Connecting through Conversations workshop Canberra 20 October 2010 #conversation

Nerida Hart

Dear all

The Australian River Restoration Centre ( - a not for profit organisation) is running a workshop on using narrative techniques for organisational knowledge sharing on the 20th of October 2010 at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.  This is a one day workshop to introduce a variety of narrative techniques which are reasonably simple and can be used to great effect in the workplace with little or no budget.

If you would like to know more go to our website at

We already have an amazing variety of attendees which will aid in learning from other sectors.

The workshop is being conducted adjacent to the actKM (Knowledge Management) - for details go to and is being facilitated by Dr Siwan Lovett, myself and Matt Moore.

We would love to see you there.

Warm regards

Nerida Hart


Australian River Restoration Centre


Tel: 02 6227 0982

Mob: 0418 423 270

Email: nerida.hart@...





Could you elaborate a bit about the objectives of the workshop and the way in which the dialogue management processes were selected to fulfill the specific needs of the sponsor? 


To explain my question a bit more, we may share some level of common awareness about a process called Appreciative Inquiry .. which seeks to use collected stories as a means of (somehow) discovering the "life giving" essence of organizations.  Discovering the essence is anticipated to provide a foundation upon which further progress might be achieved.  The outcome is a projection into the future based upon a set of expressions of the best in the past.  The morale impact is reported to be very high.  So if the goal were to energize and mobilize an organization that was already doing what it felt it needed to continue to do, you might choose such an approach.  On the other hand ... if you are looking for transformational change, you would need to select a different approach.


You have told us that the workshop will introduce "a variety of narrative techniques which are reasonably simple and can be used to great effect."  Is this a conference, or is there a specific work plan that needs to be accomplished during the workshop?  Generating narratives seems not to be too great a challenge if this is the workshop goal.  Working with the collected narratives to find new pathways becomes a formidable information and knowledge management task ... unless it is actually something that really can be done easily and effectively. 


If I seem somewhat sensitized to the promise of simple and effective solutions through dialogue, it is not because I doubt that the only way forward is through dialogue.  My concerns are that any community has just so much bandwidth for its stories, and unless we use this bandwidth wisely we will consume the communities’ social capital without delivering the impact that we promise them.




Tom Flanagan
Director, South Coast Community Collaborative Design, New Bedford MA
President of the Board, Institute for 21st Century Agoras, Atlanta GA

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