A PhD Student’s Perspective on ICKM
By Ana Roeschley
The 14th Annual International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM) was sponsored by ASIS&T and was co-located in Vancouver on November 9th and 10th. Occurring immediately before the start of the ASIS&T Annual Meeting, ICKM was an opportunity for knowledge management scholars and practitioners to exchange ideas on the topic before heading into ASIS&T.
The conference was kicked off by Gary Marchionini’s plenary on iSchools as Crucible. Dr. Marchionini’s words invigorated the attendees, and many of them kept quoting his points throughout the conference. One of the most important questions he asked during this plenary was: what are the human consequences of technical efficiencies? Answering this question with a knowledge management lens is an exciting task and I look forward to the emerging conversations that Dr. Marchionini has inspired.
After the opening plenary, I attended Valerie Nesset and Daniel Deakin’s workshop on participatory design which was a great reminder that the best implementations of technology involve both the users and designers. The Data, Information and People session panelists provided clear examples of how knowledge management can be utilized to help us serve the information needs of various groups. Similarly, the Organizational Change Management session focused on how groups and individuals can be served by real-world applications of knowledge management theories.
Chris Corrigan’s plenary on the Art of Participatory Leadership started the second day of ICKM. Corrigan’s hands-on plenary allowed us to apply the Cynefin framework to our own problems in a demonstration of knowledge management at work. Corrigan’s plenary was a thought-provoking address on leadership, complexity, and communication.
I was also inspired by the session on Innovation and the Young Researcher Presentations, which combined knowledge management theory and practice. The breadth of research illustrated the diversity of the knowledge management field. As its name implies, ICKM is a truly international conference, allowing for a multiplicity of perspectives to be highlighted.
In comparison to ASIS&T, ICKM is a smaller and more intimate conference. This sense of intimacy is great for Ph.D. students and others who are still finding their way in the world of information science. As a Ph.D. student myself, I found that ICKM was a great opportunity to meet and interact with both experienced and emerging information scientists.
This sense of comfort was most apparent to me while presenting at ICKM. This is simply because presenting was not an intimidating experience. Rather, the feedback from fellow graduate students and seasoned experts was thoughtful and full of constructive suggestions. As poster presenters, my research partner and I received several pieces of feedback that we are implementing in our project’s next steps. Thanks to the unique personalized interactions that are made possible at ICKM, our work has been strengthened.
Overall, ICKM was a highly valuable conference. While next year’s ICKM will not be attached to ASIS&T, it is a conference worth attending. ICKM 2019 will be in Santa Catarina, Brazil with a focus on knowledge management and governance. I am eager to see the collaborations, theories, and papers that will emerge from Brazil next December.
Ana Roeschley is a PhD student at the University of North Texas. You can find her on Twitter at @anaroeschley.