Shared understanding resources on this page:

The Book: “Dialogue Mapping – Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems”

Dialogue Mapping Book Coverby Jeff Conklin, Ph.D.

“Once in a while there comes along a book that inspires and excites because it presents new perspectives on old, intractable problems. In my opinion, Dialogue Mapping : Building a Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems by Jeff Conklin falls into this category.”
~Kailash Awati, From Eight to Late (top)

Purchase on Amazon

Now also available in Kindle format!

YouTube Video: “The Limits of Conversational Structure”

“I just watched your YouTube video on Issue-mapping. I think your work on the subject is marvelous. I’ve spent more than a decade thinking about and articulating a logic of dialogue. I’m convinced that questions play a key and underappreciated role in thinking, and that clarity requires, among other things, that one understand the role that various conversational contributions play in issue space. Your issue-mapping techniques are as powerful a way of accomplishing this as I’ve come across, and I want you to know how much I appreciate what you’re doing.” ~Andy Norman, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University (top)

Vimeo: Dr. Conklin speaks to Delta Conservancy about Wicked Problems (December 2011)

The Delta is at the heart of California’s water disputes, yet it’s unknown by many of those who rely on what it provides, and those who live within its boundaries are under-represented in policy discussion. For more than 50 years, water has flowed through the Delta into Southern California and naturally out into the bay and ocean. Leaders have battled over the priority of where the water should flow, following a pattern of win-lose politics for control of this natural resource.

Jeff Conklin talks about bringing the skills of issue-based dialogue mapping to this wicked problem.

Read Eugene Eric Kim’s comments on this talk.

Wicked Problems & Social Complexity (PDF) by Jeff Conklin, Ph.D.

Wicked Problems & Social Complexity

“…Wicked problems are so commonplace that the chaos and futility that usually attend them are accepted as inevitable. Failing to recognize the “wicked dynamics” in problems, we persist in applying inappropriate methods and tools to them…”

This paper is chapter 1 of the book “Dialogue Mapping – Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems”.


Rotman Magazine interview
with Jeff Conklin (Winter 2009)

Rotman MagazineBuilding Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems.
Jeff Conklin explains why the Age of Design requires a new approach to problem solving that is built on a foundation of shared understanding.

Delta Dialogues Topic Timeline – Phase II Highlights