Collaboration SIG: Meeting is Cancelled for this evening!å



  • The Monthly Meeting of the Collaboration SIG


    Presentation Overview:

    Dialogue Mapping: Collaborative Technology for Wicked Problems

    Cognitive studies have shown that, when faced with a complex and novel problem, humans use a fundamentally chaotic ("opportunity driven") process to organize information and solve the problem. This insight helps clarify the situation when a problem is "wicked": proposed solutions primarily serve to illuminate hidden aspects of the problem, stakeholders disagree about what the problem is, "immutable" constraints change, and there is no definitive solution. Seen in this light, the measure of "collaborative technology" is the capacity it gives a group to overcome communication problems and to make sense of a dizzying array of conflicting points of view and inconsistent "facts."

    This sense-making process happens in conversations, mostly in face-to-face meetings, but meetings are repetitive, boring, and ineffectual. This talk presents Dialogue Mapping, a new approach to meetings and collaboration in which collective intelligence is achieved through framing powerful questions and conducting a comprehensive and creative exploration of their possible answers. The methods have been proven in strategic planning, product development, aerospace project planning, environmental planning, policy formulation, and system design.

    In the first few minutes of this session, Jeff Conklin introduces the key concepts:

    • Wicked problems: you must come up with solutions in order to understand what the problem really is; what the real issues are; and the problem definition depends on whom you ask!
    • Social complexity: the number and diversity of stakeholders whose participation is essential.
    • Opportunity-driven problem solving: empirical evidence says creative thinking does not follow a linear process!
    • Shared understanding: overcoming fragmentation requires forging shared understanding about all aspects of the problem-solution space. The remainder of the session is interactive. We will cover the basics of dialogue mapping so that you learn enough to start using it immediately in your own work. Then we will select a wicked problem topic and discuss and dialogue map it.

    About the Presenter:

    Dr. JeffConklin has over two decades of experience and an international reputation in the fields of hypertext and collaborative technology research, and years of professional experience as a facilitator, consultant, and teacher. Dr. Conklin is perhaps best known for his work with the Issue Based Information System (IBIS) method and extensions of it, such as research tools ("gIBIS") and commercial products ("CM/1", "QuestMap") that support IBIS. He is advisor to the Compendium Institute, which distributes the open source Compendium mapping tool, and Director of CogNexus Institute.

    Dr. Conklin also developed the Dialogue Mapping facilitation technique, a radically inclusive approach to knowledge management that allows groups to capture and make sense of unstructured knowledge during project meetings. Dr. Conklin has taught Dialogue Mapping to hundreds and hundreds of people all over the world. He has facilitated thousands of meetings, with such clients as the World Bank, the United Nations, the US House of Representatives, the City of Washington DC, NASA, FAA, the General Services Administration (GSA), as well as Southern California Edison, AOL, Verizon, AOPA, Doug Engelbart's Bootstrap Alliance, and other high-tech organizations.

    Dr. Conklin's research on collaborative and facilitation technologies has been published in numerous academic journals and conferences. His book about this work, Dialogue Mapping: Creating Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems, has just been published by John Wiley and Sons.



    CHARLES WELSH, BC SIG Co-Chair and Founder,
    PATTI WILSON, Career and Organizational Coach,
    SCOTT MCMULLAN, Director of Developer Relations,

    To reference the SDForum Collaboration SIG Blog: SDForum Collaboration SIG


    Event Logistics


    Pillsbury Winthrop Office Silicon Valley
    2475 Hanover Street
    Palo Alto, CA 94304-1114


    6:15 - 7:00 p.m. Registration/Networking
    7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Presentation


    $15 at the door for non-SDForum members
    No charge for SDForum members
    No registration required