Behind every network diagram is a "model" that represents the phenomenon being described by the network. For example, when I teach a class on Knowledge Brokerage, I have the students get to know each other by traversing a network of their work and non-work expertise. Those networks are often beautifully interconnected and complex, but the model that underlies them is quite simple:

In this assignment you're going to use the Cognitive City to draw a model of your own by following the steps below:

Step 1: Start to develop your "graph mindset" by reading this blog post about what a graph is and why its flexibility is so important for modeling efforts, like the type needed by knowledge brokers. You can find out more about graphs by also reading this article "What is a graph?".

Step 2: When you're ready, log in to your own Cognitive City. If you don't have one, you can always create a free trial City to experiment with. Once you're logged in, you'll see the administrator side panel on the left. The first option is "Model". Click on this to open a blank model canvas.

Step 3: Think about a situation in which you want to facilitate innovative insight. If that seems too broad, think about think about a particular set of people that are producing ideas you'd like to innovate on. Now think of some set of items or “artifacts” that are relevant to those people and represent in some way the ideas they have or the ideas they work with. Artifacts might be tangible outputs, like research articles, datasets, products, etc, or they might be tangible but not really outputs, like organizations, geographies, methodologies, technologies, etc, or they might be intangible concepts. The important thing in picking an artifact is that you have a clear way to tie the people you envisioned to them, and that you can collect (or create) some unstructured text related to them, like a description.

Step 4: Based on the people you are imagining, and the artifacts related to them, create a "starting pair" in your model by following the beginning of this article. For example, if I was imagining TED Presenters and their TED Talks, my starting pair might look like this:

Step 5: Make sure that your starting pair represents things that you can get a spreadsheet of data about, because we're going to be working with that data in future exercises. For now, just imagine the sort of data you can gather about the element types in your starting pair. Add an additional element type to your model to represent some additional about the people in your model and add another additional element type to represent what else you might know about the artifacts. For example, I might evolve my starting pair to represent that the TED Speakers have professions and the TED Talks have topic tags:

That's it for the first exercise - you've created your first model! Now that you have a model you're ready to use it to assemble data.