Malmö Sustainable City Development Conference nov30-dec02

I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of the Harvesting Team during the Sustainable City Development Conference in Malmö. We harvested the Round Table Discussions of the different tracks of the conference and presented them back to the participants in two feedback sessions.

It was some weeks ago when I was offered to join the harvesting team. I was in Austria when my friend called me with the offer and, after a few minutes of on and off connection through Facebook, I was suddenly the graphic harvester of the conference. I had never done such thing and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to practice my graphic recording skills and attend a conference about sustainability.

It turned out to be much more than that.

img_5905I was shaking before the first feedback session that I had to harvest, scared of not being good enough, of what all those important people in suits might think of me, and it wasn’t until I missed the first little detail and drew the not so straight letters that the perfectionist inside me left me alone to enjoy the process and bring the best of me.

The biggest insights came not from the skills of listening and capturing the ideas that were mentioned, but from the valuable connections and conclusions I was able to make from the drawings. The facilitator came to me a couple of times during the sessions to ask me about what I was capturing and, almost unexpectedly, I was able to dissect and sum up the ideas that the different tracks of the conference were exposing.

I know that the drawings were not perfect and that I still have a lot to learn on capturing the main points and visualising the connections between them, but having this experience has given me a lot of confidence and a lot of clarity on the value of graphic recording. I will now take every opportunity I have to practice and to support the conversations that happen around me.