Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Archiving discussions as part of knowledge-building process

Over the past few years I've written posts following the annual #onthetable event hosted by The Chicago Community Trust, in which people get together in small groups to discuss issues important to them. Last night a friend asked me if I knew of David Gurteen, while we were talking about the knowledge base I've been building since the mid 1970s. He sent me the link today and I took a look at the Knowledge Cafe's which David has been supporting.

As I've looked at these I have felt that something was missing.  Below are a few graphics that show my thinking.  The first is a planning cycle graphic which you can see in this blog article.

The #onthetable events and Knowledge Cafes would be part of the middle steps on  this graphic. At the left would be a knowledge base, including maps, that people draw from to be better informed about problems, and potential solutions, when they get together to talk.

If people come together without any specific issue in mind, the talk could be random and cover a wide range of topics. I use graphics like the one below to focus on one issue: How do we assure that kids born in high poverty areas today move safely through k-12 and post  high school learning and into jobs and careers and adult responsibilities?

I posted an article earlier this year showing the different components of this pyramid.  In the  middle of this the steps are "creating a better understanding" and "creating actions that support the operations of needed programs in all places on the map where they are needed".  These two steps would be well supported by #onthetable and Knowledge Cafe processes, if they were focused on single issues.

At the bottom of this pyramid I focus on the knowledge base, or library of information and ideas, that people need to use to expand their understanding of the problem and solutions.

I have been building a knowledge base to support this process since I started leading a tutor/mentor program in 1975. It's been growing on the Internet since 1998. This map shows the four sections.

I'd like to find concept maps and visualizations like this on web sites of people who are facilitating conversations and looking for solutions to complex problems.  In one section of my library I point to blogs written by many others, and to places like G+ communities, cMOOCs, etc. where people are archiving what they learn in events they are part of.

This archiving of information should be a regular part of the process, so that each future gathering and conversation builds upon what has already been discussed and learned by others.  The graphic at the right, showing a carrot, represents the ideas in a knowledge library. View this presentation to see my interpretation of this.

What do you think about this? Do you find many web sites where event organizers and discussion leaders are mapping their process and pointing to knowledge bases where people can learn more about problems they are interested in solving? 

Connect with me on one of these social media places or share your ideas in the comments to this blog.

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