At the ICKM Conference in Pittsburgh

October 24, 2010

First of all, I am really glad to be offered an opportunity to guest post on the Cognitive Edge Blog for a few days. I was initially wondering if it would be difficult for me to post as I am currently traveling but it doesn’t look like I need to worry. Internet access from the Hotel is convenient and I probably shouldn’t find it difficult to pick up thoughts from the ICKM conference sessions for, at least, the initial posts.

(Conference Program – )

One of the sessions that I attended yesterday was on SNA maps for the US security environment and was led by Deborah Swain from North Carolina University. I’ve always pondered over the use of KM concepts and techniques for social causes and looks like Deborah and her team (comprising students from the university as well as representatives from the US Homeland Security and other private and public organizations) are doing a wonderful job. They’ve, to start with, conducted various surveys and telephone interviews to identify the various entities, their presence and their connections in the context of saving and supporting people during Hurricanes (in the state of Florida.) An SNA map has been generated to visualize and represent the situation and is being shared with all the concerned entities so it would actually enable them to self-educate themselves and identify the entities that they must be collaborating with.

I am still a beginner in the field of SNA but I think this is fascinating and has a lot of potential to make the concerned entities aware and act upon what they discover through these meaningful and revealing social networks.

Also, it dawned on me that there is so much we can accomplish if Academia, Students and Public (or private) organizations collaborate to develop and implement a social support system. We can perhaps battle most of the ills that plague our society today.

Are there any examples that you’d like to share in this context?

PS: Are there any particular topics you’d like me to cover through these guest posts or do you want me to just share something I’m thinking about over the next week or so? Would be glad to feel the readers’ pulse and respond.

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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