|On Saturday Oct 1st I attended the TEDx Academy 2016 which was held at the Athens Concert Hall (MEGARO). This year the event tried to engage us in Re-imagining Greece of 2030.
On the event side, we noticed a small team that was capturing the speeches, one by one, on a graphic installation. People were captivated as they were watching all these inspiring ideas that were getting moments earlier, being posted on a sheet of paper, in a ‘mosaic’ that brought everything together.
We met with the team and we learned about ‘Graphic Facilitation’ and ‘Visual Recording’. Here’s what Tom Russel (Inky Thinking) and Stathis Vrakatselis (The Facilitation Partnership) told us:
Our world is becoming increasingly complex. It’s almost impossible for any individual to make sense of all the changes that happen in business, in the economy, in society, even in the environment we live in. We observe this in our daily workplaces when groups of people get confused trying to make sense out of what’s going on, and this is when they typically resort to simplistic interpretations or (even worse) to stop listening to each other.
So there is a growing need for a different way of collective thinking and understanding, in order to help us make sense of the underlying patterns of dependency, at the level of organizations, communities, and society.
Visualization is a powerful tool to help us achieve that. It relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas. This is the idea behind Graphic Facilitation, which was born in the West Coast of U.S., especially in the hi-tech industry in Silicon Valley, inspired by designers and architects who both use visualization centrally in their work.
At Inky Thinking we create graphical tools that add color and meaning to group processes. Our ‘Inky Thinkers’ interactively document a group’s conversation on flip charts, large poster paper, graphic templates, murals, and other media, thus allowing everyone to see and understand the flow of dialog, decisions and agreements. In virtual meetings we use tablets as a shared recording “canvas” that participants view in real time through a web-meeting interface. We also create bespoke images and graphic animations that engage teams, foster great conversation and inspire action.
So together with our experienced facilitators from TFP (The Facilitations Partnership) we help guiding groups through well-designed processes that engage people in meaningful and inclusive conversations. Conversations that bring the best out of people and make the complex simple to work with!