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Mapping the Growing Civic Tech Movement

December 18th, 2015 · envizualize, government, graphic facilitation, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes, npTech, presentation design, public speaking, social good, visual sensemaking

Mapping the Growing Civic Tech Movement 1

On December 16, 2015, a group gathered at Civic Hall to look at two efforts to map the growing civic tech movement. John Farmer demoed civicgraph.io/, and Lawrence Grodeska Demoed Civic Maker’s (still not officially released) tool for mapping civic tech players. Then we took a few minutes to think of the various civic tech tool, companies, and organizations and categorized them into groups. Finally, we used that as a springboard to discuss what kind of mapping and categorization of civic tech tools and efforts would be most useful. I was honored to help lead the session, and to visually listen to the conversation and turn that into meeting visuals we used to further the discussion.

Mapping the Growing Civic Tech Movement

Mapping the Growing Civic Tech Movement 2

Mapping the Growing Civic Tech Movement

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Envizualizing GIVNYC 2015

December 3rd, 2015 · envizualize, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, partnerships, presentation design, public speaking, social good, storytelling

Jason Rosado warming up the stage for the charity pitches

Attendee photographing the visual capture of the pitches

(click for larger view)

(click for larger view)

Was honored to be a sponsor of GIVNYC 2015 by providing a visual capture of the mission of 10 NYC based charities. Big ups to Givkwik for organizing this event.

The 10 finalists were:

Life Vest Inside

Digital Citizen Fund

New York On Tech

TriLatino Triathlon Club

Word Up Community Bookshop

Showered With Hope Inc.

The River Project

Citiview Connections Clubhouse


Border Crossers

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It’s a Philanthropy Slam! Join us!

December 1st, 2015 · graphic facilitation, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes, npTech, presentation design, public speaking, social good, storytelling, Uncategorized

I have the honor of visually capturing the pitches 10 charities will make to a crowd of in person and virtual attendees tonight at the GIV.NYC event tonight. The top several vote getters will share a pot of prize money of over $10,000, and all ten finalists will be able to share the mission of their organization with hundreds of people in an exciting slam format! Before and after the pitches, I will be doing visual interviews with attendees, so if you are there in person, stop by for an interview.

The in-person event includes complementary food, beverages, and DJ dance party. Tickets are just $25 and the funds go to the winning charities. This will be a great night out for a date or gathering of friends to have fun,learn about interesting local charities, and do some good. Learn more and buy tickets here.

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Next, Sistine Chapel?

December 1st, 2015 · business, envizualize, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes, partnerships, public speaking, sketchnotearmy, storytelling, technology, visual sensemaking

Touchlab Party

OK, I’m not Michelangelo, and this is not the Sistine Chapel, but it is gratifying to see my work hanging on the wall in an elevated venue. This photo was shot at a party at Touchlab HQ, where they hung my work on their walls as permanent decoration. When I say the venue is elevated I mean it’s quite lovely, and it’s fairly high up: it’s on 12th floor.

View from Touchlab HQ Roof
(View from the Touchlab HQ roof).

They commissioned the works as part of DroidCon NYC 2015, a mega-conference for Android developers, where I captured the ideas and personalities bouncing around the event with large scale visual notes.

If Pope Francis does need someone to update any of his walls (or ceilings), I’d be happy to make space for him in my schedule.

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Machine Eatable #1: Interrogating Algorithms

October 23rd, 2015 · edtech, envizualize, government, graphic facilitation, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, npTech, sketchnotearmy, visual sensemaking

Interrogating Algorithms 1
View all sketchnotes here.


“In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm ( i/ˈælɡərɪðəm/ AL-gə-ri-dhəm) is a self-contained step-by-step set of operations to be performed. Algorithms exist that perform calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.”


More than ever, Algorithms are used to screen people for employment, to determine credit scores, to inform prison sentencing, and many other functions which shape peoples’ lives in important ways. But the assumptions and decisions which go into creating the algorithms can create outcomes that are not always in line with values like fairness, social mobility, racial impartiality, and so on. It’s important to not accept algorithms as a kind of truth machine, but rather to foster discussion about how to best use and shape algorithms to create the kind of outcomes that foster the kind of outcomes we want. For example, (to pick a simplified and hypothetical example) do we want an algorithm that rewards teachers for gaming the system to get a higher raise, or do we want an algorithm that results in students having better educational outcomes?

A panel of data experts led a discussion at Civic Hall yesterday about the necessity to interrogate algorithms–to question their goals, efficacy, and context in which they exist. Cathy O’Neil, Meredith Broussard, and Solon Barocas.

I captured the conversation with this set of sketchnotes. The event was sponsored by DataKind, The Microsoft Tech and Civic Engagement team, and was hosted at Civic Hall and was the first in a series of lunchtime events exploring data science called Machine Eatable.

Tech note: I created the sketchnotes in real time on an iPad using the Paper App.

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Visualizing Ideas at Droidcon NYC

August 27th, 2015 · business, entrepreneurship, envizualize, graphic facilitation, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes, npTech, partnerships, presentation design, sketchnotearmy, storytelling, visual sensemaking, vizsales vizmarketing vizpersuasion

Having a great time at Droidcon NYC and trying out a new look with the white fedora.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 1.55.19 PM

droicconnyc2015-Corey Latislaw-"Android is the World Phone"

Corey Latislaw gave a great talk about bridging the global digital divide with Android devices and development. The rate of digital connectivity is growing exponentially outside the wealthier countries. Designers for a global market need to take a myriad of factors into account—-spotty networks, lack of reading and tech literacy, poor access to electricity, cultural sensitivities and more. The upside of developing apps with a truly global user base in mind is that you will create highly efficient apps that work better for everybody. That and you have the potential to reach people with their first digital experience, with the potential to change their lives.

Droidcon 2015-interviews

Got to combine three things I love, interviewing, drawing,and writing, in this set of
interviews I visualized at Droidcon NYC. Interviewees varied from a senior android developer at the New York Times, to a software engineer from Florence, Italy, via London, to a high school sophomore from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

Thanks to Touch Lab for hosting me at this fascinating community gathering of developers of this widespread and versatile operating system which powers all kinds of devices all over the world.

Below: a slideshow of the visuals, and people soaking them up at Droidcon NYC:

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Clay Shirky-Observations From Shanghai

August 13th, 2015 · Uncategorized

Renowned tech author (and my former professor), Clay Shirky moved to Shanghai last year and has been studying Chinese strategies of censorship and propaganda using social media. Clay discussed civic media in China, and what it might mean for other countries to provide a model of high communicative freedom and low political freedom. I captured the highlights of the talk with some large scale visual notes at Civic Hall. Fascinating stuff! The tension between the Chinese government’s desire to keep its elites happy and its economy humming, and its fear of losing control create a volatile, ever shifting media landscape in this dynamic rising power.

Clay Shirky Observations From Shanghai 1

Clay Shirky-Observations From Shanghai

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