Here are what people I have worked with are saying:
“Michelle has worked with me as a co-strategist, evaluator and researcher on several major projects with international agencies, including an evaluation of a major rural development network (IFAD), a capacity needs assessment for network growth (IFRTD), research into local level knowledge sharing (UNDP) and developing guidelines for Knowledge Partnerships with ADB.
Michelle brings a diverse range of skills and expertise to the field of knowledge management, networks and partnerships, including the ability to work with rural stakeholders, across cultures and languages; and is superb at effective workshop design and delivery to get to desired outcomes efficiently. She is able to research and synthesize large amounts of information into organized documents for decision makers, quickly and reliably. She is straightforward, transparent and accountable in the provision of her consulting services, a quick study in grasping the needs of the client and able to deliver a quality product on time.”
Director of Global Connectivity, International Institute for Sustainable Development
“With her knowledge, enthusiasm, and impressive facilitation techniques, Michelle literally revolutionized our recent scientific conference on glaciology. By setting aside time for discussion and reflection, and avoiding the powerpoint marathons that plague so many other conferences, our symposium was about more than just knowledge dissemination. It was about knowledge synthesis, and building a scientific community. Despite our initial reluctance, the Open Spaces session that Michelle organized was a huge success and I am a convert – these should be a regular feature at high-level scientific conferences to get people talking!
I have had nothing but positive comments from the conference attendees, some of whom said it was the best conference they ever attended. And I have nothing but a glowing recommendation for Michelle Laurie, who guided us skillfully through the entire conference planning, hosting, and facilitation process. ”
Glacier Hydrologist, ICIMOD
“Michelle Laurie has done an excellent job coordinating the Communities Adapting to Climate Change project for the Columbia Basin Trust. She gracefully coordinated the efforts of numerous communities embarking on this project. She helped them on their journey to identify actions that could be undertaken at the local level to ensure each town creates resiliency for an uncertain future. Michelle has excellent people skills, exceptional organizational talents and an sharp, analytical mind. Her insights were very helpful. In addition I have known Michelle in her capacity as coordinator for the local Green Drinks meetings over several years. She always got the most interesting speakers and attendees to the events and kept the sessions lively and topical. Michelle is an asset to any organization.”
Councilor, City of Rossland
“I have worked with Michelle Laurie on several projects over the past four years and found her to be a highly motivated professional facilitator with an unusual combination of skills. She is a very creative thinker, has excellent organizational skills and is a very effective communicator. She has been particularly successful in motivating communities to the ColumbiaBasinto take active steps towards mitigating climate change impacts and is one of the leaders in promoting climate change adaptation methods. She is well versed in using innovative teaching and presentation techniques including animation, video production and multi-media tools. She works exceptionally well in multi-stakeholder processes, has considerable international experience and has a very outgoing personality. In other words, she is one of the key people you want to have on your interdisciplinary team.”
Professor, University of British Columbia
“Michelle worked in the Global Forest Conservation Programme of IUCN for four years (2003-2007). Her diverse skills were proven with the variety of assignments she undertook from designing the first system to encourage the flow of knowledge across IUCN’s forest portfolio, proposal writing, strategic communications, policy assessment and project management. Her knowledge of community building, networks and ability to see the bigger picture were instrumental for facilitating lessons learning and scaling up innovation across our programme. Michelle is an energetic problem-solver, professional, self-motivated and excels under pressure. I would not hesitate to recommend Michelle as a leader and team player to anyone working in the field of environment and development.”
Deputy Director – Forest Conservation Programme, IUCN-International Union for the Conservation of Nature
“Michelle is a skilled project manager (a major climate change initiative for example); excellent trainer (effective meetings and networking for examples); and has the knowledge and expertise to embed ongoing learning into any group or activity she leads or is part of. She does this creatively, with confidence and with a good sense of humour.”
Director of Community Engagement, Columbia Basin Trust
“Michelle worked with the District of Elkford through the Columbia Basin Trust on a Climate Change adaptation Project. Michelle was completely committed to the project, and ensured it was on time and produced the intended results. Michelle brings passion and enthusiasm to work. It was a pleasure to work with Michelle.”
Chief Administrative Officer, District of Elkford
“On behalf of Engineers Canada we are pulling together a session for the World Engineering Congress inGenevaSwitzerlandwhich will be held in 2011 September. The theme for our session is Climate Proofing Civil Infrastructure and builds on the work that has been ongoing within Engineer’sCanadafor the past five years originating from the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee.
The World’s Engineering Convention attracts engineers from around the world. Our session at this conference is meant to raise the profile of risk assessment, as well as adaptation and mitigation strategies for civil infrastructure.
Michelle has been instrumental in helping our steering committee pull this session together. She has helped us in liaison with the organizing committee from the conference, has researched a potential list of speakers, has contacted and gained commitments from all speakers and in general has helped gather together an entire program for our session including keynote speakers and panelists well ahead of the conference timelines.
Her skills are perfectly suited to the role of secretariat and she has consistently exceeded the needs of our steering committee. She has very strong skills problem solving and has a focus on action and results. She brings an efficient set of facilitation skills to our team and a full range of leading ideas to add interest to our session. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Michelle Laurie for a similar role. I am looking forward to the opportunity to working with Michelle again in the future.”
Manager of Strategic Services, City of Calgary and World Engineering Convention 2011 Session Chair
Workshops & Training
“I wanted to send a quick thank you for hosting such a wonderful workshop. I had a fabulous time and learned a lot, even though I already took the workshop 4 years ago I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take again. The content is rich, the hands on application powerful, the people genuine and the instructors first class. Being immersed in this creative process for two whole days is an amazing experience, I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about graphic facilitation and how it can help positively transform group process.”
Community engagement consultant 2x participant, 2010 & 2014
“Thanks so much to both of you! It was an exceptional workshop and we both got a lot out of it on many levels. You packed it full and yet it felt so fun and energizing!”
Consultant and Coach, 2014 Workshop Participant
“The graphic facilitation workshop experience added a new and innovative method to my professional skill set. After the workshop, I was offered a job with a community design organization because my skills of community engagement are linked with visual interaction. I highly recommend the workshop to others!”
Community Design Lab, Iowa State University & 2013 Workshop Participant
“The graphic facilitation workshop that Michelle and Nancy provided for Alberta Agriculture staff in fall 2011 was fantastic! They began by setting the stage through careful preparation with the intention of the participants knowing it would be a safe place to learn, stretch their abilities and try new things. And it worked. Participants found the workshop to be energizing, fun, and interesting, but most of all useful. Everyone walked away with ways they planned to incorporate the concepts into their daily work to better engage co-workers, partners and clients. From using it in everything from agendas, minutes, flipcharts and handouts; to ice breakers, meetings, and team building; to note-taking, brainstorming and other planning processes; the graphic facilitation techniques are here to stay. A huge thank you to Michelle and Nancy for lighting the fire!”
Ag Industry Extension Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (2011 workshop)
“I really thought the workshop was useful for me, and I’m not an artist. In a short period of time (2 days) I was able to learn simple and effective techniques to communicate basic ideas using symbols, easy figures, and colour. What I really liked about the workshops was that it was BIG. Big paper, whole body movements, large images. I’ve always drawn on small pieces of paper and this was a whole body experience!
We also did some great listening excercises where in a short period of time, we had to illustrate big ideas (that were on an audio recording). It was a lot of fun and a new challenge.
Overall, two thumbs up!”
Independent consultant and 2010 Graphic Facilitation workshop participant
“What the rosViz11 gave me was the permission to draw without having to be an “artist”. Such joy! Thanks Michelle & Nancy.”
Consultant with Cognitive Edge and 2011 Graphic Facilitation workshop participant
“I truly underestimated the amount of knowledge I that would gain from the [networking] workshop. I was able to apply what I learned immediately and I look forward to future workshops.”
Former Terrestrial Stewardship Advisor The Land Conservancy of BC, Kootenay Area (2009 workshop)
“This is not what I expected, but I’m very happy to gain this knowledge. I’ve heard about Blogs and Wikis, but really had no idea how many uses they would have and how easy it is to use them. I can see that this will be a terrific tool to use in setting meeting agendas, having discussions and would be a great project management tool. I feel great about learning something new and exciting!”
Campus Manager, Selkirk College (2008 workshop)
“Michelle is very good at engaging a group and having them all participate. Relaxed, fun and relevant.”
Terry Van Horn
Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (2008 workshop)
“Michelle is well prepared and brings lots of value (and energy) to participants”.
Withinsight Services (2009 workshop)
“Michelle knew her material well and presented it in an understandable format and was very efficient with her time”.
Disability Services, Selkirk College (2008 workshop)