Global Sensemaking

Tools for Dialogue and Deliberation on Wicked Problems

I have been in discussions with the UK National e-Science Centre in Edinburgh. Part of NeSC's mission is to resource relevant groups who want to hold events.

They are v. positive about receiving a proposal from me for an event which could enable us to meet. They have funding which could enable us to contribute to travel and accommodation for UK participants, and I can prioritise funding for key overseas speakers. They have great conference facilities, and Edinburgh is a fabulous location.

So this is to solicit interest and feedback:

* Given the venue, the event would be around how e-Science tools can help promote more effective dialogue and debate amongst climate change stakeholders. We could be looking to bring in scientists with an interest in the use of discourse tools, plus policymakers from government, UN, and other advocacy groups.

* good to have a focus on climate, but indicating that this is just one possible application of such tools

* we could shoot for a possible week late this year, eg Nov/Dec to keep momentum going, else early next year, eg. Feb-Apr 2009

* NeSC is keen that this would be an international conference/workshop, open to anyone. I see no reason why we could not really build momentum and do this.

* But I would say we also need close, private working time. One formula is Mon-Wed with us meeting in closed session, then Thurs-Fri public conference. Or 2 days closed workshop, 2 days with policy experts, and then another 1-day workshop/'business meeting' to assimilate what we learned from our time with real users and plan concrete next steps

* other thoughts welcomed!


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This is a terrific opportunity.
Thanks for suggesting this Simon: it's a great idea and venue—and I think that the emphasis on climate change (against the background of wider deliberation) is right too.

If practical for everyone, I would be in favour of scheduling the workshop for a date this year to help keep the group momentum building; although, any schedule for November/December 2008 will need to take account of the UN conference on climate change scheduled for 1-12 December in Poznañ, Poland.
OK we'd definitely want to avoid a clash with that, at least in terms of getting high profile subject matter experts to our event.

So, we could shoot for the previous week:

Nov 24-25: closed workshop
Nov 26-27: public conference
Nov 28: lessons learnt and planning (

If you are seriously considering attending, then maybe you'd like to indicate your availability at meetomatic. I'm offering Nov and first half of Dec as quite a broad window, and including weekends in case this is a major factor for people.

(replying is not a binding commitment, and I know for some of you this depends on sorting financial support)

I have indicated my availability via MeetoMatic. Frustratingly, the one event that I can't shift in November occurs in the week beginning 24 November.

With the UN conference in Poznañ starting on 1st December there might be something to be said for meeting earlier than this anyway (but not if it's not viable for the university-based members of the group).

Given the above comments plus other feedback on availability, I think we're looking at staging an event in early 2009. With my current commitments, and the summer coming up, I don't think we can pull together a quality event with the right people (like scientists and policymakers) this year.

Some people will of course be meeting at DIAC this month, so that's a good start. Others may self-organise locally. David and I can at least meet without too much difficulty.

Time will pass very quickly, and we do not yet have many good climate change demonstrations of what we have to offer, so I would see the rest of this year as the chance to create a pool of examples that we can reflect on, as well as to see if we can evolve our community structure.

I have had indications of availability eg. Jan 26-30 and into Feb, so I'll propose this to NESC and see what they say.
Thanks Simon,

I agree that early 2009 looks like a sensible option now, and late January/February is fine from my perspective.

I plan to be in New York on 23/24 June visiting Mark Aakhus and attending the PdF 2008 conference, and in San Francisco on 25-30 June (approx) for the DIAC conference and meeting with Jeff, Mark Klein, Jack and George.

Anyone who would like to join either the New York or San Francisco meeting would be very welcome to do so. We haven't finalised the dates/times for either yet; so there's still a chance to influence the timing of both.

Developing the climate change demonstrations is an excellent idea. An option building on this might be for us all to use the new wiki site to display and connect the demonstrations as a kind of early prototype / proof of the global sensemaking concept.

The more we can all demonstrate our tools in this context, the more we can bring the sense of a mutually supporting and interconnected collective vividly to life.






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