Eighty young people between the ages of 18 and 28 are deep in conversation, sketchnoting in their notebooks and discussing workshop topics in front of large-scale visualizations – this is FutureCamp, held in September 2018 in Hohegrete/Westerwald (Germany). Also in attendance are bikablo’s Andrea Rawanschad and Martina Grigoleit.
The participants, who combine heart, hand, and mind in their work, are taking part in a five-day voyage of discovery on the topic: “The World and Me.” They have been invited by the Maxpert GmbH company and are being mentored by coaches, speakers, artists, visualizers, and facilitators. The program centers on questions that are typically not thoroughly explored in schools or in higher education: “What do we want more of – for ourselves and for the world?” or, “How do we want to live, work, and learn?” or, “What am I capable of? What do I want to be? What do I believe in?”
Martina documents each workshop session as a graphic recording. The images she draws are as varied as the different speakers and their topics. Following the presentations, participants stand in front of the visualizations and chat.
The visualizations are not only found to be “awesome,” more importantly, they also help to bring clarity to the topics discussed: “OH! So that’s what that meant!” Graphic recording is not just about creating an impressive drawing – it is intended to make thoughts and discussion results visible. Visualization provides both orientation for a wealth of new ideas as well as documentation of important details.
In the process, Andrea teaches basic visualization skills. The young participants learn to use the bikablo technique to document their acquired knowledge in sketchnotes as well as to take their thinking a step further. Even though it only provides a brief glimpse into the potential of visual thinking, the participants are enthusiastic, inspired, and exhilarated: “I always thought I couldn’t draw,” says one participant, and shows – still a little incredulous, but proudly – his drawings, which have been beautifully sketchnoted – structured with containers and small pictograms. “I’m pretty much a visual learner, which is why visualization really helps me,” says a young woman. “This is life-changing!” calls out another participant laughingly.
At the end of the week, one young woman quietly and movingly summarizes the intensive week: “I am so proud of my generation.” All in all, this was a special experience for the bikablo team: an opportunity to inspire people at a unique stage of their lives and, in the best sense of the word, to “draw” them in and empower them.