You've heard the adage: everything old is new again. Might there be value in returning to pre-school - where imagery and scribbling formed the foundation of how we started learning?
The free-flowing of ideas, without prejudice or fear of embarrassment, is what made this work. So why can't the same principles be applied to adults, in the right context?
Well it can be, and it's called Visual Scribing. Which is just a fancy term for documenting events and conversations visually as they happen.
In the context of a conference, especially one that gathers a community together to grapple with an important and perhaps complex issue, it provides an incredible solution.
Importantly, rather than so-called experts telling an audience how something should be done, all participants contribute to the solution or outcome.
However, visual scribing at a conference is no simple Crayola & butcher paper affair. First up, a professional moderator is required. Someone who guides the discussion, plants seeds for debate, and tackles the agreed outcomes for the session in a systematic way.
Next, lots of space is required, to allow for the necessary scribing boards. These are where the discussion is visually summarised and left as a constant reminder of what’s been covered throughout the event.
And most important, a team of well-trained scribers is required. These are experts who can weed out the "nuggets" from the "noise", and can accurately capture the ideas contributed by the participants.
We've seen it used and used well, and encourage anyone looking for a way to bring a tribe together in a more interactive way, to try it. But a bit like trying to ride your bike up and over a dozen cars, we don’t recommend trying this without professional supervision.
Let's inspire your community - Team UC