I met Jason Da Silva in 2005 when I was the director of a technology education after school program in the Bronx. He was an award winning film maker, trotting the globe making documentaries. Soon after he was diagnosed with MS. Life isn’t easy for anyone, especially as we get older and realize our own mortality and limits. But most of us are lucky enough to get through our first several decades without an MS diagnoses. Jason, being who he is, decided to make a documentary about his experiences with MS, and through it all has kept living, even as his body betrays him. The movie is getting ready for its first screening now at the Vancouver International Film Festival and it looks so beautiful, painful, and inspiring. To learn more about the film, check out wheniwalk.com.
Want to Rock the Whiteboard? Listen to what other people have to say about how I helped them rock.
“Very helpful. During the session we found creative solutions to the challenges posed by the path we chose. It was great!”
Carlos Guestrin, Co-founder, Flashgroup
Armed with a shared visual vocabulary, we were able to practice conceptualizing and communicating complex problems. Thanks, Jonny!
Colleen Wheeler, Web Strategist, Wheaton College
I plan to apply what I learned for an upcoming presentation. I would recommend this to anybody who needs to sharpen their communication skills.”
Kathee Kuvee, Technical Writer–Gem Group
“Helped me to “feel” how different it is–more collaborative, more fluid, more generative, less argumentative–to draw as you’re working together to plan or conceptualize a project as opposed to just using words.”
David Wedaman,Director for Outreach, Brandeis University
“Having your coworker draw out the situation will allow you to reflect upon it in a new and more objective way. Take turns and see what you come up with. The reason why this technique works is because it boils down issues to their core parts, forcing you to stay focused. ”
Cat Robinson, Graphic Design Fellow—GovDelivery
Chances are, you are surrounded by whiteboards wherever you work, but do you use them to their fullest potential? Do you ROCK the whiteboard? I can get you rocking with my 1-day workshop.
Who this is for:
This is for anyone who wants to use the power of visualization to:
…And think better, using that simple yet powerful tool, the whiteboard.
Why is a whiteboard such a powerful tool?
The humble whiteboard is amazing thing. Using a whiteboard helps you and your team harness power of images to solve problems and communicate ideas. A couple of things make a whiteboard a particularly fearsome tool for collaboration:
1. It is a shared display. That means a group can look at it at the same time and build a shared understanding.
2. It is as easy to edit, erase, add marks, highlight. That ability to easily modify the contents of the whiteboard invites participation. Your visuals can evolve as your group’s understanding evolves.
3. To quote brain scientist John Medina “You get 3x better recall for visual information than for oral. And you’ll get 6x better recall for information that is simultaneously oral and visual.” A whiteboard lets you present your visual information while you talk, giving whoever you are presenting to that 6x advantage in remembering what you said. But, but, but…I can’t draw!
I hear this a lot. And the truth is, our culture and educational system does a lousy job building peoples’ drawing skills, and maybe you did not get the coaching you needed to become confident at drawing. Just answer two questions for me: Do you have a hand that is capable of holding a marker? Can you look both ways before crossing the street and then walk across it without getting run over? If you answered yes to these two questions, I can get you over the drawing hump no problem. Using simple shapes and marks, we will be able to whiteboard just about anything by the end of the workshop. This is not about “art.” This is about thinking and communicating.
How is this going to work
1. This is project based. Bring a project you are passionate about and we will apply the power of the whiteboard to help you work on your project.
2. This is social. The real power of the whiteboard is its usefulness as a collaborative tool. You will help other participants visualize their projects and they will help you by visualizing your projects. People working with people=social and social learning=fun + effective.
3. This is hands-on visual listening. The visual part of whiteboarding is one part of the equation, listening is the other part, the hands on creating is another part. When you visually reflect someone’s ideas for them by really listening and then turning that into something on visual the whiteboard, they will love it, and vice versa when they return the favor.
4. We will do a lot of listening, drawing, and presenting
After the workshop:
You will take home my booklet covering the techniques and approaches that we use during the workshop
It takes repetition to really learn something. I am giving you the opportunity (should you choose to take it) to lock in your learning by giving you seven days of homework which I will give you feedback on. Simple 15 minute assignments that you will draw and then post to our…
Enroll in the post-workshop online discussion group where you can post your homework, ask questions, give and get feedback. I will be there chiming in. The group will be active for two weeks after the workshop, just to lock in the learning.
Class size limit: 12 people, max. I want to give you individualized feedback, so I’m keeping the workshop small.
Lunch! Busy brains and bodies gotta eat! Lunch and snacks will be supplied.
(That’s me. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. ) And Who the Heck Is Jonny and What Qualifies Him to Teach This?
I am what is called a “Visual Practitioner,” someone who works with people and companies to do things better through harnessing the power of visual thinking. I wear a few hats. For one of my hats, I help turn conferences into powerful learning experiences by drawing huge illustrated notes in real time of the ideas bouncing around the room. Clients from Stockholm to Vegas engage me to help their conference participants have powerful learning experiences.
Another hat I wear is my teacher hat. For the last two years I have been teaching workshops in the Masters of Design (MID) program at University of the Arts called “Hands on Visual Listening” that helps those students use collaborative visualizing to work better with their clients and each other.
One last hat: pitch visualizer for startups. That means I help startups visualize their pitches to funders by interviewing them and whiteboarding our conversation as we talk. That helps them “see” their value proposition and visualize how to communicate that value to potential funders. Clients include InsuranceZebra (which just got $1.5 in funding. High five!) and Alphalab, Pittsburgh’s premiere tech company incubator.
OK, I lied, one more thing: I love fostering learning communities! And I love Co-working! And I love Indy Hall. I was proud to be part of the Indy Hall community before I moved to Pittsburgh, and still make it a point to stop by when I am in town. That’s why I am so excited about doing this workshop at Indy Hall on Nov. 19.
Sounds great! Can we talk numbers here for a second?
Sure. The daylong workshop, lunch, resource booklet, homework assignments, and two weeks of online community sharing is is just $129 for Indy Hall members and $179 for the general public. That is less than half the cost of comparable workshops.
What’s the catch?
So what’s the catch? I want to use this workshop to help me promote future workshops. That means I (or someone I contract with) may be taking photos and possibly video during the workshop with an eye toward using said photos and video to promote future workshops. That means that media of you and your whiteboard work may be shared online, in print, and in other media. Of course some people are happy to get exposure and share this way, so this may be a bonus! So if you are OK with people possibly seeing you and your whiteboard work, and want to take advantage of the learning, then jump on in! And if not, I look forward to catching you at a future event.
My guarantee: I am so confident you will find the workshop useful and valuable, if you take the workshop, do all the homework (these are 7 brief assignments the two weeks after the workshop), and feel like you did not get your money’s worth, I will refund your money, no questions asked.
Once you have signed up, I will send you a quick questionnaire so I can learn more about you (and your lunchtime dietary preferences) and I’ll see you at 9:30, Monday, November 19 in the workshop room at Indy Hall. Supplies will be provided. Bring a camera (or camera phone) so you can document your work!
What: Pittsburghers sharing their stories and obsessions every first Friday at the catapultPGH coworking community space.
Cassidy Krug will talk about her adventure competing in the 3 meter springboard diving competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Cassidy is back in Pittsburgh after her Olympic stint, and is exploring what’s coming next in her journey.
Designer Minette Vaccariello will talk about the Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s oldest and biggest independent craft fair! Minette is one of the folks behind the event, and she is also a designer and creator of amazing shoulderware at Raymin. All that, plus she has been heavily involved in the Penn Avenue corridor in Garfield/Friendship catalyzing design projects to make the street welcoming and nurturing to all who live and work near it.
Brian Shope is a social media consultant who recently completed graduate work in Southern California examining the intersection of spirituality, religion, and web 2.0. Brian will discuss how social media is shaping culture from hierarchical, to flat and communal. He will also tie in the organizational ramifications for business or non-profit work. Cool stuff!
Alex Leeson-Brown is a designer who recently packed his bags and moved from Nottingham England to Pittsburgh. Alex will give an intro to what makes him tick, what fascinates him about design right now, and where he thinks his design interests may lead him in the future.
And as always, Jonny Goldstein of envizualize will emcee and capture the event with large scale visual notes.
I grew up in an almost football free environment in Eugene, Oregon. Back when I was growing up, the college football team was horrible (since then, Nike has pumped in tons of money and they are one of the best teams in the country, but that was after I moved out of state). In high school, soccer was higher prestige than football. Oregon had no NFL team. So football really was not on my radar as a kid.
Now I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where football is so woven into the culture, it practically IS the culture. From youth football, to college, to the Steelers, football glues this town and region together.
I see the appeal. It’s an interesting game. It also dovetails with Pittsburgh’s blue collar past. The Steelers were dominant at exactly the same time it’s steel industry collapsed in the 1970′s. People remember them as a bright spot in that bleak time, and football helps Pittsburghers feel tough as they sit behind their computers punching numbers into spreadsheets and designing logos with graphics software. And it serves as an important touchstone for the Pittsburgh diaspora who scattered around the country during the city’s economic collapse.
But it grosses me out at the same time.
It’s a brutal game, practically designed to create head trauma and other physical injury.
It’s an absurdly macho game. I would hate to go to high school here, in the shadow of this sport.
And like any institution that is venerated, that puts people on pedestals. important figures get away with behavior that is totally messed up. Jerry Sandusky? Ben Roethlisberger (OK, not proved in court, but would you leave your daughter anywhere near this guy? Ick)?
So, whatever. Enjoy your football. In point of fact, it’s growing on me. But I sure as heck would not want my kids to play it. And I would not even want them to grow up in such a football saturated environment. There’s more, and better to life. Pittsburgh is blessed with natural beauty, culture, and brains, but I think football will always be hugely important here. And that’s great for a lot of people. Me, not so much.
(Capturing conversation at the community partnership workshop)
If you are in any of the photos and would like your name captioned, send me an email jonny(at)envizualize.com, or comment below and I will write a caption for you.
Helping plan and run an International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) conference was a powerful learning experience, once that I am still processing a month after the 2012 event. It was great to go through all the photos in the conference photo group to find these. The thing that made me happiest of all, was seeing the number of people who showed interest in helping produce the 2013 conference! It was a privilege and an honor being part of IFVP 2012. I was very excited to see a number of people show interest in producing IFVP 2013 in NYC. That kind of passion and ownership from the community bodes well for the IFVP and for visual practice.
At MAYA Design. One thing we did differently this year: we held a few sessions offsite at MAYA and at the Toonseum.
Roberta Faulhaber, at the offsite mini-workshop at MAYA Design, visually exploring how to communicate the business value of one of her services.
Mike Roy led the mini workshop on developing a visual statement that communicates the value of our services.
Where one of the early planning sessions for the conference took place, Leah Silverman’s chalkboard equipped closet . That’s Leah Silverman, Emily Marko, and myself from left to right.
A video I produced to promote the conference which they showed in Hawaii. Most people don’t know much about Pittsburgh, so we thought it would be useful to make a little informational video.
Pittsburgh City Council Representative Bill Peduto sponsored a proclamation that July 24-27, 2012 be “International Forum of Visual Practitioners Week” In Pittsburgh.
Visual practitioners from around the world flocked to Pittsburgh.
Mike Rohde talked about his Sketchnoting journey.
Yes, there are a lot of bridges in Pittsburgh.
Zane Groshell, Prezi Evangelist, who dove into the conference headfirst.
A happy person!
We had an absurd amounts of swag to give away. It was grueling for my co-emcee, Heather Willems of ImageThink (right) and myself.
Getting groovy at the Warhol Museum party.
Pictures do not lie.
Getting thoughtful at the Business Panel.
Leenie Fabri, who will be one of the co-chairs of the 2013 conference in New York City.
Board from Jim Nuttle’s cartooning mini-workshop
Michell Boos-Stone displays her mastery. It’s a masterclass just being in the same room with her.
More goodies…this is getting out of control.
Lynn Kearny, getting digitally graphic.
Never. Ever. Mix. Stripes. And. Dots.
The right shoes are critical. Mine above.
A moment of joy.
Local artist Terrell makes his move.
Lloyd Dangle’s iPad notes from the design thinking panel.
Still in art school, diving into visual practice.
I just like this.
In the zone.
Lynn Carruthers, who produced the 2011 Conference in Hawaii, came to the City of Bridges to connect.
Community workshop panarama.
This is real. I swear.
Photo from the author event, where visual practitioners shared the ideas from books they authored.
From the general meeting where attendees worked on the IFVP’s organizational strategy. Rachel Smith of the grove on left.
Pre-conference Graphic Recording 101 Workshop with Lisa Arora and Rachel Smith instructing.
Lloyd Dangle cartooning workshop.
Our wrapup speaker, Nahum Gershon, Principal scientist at the MITRE Corporation, being engaged by a conference participant. MITRE Corporation is one of the major R&D players in the country. From Wikipedia:
It manages Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) supporting the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the Federal Judiciary.