I recently discovered a terrific tool for mapping concepts and group discussions: Compendium. Compendium was designed with an eye toward the IBIS (Issue-Based Information System) approach to structuring and recording group conversations. These are typically conversations done with the goal building a better understanding of a complex problem and exploring ideas for tackling what emerges. (For a good introduction to this take on facilitation, I’d recommend Jeff Conklin’s >Dialogue Mapping: Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems.) That said, you’ll be able to find great uses for the software even without any background or interest in IBIS. As a small sample of what compendium does (don’t just go by this, there are better examples at Compendium’s website), here’s a brief snippet from a much larger (spanned several pages) Compendium-created map from a group conversation about planning a series of communities dialogues focused on the upcoming anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination. Compendium’s keyboard shortcuts made it easy to record the information during the meeting (and project it via LCD), and its export features (ranging from a single jpg image to exporting a full set of hyperlinked web pages) made it easy to share the final record of the conversation. Best of all, Compendium is free and runs on most major platforms (PC, Mac, & Linux). You can learn more about and download the software at CompendiumInstitute.
Lawyers face a great challenge in advising clients about what dispute resolution (DR) process to use. There are many DR processes and people are developing new variations all the time....By John Lande