header image 1

Preview of IFVP 2012 Conference

April 6th, 2012 · envizualize, graphic facilitation, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes, npTech, partnerships, presentation design, public speaking, sketchnotearmy, storytelling, technology, Uncategorized, visual sensemaking, vizsales vizmarketing vizpersuasion, workshops

Get ready to connect in the City of Bridges  at IFVP 2012
(Graphic by Leah Silverman)

Initital Visualization of the IFVP 2012 Conference With the PIttsburgh Team
(Leah Silverman, Emily Marko, Jonny Goldstein at our first planning meeting for the IFVP 2012 Conference)

IFVP 2012 Conference on the Whiteboard

(Jonny Goldstein with brainspill on the topic of the upcoming visual thinking for groups conference in Pittsburgh, AKA the 17th Annual IFVP Conference)

The rapid approach of the 2012 International Forum of Visual Practitioners Conference (IFVP) conference in Pittsburgh is sending tingles down my neurons. The power-triangle of Leah Silverman Leah Silverman, Emily Marko, and myself are the Pittsburgh core of the planning team, with help from far flung members of the tribe of graphic facilitators, graphic scribes that comprises the IFVP. I will be sharing emcee duties with the fabulous Heather Willemsof Imagethink.

(Promotional video for the IFVP 2012 Conference. Video by Envizualize.


At it’s heart, the conference is for people who use visual thinking to enhance understanding and support action. There is a growing realization that words and numbers are inadequate for understanding and analyzing complex challenges. We are hard wired to process pictorial information, and harnessing that wiring gives teams tremendous advantages.

Some conference highlights:

SXSW 2012 Sketchnotes: 11-12 Electric Car / Steal Like an Artist

(Sketchnotes sample by Mike Rohde)
Mike Rohde, will give a talk about how he catalyzed a global community of sketchnoters and his upcoming book on sketchnoting.

MK Haley, from the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center will discuss collaboration and how different generations approach it.

Christian Schunn, a University of Pittsburgh Cognitive Psychologist, will share current research on how using shared visual displays helps, and occasionally hinders, design and engineering teams.

Babs Carryer, a node in Pittsburgh’s biotech and pharma startup ecosystem will convene a panel on the intersection of visual practice and business.

Nahum Gershon, Principal Scientist at MITRE and expert on data visualization, storytelling, and technology mediated interaction will lead a closing dialog.


Pre-conference workshops:

GR101 practice

(Photo from IFVP 2011 graphic recording workshop)

Graphic Recording 101 with Rachel Smith and Lisa Arora and 201 with Alphachimp. These workshops will be a full day immersion in the art and craft of visual listening—-turning conversation into large scale visual notes. The 101 course is geared to beginners, and the 201 course is geared to experienced visual listeners.


In-Conference Mini-Workshops (these might change a little in title and topic, but this is more or less what we have so far. We will have another couple of mini-workshops in addition to these).

-Sketchnoting and hand drawn type with Mike Rohde


(Interior of the Toonseum)

Recording Graphics by Llyod Dangle at USC Creativity & Collaboration

(Graphic scribing detail by Lloyd Dangle)

-Cartooning with Lloyd Dangle (at the Toonseum)

Detail of Jim Nuttle's record of my talk

(Detail of Jim Nuttle work)

-Advanced Cartooning with Jim Nuttle (at the Toonseum)

-Sketch Video Creation

Luke Williams by R Smith

(Digital visual notes by Rachel Smith)

-Graphic Recording on the iPad with Rachel Smith

Discussion exercise

(Detail from a Bigger Picture hands on visual activity)

-Graphic facilitation approaches and practices knowledge swap Ole Qvist-Sørensen.

-“Doctor’s Hours” with a variety of successful visual practitioners to personally address your business questions

-Distilling your visual practice’s unique value proposition, facilitated by MAYA Design

(Visual by Eileen Clegg)

-Timeline murals using Prezi, with Eileen Clegg

-“Getting Pens into Peoples’ Hands”, a session on how to get word and number crunchers over the hump of picking up a pen and drawing, with John Ward.



1) Visual Practice and Design Thinking

2) Visual Practice and Business


Open Space:

We are creating a time slot for self organized sessions where people can create impromptu discussions about topics of mutual interest.


Book Presentations:

Conference particpants will have the opportunity to hear lightning presentations from authors who are part of the conference.
Offsite at the Warhol Museum:

We’ll take a walk across the Allegheny River for Dinner and a private tour of the Warhol Museum.
And more awesome stuff that we can’t quite announce yet.
We have some amazing sponsors stepping up already. We’re thrilled to have Prezi as a top level Platinum sponsor. Look forward to sharing experiences, tips, and tricks in one-on-one time with Prezi evangelist, Zane Groshelle. We’re also thrilled to introduce you to Wizard Wall, a cling film that creates a portable whiteboard. Special thanks as well to The Grove for Silver sponsorship and Crowley & Co. for Bronze sponsorship.If you want to get involved in the conference on a sponsorship level, we would love to talk with you. And did you know that Sponsorship starts at the $100 level and gets you recognition online and at the conference while giving you the satisfaction of supporting the community? Sounds worth it to me, but that’s just my biased take on it:)
IFVP2012 on Twitter
IFVP2012 Facebook Page
Conference info and registration

→ 2 CommentsTags:

Promote your work and promote the IFVP 2012 Conference

February 13th, 2012 · Uncategorized

IFVP 2012 Conference

We hope you are very excited about the Connect! IFVP 2012 Conference in Pittsburgh. We are!

In order to promote the conference we would love to get a few
illustrations that convey what the event will be about.

Are you up for it? We will give you a credit on the illustrations, of course.

We will put up thumbnails on our conference site that will link to
large size images of the illustrations.

Here is our current conference page, which we want to enrich with illustrations.

If you are intrigued, keep reading:

Here are some words and phrases you can look to to be inspired by or
to incorporate into the illustrations.


–The City of Bridges

–The art, business, and technology, and of visual practice

–Visual listening

–Systems thinking

–July 24-27


–The future of visual practice

–Graphic facilitation




–Field trips!

–Andy Warhol museum (warhol.org)


–Visual thinking

–Digital graphic facilitation

–Team graphics


–the visual revolution

This is a great opportunity to show your stuff, to pre-visualize the
conference (you know how powerful visuals are at influencing events!),
and help promote the upcoming IFVP 2012 Conference.

Feel free to do something quick. No need to pour a lot of time into
this (unless of course you are inspired to do so)


1) Be sure to sign your work! We will credit you on the site, but sign
it as well. We want you to get exposure.

2) Send us either a high quality JPG or PNG image

3) Send to leah@designbyleah.com

4) Get it to us by the end of Weds, Feb 15. Sooner is even better.

5) Don’t spend too much time thinking about it, just let it flow.

Thanks for helping us pre-visualize and promote the upcoming festival
of awesomeness that will be Connect! IFVP 2012 in the City of Bridges,
Pittsburgh. See you in July!


P.S. If you have not yet signed up, I encourage you to do so to take
advantage of our earlybird rate. Expires Feb 25!

Register here.

→ No CommentsTags:

This is what an intro to graphic recording workshop looks like

February 10th, 2012 · edtech, envizualize, graphic facilitation, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes, partnerships, presentation design, public speaking, sketchnotearmy, storytelling, visual sensemaking, workshops

(video snippet of graphic recording workshop. 35 seconds)

Graphic recording is a technique for turning transforming conversation into large scale visual notes composed of pictures, text, and diagrams as the conversation happens.

I had the pleasure of giving 45 Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate design majors a taste of graphic recording with a mini-workshop I led yesterday. I call it “hands-on visual listening” because the listener is using their hands and eyes (along with their brains!) to process, synthesize and make visible the ideas they are capturing.

The whole set of photos and videos are here.

CMU Freshman Design Studio---graphic recording workshop with Jonny Goldstein

→ 2 CommentsTags:

CMU Design Workshop

February 8th, 2012 · envizualize, graphic facilitation, graphic recording, information design, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes, presentation design, public speaking, storytelling, visual sensemaking, workshops

hammerschlag 001

I am thrilled that Carnegie Mellon University Design Professors Kristin Hughes and Wayne Chung invited me to do a guest workshop with CMU design students on the power and practice of hands-on visual listening.

When you are hands-on visual listening, you are doing your best to listen to what someone is saying and drawing pictures, diagrams, and words that describe what they are saying.

It turns out that this is very helpful for people.

Here are a few examples of work I have done recently that involved hands-on visual listening:

These are the visual notes I created of Jody Giles’ talk at a conference in Sweden. Jody is the Chief Information Officer of Under Armour.


That’s me over on the right side of the photo.


The audience seemed to like it!

Whiteboarding a friend's job hunt

This is an example of doing some hands-on visual listening to help someone do something better. In this case, I was helping a friend figure out her job hunt strategy. I do a similar process with companies to help them do stuff better.


I think hands-on visual listening is super useful, that’s why I teach students in the University of the Arts masters of industrial design program how to do it. Here are some students in action.


The visuals that you make when you are listening in a hands-on way can be used for all kinds of things. In the case of the conference I worked at with Jody Giles, we put my visuals into a slideshow and I gave a talk summarizing the key points from the conference.

I look forward to seeing examples of your hands-on visual listening as we go through this mini-workshop today. Ready, set, listen (imagine, visualize, create)!!!

If you are interested in learning more about hands-on visual listening, feel free to visit my blog at envizualize.com. A few other interesting sites: MAYA, IFVP, The Center for Graphic Facilitation. And if you find that you get seriously obsessed by this topic, we are having a conference about it in Pittsburgh this summer.

→ No CommentsTags:

Heather Willems of Imagethink to Co-emcee the Connect! 2012 IFVP Conference

February 5th, 2012 · Uncategorized

Heather Willems of Imagethink, one of the most talented visual scribes I know, has signed on to co-emcee the Connect! 2012 IFVP Conference.

Heather is not only an accomplished graphic recorder, she also has great energy. Can’t wait to work with Heather to weave what is going to be a powerful conference.

What is the conference about? We are calling it Connect! IFVP 2012, because it’s about the power of visual thinking to help groups connect to understanding and action. It’s about the power of visual thinking to create better meetings, better understanding within groups, and better problem solving between people.

Visual thinking has been getting a lot of buzz lately due to bestselling books like Back of the Napkin, viral videos like RSA Animate, and the emergence of design thinking in business.

IFVP (The International Forum of Visual Practitioners) is a global organization of people who use visual processes to facilitate team learning. The conference will be composed of hands-on mini-workshops, thought provoking keynotes, and an “unconference” section where participants can create self organizing discussions around topics of interest.

The three organizing themes will be business (the business of visual practice, and applying visual practice to help businesses), technology (the effect of and possibilities of technology on visual practice), and art (the craft and soul of visual practice).

If you are interested in learning, sharing, and networking with other visual thinkers register here. Earlybird rates apply until February 25. Spaces are limited, so register now.

→ No CommentsTags:

Three visual perspectives on the debut of the Creative Technology Network

February 1st, 2012 · Uncategorized

I always enjoy creating illustrated notes alongside other visual synthesizers. Three of us joined forces last week at the Carnegie Museum of Art at the debut of the Creative Technology Network, an initiative of the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

The event showcased 6 innovative Pittsburgh based companies ranging from medical device makers, Body Media, to experience design firm, MAYA, to roboticists (who make stuff for parents and babies) 4moms.

There is something brewing in Pittsburgh. With it’s myriad universities, and its burgeoning medical, robotics, design, media, and technology sectors, new companies are coalescing and creating better products and services. The recipe for creativity in Pittsburgh combines “Hyper-intelligence with a blue collar work ethic,” according to Tim Fletcher of Daedalus.

Below are notes by Leah Silverman, Emily Marko, and myself, capturing different facets of the event.

Leah Silverman--Creative Clash Visual Synthesis
Visual notes by Leah Silverman

Creative Clash Charts-jonny1
Illustrated notes by Jonny Goldstein

Creative Clash-Emily Marko Visual Notes
Illustrated notes by Emily Marko

→ No CommentsTags:

Envizualize at Pecha Kucha Pittsburgh, Student/Faculty Edition

January 31st, 2012 · envizualize, information design, Information Visualization, presentation design, public speaking, storytelling

Where: AVA Lounge, 5972 Baum Blvd. Map
Tickets: $5 at the door

I am looking forward to giving a picture talk at Pecha Kucha Pittsburgh 10, Student/Faculty edition. This episode of Pecha Kucha is for students and faculty of any university. Undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from multiple universities pulse their intellectual energies throughout the Pittsburgh metro region: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne, Point Park, Robert Morris, Washington and Jefferson, Chatham, Carlow University, are just a few of the Pittsburgh area colleges. Even though I teach at a university in Philadelphia, they graciously slid me into the lineup.

If you haven’t been to a Pecha Kucha event, the format is simple: speakers give brief talks accompanied by 20 slides, timed at 20 seconds per slide. It’s a kind of speed reading of the world of ideas and experience, interwoven with imbibing tasty beverages and informal chitchat. I will be speaking about the unique perception of power one develops as a global nomad. I gave this talk at TEDxPittsburgh a couple of months ago. If you can’t make it to Pecha Kucha, you can see my talk the video above.

→ No CommentsTags: