Meet Sam Bradd

Sam Bradd (MEd) brings together organizational change facilitation and visuals - for over 20 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 20+ 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. Clients include the World Health Organization, Fortune 500 companies, academics, non profits, Indigenous organizations and people working for a better world. Whether I’m overseas or in small gymnasiums in the Arctic, I’m supporting visionaries working on issues that affect us all.

How did I get here? My first career was in the advocacy sector where I could bring my full self. One of my first jobs was in an LGBTQIA+ organization run by consensus. This led to a passion supporting students and union 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 that everyone has creative potential. I love seeing the ‘aha!’ moments when we can use non-linear methods and dialogue to find new ways forward.

As an author, I’ve co-edited 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.

My formal education includes a Masters of Educational Studies (MEd, UBC), an undergrad in Women and Gender Studies (BA, SFU), certification in Human Systems Dynamics and Integral Facilitation, Indigenous cultural safety courses, and Deep Democracy. I’m also a Dialogue Associate with the SFU Centre for Dialogue. I’m #firstgen go to university, so I’m proud of my education and I also value all the ways we learn from each other in community.

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 Scottish/Hungarian background. I grew up and live on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories (Vancouver Canada). My personal journey is that 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! That source of creativity led to the most unexpected and rewarding career full of adventures with global clients.

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 their complex issues differently, with visuals.

I’m passionate about helping you do your best work.

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