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September 19, 2013
Updated: September 19th, 2013 03:31 PM (MT)

Communication Catalysts

As technical communicators, we touch every product, process, and service on this planet (and off of it). Without us, governments would fall, inventors would have a hard time getting their products to users, and patients would die. In short, no product, process, or service would function very well. Yet, because our work is part of the infrastructure, we often don't hear about how we're doing until something goes wrong. 

Kit Brown-Hoekstra takes a look at how we can act as catalysts for positive change in the world, just by doing our jobs well.  Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a catalyst as “an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.” During this talk, we will look at different kinds of change, and how we, as technical communicators, can influence and change processes to make our world a better place.

Examples abound of how we do this, from creating clear instructions so that doctors can install a pacemaker or a mechanic can safely maintain a jet engine to working with Translators without Borders to simplify medical articles so that they can be translated into African languages, or making sure that the astronauts on the Space Station can change the air filter properly.

Because our work is part of the infrastructure, we often don't hear about how we're doing until something goes wrong. And yet, without our contributions, no product, process, or service would function very well.

Speaker: Kit Brown-Hoekstra, Comgenesis, LLC

Kit Brown-Hoekstra, of Comgenesis, LLC, is a Fellow for STC and the international VP, speaks at conferences worldwide, and has authored many articles on various topics related to technical communication and internationalization. She also coauthored a book on managing virtual teams.

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