Sep 29 2011
This week I’ve been at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the Agricultural Knowledge Share Fair. One of my roles was to facilitate a half day graphic facilitation workshop and then share a report to those who did not attend. (disclosure: I facilitated something like 8 sessions and thankfully some of my colleagues are helping me. Sophie Alvarez of CIAT has a great post on the communities of practice clinic that Etienne Wenger and I did together and Pier Andre Pirani is doing a post on the “chat show” we did on the application of social media in international development. Still to write are posts on the session on rural poultry, migration and land use issues for the Masaai in Tanzania, “making agricultural knowledge travel” chat show and… I think that may be it. Mamma Mia!)
In living up to the “show, don’t tell” adage, there are some beautiful images created by the participants which I can share.
My goal was not to do a drawing class. Instead I wanted to encourage people to experience then joy of the physical act of drawing, then connect that joy to the power of visuals to encourage conversation and their use in a diverse set of group processes.
After we experienced the joy of beautiful colored pens chalk and the liberation of drawing on large scale paper, we reviewed a variety of visual facilitation practices such as mind maps and mandalas, river of life, sketch noting and graphic recording, card sorting and hands on drawing icebreakers. Participants took turns with graphically enhanced flip chart note taking. Finally we did a quick graphic recording so each participant could begin their own graphic facility toolkit. They did amazing work.
What was more amazing was to see enhanced use of visual practices in the following days of the fair, as people applied what they experienced.
Ironically the next day dawned and the Internet access was out just before Rob Burnet of Well Told Story was to begin his keynote. This was particularly challenging to the Fair team because social reporting was part of the heart and soul of the Fair. So they asked me to graphically record the talk which was fun because one of Rob’s key strategies for reaching Kenyan youth was comics! In the end then wifi was back and the social reporters tweeted about the analog note taking!!