Ontology Dojo

2018 Workshop


Using an Ontological Mindset to Solve IA Problems

Have an information problem that seems too overwhelming to organize? Are the taxonomies and controlled vocabularies not providing the richness of meaning and understanding you need to wrangle your information environment? Adopting an ontological mindset might help you push through and solve your hardest IA problems.

In this fun, informal, practitioner-focused workshop, Washington DC ontologist Ren Pope and Chicago area strategist / IA Jessica DuVerneay will present and facilitate a 3 part seminar: Ontology Dojo: Ontology 101– a series of short talks designed to provide an understanding of ontology frameworks geared towards IA practitioners.

We will cover: definitions, the philosophical grounding of ontology as an information practice, business cases, the purpose and structure of ontologies, typical deliverables, and pro tips on when and why to work with an ontological mindset.

Guided Ontology Development Activity – a majority of the session will be devoted to hands-on time working with a practical framework. Small groups of participants will roll up their sleeves and try their hand at creating and discussing a user-centric, real life ontology.

Application of Ontology – groups will learn how to apply their ontologies in real life, and next steps to continue learning the practice of taking ontological mindset.

About the speaker(s)

Jessica DuVerneay likes to help people and organizations find answers to their questions while fostering a sense of empowerment. Turning strategy into logical, useful, human-centered structure is her favorite thing to do. Currently, Jessica is Director, UX/UI at RS21 in Albuquerque, NM, and previously held positions at One North Interactive, The Understanding Group (TUG), and NFL.com. She has over a decade of experience in the IA/UX field, typically leading teams of 3-10 people.

She led the first ever World IA Day (WIAD) as executive director in 2012 and co-chaired the 2015 IA Summit. She frequently speaks and provides workshops at UX/IA conferences and meetups. In her past professional lives, Jessica has been a teacher, artist, library manager, and a small business owner. This allows her to understand, connect with, and provide top-notch solutions for clients and users with a wide variety of needs and backgrounds. She prides herself on being humorous, smart, organized, dependable, and down-to-earth.

Ren Pope is the chief IA at Industrial Medium Software based out of Washington DC. He has over 20 years of leadership and vision in the information science field. Ren has held various interesting positions both in and out of the UX career field these include speech and policy writing, modeling and simulation, and designing knowledge management systems.

Ren focuses his passion for information sciences, where he designs content management systems. He has studied and strives to perfect the use of taxonomies, ontologies, concept maps as well as overall information modeling to ensure the intent of design endures in the product. Ren enjoys writing and speaking about the theory and practice of the information sciences; and in his free time, he likes running around in the outdoors, pushing buttons and turning knobs to make music, and throwing things into barrels to age them.