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Visual Tools for Social Change Leadership at RCLA

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Visual Explorer™: Visual Tools for Social Change Leadership at RCLA

May 01, 2008

Visual Tools for Social Change Leadership at RCLA

In their May 2008 newsletter the Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) at the Wagner School, NYU, announces the Social Change Leadership Network: "The Network will sponsor a dynamic set of activities and facilitate important connections among leaders that advance their knowledge and work ... We hope the Network will help leaders and their organizations become increasingly effective in advancing social change." more>>

The same issue talks about using visual tools for "facilitating difficult conversations, building connections among diverse groups of people, and convening leaders to problem solve or address the challenges of critical social issues." The newsletter links to a terrific Practice Note on "Visual Tools in Facilication ... our experience and learnings with three visual tools: Visual Explorer, Graffiti Wall, and Murals/Tapestries." open the Practice Note>>

RCLA researcher / practitioners report outcomes from these visual tools that reinforce and extend what we have experienced in using Visual Explorer:
"In our experience, the use of visual tools in facilitation has been valuable in:
• Encouraging inclusion and participation;
• Tapping into artistic and creative ways of expression that are often ignored or disregarded;
• Tapping into tacit knowledge;
• Triggering thoughtful conversation and dialogue;
• Allowing groups to discuss or express complex issues in a non-threatening way;
• Building group cohesion;
• Aiding memory recall and retention;
• Varying energy and format in group processes."
Of special interest to Visual Explorer users is their combination of murals / tapestries and VE. "A mural or tapestry is a visual collage of ideas, issues, or questions that revolve around a common theme." In a program targeting young leaders and encouraging their involvement in the policy making process,
"The youth were asked to conceptualize a policy area/social problem that interests each of them, by using Visual Explorer. After this exercise and subsequent discussions, each person was asked to draw the envisioned solution to his/her issue of interest with the intention of creating a collective mural. The ‘pieces’ were then placed together into a mural that represented all policy issues of interest to the group, the solutions foreseen, and the connections between the issues, as well as the complexity faced. At the end of the process was a collective creative work that connected individuals’ interests and desired changes." more on VE at RCLA>>
The Connected Leadership Project at the Center for Creative Leadership is proud to be a collaborator with RCLA in building relational leadership theory, research and practice, most centrally with the Leadership for a Changing World Project.

See also
Visualisation in Participatory Programmes (UNICEF)

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