David Gurteen's Knowledge Café in Oslo

My regular readers knows my saying: ‘Blogging Connecting People‘. This post is giving that a deeper meaning as we are talking about the Magic Moment when people are connected and create knowledge by sharing information in a dialogue. To make it short: The first time David Gurteen was referred to me, was in a work group – Knowledge Forum – at the Norwegian Computer Society (NCS). I was told he was into Digital Story telling and after I made my ‘Digital Story about my blog‘ and visit David’s blog to introduce myself in comments, we finally ‘met’ in blogsphere, more than a year ago. Then I was informed by NCS that David would come to Oslo, managing a Knowledge Café in May and I also got an invitation from him by mail. When I give lectures at The Norwegian School of Management, one of my subject is Knowledge Management, so of course I was curious about David’s techniques and signed on.

So last night I attend to David’s Knowledge Café in Oslo hosted by Ciber Norway. It was amazing to experience how a dialogue in a group of five, sharing their knowledge, experience and thoughts, can evolve knew awareness or knowledge about the theme or subject. Lets meet David (to the left) and the café’s participants summarizing our experience before I explain a bit more (I had my Nokia mobile phone at hand of course):


A K-café is designed to engage people with a subject or theme. One person starts with a short talk on a theme, maybe as little as ten minutes and then pose one or two open ended questions for the participants. Then you break them into groups to discuss the theme and questions and then reconvene as a large group to finish off with a large group discussion (see pic above). This ultimately, leads to action in the form of better decision making and innovation and thus tangible business outcomes. So The K-café is not debating but about gaining a better mutual understanding of a topic or issue. Let me share some more pics from our Café to illustrate the atmosphere:

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Left: David’s Introduction – Right: Groups of five.
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Left: Dave taking picture of me taking picture of him – Right: The large group discussion

The theme was corporate use of Social Communities on the Net and of course I was thrilled (my regular readers would recognise me as hyper :lol: ). To me it was interesting to observe how much you can learn from others by listening as well as sharing – in a discussion and not a debate!! I mean I’ve been to a lot of seminars and conferences where in the normal setting, you are exposed to the PowerPoint Syndrome in a lecturer way. In the Knowledge Café concept, you are participating instead of being a passive victim of others knowledge. I can tell you: you learn a lot more!

Then back to my ‘Blogging Connecting People‘: Since I saw at David’s schedule on his web site that he would be staying in Oslo until Sunday; I invited him for a round tour in Oslo on Saturday. I’m a Network Evangelist you know and I’m looking forward to give some of myself and Oslo to David tomorrow and then learn some more about him as well. So stay tuned, there might be a post or two about it.

Here is David’s picture from his stay in Oslo and our trip from today.