Graphic Facilitation Workshop 2012 and a Gathering for Visual Practitioners

Workshop Information (Gathering Information at the bottom of the page)

2012 Location: Prestige Mountain Resort, in beautiful, Rossland, BC, Canada

Dates and Times: July 18th (6-9pm), July 19th (8:30am-4:30pm), July 20th (8:30am-2:30pm)

Price: $840 + HST (12%)

Drawing on Walls at the 2011 Graphic Facilitation Workshop in Rossland, B.C.

Workshop Description:

This experiential workshop takes place almost entirely at the drawing surface. We’ll start the evening of July18th by warming up our drawing muscles and silencing those pesky inner censors. The second day, we’ll build into the basic practices of graphic facilitation and recording. We will pay attention to preparation, the actual visual work, and follow up including digital capture of paper based images. Our third day will be devoted to participatory graphic approaches, practicing and giving peer feedback. You can expect to go away with icons, ideas and approaches which you can use immediately, as well as ideas about how to hone your practice.

See Sylvia Currie’s great video from the 2011 workshop here!

Looking for the nitty gritty on what the workshop will cover?  Download the details: Rosviz_Tools_Takehome_List

When might we use this practice?

Sometimes our imaginations are sparked by a visual where words fail us. Think about when communities plan and imagine their futures, when teams consider the possible outcomes for their projects, when groups create maps to track their progress.  These are all opportunities to use visuals to engage and deepen community dialogue. You can use visual thinking to improve teamwork, communications, meetings, build engagement and to plan work. Step out of the PowerPoint rut!

Who should attend?

Facilitators, project managers, team leaders and members, town planners, teachers and anyone who would like to engage others beyond words. Please note: You do NOT need previous experience or have to consider yourself an artist. At some level, we can all draw and use visuals to enhance our communications and engage diverse audiences.

Testimonials from 2010 and 2011 participants:

“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!”

Sharon Stollery
Ag Industry Extension Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (2011 workshop)

“What the rosViz11 gave me was the permission to draw without having to be an “artist”. Such joy! Thanks Michelle & Nancy.”

Laurie Webster
Consultant with Cognitive Edge and 2011 Graphic Facilitation workshop participant

“I have so many good things to say about the workshop I don’t know where to begin!”

– Sylvia Currie, Curriculum Development and Academic Growth, BC Campus (2010 workshop participant)

“I really thought the workshops 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!”

– Rachael Roussin, Consultant (2010 workshop participant)

“Thanks for doing this again, Michelle (and Nancy!!). I highly recommend it!”

– Beth Sanders, Populus Community Planning Inc. (2010 workshop participant)

The 2011 workshop was a great success,   Click here to see the blog summary.  We can also travel to you so let me know if you want to see one happen in your region!

Detailed Agenda:

Part 1: I CAN DRAW – Hands-On Writing on Walls (July 18 evening, 6-9 pm)

Tonight we’ll touch the paper, play with the pens and loosen up our drawing muscles. We’ll address the basics of “drawing  on walls” including starting shapes, lettering and some initial iconography. We’ll cover basic techniques and tricks that enable any of us to draw as a way of capturing and communicating ideas with each other. We’ll ask ourselves some questions, such as “What if you draw your notes instead of wrote them?” “Visually captured what is happening at a meeting or in a classroom?” “Engage people beyond words and text?” How would that change the experience for you and others?

When we get tired, we’ll spend some time looking at the work of diverse graphic facilitators, see how books can inspire us and play a bit with materials.  Dress for mess!

For a sense of a very short I CAN DRAW session, here is 6 minutes from a lightening fast 45 minute workshop at Northern Voice in 2009.

Part 2: Using Visuals With Group Processes & Facilitation Methods (July 19th morning)

In the morning we’ll explore  how visuals can enhance  group  processes such as planning, meeting and evaluation. We’ll do mind maps, mandalas and simple flip chart enhancements  that you can immediately use.  We’ll look at the use of visuals with some specific group facilitation methods such as World Cafe, Open Space, Appreciative Inquiry, and others. This part of the workshop includes lecture, conversation and lots of hands on experience. We’ll explore practical applications while we continue to learn to write on walls, the base elements of the practice of graphic recording and facilitation.

Part 3: More on Graphic Recording  (July 19 afternoon)

Writing on Walls at the 2010 workshop

This afternoon we’ll focus on  traditional graphic recording (actively listening and capturing what is going on in a group, rather than using graphics as a facilitation device). We’ll review and practice  how to listen for key ideas, iconography, and organizing space. We’ll do a number of practice drawings then review our own work. We will hold several practice sessions in the safe space of the classroom.  This time will prepare you to record confidently in real work settings.

Part 4: Participatory Graphics and More Practice   (July 20)

Building on our drawing and exploration of visual practices in whole group processes, we’ll experiment more with participatory graphics.

Participatory graphic from Moose Camp sessions, Northern Voice 2011

This is when the pen goes into everyone’s hands, not just the graphic recorder’s. When people “make their mark” it changes their experience and ownership of the experience. It can open up how they talk and think about things.We’ll look at a range of participatory visual practices including methods such as visual icebreakers, “River of Life,” Knowledge Tree,” and other examples. Think about your group’s situations and needs and we can work to imagine practices that might help your real work!

We’ll intersperse our learning sessions with practice and feedback periods.  We’ll finish by looking at some of the resources available to “visual practitioners!”

Lunch Breaks will normally take place 12-1pm however timing is flexible depending on the group.  There are many cafes and deli counters in walking distance.


  • Come prepared to get your hands dirty.
  • Dress is comfortable clothes that can get dirty and you won’t be sad if they are stained.
  • Bring a pad of paper or journal to take notes – unlined is terrific.
  • Bring a digital camera to record the fruits of your labor.
  • We will supply the basic materials for the 2.5 days, but you may want to purchase in advance your own set of materials. Details available upon request.

About the Facilitators and Hosts:

Nancy creating a visual agenda for the day, 2011 workshop

Nancy White is c0-hosting/facilitating this visual practice learning event.  “I am a learner, mom, gramma and chocoholic. I founded Full Circle Associates to help organizations connect through online and offline strategies.  My practices are diverse, including online interaction designer, facilitator and coach for distributed communities of practice, online learning, distributed teams and online communities, doodler and visual practitioner. I have a special interest in the NGO/NPO sector and the emerging practice of using communities and networks for work and learning. I blog at, teach, present and write on online facilitation and interaction, social architecture, social media and visual practices. I am co-author with Etienne Wenger and John Smith of Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities (  Lately not only do I  like to draw on walls (graphic facilitation), but I spend a lot of time cooing over my new grandbaby!!! For more about my visual practice see”

Getting physical at the 2010 workshop

Michelle Laurie is co-hosting/facilitating the workshop and is your key contact for more information. “As the workshop host, I draw on over ten years of experience helping local and international organizations and partnerships communicate as well as improve the way they create and share knowledge.   I have been successfully incorporating visual thinking into my work particularly with the use of participatory graphic exercises and visual aids.  My areas of expertise include sustainable development, collaboration and learning.”

RSVP : Please email to confirm your participation and find out more details!


There are several nice B&Bs in Rossland.   If you tell them you are attending Michelle Laurie’s workshop, you will get a reduced rate.  We will contact the ones below to arrange this.

Anyone interested in billeting or being billeted or questions re accomodation, please email me.

B&Bs – private 2 bedroom suite and 1 single room, call Angela to discuss details, she always gives great service and great rates, 250 362 7790. ($80/night ($85/double) with breakfast for workshop participants, Nancy says the breakfasts are AMAZING!)

Prestige Mountain Resort –  ($119.95/night for 1 or 2 people.  You need to mention you are attending a meeting in the hotel.)


There are several places in the workshop vicinity to eat a quick lunch.

Light snacks, coffee and water will be provided during workshop times. Nancy promises to bring chocolate…

More info

For more information email


Visual Comments!

We are planning a Visual Gathering for people looking to take their current visual practice to new levels, share and learn together.  This will take place at the Northern Voice Conference in Vancouver, June 15th during ‘Moose Camp’.  Make sure to buy a ticket to Northern Voice so we can meet up and talk visuals!

19 responses to “Graphic Facilitation Workshop 2012 and a Gathering for Visual Practitioners

  1. Wow! this looks like a phenomenal course I hope it goes well! You seem to have all the right components to make it work and create some awesome Graphic recorders and facilitators out there!

    Paul Telling
    Creative Communications Creator and Graphic Facilitator
    Pauls SitePauls StorePauls Portfolio
    Visualise and Monetise!

  2. Michelle Laurie

    Thanks Paul – I am excited too! Your work looks great…that is what we need more of 🙂

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  5. Thanks for doing this again, Michelle (and Nancy!!). I highly recommend it!

  6. Rachael

    Testimonial from 2010!

    “I really thought the workshops 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!”

    Rachael Roussin

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  12. Zack

    Hi Michelle,

    Are you and Nancy doing the workshop or a version of it anytime soon in the Lower Mainland? A few of us here at UBC are quite interested in attending.

    – Z

  13. Michelle Laurie

    Hi Zack,
    We would love to have you at the workshop in Rossland this July! No workshops are planned for 2012 in the Lower Mainland as of yet. However, if you have a group and want to organize a workshop, we are happy to do that. We did something similar this fall in Edmonton for a group there. As well, please note the early bird rate is being extended until April 30th in hopes of more people being able to take advantage of this workshop at an affordable rate.
    I am happy to answer any more questions you have, please let me know.

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  16. Anni

    Hi Michelle, sorry to have to miss it this year. I am continuing to use the skills I learned in Rozviz10/11 and would love to meet others and continue to practice. There is always so much to learn from Nancy and the group. Any room to drop in on the afternoon of the 19th?

  17. Michelle Laurie

    Hi Anni,
    It would be great to have you join. We don’t have a confirmed outline yet you are very welcome for whatever we are doing and it would be great if you could share some of your experiences of how you are using the techniques in practice? Applying skills will be a running theme throughout this year.
    Same place and approximate times (8:30-4:30 on July 19th).
    There is still space in case you know if anyone that might be keen. No one from Selkirk or CoTR this year though there is SFU representation!
    Looking forward to hearing more,

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