In 2016, I saw the power of graphic recording and graphic facilitation around the world first-hand. Visuals help people connect, find belonging, and work on urgent problems. And visuals are now a global approach.
In Tanzania, I worked for three days in a tent with zoonotic disease researchers:
And it was a good thing I learned a lot about rabies and One Health, because the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) invited me for graphic recording in Bangkok, Thailand for a conference on veterinarian education:
The visuals at the conference, with 180 delegates from 90 countries, were a huge hit on social media and online afterwards. Thailand was stunning (and delicious):
The urgent discussion was so inspiring, that I gladly donated a custom graphic recording illustration to the Global Health and Diplomacy magazine on a related topic.
And then joined the OIE for the 4th Annual conference on animal welfare in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“After three days of fruitful discussions, the 430 participants of the 4th OIE Global Conference on Animal welfare representing more than 100 countries have endorsed a range of recommendations:”
We wanted these graphic recording posters to stand out from the June session, so I created a different icon for each session:
Not the usual weather for me at Christmas!
It’s a true privilege to be able to go where I’m needed. I also spent a lot of time this year working closely with Indigenous organizations across Turtle Island. From Tl’etinqox territories to Fort William First Nation, I heard and visualized stories of resilience, wellness, economic development, and reconciliation in the justice system.
As a white person working with Indigenous communities, working in partnership and capacity building is important to me, and so I’m teaching and mentoring this year. Read more about my approach to visuals using cultural safety in this 4-part blog series, in our book on Visual Practice.
And speaking of our new book – it’s out in the world now! We’ve shipped it to all sorts of far-flung places, which is exciting, and it’s started many conversations which is even more exciting. With 27 chapters and 25 contributors, it was a great opportunity to gather with colleagues online and in person, advance the graphic facilitation field, and spread visual thinking even further.
This new global collaboration by Gestalten on graphic recording looks fantastic:
Visuals help people tap into their creativity, too. People email me photos of the first time they drew during a work meeting from halfway around the world, and also share their students’ projects (thank you twitter). I love seeing what inspires you.
Can’t wait to see what 2017 brings for our visual practitioner community!