Visual Minutes - let your voice be seen 
by Tim Casswell, Founder and Facilitation Director, CreativeConnection, and Vice President, Union of International Associations
New Thinking. Associations of the world have always been a place of change and new thinking. Whether you are trying to change the world or simply connect, associations are hubs of conversation, and conversations are the crucible of new consciousness. And yet so many conversations happen and are never recorded. Associations are places where inspiration, insights, initiatives, ideas are generated and the UIA has always been enthusiastic about gathering and disseminating these precious ideas.
Some of you have experienced visual minutes and will know how powerful they can be in listening, collating, and interpreting themes, threads, and dialogue and capture and share internally and externally. We love partnering with the UIA in their mission to discover, document and disseminate the energy and vitality of civil society especially at the Round Tables. This article explains a bit about our approach and its application in large and small group events.
Wherever people fear, hope, dream, plan, debate and decide, Visual Minutes artists specialise in capturing the key ideas and emerging themes creating a work of conceptual art that can inform, enlighten and inspire participants and wider audiences. Visual Minutes can be used in thinktanks, stakeholder workshops, press briefings, conferences, panel discussions and product launches. You can see films of Visual Minutes being created on YouTube… take a look here:
https://youtu. be/ilqxe08UaG4
https://youtu. be/LVIdpdF5aOg
It’s a kind of Keynote Listening or “Powerpaint”
As speakers present their points can be captured and displayed simultaneously to the audience. Like Powerpoint images they can help inform. Unlike Powerpoint they remain visible during and after the talk and can be used to refer back to points made earlier. Unlike Powerpoint they are created in front of the audience and are therefore much more flexible to last minute changes, audience input and questions. They can be photographed and distributed afterwards as posters or postcards.
They are an elaboration of the workshop flip chart using bigger sheets, more colour, and a more creative use of the white space on the page - clusters of information rather than lists, connections illustrated, and a flow of ideas.
Depending on the meeting the visual minutes can add value in various ways.
+ They provide a clear sense of accomplishment as themes are recorded, filling the space around the walls.
+ They provide an aide memoire and reference point during the meeting so the speakers can point to ideas mentioned earlier in the meeting.
+ They help late comers, and note takers who miss something to catch up quickly. They give a framework for participants to brief others who missed a part or all of the proceedings.
+ Created in the heat of the moment they are a uniquely fresh record of information, emotion, and interaction in the meeting, which gives instant recall when looked at later.
+ They are interactive. Anyone can add or change anything on the sheet. It gives tangible evidence of being heard and involved.
+ They are accessible and democratic, excellent for those with a hearing impairment. Obviously limited for the visually impaired, though the size of the writing may allow them to be more accessible than printed documents.
+ Like a mind map, the end product is greater than the sum of its elements. The end product reveals connections in ways that can enable unexpected breakthroughs in understanding.
Visual Minutes can be used to listen in to important conversations. They can be used to conduct a narrative audit of your team or organisation so that everyone becomes aware of what everyone is thinking. They are based on curiosity - one of the most powerfully transformative and least manipulative interventions… Visual Minutes are a new way of thinking.
Visual Minutes is deceptively simple. In the same way that any form of communication can be open to [mis]interpretation, visual language can support or undermine your message, liberate or entrap your thinking, inspire or inhibit your spirit, lift or deflate your emotions.
Our facilitation work has developed some sophisticated models of communication and the interactive cycle. This has led to considerable intuitive understanding of individual and group processes. It means that our pictures are designed to capture what is happening in real time and communicate it in the most effective way to those who need to know and understand. We have artists who can work in many languages and we can train you in the process surprisingly quickly!
This is a good time for the voice of civil society to be heard. There is a deep and challenging conversation going on. It is time to focus our minds and open our hearts, and let our voice be seen… If we have a duty, we have duty to dream.
For more info visit w w w. CreativeConnection. co. uk and watch this video.