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    Newsletter Overview | 2016, Volume IV
articleFeature Article

By Anne Gibbons of Anne-Drawn Graphic Recording 
We Want You to Dance: How Professional Development Benefits You 


"Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?" - Friedrich Nietzsche


What comes to your mind when you think of professional development opportunities? Do you think of required classes that you must technically sit through in order to please a licensing board or a boss?


While many professions, including teaching, medicine, and the law, require members to take continuing legal education classes, most do a poor job of communicating why. Professional development is not about remaining competent at a job. Professional development is about inspiration, movement, and collaboration; it is about dancing.




"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch


You should participate in professional development opportunities because they can inspire you to reach new levels of excellence in your work. By exposing you to new ideas, they can increase your creativity. By helping you find courage and skills that you did not know you have, they can enable you to see your potential. Alli McKee from Blot, Inc. was inspired to live scribe on a huge board for the first time during the #IFVP2015 conference:


I learned so much but what I loved the most was being a part of a community where I felt comfortable to get out of my comfort zone. I have only done this in my notebook up until today. Today was my first time doing a live scribe on a huge board, and it was phenomenal.


Professional development opportunities can also reconnect you with your passion for visual practice. As Lloyd Dangle from Hewlett Packard shared at the end of #IFVP2015:


Last night, it was so great when we had dinner. Everybody on my team was excited. They were thinking of all the things we have to take back. I have never seen such a level of energy with my team.


Dancing requires a willingness to go where the music and the body leads. Professional development will not work unless we are willing to grow and motivated to engage new material and ideas. Sometimes by stepping outside of our comfort zone, we can find our rhythm. Sometimes the rhythm inspires us to move in a new direction.




"Work to become, not to acquire."Elbert Hubbard


Professional development is about movement of the mind and body, a process of learning, growing, and becoming. As you work, you encounter questions, and through professional development, you can explore possible answers. A new member at last year's conference, Wendy Hsu, talked about the benefit of finding a community in which she can learn:


I feel like finally I have a chance to share, to ask the questions to someone who knows what I'm talking about. It has been really great to find people who have the same interests, and they're more experienced...I can learn from them.


Finding a space where you can learn from other peers and colleagues is important regardless of your experience level. Learning new strategies, techniques, and skills can increase your productivity and confidence, as well as improve your work product. After #IFVP2015, Sophia Liang of Graphic Footprints shared,


What I loved about this conference and the IFVP is that...we are at such a spectrum of different levels. We have an opportunity and a space for us to all meet together and all learn from each other.


When you engage in the learning process, you do not merely acquire new skills. You become the type of professional that clients and colleagues want to work with. You establish a reputation as someone that values excellence and knowledge. At the same time, you communicate that you value the ideas and skills that others have to share.




"I can do things you cannot. You can do things I cannot. Together we can do great things." - Mother Teresa


As a visual practitioner, your work may at times be isolating, and professional development opportunities offer a much needed chance to work with peers with whom you can share ideas and from whom you can get meaningful feedback. You can meet other professionals who may help you in your career through connections, support, or business development.


When asked to describe his favorite part about #IFVP2015, Trent Wakenight at OGSystemsthoughtfully replied:


Open access to others knowledge and their willingness to impart that knowledge to others. It is truly a sense of community where people do not hold onto knowledge as if it were power. They share knowledge so that we can collaborate and take that power to the next level.


While you could dance alone, there is value in partnership. With others you can take steps that you cannot not take alone. Professional development opportunities provide spaces to work collaboratively to solve problems that you face and that face the profession as a whole.


Next Steps


You can seek out opportunities for inspiration, movement, and collaboration. You can learn to dance with your markers. You can dance with others at local gatherings, in online communities, and through mentoring and service to others. You can dance in DC!


By Karyl Davis

News from the Board

We want you to serve!

We are looking for two new members to join the IFVP Board of Directors!
Do you want to meet and work with colleagues from around the world? Do you want to plan and develop future goals for the IFVP? Do you want to help implement those goals by chairing committees, coordinating on-going projects, and applying your talents to get them done? If so, we want to hear from you!
What would you be signing up for?
During the two-year term of service, in addition to chairing committees and working on on-going projects, board members attend a monthly two-hour virtual meeting, currently every second Saturday from 9:00-11:00 EST. Board members also meet in person when able. For example, the board will hold an in-person board meeting on Wednesday, August 3 rd following the conference, and newly elected board members will be welcome to attend if they can.
When do you need to make a decision?
Nominations will be due by June 3, 2016. Look for an interest form, which will be emailed to members in mid-May. Self-nominations are encouraged!
Who decides who will serve on the board?
You do! By submitting nominations and by electing the members that you think will best serve the IFVP, you will decide who the new board members will be.
Who is rolling off the board?
Dean Meyers and Daniel Perdig áo will both be rolling off the board this year. Dean served two terms as chief technology officer of the board where he successfully oversaw our transition to a new website that automated many manual processes and improved our online presence. Daniel helped update the IFVP's strategic plan and shared perspectives from our European members while he served. Thank you both for giving your time and energy to the IFVP. We are a better organization because of your contributions.
What this means for next year's board?
We would love to have more members with technology expertise on the board and/or on committees. We would also love to include more members from around the globe in board or committee service.  
Most importantly, we care deeply about the IFVP, and we want to connect with other members who feel the same. Join us to support and promote visual practitioners and our growing professional field. Join us in drawing the world together to think and work better through the power of visuals.
By Jenny Trautman on behalf the of IFVP board of directors - Renatta Algalarrondo, Phillip Bakelaar, SunShine Benbelkacem, Jill Greenbaum, Dean Meyers, Minh Ngo, Brenda Tan, Nitya Wakhlu  

conferenceIFVP Conference News & Updates

We want to see you in DC!
You asked and we listened! The 21st Annual IFVP Conference on July 30 - August 2, 2016 in Washington, DC will offer learning tracks based upon the type of professional development that speaks to you.

The conference will feature 20+ breakout sessions delivered across four defined tracks designed to meet your individual needs and interests. You will have an opportunity to learn from mentors in the field, to grow your skillset, and to explore new tools and methodologies.

Fundamentals of Visual Practice breakout sessions will help you master the basic skills of graphic recording and graphic facilitation - from developing a visual library to synthesizing the conversation, to facilitating a room.   
Enhancing your Skills breakout sessions will help you expand the impact of your practice by exploring new creative tools and elevating your skills - from template development to deep listening. 
Visual Organization Development breakout sessions will help you leverage the principles and practices of organizational development in your graphic facilitation practice - from exploring the principles of organizational development to learning how colleagues are breaking ground. 
Business Development breakout sessions will give you the confidence to launch your business idea or to take your business to the next level - from tools, to confidence, to business growth.

 With these four tracks, this conference will meet you where you are and take you to where you want to be. If that is not enough, four more fabulous pre-conference workshops offer you an opportunity to jump start your learning experience.
As our conference theme, "United We Scribe" is more than a patriotic nod to our host city. "United We Scribe" is a nod to the great work that we can achieve together when we gather as a tribe for professional development - for inspiration, learning, and collaboration.    

Are you ready for your best year yet? Join us and let's make it happen. 
Member Spotlight
Irene Hamons, Singapore
Member since 2014

What do you enjoy most about being a visual practitioner? 
I love the smile on people face when they watch what we do, the "WOW" effect that people experience after they witness the complete visual. I enjoy our work that brought all over the world, sharing our drawings, connecting hearts and
minds, facilitating the process of overcoming fear using visuals and metaphor, helping many achieving break through in life and work.  
What inspired you to join the IFVP community?
The wonderful people in this community of course!
What was your favorite food when you were a kid?
As a Singaporean, I have the advantage of tasting variety of food and fruits. I love spicy food and exotic tropical fruits like mangoes, coconut, soursop, chiku, cempedek and my favorite is DURIAN since I was a kid!!!  
What is one of your favorite quotes?
 "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow " ~ Helen Keller

Ole Qvist-Sørensen, Denmark
Member since 2006

What do you enjoy most about being a visual practitioner? 
Working in a creative way (I enjoy that I can sketch and draw in my workday, and that teachers, CEO's, students etc. find it valuable). And it is rewarding helping people work with a bigger picture mindset. 
What inspired you to join the IFVP community?
I was inspired meeting peers with same passion as myself. I found inspiration from the many different ways of working in the field. 

What was your favorite food when you were a kid?
When I was 8 years old our family lived in Kenya for two years. I have ever since been addicted to Mango, Passion Fruit and Pineapple.
What is one of your favorite quotes?
Working with Dee Hock I learned to "Never Give up. Never, never give up. Never, never, never give up!"  

Emily Shepard, Berkeley, California
Member since 2000

What do you enjoy most about being a visual practitioner? 
The opportunity to help people make their ideas come alive! I also love collaborating with other consultants and the client team to create a space for getting tangible work done in an engaging, visual way. And I love using drawing as a tool to clarify and draw out a client's thoughts when I work on illustration or video projects.   
What inspired you to join the IFVP community?
I've been a part of this community, since I went to my first "graphic recorders conference" in October of 1999. Joining the IFVP was a natural extension of the strong sense of "tribe" from those early days. I value the IFVP for the connections and camaraderie, and for the inquiry, inspiration and learning.

What was your favorite food when you were a kid?
Ice cream and sweets!
What is one of your favorite quotes?
I love this first line of the Emily Dickinson poem: Forever - is composed of Nows 

Get Involved
Member Content: We want to read what you write!

We want to include your insights, aha's, and experiences in the newsletter.

Do you have something you'd like to share with your IFVP tribe? If you are not sure of the best topic, here are some ideas to consider:
  • Personal experiences in graphic facilitation or recording
  • Essays about field specific topics, e.g., history of the field, future of the field, scope of the field
  • Knowledge you have gained about tools, techniques, and the process of doing the work (using markers, apps, styli, foam core, paper, cutting tools, packaging, travel luggage, etc.)
  • Reviews of tools, books, and events related to the field of visual practice
  • Invites to regional/local meet ups and reviews of the events
  • Links to already published articles and resources by you or others that you would like to share
If you have other topics in mind, we would love to hear about them, but please keep in mind that we want to steer away from content that is selling a service or promoting a business. The IFVP board is exploring ways to share your marketing content, including the possibility of affiliate marketing, but we do not yet have a policy or process in place.

If you write about your work and work product, we suggest that you describe a problem you faced and how you solved the problem. You can also talk about your process from design, to planning, and through to execution, as well as any tools and methodology that you used.

Last but not least, you can include lessons that you learned and overall lessons that the community can learn from your story. The more of these elements that you can include in your article, the more likely the article will be useful to other members and the less likely it will be viewed as a marketing piece.

In addition to offering members valuable content that they can apply to their own practice, please keep your submission between 250 and 1,000 words. Consider framing your article around one of the following topics: business development, professional development, personal development, the conference, member involvement, research, community, self-care, the history of the IFVP and profession, or the future of the IFVP and profession.

Submission Process

Simply, email your submission to [email protected] for consideration. In order to help us promote the article in the newsletter and in other communication channels, we ask that you include the following information with your submission:

1. Your name and city
2. Your social media handles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, website/blog)
3. A short abstract
4. A few sentences explaining why you think the article will benefit IFVP members
5. Any related images in JPG or PNG format at a minimum of 300 pixels

The newsletter committee will then review your submission and provide feedback within 60 days. If we do not think the content will work for the newsletter at this time or if we simply do not have space to include it, we will try to suggest other ways that you can distribute the information.

We look forward to sharing your insights, aha's, and experiences with your IFVP tribe!

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