If you’re a regular conference attendee, you know that while the conference may have amazing speakers and great content, some of the best stuff happens around the conference itself. So with that in mind, we’re having a pre-conference happy hour the night before the event at the Moose Preserve.  Come join us and several of the facilitators in a relaxing, sharing, and (yes, almost inevitably) visual experience.

Better yet? The event is open to everyone regardless of whether you attend the event or not.  Here are the details:

Date: Friday, March 16, 2012
Time: 7:00pm – ??
Location: The Moose Preserve
Address: 43034 N. Woodward Ave. Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
Website: http://www.moosepreserve.com/
Cost: Free, cash bar & food available

It’s amazing how far we’ve been able to stretch $100.  First, it was all the supplies (you know we have lots of paper, markers, post-it notes, crayons, colored pencils, index cards, etc). Then we included not only a continental breakfast and box lunch.  And now? Probably most exciting, every attendee gets a $20 credit to Cornucopia Books, our conference book store.  How amazing is that?

Register Now!

to take advantage of this great deal!

27. February 2012 · Comments Off on Facilitator: Matt Pierce · Categories: Facilitator

How much fun is this? Every day we get to work with amazing people who are doing interesting things. Today is no exception. Matt Pierce is manager of Customer Engagement department at TechSmith. TechSmith has been a leader in the visualization space for 25 years. They make the amazing software SnagIt, Camtasia, and Jing… among many others. Better yet, they’re not in Silicon Valley, they’re in mid-Michigan creating an impact around the world.

Matt is also the host of the Forge, TechSmith’s monthly web show promoting visual communication and screencasting. Matt has experience in instructional design, visual design, public speaking, and advocacy of good design principles. He has worked in various training settings, including teaching hands-on computer courses at Indiana University and developing instructional content for multiple companies. Matt has a Master of Science in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University, and considers himself an instructional design geek.

We’re excited to have Matt share best practices in screen & video capture, manipulation, and distribution. This is going to be a great event.

Many of people talk about visual thinking and visual literacy. Lots of people even use it as a regular part of the way they work.  However, few people bring it to life like our next facilitator, Laura Johnson. Her work shows that all of us–regardless of age, experience, or ability–can benefit from the techniques of visual thinking.

Her 35 years in education have been defined by an arts-rich and literacy-based approach to learning. As a teaching artist and learning specialist, Laura develops skill-based strategies to motivate diverse student populations, kindergarten through adult. Her use of personalized visual-spatial tools is inspired through her work with students with autism spectrum disorders and collegiate student-athletes. Laura’s engaging presentation appeals to a variety of professional development audiences and has been featured at The National Conference on Learning Communities, NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Conferences, and The Vizthink North American Conference on Visual Thinking, to name a few. In 2008, her work was documented in an award-winning case study by Brandon Hall Group, “Visualization in Learning: 14 Case Studies.”

Laura’s work and hands-on, practical research at the University of Toledo is truly ground-breaking. We are so lucky to have her at the event and know you will find amazing value in her stories and experience.

When thinking about the leading visual thinkers, one of the first people to come up is Ryan Coleman. Ryan was a founding member of VizThink, started VizThink Toronto, and has been instrumental in spreading the visual thinking message around the world.  Over the years, we’ve got to know Ryan and work with him at a variety of events around the globe.  He’s a skilled facilitator with a catalog of activities and visual thinking games that are nearly unparalleled.

Ryan is the Innovation Catalyst for the Bank of Montreal.  (Is that a great title, or what??) He has spent the better part of the last 15 years working with organizations to define, design and develop strategies or solutions to fit their organization’s challenges and then implement them. I’ve worked with organizations from small sole-proprietorships up to some of the largest organizations within Canada, across a broad range of industries.  He has worked as a facilitator to create and run customized meetings or events that help you create strategic plans, uncover challenges and collectively co-create innovative solutions.

His favorite question is “what if?” In an innovation context he constructively challenges assumptions, proposes ideas and helps guide you through a process to uncover the true innovations or solutions within your business. Throughout all of his facilitation, he is a visual thinker and communicator – he naturally lean towards communication through visual means. He’s fascinated with the design of solutions to problems and the processes that help people get to those solutions.

We’re so excited to have our colleague and friend Ryan involved with this event.

One of our favorite parts about doing events like these is that we get to work with some of the nicest and most amazing people, and Jamie Nast sets the bar on both counts.  We’re so excited to have her on board!  Jamie is brilliant.  Mind Mapping has become one of most popular and well know visual thinking techniques, and Jamie has literally written the book on the topic.  Through her book, Idea Mapping, her blog, Idea Mapping Success, and her public and private workshops, she has spread the visual thinking and mind mapping message to tens of thousands of people all over the world.

For nearly 20 years Jamie has specialized in mind mapping and mind potential optimization, and to date has trained over 19,000 professionals around the globe. She is committed to guiding individuals and organizations towards overcoming barriers to achieving success including those which reside in one’s own mind. Some of her clients include: Abu Dhabi Oil Co., Boeing, BP, Ford, CPPIB, Franklin Templeton, GM, IIBA, L.L. Bean, Mayo Clinic, NIH, PMI, US Army, University of Warsaw in Poland, etc.

We’re so, excited to have her at the event. While we have so many amazing people at the event, Jamie alone would make it worthwhile to attend.

What to say about Karl Gude? There is so much that could be said. Karl has been creating news graphics since the late 70s and is one of the few visual journalists who has worked for newspapers, news magazines and wire services. Until recently, he was the Director of Information Graphics at Newsweek magazine for over a decade. He’s also held this position at The Associated Press and United Press International wire services. In addition, he also directed the graphics departments at two large daily newspapers, the New York Daily News and the short-lived National Sports Daily.

During his more than a quarter of a century in news, Karl has covered seven presidential elections, a slew of wars, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, and countless medical and science discoveries. Karl diagrammed what caused Mt. St. Helens to explode, how John Lennon and the Pope were shot and how the planes hit the World Trade Center. He mapped the route of British troops through the Falkland Islands and the progress of U.S. soldiers as they headed toward Baghdad. He charted the ups and downs of the U.S. economy and used statistics to illustrate how Enron executives lied to their stockholders.

His next major endeavor is to create an information graphics program at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. As you might be able to tell, Karl never sits still. He’s always got 100+ projects going at anyone time.  He’s an often requested speaker in corporations, newspapers, and public events including several appearances at a variety of TEDx events.

We’re so excited that he’s coming, and can’t wait to see what he does this time!

When we were putting this event together, we started asking our friends “Who would you like to see?” Without a doubt, one of the first names to come up every time was Cliff Atkinson.  Cliff is an acclaimed writer, popular keynote speaker, and consultant to leading attorneys, Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. He designed the presentations that helped persuade a jury to award a $253 million verdict to the plaintiff in the nation’s first Vioxx trial in 2005, which Fortune magazine called “frighteningly powerful.” Cliff’s book Beyond Bullet Points (Microsoft Press, 2007) was named a Best Book of 2007 by the editors of Amazon.com.  It expands on a communications approach he has taught at many top law firms, government agencies, lobbying firms, business schools and corporations, including Toyota, Nestle, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Amgen, Intel, Facebook, Microsoft and the United Nations.

When Twitter first came out, he saw nearly instantly the power (and danger if not understood) of the backchannel. His other book, The Backchannel: How Audiences are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever should be required for anyone who speaks in front of an audience. Whether you are a teacher or on the speaking circuit, this book will help you understand and take advantage of the backchannel more effectively.

We are so excited to have him at the event, and know you’ll like him too!

Yes, it’s true!  We’ve finally brought a visual thinking & literacy event to Michigan and the greater midwest!  They’ve been run all over the world…New York, Berlin, San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Toronto, and many, many more.  With the help of Oakland Schools in Waterford, Michigan, we’re putting on the biggest and best visual thinking workshop the midwest has ever seen.

What makes it the best? The people, of course! We’ve got the best lineup of facilitators anywhere in the country including our keynotes Cliff Atkinson, Karl Gude, and Jamie Nast. The complete list of keynotes, facilitators, and sessions will be announced shortly.

Check back here for more great announcements and details coming soon!