We expected around 20 people, we got around 50, around 30 of which joined us for dinner at the Rembrandtplein. Judging by the numbers the PKM? (the question mark indicating the exploratory character) workshop Lilia, Piers and I organized for KnowledgeBoard.com was a success. But as anyone familiar with KM it’s often not the numbers that tell the story. The very flattering statements by participants, the comments I got the next day, did that. Like Tessy Bezuidenhout who said that it was the workshop that made her feel good about spending the money to get to Amsterdam from South Africa, unlike most of what she had seen at the conference. Or like those of many others who were glad to finally have a chance of adding their own stories to the conversation.
To create a truly interactive atmosphere we used the Open Space format, which I got to know in the Medinge Group and learned to use at the Blogwalk meetings.We started the afternoon with several teasers, that served as conversational hooks:

Florian, Martin and Piers while we were preparing for the workshop

Piers talked about how PKM is nothing new, it’s part of everybody’s work, it is more about groups than individuals, and we shouldn’t discount strategic decisions not to share/be nice
Lloyd talked about the role of emotions, especially fear, in change processes
Martin talked about the tools we would need, and how to span the bridge between the individual and the organisation
Florian Heidecke came with a specific case, involving mobile salesmen
Heiko Haller, psychologist by education, technologist by trade, spoke about reducing cognitive overhead (reducing the number of conscious acts needed to carry out a task. For instance compare the amount of conscious effort between walking and dealing with proxy problems to write and send an e-mail.) He explained his interest in visualization tools/approaches in this area.
And I talked myself about how PKM builds on the notion of taking responsibility for ones own life and actions. And that taking responsibility means taking an activist stance about changing your environment or your world.

During Lilia’s introduction at the workshop

We then proceeded into conversations, with results being captured on sticky notes. Martin Dugage and Florian Heidecke spent some time teasing out the patterns in the results, and naming them. We rounded of with a general discussion which for a large number of people carried over into the tram to the city center and on to dinner.
In the KnowledgeNetworker wiki results are/will be captured and further discussed/reworked. Out of the wiki results and reports will be published on the KnowledgeBoard website.
Thanks to everyone present for making it such a worthwile event, thanks to the KB team, especially Anne Jubert, Sami Kaze, Sari Ehrlich and Ed Mitchell for making it possible in the first place, and thanks to the Ark Group people for providing us with logistical support.
Oh, and I also got acquianted with John Curran, who described himself as a Knowledge Activist, which was a nice parallel to my teaser at the workshop. He recently started blogging at A Compound of Alchymie.

4 reactions on “Personal Knowledge Management? Workshop at KM Europe

  1. Hi Ton,
    Good to see you again, and (again) thanks for doing such a good job of facilitating – your inimitable relaxed but enthusiastic style made a huge difference to the tone and ease of the conversations!

  2. The reality and the web

    It is so interesting to see how a double of the reality is emerging on the web. Let’s take the example of the recent KM Europe event. We went there with our expectations…

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