Hello. My name is Mark Braggins, and I am an Associate at Drawnalism. I have done stints in retail, financial services, software services, and local government.

My focus at Drawnalism is on business and service development. Don’t worry, I leave the drawing to the experts.

This is the first of a series of blog posts from a personal, but changing, perspective. This post explains how I first became aware of Drawnalism, way back in 2011. Did we even have electricity then?

Ideas

Cartoon man surrounded by light bulbs
Ideas everywhere, but how do we convey what we think?

I have always been interested in the flow of information and knowledge. Why do some ideas sit inside a person’s head and go no further, whereas others catch the collective imagination and go on to influence thinking across the world?

The answer probably begins with: ‘It depends…’

It depends…

Maybe it’s a brilliant idea, but the person whose idea it is has chosen not to share it, or perhaps they feel embarrassed, or lack self-confidence, or fear ridicule.

Also, in an organisational setting, do those at the top genuinely welcome ideas from ‘the shop floor’? And, is the famous ‘staff suggestion box’ (web form etc.) really all that welcoming?

Knowledge Café

Anyway, this sort of thing interests me, and in 2011 I helped organise and host one of David Gurteen’s Knowledge Cafés at Hampshire County Council’s HQ in Winchester.

If you haven’t heard of them before, Knowledge Cafés are relaxed, informal, gently and expertly facilitated conversations.

One of best ways to make sense of an issue or challenge and ultimately make better decisions is to bring a diversity of people together for a conversation in a Knowledge Café.

David Gurteen: the Knowledge Café Concept

The broad theme this time was ‘conversation in business’, and it involved lots of people sharing their ideas, and listening to others.

Small groups of people having conversations
The exchange of information in full flow. (Matthew is sitting on the far right of the picture).
Photo thanks to David Gurteen on Flickr

David encouraged attendees to meet and talk to as many people as they could, and to both listen and share. As a result, it was both an interesting and enjoyable experience.

Group of people
None of the characters appearing here intentionally resemble any persons living or dead. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental 😉

One of the attendees I met was Matthew, who ‘doodled’ throughout the evening in a small notebook. He showed me his sketches, which brilliantly captured some of the nuggets of conversation.

Knowledge Pub

Man talking next to a pint of beer with a halo. Sign above reads 'Knowledge Pub'
A quick sketch from 2011

As an aside, a friend joked that we should continue the conversation at ‘Knowledge Pub’ afterwards.

We did, and a small group of us have been meeting up around once a month for Knowledge Pub ever since.

Recap, and look ahead

The Knowledge Café format is a great way of exchanging ideas through conversation. In my next post, I will talk a bit about my first experience of working with Drawnalism.

Spoiler alert: I have used both In the Moment and Illustration services.

Man with a beard and glasses wearing blue shirt with tie
The last known photo of Mark Braggins wearing a tie.
Credit: David Gurteen on Flickr

Post by Mark Braggins

Business Development and Research Manager at Drawnalism

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