Swiss Summer School 2017

 

Sebastian Kernbach
Visual Thinking for (PhD) researchers

How to think more clearly, have more engaging conversations and create richer research


This optional workshop will be held on Friday and Saturday, the week before before the regular workshops starts. This preparatory workshop will only be held if at least 7 participants have registered by mid-June and is limited to 10-12 participants.

This two-day workshop is free of charge to participants of regular workshops; it can be booked by itself for a fee.

If you wish an in-depth workshop on this topic, you might consider the full-week workshop "Design thinking for research" instead (first week of the Summer School) as it covers similar themes in a longer form (5 full days).


Sebastian Kernbach holds a PhD in Communication Science in which he focused on Visual Collaborative Knowledge Work in knowledge-intense collaboration in Professional Services Firms and Design Thinking. He is with the University of St. Gallen where he works as project manager, research associate, and instructor at the Institute of Media and Communications Management.

Sebastian Kernbach has a PhD in Communication Science in which he focused on Visual Collaborative Knowledge Work in knowledge-intense collaboration in Professional Services Firms and Design Thinking. He is with the University of St. Gallen where he works as project manager, research associate, and instructor at the Institute of Media and Communications Management.

His research focuses on the role of visual thinking in interpersonal interactions. He is particularly interested in enhancing interactions between consultants and clients through visualization. In addition he provides workshops for professionals, researchers and lecturers on the usefulness of visual thinking.

Prior to his research he worked as consultant for Interbrand, as Head of Branding and Communication of a Swiss startup and as Manager for Marketing and Communication for XEROX. He studied Business Administration and Communication in Breda, Düsseldorf, Copenhagen, Lugano and St. Gallen.

Workshop contents and objectives

The overall aim of this workshop is to help participants enhance their thinking and communication skills through the use of visual thinking such as diagrams, knowledge maps or visual metaphors. Working on the dissertation or research papers can be frustrating at times. Sometimes it may be because we feel overloaded with ideas and thoughts (cognitively), or we may feel overwhelmed and not motivated (emotionally), or we feel disconnected to our supervisor or peers (socially). Visual thinking is promising to overcome those challenges and work more productively and enjoyable.

This workshop will provide participants with the foundation of what visual thinking is and why it is beneficial for our thinking and communication. Based on these foundations participants will learn more about the benefits and risks of visual thinking. Participants will see different visual forms through examples (tree diagrams, empathy maps and many more) and acquire sketching skills to express themselves visually. (You don't have to be a good drawer or creative to be able to sketch!) Participants will apply what they have learned to visualizing the story of their PhD or research project and the process of conducting a literature review. In addition you are more than welcome to bring your current research problem or challenge so that we can tackle it visually.

Overview of course content

The objectives of the workshop are that participants should

The workshop will be hands-on with short inputs from the instructor and time to work on the exercises and own projects visually where the instructor and peers will operate as sparring partner in a friendly environment.

Bibliography

Prerequisites

No particular prerequisites are required. An open mind and curiosity are very welcome. Please note that visual thinking does not require any specific drawing skills. In fact drawing too beautifully can be a preventer from the value of visual thinking. So please don't be shy and join even if you think of yourself as a not so good drawer.



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EH Last update: 10.05.2017