Graphic Facilitation Workshop from #sfrome

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.

20110929-220930.jpg More here:

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!!




Monday Video – Jim Denevan’s Dance of Drawing

Today’s Monday video is a visual gift from Jim Denevan, an artist who takes the word “drawing” and turns it into a meditation of movement, beauty and empherality.   KQED Spark – Jim Denevan – YouTube.

In the world of learning, knowledge management, organizational development, we see solutions that are “scalable” and “sustainable.” But the gems, the breakthroughs, the insights, are most often a fleeting moment when something changes. We can’t capture that in a knowledge base, or “cook” it into a course design. It is lived, in the moment. It becomes the thing we reflect upon as we seek to apply it. But it is ephemeral.

For those wanting an additional visual treat and one that relates to community and conviviality, look at Jim working with tables at a meal. He says (and I strongly agree) “The table is a magnet for stories.”

Message From Meetup/Community Thoughts

KM4Dev members

I thought this was worth sharing as I know many of you, dear readers, are as passionate about community as I am. Plus I’m preparing for a round of gatherings of communities that are very significant in my life in the coming weeks. In that spirit considers what triggers us to connect. What has catalyzed significant community engagement for you?

To: nancyw at fullcirc dot com
Subject: 9/11 & us

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don’t write to our whole community often, but this week is special because it’s the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many people don’t know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought local community doesn’t matter much if we’ve got the internet
and tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I hoped they wouldn’t bother me.

When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they’d normally ignore. People were looking after each other, helping each other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being neighborly.

A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet — and grow local communities?

We didn’t know if it would work. Most people thought it was a crazy idea — especially because terrorism is designed to make people distrust one another.

A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 months after 9/11.

Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it’s working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups,Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups… a wild variety of 100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common — except one thing.

Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello to neighbors. And what often happens next is still amazing to me. They grow businesses and bands together, they teach and motivate each other, they babysit each other’s kids and find other ways to work together. They have fun and find solace together. They make friends and form powerful community. It’s powerful stuff.

It’s a wonderful revolution in local community, and it’s thanks to everyone who shows up.

Meetups aren’t about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it weren’t for 9/11.

9/11 didn’t make us too scared to go outside or talk to strangers. 9/11 didn’t rip us apart. No, we’re building new community together!!!!

The towers fell, but we rise up. And we’re just getting started with these Meetups.

Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ)Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup New York CitySeptember 2011

Do something, Learn something, Share something, Change something – Meetup.

The 2011 State of Community Management

Well, I’m only five months late sharing this, but because some of you, dear readers, travel in different circles, you may not have seen this. It is worth a read for anyone interested in online interaction from the good folks at the Community Roundtable!

A Sunday for #Cookielove

In a small way, I can share what Alan Levine, aka, @Cogdog, has been going through these past days after the death of his mom. Having lost my dad in March, I know the role that food, and  the generosity of our communities and networks play  in the path we travel known as death. Or grief. Or whatever.

I am very happy to join in today for Cookielove – a day of baking cookies and giving them away in honor of Alan’s mom. (See Blown Away By #Cookielove – CogDogBlog.) It turns out Alyce made cookies every Sunday and dispensed them to whomever was in need, or who had done a good turn for Alyce or others. (You can listen to her talk about it here.)

Today, wherever we are, we are baking cookies and giving them away in Alyce’s name and memory. A little community indicator. A culture of love. Reciprocity not to just one person, but out to the universe. Hey, you can bake and dispense as well. Share the love (and tag it #cookielove so Alan can feel the love.)

Like Alan, my global network of people I’ve met, and those I’ve never met (fondly known as my “imaginary friends” according to my husband) are always just an electron away. These are amazing people. They are looking out for us even when we don’t notice.  They not only answer our questions and provoke our thinking, but they can and are emotionally connected to us, not just intellectually.

I’ll share the recipe in Alan’s Storybox, but suffice it to say, I did NOT follow the recipe’s direction (I considered others here…). The cookies are full of multiple grains (locally grown and ground whole wheat, oatmeal bran, flaxseed meal) fiber, butter and chocolate. Let’s keep our food balanced right? So some butter and chocolate to soothe, some fiber and grains to make us strong (and the cookies with enough chew and crunch).

We can’t erase the hole that is left when someone we loves dies, but we can continue to embrace the sweetness of life.