We present results of research that investigated differences between urbanists and humanitarians in the ways that the two groups conceive, imagine and operate in urban space. This presentation focuses on how to apply this research to facilitating and participating in cluster or stakeholder working groups and project meetings between professionals, humanitarian agencies and governments. Our research asked whether professional differences could be more fully understood through discourse analysis and inter-disciplinary research and what this would mean for real-time meetings, intervention and research in cities. This revealed tensions between participants in what they assumed could be known about the world, who they thought would know (us or them) and how different disciplines come to know or value knowledge depending on whether it has come from talking, writing, drawing or making. Images and design tasks seemed to disrupt long speeches and distract people from what they thought they already knew but they had to resort to storytelling for the relational, dynamic and institutional aspects of the city.