunately, the virulence of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was matched by the passion and skill of a worldwide community of scientists, health care workers, and institutional leaders who stewarded a highly successful campaign to quarantine and treat those who were infected while identifying the causes of the disease and ways to prevent its spread. In such a world, we depend on expert practitioners to connect and collaborate on a global scale to solve problems like this one – and to prevent future ones.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Learning System Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Police Chief Faith Leader 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Open University 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • William M. Snyder
  • Etienne Wenger

There are no affiliations available

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