Meet Sam Bradd

Sam Bradd (MEd) brings together organizational change facilitation and visuals - for 25 years. He’s worked in 11 countries and specializes in leadership, systems change, and collaborating for social impact. Sam's the editor of two books, including Drawn Together Through Visual Practice.

Sam Bradd, drawing change

My Story

I’m a graphic facilitator, meeting facilitator, and writer. I combine 25 years’ facilitation experience with visual tools to help groups create connection and belonging. I’ve worked in 11 countries, and specialize in collaborating with thoughtful leaders, researchers, with governments and government-to-government relationships, and public and population health experts. Collaborators include the World Health Organization, researchers, knowledge translation experts, non profits, First Nations, Inuit and Métis rights-holders, and people working for a better world. Whether I’m overseas or in small gymnasiums in the Arctic, I support visionaries working on issues that affect us all.

My facilitation is informed by who I am, and where I’m from. I’m a white settler of Italian maternal grandparents who moved to Canada in the 1950s, and also of Scottish/Hungarian background. I grew up and live on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories (Vancouver Canada). When I was a young queer and trans person, making art got me through the hard times – even though I didn’t go to art school – and I had no idea that my creativity would lead to me to the most unexpected and rewarding journey. My first career was in the advocacy sector: notably an 2SLGBTQIIA+ organization run by consensus, which led to a passion supporting community organizing; later I became a director for a provincial disability organization. I’ve taught participatory decision making skills, done labour relations, led peer support programs and capacity building workshops. I learned the heart of any organization is the people working for a better world.

Looking back, I realize I did something unusual in meetings. I would pull out paper and explain ideas by drawing. Drawing helped me think. And it helped organizations do their best work, too. It wasn’t about the fanciest drawings, though: I have a knack for visualizing systems diagrams and abstract concepts that are hard to explain. Strategic visual thinking pivoted my career in a new direction.

I launched Drawing Change in 2010 to provide facilitation and graphic facilitation that is strengths-based, creative and participatory, works with complexity, and uses an intersectional and anti-racism lens. I know everyone has creative potential. I love the ‘aha!’ moments when we can use non-linear methods and dialogue to find new ways forward.

My formal education includes:

I’m also a Dialogue Associate with the Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue. I’m #firstgen go to university, so I’m proud of my education and I also value the ways we learn from each other in community.

As an author, I’ve co-edited two books including Drawn Together Through Visual Practice (2016), am a contributor to the World of Visual Practice, and am a co-founder of the award-winning Graphic History Collective that creates peoples’ histories in accessible formats.

Today, my favourite projects turn complex information into something engaging: trainings, strategic planning and knowledge translation products. I love meeting people who know we can approach complex issues differently, with visuals.

Together, we’re drawing change.

See educational background 

Sam is a delight to work with! He helped us articulate and capture big, abstract ideas in a way that is fun and approachable for our audience. He’s a natural facilitator with a gift for understanding (and drawing!) complex systems. Can’t wait to work with him again. — Stacey Squires, Canada Energy Regulator