I was part of a really fascinating workshop a few days ago at the Brooklyn Law and Internet Policy Clinic about using Civic Tech in university classrooms. Folk from NYU, M.I.T., Brooklyn College, Pratt, Parsons, the New School, and many other great institutions discussing the promise and challenges of this emerging movement. What is Civic Tech? Here’s one take on it from Matt Stempeck.
One of the favorite examples I heard was one speaker who discussed how he used NYC civic data in a stats class and had his students look at what fire hydrants were responsible for the most parking ticket revenue. One hydrant in the Lower East Side garnered $55,000 of tickets in one year! Many other fascinating examples and areas of exploration in this rich day of conversation.
Lighting Talks, Part 1
Lighting Talks, Part 2
Report Back from Breakout Groups
Set on Visual Notes on Flickr
Set on Drive
Got the opportunity to support learning for three different communities of interest recently.
Community of Interest #1: Nonprofit change agents
Client: Solid Fire Consulting
Community of Interest: People who worked in the nonprofit sector who wanted to apply participatory facilitation methods within their organizations.
Event: How Can We Work Better Together? Participatory Facilitation and Leadership Methods Workshop
Goals: To help set a productive tone for the workshop with a graphic agenda, to enrich discussions with large scale visual notes, and to lead a visual goal setting activity.
How we did it: Alissa and I partnered up to weave visual thinking into the fabric of this 1 day workshop. Alissa is a veteran consultant to nonprofits. With her input I created a visual agenda so everyone could see how the day would progress (see above image).
During two discussions I created large scale visual notes, to help reinforce the sharing and learning that was happening.
For the visioning activity, I led a quick drawing lesson, to get everyone comfortable getting their ideas out on paper with pictures. Then I had them imagine a great outcome of using any of the methods they had learned during the day. Once they did that, they drew a scene that depicted that great outcome. Finally, they shared their drawings with their fellow workshop attendees and explained their drawings.
Results: People locked in the value of the experience by drawing and sharing their visions for how they were going to put what they had learned at the workshop to work at their organizations. During the workshop wrapup, a number of participants called out the visual elements and activities of the workshop as an especially powerufl part of their experience that day. Bonus—the drawing activity we did toward the end of the day energized people out of their mid afternoon sleepy slump!
Community of Interest #2: NYU alumni burdened by student debt
Client: NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program Alumni Association. Newsweek called ITP been “The Harvard of Interactive.”
Community of Interest: ITP Alums concerned about their student debt loads, and about financial matters in general.
Event: NYU ITP Alumni Association $$$ Mini Conference
Goal: Create a visual record of the conversations at this mini-conference which centered on the topic of ITP Alum’s student debt in particular, and on the national student debt crisis in general. Did you know that there is over 1 trillion dollars in student debt outstanding and over seven million people in default of their loans right now? Yikes! That’s the bad news. The good news is that knowledge is power, and the ITP alum assembled learned a heck of a lot over the course of the day. And with their data science and data visualization skills, ITP alums have the potential to contribute to general understanding and, who knows, maybe some solutions to this massive national crisis. Things got a little colorful at this event, which you will see if you look closely at these large scale visual notes.
Results: People referred to the the graphic recording (visual notes) for the rest of the day. Several people approached me and told me how much they appreciated this visual synthesis of the knotty and emotional issues that came up during the day.
Community of Interest #3: People in the NYC tech startup ecosystem
Community of Interest: People interested in working at, creating, or partnering with tech startups.
Event: NY TechDay, New York City’s biggest tech startup event
Goal: Help people who stopped by the ObjectRocket booth visualize challenges they faced and solutions for overcoming the challenges.
How we did it: ObjectRocket’s Data Services Advocate Nikki Tirado interviewed people while I synthesized their conversation into large scale visual notes. We used the notes to inform the interview. At the end interviewees got to take the visual notes with them.
Results: The visual interviews drew a crowd to the object rocket booth, gave participants unforgettable takeaways, and were tweeted and shared by multiple people, including the organizers of NY TechDay. All in all the event helped brand ObjectRocket and Rackspace as a company which cares deeply about its users.
Sketchnotes of the Initiafy pitch
I recently tested out a social whiteboarding app called Expansive, creating real-time sketchnotes during pitches by startups. The pitches were delivered at a Digital Irish event, a regular meetup of Irish expatriate tech entrepreneurs in NYC.
Expansive is an iPad app, which is designed for multiple collaborators to contribute at once. In this case I was working on my own. I added a few touches afterward, but most of what you see here was done as the speakers presented. I projected my iPad screen as I worked, so people could see the notes develop as I created them. Expansive is very easy to use, and a lot of fun. I enjoyed testing out Expansive—if you want to learn more, visit expansive.io for a free download.
Sketchnotes from Cool in Your Code pitch
Sketchnotes from Jon Axelrod introductory remarks
Sketchnotes from Pocket Anatomy
MatchPad pitch–sketchnotes. This one got away from me a little bit. Expansive lets you zoom in and out as you work, and it has a (theoretically) infinite canvas size. I lost track of my layout in the sketchnotes above in the course of moving around. Next time I might put in a few marks ahead of time to give myself some spacial reference points.
Sketchnotes from Jobbio pitch.
Thanks to Digital Irish for hosting me
Had a blast at UX SketchCampNYC last Saturday. Thanks for coming out and adding to the energy!
The snowstorm is cutting my time short today, so I’ll post a more extensive set of links and some photos and pics of my graphic recording from UX SketchCampNYC as well in the next couple of days, assuming I have electricity and internet access :).
Envizualize.com—Hey you are here already, but I might as well post my own site.
Pics from the event (more to come):
The IFVP is the global professional association of graphic recorders and graphic facilitators. They produce an an annual conference with is a very powerful experience for anyone interested in the field.
If you would like to be put on the mailing list for NYC chapter IFVP events, email me at jonny(at)envizualize.com and I’ll send your info to the local event coordinator.
The Doodle Revolution, by Sunni Brown
The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide by Brandy Agerbeck
Graphic Facilitation, by Dave Sibbet
The Sketchnote Handbook, by Mike Rohde
Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur gave a talk about their book, Value Proposition Design, from their home base in Europe via video conference to a rapt audience of entrepreneurs and business people at New Work City in lower Manhattan last night. Above is my visual capture of the key ideas they discussed. Can’t wait to get the book!
David Pogue, the Yahoo Tech commentator, PBS NOVA host, and prolific tech author, brought me in to whiteboard his review of the latest version of Photoshop for a video on Yahoo Tech.
We had a great time making this. Hope you enjoy it!
And for those curious about David, he’s great to work with. Funny, relaxed, but focused on doing great work. Thanks to David and his awesome Yahoo Tech video team for tapping me for this project!
Read the whole article here.
It was an honor to support the NYC portion of NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge hackathon. Here are some pics of the event and my visual capture of the final project pitches.