01 March 2006

Visual thinking camp 2006

Visual thinking camp 2006:
A three-day event in the Bay area.

1. Why is it important?

2. Where will it be?

3. Who will be there?

4. What will we do?

What does it need to be? Let's design it together. Leave a comment on this post -- and join the conversation.

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Anonymous said...

Cool idea, but darn! I was hoping it might be in the Midwest -- everything seems to be on the coasts.

Ben said...

Or come "down under" and enjoy the sun and teach!! I'd love to attend

Unknown said...

Well of course if there is enough interest in a given location we can have it there. Let me know!

Chris said...

I think it needs to be a funnel, where the beginning is the wide-open view of the various aspects and elements of visual thinking, drawing from all the modules you've already canned at Squidoo.

Then, as the funnel moves down a notch, some hands-on.

Further down, some application to people's disciplines. Ways to apply what they're learning.

Next-to-last, a toolbox setup, where they can get a sense of how/when to use their newly minted skills.

Finally, a visual thinking "art show," to show off in some way what we've learned, to finish off with socialization, and to give an assessment of what's been learned.

A Flickr group to cover the entire event. A roving photographer or three. A podcast of the event to give an audio representation, complete with random interviews. Evening free time for business card transfers, as well as discussions. A few nifty guests of the visually capable. Maybe a slideshow of some of the best of XPLANE.

Early posting for volunteers, trainers, educators. Early date-making, as this must be coming soon.

Unknown said...

I thought it might be interesting if everyonee cam with a real-life communication challenge that th4ey wanted to work on.

People could come as individuals or a company could send a whole team that would work together.

The idea of convening people who are experts in visual thinking and communication, along with people who have real-life business communication issues, could be a powerful mix.

Unknown said...

Tools you can use
Index cards, sticky notes and paper prototypes
Information mapping
Improving your PowerPoints

HR said...

I really like the idea of brining a real-life communication challenge.

HR said...

And access to a podcast of the event would lessen note-taking concerns.

Chris said...

Different people will want something different out of the event. Some might have specific communication challenges in mind. Many more might want to add these tools to their quiver.

Podcasting + a few roving Photographers into Flickr would equal a nice coverage.

Chris said...

Toolbox in the mindset sense, too. When should you do a mindmap? When is a good time to think of process flows with pictures? (When isn't?)

Anonymous said...

i'm in.

Unknown said...

I have some more thoughts:

The camp is a for-profit event and that means we will need to charge for it. I want to keep the quality high and the numbers low to ensure people get real high-quality attention; that means it won't be cheap.

However, I think there are things we can do to accommodate tighter budgets, for example:

- We could run a "practice camp" in St. Louis where those who want to participate get together and work some things out -- could be fun!

- We could have some kind of arrangement where people who want to volunteer to help with the work of putting on the event get free passes


Chris said...

How about a fistful of practice camps stretched out over a few days. Maybe 3 distinct day or half-day camps. I'm thinking of rapid prototyping, and the ability to take what you learn in Camp 1 and retest it in Camp 2. (It also stretches your promotional effect, and offers a fistful more of lower-cost options to the visually hopeful that maybe won't be able to justify a corporate expense).

Chris Heuer said...

There are lots of interesting models that can be mashed up to get to the right mixture of social interaction, learning and practical work. With BrainJams we have tried a few different things so far without a specific purpose. This experience leads me to believe the following points should be considered:

- "Begin with the end in mind" (source unk) this old adage rings true with this idea in particular - what do you really want to accomplish by bringing people together? what is your goal? how does your goal align with the community's?

- "Show, do, teach" is still the best learning method. Perhaps if the first 2 days were for paid learning and working exercises and the 3rd day was free, with a modified open space format lead/taught by the participants of the prior 2 days

- "Don't do it just because you can" if there is a clear purpose for people coming together it can work well, if not, people may still be happy with the experience but not moved in the way you had hoped

Question, is visual thinking a skill or a talent? or both? The nature of the gathering is greatly influenced by the answer to this in terms of where the emphasis should be.

After reading your other post on "Visual Thinking isn't for everyone", I wonder what understanding might exist of the different sort of people who would be interested in attending this camp. Are they all designers? presenters? strategists? communications experts? people with an interest in Xplane?

Dave, what sort of people do you think will come?