Starting a community…Who knew I’d walk down this path?

I am passionate about being in connection with folks. And, I’ve realized of late (through doing a deep dive into Nonviolent Communication Training) that I have a need to contribute. The question of how to share my love of visualization/visual thinking/drawing with more folks for whom this work is intriguing, a bit foreign, perhaps even scary, has been rolling about in my mind.

Honestly, I have done more than my share of coordinating groups and meetings over the years. I have no desire to be the glue that holds a group of folks together. I’m searching for people who share an interest in visualization AND who want to co-create the experiences. This isn’t another opportunity for me to be a trainer, facilitator, or coach. I want to have a place online where we can connect, choose dates, and activities for meetings. Such a site online can lead to spaces and experiences offline that enable us to learn, enjoy each other’s company, and time “plorking”/playing and working.

Creating such a forum/space feels like both “me” and “not me.” Striking a balance between my usual role as the person at the front, center or side of the room (as trainer, facilitator or graphic recorder) and wanting to co-create the experiences with whoever shows up online at the MeetUp New York City Visual Thinking Friends, and then in person on the meeting date is a challenge. Folks showing up in both places have interests and expertise in different areas. As we discovered together this week, they come wanting to learn in various ways— from “teach me how to draw this” to “I want to have a time and space to practice” and everything in between.

Our Graphic Jam

This has become an experiment in holding the space and watching the experience unfold—something I think will happen both similarly and differently every time. I wonder what aspects of the MeetUp will be constant (conventions such as greetings/check-in, planning for the future, closing, and sharing impressions), and which will be responsive to the people in that moment (types of activities, decision-making processes used, etc.)… I just don’t know yet.

How about you? Where are you in your groups, circles, or meetings? What is stimulating, fascinating, surprising, satisfying, and perhaps challenging, frustrating, discouraging, or overwhelming? What do you long for in your experiences? What tools and resources do you have or need to make the changes you—and perhaps others—desire?

If you are yearning for new ideas and practices, I have a few resources to offer. Over the past five years, I have been fascinated and supported by the work, experiential encounters, and materials of

  • Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea, both their book, A Leader in Every Chair, and the Circle Way Practicum
  • Points-of-You card decks, stories, materials, and activities
  • Art of Hosting—the variety of powerful conversational processes that enable the harnessing of our collective wisdom.

If you’re interested in having a conversation about how I have used these methods, let’s talk!

And, if you are in, or visiting NYC, be sure to visit our MeetUp, New York City Visual Thinking Friends, to learn about our next event!


3 replies
  1. GillC
    GillC says:

    Hi Jill,
    I am fascinated by the concept of a non-competitive community of practice; how to build one; how to create community agreements; how to manage ones own projections and how simply to enjoy the journey.
    My experience so far of the Bikablo community has been very positive and eye-opening.
    My experience of other visual communities hasn’t.
    I’d love to pick up conversation.
    Regards GillC

    • Jill Greenbaum
      Jill Greenbaum says:

      Hi Gill!

      So great to hear from you.

      My experience with Bikablo has bee wonderful—so many skilled and generous people.

      I’d be delighted to continue this conversation—let’s do it! We can continue here, connect through email or over Zoom. Lmk which suits you best.


  2. Fernando
    Fernando says:

    Hi Jill.
    Great post!
    Although I’m based in Sydney, Australia, I believe we share a common passion in the form of visualization, illustrations, and graphic recording.
    Look forward to reading and engaging more!
    Best regards,


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *