Al Selvin – Memories & Tributes


Words can only say a bit of what Al’s loss means, but a version of what I said at his memorial service is on the website.


Dear Compendium Community and other colleagues,

Al Selvin, one of Compendium’s inventors and leaders, passed away suddenly due to heart failure on 10th Oct while out cycling, enjoying one of the activities he loved most. He was 56. This is a terrible shock for all who knew him, and our thoughts are very much with his wife, children and wider family. Moving tributes to him at his memorial events reflected the deep love and huge esteem in which he was held as a humble, loving, deeply reflective man.

For those of us in the Compendium community, Al was the driving force to refine Compendium as a digital medium. It was the experience of the mapper that particularly fascinated him, since nobody seemed to pay any attention to this particular mix of skills and dispositions. Why did so many people say that it looked like ‘magic’ when he produced a Dialogue/ Issue/ Conversational  Map during a meeting? What was a mapper doing when they were combining this with more formal modelling, all seamlessly integrated with navigating and linking the myriad other documents in that team’s work? This passion produced many research articles, much thinking aloud in his blog, and a PhD, recently distilled as a book. See the links at the top of the page for more.

Without Al, this community would not exist.

Please use this page as a place to share your memories:

We welcome all reflections on Al’s contribution — his writing, talks, videos, or first hand experience working with him. Feel free to include links and photos.

To contribute, please email us with your contribution and we’ll add it in.

We thought we’d let Al start the contributions in his own words, acknowledging how many of you supported him in his PhD.

With our thanks in advance to you, for helping his family and friends, as well as ourselves, to understand and celebrate how many people Al’s life touched.

Feel free to forward this to relevant colleagues.

Maarten Sierhuis & Simon Buckingham Shum

msierhuis and sbuckinghamshum at gmail dot com




2 Responses to “Al Selvin – Memories & Tributes”

  1. For more on Al Selvin’s work, browse

  2. […] the tragically premature death of Al Selvin last October, I have continued to think about how his inspirational research can live on in more […]

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