This is the first of a series of blog posts from a personal, but changing, perspective. This post explains how I first became aware of Drawnalism, way back in 2011. Did we even have electricity then?
I have always been interested in the flow of information and knowledge. Why do some ideas sit inside a person’s head and go no further, whereas others catch the collective imagination and go on to influence thinking across the world?
The answer probably begins with: ‘It depends…’
Maybe it’s a brilliant idea, but the person whose idea it is has chosen not to share it, or perhaps they feel embarrassed, or lack self-confidence, or fear ridicule.
Also, in an organisational setting, do those at the top genuinely welcome ideas from ‘the shop floor’? And, is the famous ‘staff suggestion box’ (web form etc.) really all that welcoming?
Anyway, this sort of thing interests me, and in 2011 I helped organise and host one of David Gurteen’s Knowledge Cafés at Hampshire County Council’s HQ in Winchester.
If you haven’t heard of them before, Knowledge Cafés are relaxed, informal, gently and expertly facilitated conversations.
One of best ways to make sense of an issue or challenge and ultimately make better decisions is to bring a diversity of people together for a conversation in a Knowledge Café.David Gurteen: the Knowledge Café Concept
The broad theme this time was ‘conversation in business’, and it involved lots of people sharing their ideas, and listening to others.
David encouraged attendees to meet and talk to as many people as they could, and to both listen and share. As a result, it was both an interesting and enjoyable experience.
One of the attendees I met was Matthew, who ‘doodled’ throughout the evening in a small notebook. He showed me his sketches, which brilliantly captured some of the nuggets of conversation.
As an aside, a friend joked that we should continue the conversation at ‘Knowledge Pub’ afterwards.
We did, and a small group of us have been meeting up around once a month for Knowledge Pub ever since.
Recap, and look ahead
The Knowledge Café format is a great way of exchanging ideas through conversation. In my next post, I will talk a bit about my first experience of working with Drawnalism.