It’s not even over yet, but I can say that March was amazing. My time was shared between group facilitation and graphic facilitation which felt like a great balance. Here’s three dynamic projects this month — on three continents!
Nepal: Facilitation for Oxfam Canada
Recently, I had the privilege of facilitating for Oxfam Canada in Nepal. The Creating Spaces project is a 5-year initiative about ending violence against women and girls, and the meeting brought together over 30 activists and programmers from Oxfam and partners in all six countries. Any other organization could have settled for reading powerpoints to each other for a few days – but not Oxfam!
Together, we built a facilitation plan for 5 days that featured simple shifts for more participation, and was an engaging and meaningful event. It included:
- Presentations at a strict 10 minutes or less, to enable maximum time for questions; share detailed powerpoints after
- Graphic recording to help summarize and synthesize key parts of the week
- Varied Q+A formats: we used post-it notes, pair-and-share before plenary questions, panel format for group questions, and more
- Group work to share wisdom, such as lessons learned: one creative activity was to create a front page of a newspaper with highlights and there was a sketchnoting workshop (thanks Neuland for the participant kits!)
- Carving out time for relationships, such as a group dinner and outing – in our case, a 7am event for International Women’s Day
- Share leadership and facilitation energy among all the participants and convening team – many people can lead energizers, songs, and host mini-skill shares
The event’s purpose was to “review preliminary results of our mid-project learning review, discuss research and …brainstorm campaign and advocacy initiatives and ways to amplify our results over the remaining two years of the project.” Here’s to the continued success of Creating Spaces!
Geneva: Graphic Facilitation for World Health Organization
After some giant travel hiccups leaving Nepal, I went to Geneva to support the World Health Organization’s event Vaccines2030 Vision, working with facilitator Chris Colaco and for WHO lead Kate O’Brien. The meeting was the Global Vaccines & Immunization Post 2020 Initiative’s Consultation Meeting, in Switzerland.
I’ve loved my long-standing relationship with WHO focussing on emerging and infectious diseases, and as a result I’m pretty passionate about life-saving vaccines and immunization. Here are some cel phone/ twitter snaps of work in progress.
— Sam Bradd (@drawing_change) March 19, 2019
#Vaccines2030Vision had a session on value propositions and key stakeholders. Big themes included new data, linking health to other sectors, and I personally liked this one: advocacy is a two way street. it’s win-win when you can strengthen other’s sectors that mutually benefit yours.
One interesting thing emerged, that I also hear in other sessions: a tiny list of words of things to include/not include gave me great hope. Equity made it to the top 5, and jargon like “vaccine hesitancy” and “last mile” may be on their way out. Also, the room had a good reminder for work of any kinds: people need to see themselves reflected in any document, and importantly, in the process that builds it. It’s not “build a document then socialize it”, it’s build a process to socialize a document.
Allies in Aging – North Vancouver
And closer to home, Allies in Aging was an extraordinary event in North Vancouver also in March. “Nearly 250 seniors, service providers and community leaders gathered for our Allies in Aging in Action Conference on Feb. 28. The Pinnacle at the Pier ballroom buzzed with conversation and laughter as we connected around our collective work.”
Here’s live graphic recording images from that day, featuring a very moving keynote by Vickie Cammack of Tamarack Institute. You might wonder, why bring visuals into a meeting with scientists, policy makers, or anyone? To help surround you with your ideas. To have a dedicated listener and rapporteur. To invite a type of creativity that can hold emotion and momentum in a different way than flip charts can alone.
Meanwhile, the team at Drawing Change was travelling with their markers for a wide range of projects. Most of the work was confidential, but we’ll have photos from the team’s public-facing projects soon! Here’s Michelle Buchholz graphic recording at the CreativeCityStrategy for the City of Vancouver, along with Yolanda Liman and Tiaré Jung:
Session 3: Securing Local Arts + Culture Spaces, the forever problem of Vancouver. Thinking today beyond affordability to decolonization, and the spaces that can and should exist for racialized communities. #CreativeCityStrategy pic.twitter.com/DF8BfOGtd1
— Belle Cheung 張芷彤 (@bctcheung) March 4, 2019
Ready to add creativity into your next meeting, agenda – or even your toolbox? Our training session is coming up in May. Two-day training, no drawing expertise required, with an optional third day for coaching. Sign up here and create meetings with more connection and belonging. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.