Jeff Conklin

Principal Issue Mapping and Dialogue Mapping Instructor


Dr. Jeffrey Conklin, Director of CogNexus Institute, has over two decades of experience and an international reputation in the fields of hypertext and collaborative technology research, and years of professional experience as a facilitator, consultant, and teacher. He is fascinated with the interplay between technology and social systems. Dr. Conklin is perhaps best known for his work with the Issue Based Information System (IBIS) method and extensions of it, such as research tools (“gIBIS”) and commercial products (“CM/1″, “QuestMap”) that support IBIS. He is advisor to the Compendium Institute, which distributes the open source Compendium mapping tool.

Dr. Conklin also developed the Dialogue Mapping facilitation technique, a radically inclusive approach to knowledge management that allows groups to capture and make sense of unstructured knowledge during project meetings. Dr. Conklin has taught Dialogue Mapping to thousands of people all over the world. He has facilitated thousands of meetings, with such clients as the World Bank, the United Nations, the US House of Representatives, the City of Washington DC, NASA, FAA, the General Services Administration (GSA), as well as Southern California Edison, AOL, Verizon, AOPA, Doug Engelbart’s Bootstrap Alliance, BP, the California Public Utilities Commission, and other organisations.

Dr. Conklin’s research on collaborative and facilitation technologies has been published in numerous academic journals and conferences. His book about this work, Dialogue Mapping: Creating Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems, was published in 2006 by John Wiley and Sons.

Paul Culmsee

Issue Mapping Instructor

Paul Culmsee is co-founder and Managing Partner of Seven Sigma Business Solutions. Paul is an IT professional, facilitator and sense-maker with 21 years experience across a wide variety of IT disciplines.

Paul is one of only three Cognexus Certified Dialogue Mappers in the world and commonly performs mapping in non IT disciplines as diverse as healthcare, urban planning and large scale construction projects. It is this collaborative work on highly complex problems where many of the insights for the SharePoint governance and information architecture class was conceived.

Specialising in the SharePoint platform, he is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, Microsoft Certified Trainer and Certified Information Systems Security Professional. Paul is well known in the SharePoint community for his strategic focus on SharePoint delivery, his writings on wicked problems and information architecture. His popular blog, ( receives over 20,000 unique visitors and 1.2 million hits per month.

He is a regular international conference speaker in IT and non IT circles and is a sought after trainer and advisor.

Paul has just finished co-authoring “The heretic’s guide to best practices” with Kailash Awati. To find out more about this book, visit the Heretic’s Guide Books.

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KC Burgess Yakemovic

CogNexus Director of Training

KC Burgess Yakemovic has been Issue Mapping in the “real world” for over 20 years, starting while she was working in the software development industry – and doing research with Jeff Conklin. She now works with Dr. Conklin at CogNexus Institute, where she is the Director of Training and is responsible for teaching online courses in Issue Mapping to an international audience.

During her 30+ years in the software development arena, she worked on the entire project life-cycle, from initial idea through multiple releases, from requirements analysis through user training, and on projects within both startups and large corporations. Projects have varied from software for banks and retailers to B2B infrastructure software and software for physician’s offices. Her research interests include improving group work through use of technology, user interface design, design and use of adaptive interfaces, and improving software development methodologies.


About Cognexus Institute







Issue and Dialogue Mapping Founder

COGNEXUS INSTITUE offers tools and services for groups dealing with complex and ill-structured situations. The Institute’s mission is creating organisational coherence – the ability to respond intelligently to ‘wicked problems’ and social complexity – in the service of world peace.

Cognexus specialises in teaching the Dialogue Mapping? and Issue Mapping techniques, facilitation and consulting using Dialogue and Issue Mapping, and research on collaborative technologies for design and deliberation on wicked problems.


About Seven Sigma

Designated CogNexus Partner

SEVEN SIGMA BUSINESS SOLUTIONS is an organisation consisting of experienced IT and sensemaking professionals, specialising in SharePoint, Dialogue Mapping and training. We have proven extensive experience in the
architecture and implementation of complex, custom designed applications across the financial, cultural, law enforcement, engineering and medical sectors.

We believe that Issue Mapping and Dialogue Mapping are life skills that can bring clarity and convergence to the management of complex problems. At
Seven Sigma, we practice Issue and Dialogue Mapping routinely and this has brought us many satified clients. These skills have become part of the ‘secret
sauce’ that makes Seven Sigma’s reputation renowned.

We are the designated partner of CogNexus Institue, founder of Issue and Dialogue Mapping. All our staff have been trained in both Issue and Dialogue
Mapping directly under Dr. Jeff Conklin of CogNexus Institue.We are proud to be part of your journey towards shared understanding and shared commitment.


"I can highly recommend this business tool for all project managers and business resources. It was a brilliant two days and I learnt new techniques which have already started to pay dividends in my professional role. This course was brilliant. The technique itself is a valuable tool for any business with multiple applications. "

-Leisha Velterop

"Definitely one of the best courses I have ever attended…I have already recommended to many people that they should get on the next course if possible. "

-Jon Gorton

"A fantastic course with lots of invaluable material that will no doubt be used throughout my personal and professional life. "

-Du Le

"I found the concepts and learning really helpful to deconstruct complex problems. It certainly is a useful way to gather ideas, interests, and positions in solving massive challenges in a fast changing world. The concepts and software work well straight out of the box. Its quite revolutionary really and applicable to real world problems from day 1. A very valuable course and well worth the investment! "

-Paul Gillbanks

"I would highly recommend the Issue Mapping class as it provides a great insight into how issues evolve in people’s minds and putting that into a form that is easily read and interpreted by others. Compendium is an extremely useful software package that pushes the boundaries of how to ‘map issues’. It provides great functionality so live mapping sessions are easily completed by even novice users of the program. "

-Gavin Jackson

"It is an excellent technique, it was taught in a clear way with useful/relevant support information. Excellent materials and very helpful support from tutors. "

-Marina Dzuba

"It gave me familiarity with the Compendium tool & reignited the value of IBIS/Dialogue Mapping. I will use IBIS to facilitate resolution of thorny areas at work. "

-Don Cleur

"Exceeding expectation. The best and most fruitful training in my life. Exposed to the thinking and skills of issue mapping and dialogue mapping – Enriched my skill in problem solving. "

-Frederick Lau

"Definitely worthwhile and very relevant. It exceeded my expectations as I learned more than just how to map. "

-Alma Osmanovic

"Very worthwhile – I learnt a number of things I didn’t know. Also met a great bunch of people. "

-Kailash Awati

"Worthwhile and relevant – supremely relevant. It’s not a course, it’s a life experience – Experienced a shared understanfing cos we mapped our course feedback! I experienced the early development of group wisdom. "

-Grace Moore

"Fantastic – enjoyed the dialogue mapping (demo) "

-Perry Mowbray

"Definitely added a new technique to my facilitation aresenal - will assuredly use this frequently for unpacking problems and elaborating discovery Navantis "

-Gordon Macleod

"A great new perspective for approaching complex, real-world biz problems "

-Charles Jewell

"I wanted to gain broader exposure to IBIS and pragmatic applications. verey worthwhile and relevant to my work with customers who are adopting Agile "

-Chris Chapman

"Worthwhile and highly relevant...Less fear of attacking wicked problems! "

-Jovana Krstic

"One of the best classes I have taken (and I’ve been to a few)! "

-Julie Lepp

"Met expectations – very useful and worthwhile "

-Gordon Hobday

"Exceeded my expectations "

-Justin Arnold

"Not only was I taught a new tool but also a new skill. It was very relevant and will be veru useful in my role "

-Kim Grace

"Worthwhile and exceeded expectations. Very relevant and can see it being well used in my carrer "

-Lisa Yewers