The Innovations in Knowledge Organization 2015 Conference (Singapore) was one of the best conference experience I’ve ever had! It wasn’t a traditional conference, much more intimate and more like a workshop: small presentations and case studies that were followed by interactive and topic orientated discussions.

Innovations in Knowledge Organization Conference 2015, Singapore

Innovations in Knowledge Organization Conference 2015, Singapore

From a speaker’s perspective, this was wonderful as we had a chance for close, direct contact with attendees. We heard their stories, learned about their backgrounds and were able to help directly with their challenges. Moreover, we also had a chance to network with other speakers that allowed the opportunity to have debates and discussions we might not have had any other way.
It was really energizing to be able to be in the company of such great people, with a broad range of expertise.

The other unique thing was the morning of Pecha Kucha sessions on Monday. A Pecha Kucha session has exactly 20 slides, and the speaker has 20 seconds for each slide. No more, no less – the slides have the auto-timing preset. To be honest, this was the very first time I did this kind of presentation. It was both scary and fun! On the stage, we had to be VERY focused, and absolutely could not lose the focus, even for a second, because one second lost meant the whole slide was lost with the consequent risk that the entire presentation might be lost as a result of the speakers lapse.
But frankly, I LOVED speaking this way, even though it was a challenge!  And the good thing is: the feedbacks I’ve received afterwards. Attendees (and other speakers) got the message I wanted to give them, remembered the key thoughts and even let me know they’d noticed the Rubik’s Cube on one of my slides 😉
(Note: Rubik’s Cube has been invented by the Hungarian Erno Rubik.)

Some of the key thoughts from the conference:

  • Taxonomies, ontologies, folksonomies, taskonomies – all important for Knowledge Management. (“Taxonomies are for humans. Ontologies are for machines. Knowledge graphs are for the intersection of those two.”)
  • The most used word of the conference: Graph.
  • Graphs are everywhere – because they’re a natural way to represent knowledge. Even children think in graphs. (Or in dinosaurs ;-))
  • AutoClassification works only in scenarios when the taxonomy is
  • There’s no “silver bullet” for when to do AutoClassification and when leave it to the users. It all depends on the case it is used for and also on the organization’s attitude.
  • Methods, Standards, and Technologies are all essential for success.
  • Search is a critical part of KM, although many don’t recognize it.
  • Enterprise Search is always part of a larger system (workflows, processes, content, people, etc.)
  • Search Based Applications are always built around taskonomies
  • +1: Enterprise Search experts don’t have jetlag 😉

To sum up, the two days were definitely very intense, but at the same time very rewarding and enjoyable. Thank you for the organizers – I hope to be back next year, too!


Update: Matt Moore and Kelly Tall have written an extended review of the IKO 2015 Conference for Thomson Reuters’ Online Currents. Read the full report HERE.