Day 2 of GK3 Begins

Prepping for the Future of KM session

Originally uploaded by Choconancy1

Today I have no presentation responsibilities! Yay! I get to graphically record the panel on The Future of Access, moderated by Steve Song, and I’ll do two more sessions tomorrow. I did a yoga class here at the hotel this morning which required a lot of upper arm strength, so now I’m wondering how my arms will feel drawing on a 4×8 piece of paper!

It is amazing how moving from words to images changes my experience of a meeting or session. It helps me listen better. I figured if it helps me listen, it might help me think, so yesterday I did this sketch to prepare for the panel I was on, the Future of KM and Web 2.0 in Development.

I’m not a fan of panels. We tried to make it more participatory by limiting our remarks and opening it up to the audience, but we ended up creating moments for people to make a point or ask a question, but it didn’t get to conversation. At one point I jumped up to the flip chart and started recording the questions because they were important questions, but we were in no position to begin to explore the answers.

We need these conversations.

In retrospect, I wish I had “abandoned my role as panelist” and just started at the flip chart. I think I would have mind-mapped this conversation to look at the pattern of questions. A list in this case feels overwhelming to me.

From a content perspective, I wish I had brought up the concept of community technology stewardship. Oops!

There were two rapporteurs at our session. It will be interesting to see what they make of it for the record.

As for me, I’m so grateful to be drawing today.

I Can Draw

I Can Draw

Originally uploaded by Choconancy1

And you can draw.

Yesterday at the IDRC sponsored pre-meetings, I ran a small 2.5 hour workshop on Graphic Recording 101. With the support of my friend and colleague Allison Hewlitt, we planned a quick hands-on tour of using graphics with a focus on recording sessions at meetings like GK3.

We started by drawing graphic self introductions. This example is from Dimage (I don’t think I am spelling that correctly) from Cambodia. His intro is in the lower left of the image. We then toured each others pictures around the room and had a chance both to get to know each other and appreciate the talent we brought into the room. In 8 introductions, we could spot a clear quality of graphic recording, even amidst the disclaimers of “I can’t draw.”

So many of us as adults have lost touch with the innate skills we cultivated as a child. My request at that point was to let go of this inner self censor.

The next thing we did was loosen up with some big circle drawings, then dove right into lettering. I asked them to write the headline “I Can Draw.”

I don’t know how they felt, but I felt joy at seeing them write this. It was a declaration. We have the power to make our mark.

Then we practiced fast lettering, lists and played a bit with color. After that we sat in a circle on the floor and experimented with different pens, looked at samples of other people’s (amazing!) work and shared basic icons on our sketch books. We had a strong emphasis on options for quickly drawing people – which seems to intimidate a lot of us.

Finally, everyone went to a clean sheet of large paper on the walls and we did a practice session. I made up a short, disorganized 5 minute speech and they recorded. WOW, what talent. Everyone created compelling and useful images. (You can see some more photos here..)

Over the week at the meeting, everyone will record a session. We are meeting at lunchtime to share stories, tips and coach each other. By the end of the event the hope is we capture digitally all our images, and then share them via email for final critiques and coaching.

Images are powerful allies. Finding our ability to create and share them, to make our mark, is a powerful act.

Yes, I can draw. So can you. After this workshop, I’m even more convinced that this is a learnable practice.