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This page lists records of past events or other downloadable materials such as:
archived interviews;
archived webinars; and
white papers and other documents.


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Interview archive

Collecting stories for a SenseMaker project has a variety of challenges. Most people we talk to don’t give enough consideration to their collection plan and assume their initial plans will work! Unfortunately that is not the case.

This archive contains audio-only interviews with seven people about nine different narrative projects in which they participated, either as QED Insight clients or as Laurie’s fellow SenseMaker practitioners.

Listen here.


Webinar archive

March 2018 webinar: Narrative Landscapes & SenseMaker®
• QED presenter: Laurie Webster
• Guest moderator: Anna Hanchar (@annahanchar), The data atelier, UK

In this webinar, Laurie talks about narrative landscapes and their use as a visualization tool in SenseMaker projects, including answers to the following:
• What is a narrative landscape and how is it created?
• What metaphors apply to narrative landscapes?
• What are good practices you can apply when creating these yourself?

This webinar is for those who have a working understanding of SenseMaker and the signifiers used.

You can see the full video here.


October 2017 webinar: Using NLP with SenseMaker®
• Guest: Anna Hanchar (@annahanchar), The data atelier, UK
• QED host: Laurie Webster

There is increasing interest in the potential of natural language processing (NLP) for treating SenseMaker narratives as “textual data” and for adding value to the familiar analysis of signifiers, multi-choice questions, and demographics. In this webinar, Anna Hanchar shares her experience with the application of NLP in the development context. She discusses the basics of NLP and gives an example of how it was used in practice.

You can find supplementary materials and see the full video here.


October 2015 webinar: Gathering Stories for SenseMaker® Projects
• Discussants: Laurie Webster, QED Insight, and Marcus Guest (@marcusguest), Narrative Insights, Moscow, RU

A SenseMaker project needs participants to contribute stories. So, if you talk to anyone leading such a project, they will exude a high level of confidence that of course people will participate or alternatively that they have a good strategy in place to entice people. Nine out of ten times, however, the confidence is misplaced, or the strategy falls flat and needs a series of tweaks to get the desired level of participation. Laurie and her Guest, Marcus, discuss a variety of ideas for gaining participants and minimizing issues with story collection. Some of the webinar attendees also ask questions and make comments.

You can see a 1-minute video clip (below) or go to the full video.


May 2015 webinar: Mixed Methods – Using SenseMaker® with Other Information Sources
• Guest: Irene Guijt (@guijti), Learning by Design, Canberra, AU
• QED host: Laurie Webster

Few organizations only use SenseMaker for their evidence base. How can SenseMaker be combined with other instruments, such as traditional surveys? What practical and analytical challenges are there to consider? And what benefits can be expected? Using GirlHub as a case study, Irene and Laurie discuss how Irene has seen SenseMaker combined with other ways of gaining insight into a population and its experiences.

You can see a 1-minute video clip (below) or go to the full video.


March 2015 interview: Using SenseMaker® in Organizational Change
• Guest: Tom Klein (@Softfacts), Bad Schwalbach, Germany.
• QED host: Laurie Webster

Tom and Laurie talk about how his practice helps clients find entirely new ways to solve business problems. Instead of doing process engineering or adding more IT, he helps them understand the value of listening to the voices of both employees and customers. He talks candidly, including the details of a current project, about what he has found to be the keys to success as well as the “massive issue” that must be addressed to avoid failure.

You can see a 1-minute video clip (below) or go to the full video.


February 2015 webinar: PERFECT Pitch — The zen of selling a sensemaking project
• Guest: Iwan Jenkins (@ijenkins), The Riot Point, Toronto, ON
• QED host: Laurie Webster

Iwan and Laurie discuss not only his distinctive experience in selling projects to commercial clients, but also how his insight may apply with NFP/NGO clients. Some of the questions addressed are: What do you say to an executive who is willing to spend money on a sensemaking project, but wants minimum risk, quick answers, and maximum impact? How can you prepare for someone already disenchanted with prior market research and probably dreading your pitch with 240 PowerPoint slides? Where is the blueprint for a bridge from theoretical purity to pragmatic selling? This webinar is informative, provocative, and exhortative, in particular encouraging participants to think about marketing ideas and case studies, things that worked (or didn’t work) in the pre-project phase that often goes unaddressed.

You can see a 1-minute video clip (below) or go to the full video.


December 2014 webinar: Sensemaking + Graphic Facilitation > the Sum of its Arts
• Guest: Nancy White (@NancyWhite), Full Circle Associates, Seattle, WA
• QED host: Laurie Webster

Join Nancy and Laurie in this fast-paced event that is both practical and playful. After the introductions, Nancy begins by describing how she uses visual methods in a variety of facilitative settings; Laurie does the same for narrative and sensemaking. These are 101-level presentations for their respective “incognescenti,” that is, Nancy talking about graphic facilitation for sensemaking practitioners, and vice versa for Laurie. The real fun begins when the participants join Nancy in the sandbox for a real-time, “safe-to-fail” visual experiment using a shared online drawing tool.

You can see a 1-minute video clip (below) or go to the full video.


November 2014 webinar: The Art and Science of Story Patterns
• QED presenter: Laurie Webster
• Guest respondent: Mike Carroll (@mike1carroll), Cognia, Adelaide, SA

For most practitioners and their clients, the steps in a SenseMaker® project between collecting stories and reporting findings can be unclear. In this webinar, Laurie Webster demystifies this analyst-in-the-middle phase of a project. She gives example-based answers to questions ranging from “What’s the first thing to do with a story set?” to “How do you show this to a client?” Mike Carroll of Cognia, who has worked with Laurie, responds from both practitioner and client perspectives.

You can see a 1-minute video clip (below) or go to the full video.