Shall We Meet at a Knowledge Café?
icons-action-calendar17 May 2018
4 minute read
Discussions around how the robots will take over and human interaction will be replaced by bot interaction are sweeping across almost every social scene. However, the business requires us to talk to each other more, share ideas and perspectives with each other and interact about the future of our industry more than ever.

Discussions around how the robots will take over and human interaction will be replaced by bot interaction are sweeping across almost every social scene. Recently, companies like Amazon and Starbucks have announced new innovations that intentionally minimize the need to interact with other people even further. Although online shopping still sometimes requires you to open the door to a postman, even that basic interaction is under siege. This shift away from human interactions has been decades in the making, but with technological developments offered at lower cost it’s now gained pace.

However, the business requires us to talk to each other more, share ideas and perspectives with each other and interact about the future of our industry more than ever. The business is becoming increasingly fast-paced and complex and no single industry leader can be smart enough by him (or her)self to address the challenges we face. 

Today, high level managers often know less about a specific issue than their staff. They are distanced away from the coal face, and there are too many changes going on for them to keep up. One of the best ways to understand an issue or challenge and finally take better decisions is to bring a diverse group of people together in open conversation and dialogue. That’s where new methods involving more interaction and discussion come on stage. The most prominent of which is the Knowledge Café method that’s now more frequently used at TAUS events.

The Knowledge Café can be identified as the ideal tool where there are no right or wrong answers. It can be used to:

  • Make a breakthrough in case of a tough dilemma
  • Brainstorm on issues, challenges, opportunities, possibilities or risks
  • Learn from each other; share ideas and insights and gain a deeper understanding of a topic
  • connect people, improve interpersonal relationships, trust and engagement.

That’s why it fits perfectly with the neutral and innovative concept of TAUS events. Here is how it’s implemented at TAUS events: 

handshake-4 (2)At the TAUS Industry Summit in Amsterdam in March 2017, fifty CEOs and Directors came together for the first Knowledge Cafe TAUS event. We had a clear aim for this meeting: deliver a Translation Industry Innovation Roadmap 2017-2021. The topics on the agenda were centered around six innovation themes: machine learning, machine translation, quality management, data cloud, interoperability and academy. The agenda was divided between town hall sessions and knowledge cafe sessions. In the town hall, a panel of four people climbed on the stage to frame the discussion and set the stage for the knowledge cafe sessions. Questions were raised, but left unanswered. Everyone would be able to share their thoughts, ideas and perspectives during the knowledge cafe: small cafe-style tables where groups of maximum 4 people would continue the discussion. Paper and pens are everywhere, so that every little thought gets jotted down. After three rounds of this, the group gathered back in a town hall setting to get reports from each cafe table. 

Multiple reports were published after this event, with most importantly the long-awaited transformation of the translation industry: Nunc Est Tempus, redesign your translation business now, published in December 2017. 

After this big first success, the knowledge cafe style was adopted also at the Data Summit at Google HQ California in November 2017 and at the Executive Forum in Tokyo on May 16 and 17, 2018. 

The same format will be repeated soon in Amsterdam at the Industry Leaders Forum 2018. A focused group of industry leaders will come together to discuss the technology, platforms, business, and the people. Take this chance to join the discussions.

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Şölen is the Head of Digital Marketing at TAUS where she leads digital growth strategies with a focus on generating compelling results via search engine optimization, effective inbound content and social media with over seven years of experience in related fields. She holds BAs in Translation Studies and Brand Communication from Istanbul University in addition to an MA in European Studies: Identity and Integration from the University of Amsterdam. After gaining experience as a transcreator for marketing content, she worked in business development for a mobile app and content marketing before joining TAUS in 2017. She believes in keeping up with modern digital trends and the power of engaging content. She also writes regularly for the TAUS Blog/Reports and manages several social media accounts she created on topics of personal interest with over 100K followers.

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