Well, most of you know that I’m the one writing these posts, so it would probably be a bit disingenuous to write a bunch of flowery speech about myself.  So, instead, I’ll tell you how excited I am about this event. Les, our host and sponsor at Oakland Schools, approached me with this idea several years ago…what if we brought a visual thinking workshop/conference to Michigan? We talked, ruminated, planned, schemed and finally brought together what I think is going to be an amazing event. We wanted it to be inexpensive…reachable for everybody. We wanted it to be interactive…lots of games, activities, and hands on learning. And most importantly, we wanted to hang out with amazing, creative, smart people who could inspire us to take our thinking and communication skills to a new level.  I think we’ve exceeded this on all counts.

One of the things that I love about my career is that I get to hang out with and learn from some of the most amazing people in the world. Jamie Nast…brilliant, creative, fun, kind, and generous.  Karl Gude…energetic, creative, funny, artistic, and full of stories. Cliff Atkinson…smart, talented, successful, and insightful.  Frankly, if I could just hang out with all of the facilitates all day, it would be a great event.  It’s such an amazing list of leaders in the industry.

While all of these people do interesting things every day, so do all of the attendees. One of the things I’m looking forward to most is hearing what you are doing and how you’re applying these techniques (and others) everyday.

I’m so privileged to be the MC for the event, as well as leading a session on mobile apps, but way more exciting is the time I get to spend with each of you!

Register now and be sure to take advantage of this amazing group!

People often think that all the creativity happens on the coasts. The reality is far from that, about midwest far, actually. In fact, the midwest has some of the most creative people and organizations in the world and our next facilitator is a great example of that.  We’re excited to announce that Chad Simon from Root Learning is going to be leading a session on using metaphors to draw out (pun intended) discussion. Root has been using metaphors to generate discussion for almost 25 years and Chad has been key player in the organization for over half of that time.

While Chad has taken on many varied and interesting challenges with Root’s clients over the years, for this event, we’ll be leveraging his skills as a very talented concept artist who’s role is to capture the client’s story and reflect it back to them in a visual metaphor.  If you want to learn how to tell your story visually, this session is not to be missed.

Register now to make sure you take advantage of this great opportunity!

So, we already have an amazing line-up…presentations, information graphics, mind mapping, and on and on.  How can we top that off? With one of the leading graphic facilitators in the world, Brandy Agerbeck. What is a graphic facilitator you ask? They are people who combine both drawing and facilitation skills to not only document a meeting, but also help people make sense of the meeting content, and sometimes even provide direction for the meeting.  Typically on wall sized pieces of paper and markers, the graphic facilitator captures the content which provides opportunities for discussion, clarification, and decision making.  It is an incredibly powerful tool, and Brandy will be teaching us how to do it.

Even more exciting, just two days ago, Brandy released her brand new book on the topic called The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide, and we’ll be some of the first people in the world to get our hands on it!

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.

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.