March 2017 Seminar: Gurteen Knowledge Café – Entrained and Entrenched Thinking


David Gurteen, well known as a keynote speaker and conversational facilitator, ran a Knowledge Café on the topic of Entrained and Entrenched Thinking.
Knowledge cafés are a powerful tool for knowledge managers. David Gurteen is one of the foremost exponents of this method. David defines the essence of a knowledge café thus: “The only hard and fast rule is that the meeting is conducted in such a way that most of the time is spent in conversation – it is not about one person presenting to the group”.

We were privileged that David was willing to run such an event for NetIKX. This knowledge café focused on issues around shaking up people’s ideas and the chosen and challenging topic was entrained and entrenched thinking. This proved to be of interest and value to those who attended, allowing them to explore “thinking out of the box”.
Avoiding [entrenched and] entrained thinking
The concept of an ‘entrenched’ opinion is all too familiar! Someone has a point of view and is ‘dug in’ to defend it – perhaps against an imagined other someone in another trench, with an opposite point of view. When these behaviours get in the way of reasoned discourse and good decision making, we might use conversational strategies to break the impasse.
‘Entrained thinking’ is a less familiar concept, but also hampers good collective decision making and opinion forming.

Normally a NetIKX meeting includes a ‘syndicate session’. The structure of a Gurteen Knowledge Café is different. For this meeting, the following issues were considered:
• What factors in people’s backgrounds, and even professional education, lead to them having a ‘blinkered’ view of the range of available opinions and policy decisions, especially at work? How might this be mitigated?
• When we meet together in groups to discuss and decide, what meeting dynamics get in the way of considering the broadest possible range of opinions and inputs? Could we run such meetings differently and obtain better results?
• What are the first two questions forgetting to consider?


David Gurteen is a keynote speaker and conversational facilitator.
He works in the fields of knowledge management, organisational learning and conversational leadership. He gives keynote talks, designs and facilitates knowledge cafés and runs workshops around the world.
He is best known as the creator of the Gurteen Knowledge Café – a versatile conversational process to bring a group of people together to learn from each other, share experiences and make better sense of a rapidly changing, complex, less predictable world in order to improve decision making and to innovate.
He has facilitated hundreds of knowledge cafés and workshops in over 30 countries around the world over the last 13 years.
He is the founder of the Gurteen Knowledge Community – a global network of over 22,000 people in over 160 countries and he publishes his regular monthly Knowledge-Letter, which is now in its 16th year.

Time and Venue

2pm on 16th March 2017, The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS

Pre Event Information







See our blog report: Gurteen Knowledge Café

Study Suggestions

See David Gurteen’s website,
Article on Global Trust in Media: