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Hello Dalai!

It’s a good thing I don’t try to make my living from blogging, otherwise I’d be broke! But never mind. I’ll just restyle myself as the Quarterly Blogger, and all will be well. It’s all in the framing, right?

Well, lots of fun since the last time I posted. The Big News this fall was co-mapping Connecting for Change (C4C) with Mariah Howard in September. Mariah is one of the most talented and thoughtful visual recorders I know and I was overjoyed at the prospect of working with her. Plus she’s smart, funny and gracious, and I’m proud to call her a friend.

C4C was a 3-day dialogue that brought business, social sector and philanthropic leaders together with the aim of learning “with and from each other about how we can create new and advance existing cross-sector collaborations in service of addressing the most pressing issues of our time.” It would take me the entire post to describe the event, so I’ll just mention a few key details:

  • It was part of the Vancouver Peace Summit, organized by the Dalai Lama Center, and included a day at the summit where we got to hear the Dalai Lama and various other luminaries speak about compassion, forgiveness, peace, and educating the heart – topics we need to keep talking about and hearing until we finally absorb the lessons;
  • C4C facilitators included Meg Wheatley, Peter Senge, Juanita Brown, Dawna Markova, and Peter Block, which is pretty heady company to keep. (Not that I actually talked to all of them, but I at least got to breathe the same air – and I did give Peter Block a couple of pages from my sketchbook!)
  • The organizing team was made up of some of the coolest people on the planet and I’m thrilled to be able to say my name in the same sentence as theirs;
  • The Dalai Lama shook my hand!!

I worked with Mariah at the NCDD Conference in 2008, but we worked on separate charts that time. This time we actually co-mapped on the same sheet of paper, and once I got the hang of it, it was like doing a dance together. We’d each start out on one side of the chart, then weave back and forth to mix things up over the course of the session, and act as a sort of tag team to capture different bits of the dialogue so neither one had to do it all. I thoroughly enjoyed the process, since I love working as part of a team and it takes a lot of pressure off when there are two sets of ears and hands at work!

Below are some of the images we created for C4C. (Click on them to see them more clearly.) You can see them all on the Connecting for Change website, along with a little descriptor we wrote about graphic facilitation. Can you tell which of us did what bits on the charts? I think our styles mesh very well.

PS: Yes, I took the picture of the Dalai Lama at the top of this post: I squeezed my way into the media scrum just before the second half of the session and snapped off several pix. Training for the Paparazzi Brigade!


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