International Development Requires an Adaptive and Iterative Process for Complex Problem-Solving

International Development Requires an Adaptive and Iterative Process for Complex Problem-Solving

In the realms of government, business, and academia acronyms sprout like tangled weeds. The team at the Building State Capability Program, part of the Center for International Development at Harvard University, uses a facilitation and a design-thinking process called PDIA. They have been told many times that their acronym is clunky and not easy to understand. So we collaborated to create this 2-minute whiteboard animation for students, facilitators, clients, and all people working to solve complex problems.

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Registration for Becoming a Rockstar Scribe opens Aug. 1st

We have gotten so many great questions, sweet notes of support, tweets, and best of all... over 100 people are participating in our current class:

       Become a Rockstar Scribe at School or Work

At first, we thought that this would appeal mostly to passionate educators, students, and facilitators who don't necessarily think of themselves as artistic, but who want to incorporate visual learning into their work.

We have been honored (and bit intimidated) to see veteran graphic recorders and guru facilitators joining as well!

This is truly a global classroom: Students from the UK, Belgium, Singapore, Ecuador, Australia, New Zealand and all over North America have jumped on board. There have been some great questions and we will do my best to answer them all.



The main question has involved the class format. So, to be clear, this is a self-paced set of video modules. Once you register, you receive one module every seven days.

The course is divided into six modules, one per week. But don’t worry!

There is no set schedule to view or complete any of the assignments. This is built for your personal development. Work at your own pace.  Each module builds upon the previous section and supported by videos, references, suggested reading, and PDF documents.

You can review videos and materials at anytime, day or night, on your laptop, iPhone, iPad or web-enabled device.



Our goal is to have the community be large enough to generate some real  energy and vibrancy, but manageable enough to actually get to know people and interact.

We currently have 99 people signed up on the waiting list, and fully expect to sell out once registration *officially* opens on Aug.1st. (For folks on the waiting list, we will open registration towards the end of July.)



First off, before Aug.1st, students will save $200 on the course. That is close to 40% off! Afterwards, the price will be $497.

Second, you will have access to awesome video tutorials packed with techniques, tips, tricks, and technology to kick-start your Rockstar Scribe status.

Third, those who have signed up are already sharing their hopes, dreams, and artwork in the Rockstar Trailer, a platform for uploading photos and  videos as we go through this creative journey together. So, this is truly interactive and, er, dare I say,... fun!

Finally, there are some pretty deep discounts available for groups of 5 or more, so bringing along friends and colleagues with pay off.



Funny you should ask...

       Become a Rockstar Scribe at School or Work

Hope to see you in our August class!

Remote Graphic Capture for Vanderbilt Center for Teaching

Mind map created remotely from Dallas and projected live in Nashville during the workshop.

This workshop for university faculty and staff featured many tools for physical and virtual facilitators and educators, including remote graphic capture and presentation on group  facilitation and graphic recording by Alphachimp Studio Inc.

From the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching (CFT):

Our brains are wired to rapidly make sense of and remember visual input. Visualizations in the form of diagrams, charts, drawings, pictures, and a variety of other ways can help students understand complex information. A well-designed visual image can yield a much more powerful and memorable learning experience than a mere verbal or textual description.

On Wednesday, March 17th the CFT hosted  Show and Tell: Integrating Visual Thinking in Your Teaching in order to begin dialogue about how we might tap into our students’ ability to think visually when teaching.

To see the results and access the list of visual methods, tools, books and resources from the workshop, visit:



12 Brain-Mind Principles - Geoffrey & Renata Caine

From Diane Durand:

How do we learn? How do we make connections? T

hese are questions I have wondered for many years. I spent the early part of my career trying to understand and enhance how adults learn as individuals and groups. Now I am raising two children ages one and five. The five-year-old has made incredible connections in her brain between colors, science, play, and reading.

Now as I work with a new little one, I am trying to remember: "What did I do with her older sister to help her learn?"

Life and learning is incredible. 

I came across the model above, which I drew several years ago from some material Peter had brought back from a conference. At this particular conference he had the pleasure to meet Geoffrey and Renata Caine authors of 12 Mind/Brain Principles. 

I loved the principles right away.  I then created the image above to help me. (I learn best with a pen in hand.)

Kindle: Future Book

See what Amazon's Kindle is like. Besides being wireless (with no service plan!), the display uses electronic ink instead of backlit displays, allowing for easy reading outside in any light.

An electrophoretic display is an information display that forms visible images by rearranging charged pigment particles using an applied electric field.

clipped from
Amazon Kindle: Amazon's new wireless reading device

For Any Teacher Out There... Watch This

What is the learning environment like today?

What is happening as the 19th century model (teacher + chalkboard) collides with the new media tools (iPod + laptop + Wifi)?

How many hours do they spend in class? On the phone? On Facebook? How do the current educational methods even begin to prepare them for jobs that don't even exist yet?

This short video summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. Created by Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.