What Is Data?

Why Big Data Needs Thick Data - Tricia Wang, Ethnography Matters (2016)

"Thick Data is data brought to light using qualitative, ethnographic research methods that uncover people’s emotions, stories, and models of their world. It’s the sticky stuff that’s difficult to quantify. It comes to us in the form of a small sample size and in return we get an incredible depth of meanings and stories."

The Library of Missing Datasets - Mixed-media installation by Mimi Ọnụọha (2016)

"The Library of Missing Datasets is a physical repository of those things that have been excluded in a society where so much is collected."

Critical investigation into the politics of the interface. - An interview with Joana Moll from by Régine Debatty of we-make-money-not-art.com (2017)

"Joana Moll is a young artist and researcher whose work critically explores the way post-capitalist narratives affect the alphabetization of machines, humans and ecosystems. Her main research topics include Internet materiality, surveillance, online tracking, critical interfaces and language."

Warm Data - The International Bateson Institute and the Warm Data Lab

"Warm Data is information about the interrelationships that connect elements of a complex system. Put another way, Warm Data is transcontextual information. Warm Data captures the qualitative dynamics and offers another dimension of understanding to what is learned through quantitative data, (cold data)."

Defining Knowledge, Information, Data - by Knowledge Management Tools (last updated 2018)


Sensemaking and Systems Change

Collaborative Sensemaking and Wayfinding - talk by Matt Arnold, IA Conference 2020

"Based on decades of empirical research and practical application, this talk presents ways to optimize team collaboration and provides a model to improve sense-making and wayfinding for team members and team leaders. The outcomes-based model provides a way for teams to think about collaboration that will improve team productivity, quality, consensus, and satisfaction."

The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world - C. F. Kurtz and D. J. Snowden (2003)

"In this paper, we challenge the universality of three basic assumptions prevalent in organizational decision support and strategy: assumptions of order, of rational choice, and of intent. We describe the Cynefin framework, a sense making device we have developed to help people make sense of the complexities made visible by the relaxation of these assumptions."

An Overview Of Sense-Making Research: Concepts, Methods, And Results To Date - Brenda Dervin (1983)

"The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the Sense-Making approach to research -- its assumptions, methods, and results to date."

Understanding Visual SenseMaking - Humantific (2019)

What is Visual SenseMaking, and how is different from Graphic Recording?

Understanding sensemaking in organisational change: a cognitive mapping approach - Maureen O'Connor PhD thesis, University of Birmingham (2015)

"In this thesis I argue for consideration of a precursive level of sensemaking that influences how individuals think about and respond to organisational change. In asking ‘how’ knowledgeable agents understand an altered environment, I adopt a holistic view of organisational and cognitive sensemaking literatures, to produce a sensemaking template identifying four key relational influences: equilibration, intentionality, temporal context, and knowledge structures."

SENSEMAKING. Framing and Acting in the Unknown - Deborah Ancona, MIT-Sloan School of Management

"We should all explore the wider system, create maps that are plausible representations of what is happening, and act in the system to improve our understanding of reality. We will never capture it all, and never know how close we are. The best we can do is to make sensemaking a core individual, team, and organizational capability so that we can break through our fears of the unknown and lead in the face of complexity and uncertainty."


Collective Sensemaking and Community Mapping

Researching Situated Learning Participation, Identity and Practices in Client–Consultant Relationships - Karen Handley, Timothy Clark, Robin Fincham, Andrew Sturdy

"Situated learning theory has emerged as a radical alternative to conventional cognitivist theories of knowledge and learning, emphasizing the relational and structural aspects of learning as well as the dynamics of identity construction."

Introduction to communities of practice A brief overview of the concept and its uses - Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, 2015

"This brief and general introduction examines what communities of practice are and why researchers and practitioners in so many different contexts find them useful as an approach to knowing and learning."

Dialogue & Collective Sensemaking - Peter Jones. Jun 11, 2009

Presentation notes for Designing with Dialogue. Great digest of different sensemaking models, approaches and sensemaking leading to changemaking.

Situated learning, Legitimate peripheral participation - Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger, 1991

"In this important theoretical treatist, Jean Lave, anthropologist, and Etienne Wenger, computer scientist, push forward the notion of situated learning - that learning is fundamentally a social process. The authors maintain that learning viewed as situated activity has as its central defining characteristic a process they call legitimate peripheral participation (LPP). Learners participate in communities of practitioners, moving toward full participation in the sociocultural practices of a community. LPP provides a way to speak about crucial relations between newcomers and old-timers and about their activities, identities, artefacts, knowledge and practice."

Sense-making through conversation - Harold Jarche, Posted 2011-11-22

"Sense-making consists of both asking and telling. It’s a continuing series of conversations. We know that conversation is the main way that tacit knowledge gets shared. So we continuously seek out explicit knowledge, in the form of written work or other knowledge artifacts left by others. We then have conversations around these artifacts to make sense of them."

Situated learning - Legitimate peripheral participation - Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger, 1991

In this important theoretical treatist, Jean Lave, anthropologist, and Etienne Wenger, computer scientist, push forward the notion of situated learning - that learning is fundamentally a social process. The authors maintain that learning viewed as situated activity has as its central defining characteristic a process they call legitimate peripheral participation (LPP). Learners participate in communities of practitioners, moving toward full participation in the sociocultural practices of a community. LPP provides a way to speak about crucial relations between newcomers and old-timers and about their activities, identities, artefacts, knowledge and practice.

Common Law Copyright in Spontaneous Oral Conversation - Paul M. Morley, October 1969

"In absence of the protection of express or implied contract, the originator of an abstract idea loses all property rights in that idea upon disclosure to another."

What is a Community of Practice and How Can We Support It? - Christopher Hoadley, 2011

"A community of practice is an important theoretical construct that underlies a particular model of learning, namely, learning in which people, through a process of legitimate peripheral participation, take up membership in and identity with a community which serves as the home of these shared practices."


Building networks and collaboration

CoCreative's Free Tools & Resources for Systems Change - CoCreative

"We help people who don't know each other and often don't even like each other solve tough problems together. We work across sectors to innovate sustainable solutions to complex, systemic challenges using creative, design-driven engagements."

Convening - A Guide for Dialogue and Collaboration - David J. Mitchell, Mar 2016

"In an age of complexity, when partnerships are increasingly necessary to address or resolve difficult issues, the ability to convene takes on a renewed importance. This book is a practical guide for individuals and organizations seeking to develop or enhance their capacities to convene."

Design Justice - Community Led Practices to Build the Worlds we Need - Sasha Constanza-Chock (2020)

"An exploration of how design might be led by marginalized communities, dismantle structural inequality, and advance collective liberation and ecological survival."

Conversational Leadership - David Gurteen

"Conversational Leadership is about appreciating the extraordinary but underutilized power of conversation, recognizing that we can all practice leadership and adopt a conversational approach to the way in which we live and work together in an increasingly complex world."

Cutting Through the Complexity - A Roadmap for Effective Collaboration - David Ehrlichman, David Sawyer & Matthew Spence (Mar. 15, 2018)

"Collaborations and networks rarely achieve their ambitious goals. Here’s what it takes to make them actually work."

Why Cooperate? A Multi-Disciplinary Study of Collective Action - Sarah Gillinson, February 2004 - published by ODI

Research paper discussing theories of cooperation and in particular the different approaches - Theories of Collective Action, Non-Cooperative Game Theory and the Rational Individual, The Evolution of Cooperation, Role and Norm Theories, Social Capital, Sharing competencies.

Collaborative Innovation Roadmap - CoCreative Consulting

"We call our approach 'Collaborative Innovation'. We're using it to solve a range of tough problems like revitalizing economically distressed communities, building value chains for regenerative agriculture, expanding employee ownership, and eliminating hazardous chemicals from electronics manufacturing. Our approach creates high-trust collaborations that produce results fast and drive systemic change." This was one of the key papers for me to link the practical activity of mapping (the system) to convening networks.

Re-imagining the IAP2 Spectrum - Steph Roy McCallum

IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum is a core tool of the public engagement practice.