David Sibbet | Visualizing
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'75EarlySibbetPhoto - What's the Future of the Visual Facilitation Field?Recently I was interviewed by a bright, young reporter from Communication Arts about The Grove’s work in visual facilitation. “I’m talking to a lot of different people and really wanted to talk with you, an acknowledged leader in this field,” she said. “I want to get to some of the underlying theory and structure of what is happening.”

This opening triggered an immediate cascade of memories back to the 1970s when Interaction Associates, Geoff Ball, Fred Lakin, and I were on fire about Group Graphics, the future of technology, facilitation, and organizations. After all, we were in the curl of the massive wave of rethinking that all of my generation was doing about established institutions. Why not take on knowledge work and how we know what we know?

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SteinPicasso - What's Our Edge? A New Year's QuestionThe time between Christmas and New Year’s always beckons me to think about what is emerging in my life. The ceremonies during the holidays are clues – which decorations call for attention? What kinds of rearrangements in my desktops and altars mirror what I am working on? How do my dreams pull in themes? Where do I find myself moving in conversations with colleagues?

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“You pulled your punches,” Karolina said, standing below the stage at the July 2014 EuViz conference where I was sitting along with three other “elders” in the field of visual facilitation. “I and some others felt like you didn’t really say what you thought. You are the founders of this field. You need to tell us what you really think.”

We were at the Hotel nhow in Berlin with 220 visual practitioners from 29 countries. The conference was a collaboration between the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP), now 19 years old, and Neuland and Kommunikationslotsen*. It was by far the biggest and most professional IFVP conference yet—beautifully organized and a powerful experience. Participants included the full range, from beginners in the field to longtime veterans and skilled practitioners.

Elders - The Power of the Pen: At EuViz Berlin

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My second visit to Berlin is haunting me. I think I’m glimpsing our collective future here. The evidence wasn’t in the obvious things—the daring architecture and rebuilt Potsdamer Platz, site of the old wall—but in the corners and crevasses, the young people, and the Michelberger Hotel!

Rachel Smith (Grove Director of Digital Facilitation), Gisela Wendling (the Grove’s Director of Global Learning and a native of the area near Cologne), and I were in Berlin for The Grove’s Advanced Visual Facilitation Workshop, scheduled to coincide with the EuroViz conference the following week.

MichelbergerBar

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