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• Colombia

Maloka, a place to meet science and technology
Adopting Maloka in other countries

Maloka is interested in sharing its experience and knowledge with all national and local government authorities, municipalities, chambers of commerce, civic organisations, private businesses and mixed or joint enterprises in the development of interactive centres like Maloka in their respective environments, so that everyone may enjoy the benefits. To do this various steps have to be taken into account.

The process begins by exploring the context in which a Maloka-type experience is to be built. This is to identify the local stakeholders who are interested in taking part in the project: the scientific community, industry, lower and higher educational establishments. This exploration involves identifying, on the one hand, the stakeholders’ interests and, on the other, inviting them to define pedagogical criteria, the themes to be illustrated, and the type of experience they wish visitors to experience.

Parallel to this conceptual design, established in conjunction with the key stakeholders, preliminary research is needed on how the general public perceives science and the themes that the centres wishes to illustrate. This step is very important, since it provides the guidelines for generating the most appropriate educational proposals for that context.

In this initial process, Maloka can give advice on research by suggesting the best methodology and generating participative instruments to gather information on the interests and expectations of the stakeholders involved. Maloka can also advise on the analysis of the information gathered so that, in conjunction with the parties interested in replicating Maloka, the type of experience being offered to visitors, the services that are to be offered, and the centre’s communicational criteria can be defined.

As for more technical issues, but which also affect the pre-implementation phase, Maloka can help establish guidelines for museum design, elaborate follow-up tools to consolidate visitors’ experiences, and define criteria for the training of personnel that is to work in the centre.

Once the pedagogical foundations of the proposals and the design criteria have been identified, work can begin on legal, financial and administrative questions. In these aspects, a pre-feasibility study is needed. This includes an analysis of economic sustainability, so that the amount of pre-investment required for the development of the interactive centre is assessed. In addition, a detailed definition of the services that are to be offered, costs, and an operational outline are needed to establish the centre’s financial and operational structure, as well as the necessary infrastructure.

At this point, Maloka can give financial advice to interested parties, help establish the operational structure of the centre, advise on human resources and define requirements.

Once this stage of the conceptual and operational design has been concluded, work can begin on the building phase. It is worth reiterating that to reproduce the Maloka experience successfully, proposals and activities for the popularisation of science must be adapted to the context, social needs, and economic resources.That private enterprise, local and national government institutions, and educational establishments take part in the initiative is fundamental

In the event of interest in the construction phase, Maloka can advise on architectural design, produce new modules or replicate some of its own, and set up the modules or exhibition rooms. Maloka has technical manuals for setting up and running exhibitions, which can provide an important basis for the sustainable reproduction of the Maloka experience, or a part of it.

In the event that those interested wish to design their own products for the centre, Maloka can train local teams to produce, design and set up interactive exhibitions and follow up their work to make the initial idea a concrete reality.