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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Envizualizing The Future of Creativity, Technology and a New Innovation Community in Pittsburgh at Creative Clash

January 25th, 2012 · graphic recording, Information Visualization, large scale visual notes

I’m looking forward to creating real-time Envizualization at Creative Clash! along with fellow Pittsburgh based visualizers Leah Silverman and Emily Marko.

The event will focus on the intersection of art, entertainment, and technology in Pittsburgh. Here’s the official blurb:

Creative Clash! The Future of Creativity, Technology and a New Innovation Community in Pittsburgh
Thursday, January 26, 2012

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: The Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh 15213-4080
Pittsburgh is a city rich with creativity and innovation. Now, how do we take our success to the next level? Heralding the Council’s new Creative Technology Network, and presented in partnership with the Carnegie Museum of Art, Creative Clash! will explore Pittsburgh’s history and future as a key innovator at the intersection of art and technology. Today, industries including design, gaming, filmmaking, advertising, education, fine-art, production, robotics, digital media – and much more – are coalescing to make Pittsburgh home to a thriving creative technology community. Join us, and join the conversation, as we examine what it takes to sustain and grow this exciting community!

Creative Clash! will show you some of the great things that are happening around our city right now, and will open discussions as to what more we can do to elevate this community to the next level of success. Event moderator Lynn Zelevansky, Director of the Carnegie Museum of Art, will ask the big questions to a diverse panel of industry leaders, including:

MK Haley, Associate Executive Producer at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, and Manager of Internal Communications, Disney Research Labs

Gregg Behr, Executive Director of the Grable Foundation, and founder of Pittsburgh Kids &Creativity

Carl Kurlander, Executive Producer of Steeltown Entertainment, and film/television screenwriter and producer

Tim Fletcher, Business Development Manager, Daedalus, and US Government Liaison Officer, Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)

Rob Deaner,Partner at Market Street Sound,and Vice President of the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation.

Plus, special presentations by Schell Games, Animal Studios, MAYA Design, 4 Moms, Firehouse Creative and BodyMedia!

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Envizualize at TEDxPittsburgh

January 4th, 2012 · envizualize, information design, Information Visualization, storytelling, visual sensemaking

It was a pleasure and honor to be invited to speak at TEDx LeadershipPittsburgh a few weeks ago. The conference theme was “Power” in all it’s permutations. This video shows my talk “A Nomads View of Power.”

You can see videos of all the excellent talks here, assembled by the good folks at Leadership Pittsburgh.

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