Case study: Old’s Cool Intergenerational Project

Case study: Old’s Cool Intergenerational Project

In April 2021, we caught up with Ryan McKay from the Citadel where he shared how his young people from their Old’s Cool Intergenerational Project benefited from learning drawing and visual storytelling skills.  

 

What is Old’s Cool?

The Old’s Cool Intergenerational Project was launched in August 2015, and it supports young people to facilitate intergenerational activities with older people in their community and to record and present their work in a medium of their choice.

 

Why make use of drawing?

During a pandemic, it was always going to be difficult to deliver Old’s Cool.  With the added challenge of having to bring together both young and older people over Zoom, it was vital we used an approach that could engage both generations successfully.   As a graduate of the secrets of simple graphics course, when our young people expressed a desire to explore a creative method of capturing their Covid19 stories with older people, I knew Emer was the ideal partner to support us.

 

What did you do in your sessions?

Over the course of the project, Emer delivered 3 sessions exploring drawing and visual storytelling skills, with one taking place over Zoom and two in person at the Citadel.  Following this, our young people interviewed the older participants primarily over Zoom using their new drawing skills to capture their Covid19 stories.

Our first session over Zoom delivered an introduction to drawing and despite some considerable technical issues, the experience provided a fun and engaging way of connecting both generations.  Zoom can often feel very artificial, and this was especially true for our older participants who were new to the platform.  However, by focussing on drawing we were able to provide a familiar experience, which in turn, enabled us to focus on connecting with one another.

 

Case study: Old’s Cool Intergenerational Project

“Zoom can be hard at times, but it’s always amazing to see the young people.” (Mary – Older Person)

 

For our second session, Emer trained the young people to utilise icebreaker drawing activities and visual recording techniques.  The young people then used these techniques when interviewing the older participants.

“We used the ice breaker exercises to allow our brains to start thinking more creatively, as well as it being an exercise that all generations found easy and fun!”  (Macie – Young Person)

 

For our final session with Emer, the young people were led through an interactive final graphic workshop, to collate all the stories they had captured from the older people.  These stories were categorised by theme, helping to highlight the similarities and differences in how the young and older people experienced the Covid19 pandemic.  Having a final graphic also provided the young people a finished project to share.

 

Case study: Old’s Cool Intergenerational Project

 

What did you learn?

The young people ended their Old’s Cool experience by delivering a presentation sharing their learning as part of the intergenerational place making  Age-Friendly-Living-Ecosystem project. This included sharing their final graphic and their top 3 tips for delivering digital intergenerational work:

  1. Don’t overcomplicate it – sometimes using the tried and tested can work just as well.  On one session we struggled to get Zoom working so we interviewed the older person over the phone, and it was great!
  2. Have a backup – when thinking about this tip, our young people all agreed when you go on holiday you should always remember to pack extra underwear! This is a funny reminder to always have a backup plan, as delivering any digital work will inevitably have unexpected challenges.
  3. It’s not all about technology – when delivering digital intergenerational work, it can be easy to become preoccupied with technology.  Remember it’s relationships that really matter and don’t forget to consider the feelings of the older people you are trying to connect with.

 

 

Anything else you would like to add?

 On completing 11 sessions of Old’s Cool and over 30 hours activity our young people had this to say:

“In a nutshell, digital intergenerational work has its challenges, but it’s super rewarding and lots of fun!”

Case Study: Anat’s Story

Case Study: Anat’s Story

We caught up with Anat Shabi, who attended Secrets of Simple Graphics Online in June 2020, to ask some questions about her experience.

Anat Shabi SOSG June 2020 Case Study 2

What motivated you to attend the training in the first place? What problems were you experiencing that you hoped the training would address?
As a facilitator, I used to spend hours guiding and capturing group learnings on flipcharts (remember those?) I wanted to simplify the communications and believed that simple graphics would add an element of clarity and fun.

Whilst I loved the idea of graphics, I lacked confidence in my ability and had no idea how or where to begin.

How are you using what you’ve learned?
Simple graphics now feature in many of my social media posts. They make for a refreshing change and get my ideas across with greater clarity. Prior to this, I used to spend ages looking for the right image to go with my post. Now I can just create it.

More recently, I have created postcards with build instructions for mindful Lego®SeriousPlay exercises. Postcards are pretty small and as such I couldn’t squeeze much information onto them. The use of graphics helped simplify the text and introduce an added element of fun.

Anat Shabi SOSG June 2020 Case Study 4

 

What kind of results are you getting? What kind of feedback are you getting?
It seems that people are more appreciative of a post that looks a little different. My social media posts which include graphics tend to generate more responses.

In addition, at a time when most communications occur online, the use of graphics has injected light-heartedness into my presentations, appreciated by my audience.

Anat Shabi SOSG June 2020 Case Study 1

What would you say has been the overall impact of using visual thinking/simple graphics in your work?
Simple graphics have enhanced my communications. They are a great attention grabber and have worked well to help simplify wordy narratives.

On a personal level, the use of simple graphics has boosted my confidence in my ability to draw. It is a fun, colourful and mindful exercise which has stimulated my creative thinking with surprising results.

What would you say to someone who is considering going on the training?
Just do it! Emer is a wonderful guide, making the learning journey simple, exciting, and easy. You will be surprised at your own creativity!

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you Emer for making something that seemed beyond my reach attainable, and so much fun.

Anat Shabi SOSG June 2020 Case Study 3

Anat Shabi is a business development facilitator and coach based in London. She works closely with Healthcare managers to help build strong platforms for team growth and success.  Her workshops are enriched using Lego®SeriousPlay, an innovative and creative tool that helps to explore thinking, expand on ideas, and build strong connections.

All the artwork in this article has been created by Anat.

 

Feel inspired by Anat and keen to get creative in 2021? Book your place now for the next Secrets of Simple Graphics Online 6-week course.

Already been on Secrets of Simple Graphics? Reignite your passion with our *brand new course* Even More Secrets of Simple Graphics starting April 26th. Find out more here >>.

 

Case Study: Beth’s Story

Case Study: Beth’s Story

We caught up with Beth Collier, who attended Secrets of Simple Graphics Online in June 2020, to ask some questions about her experience.

What motivated you to attend the training in the first place? What problems were you experiencing that you hoped the training would address?
enjoyed drawing as a child but stopped when I was about 10 years old. I always thought I had more enthusiasm for drawing than natural talent!

How are you using what you’ve learned?
It’s sparked my curiosity for more artistic endeavours – and renewed the joy I once found for drawing. I’ve done more drawing (including Emer’s videos) with my daughter, and a Picasso painting class. I did a hand-lettering course, a course on making GIFs, and I’ve also been teaching myself how to use Canva.

 

What kind of results are you getting? What kind of feedback are you getting?
I’m having fun and I’m learning – and that was the goal.

I have shared a few of my drawings on LinkedIn, and I hope it encourages people to try drawing – regardless of their ability. I believe they can improve their skills – and use drawing or other artistic endeavours to have fun.

What would you say to someone who is considering going on the training?
Go for it! Emer is a kind and supportive coach, and you CAN learn how to draw simple graphics.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you, Emer!

 

Beth Collier is a communication, creativity, and leadership consultant based in London. Through team workshops and 1:1 coaching, she helps her clients become more capable and confident speakers and writers, and more creative thinkers and leaders. She weaves her experiences from 15+ years in the corporate world (and plenty of pop culture references) into her writing, which can be found on her website.

All the artwork in this article has been created by Beth.

 

Feel inspired by Beth and keen to get creative in 2021? Book your place now for the next Secrets of Simple Graphics Online 6-week course.

Three ways to use Zoom whiteboard for facilitation

Three ways to use Zoom whiteboard for facilitation

And then…my whole wide world went Zoom.

Love it or loathe it Zoom has become a large part of our lives. From virtual pub quizzes to virtual learning Zoom is here to stay.

As a facilitator, have you thought about how Zoom can support your facilitation processes? What has really piqued my interest is the use of Zoom Whiteboards to support the collaboration and co-creation of ideas.

 

Here are three ways you can use Zoom whiteboards for facilitation:

  • Establishing a Group Contract/Working Agreement

As a facilitator you may, at the beginning of a session, invite a group to share the norms and behaviours they feel need to be in place in order for everyone to get the most of the session. Using a Zoom whiteboard for this exercise makes it particularly collaborative. Instead of the facilitator noting what each person says, individuals themselves use the ‘Annotate’ tool on Zoom to draw or type in their responses, thus co-creating the group contract.

 

  • Dot Voting

Dot voting is a great way to garner opinion on a topic or decision. In a real-life setting ideas are shared using post-it notes on a flipchart or wall, then each person is given a certain number of dot stickers which they then go and place next to their preferred idea(s).
With a Zoom whiteboard a facilitator can note down ideas in text on the Whiteboard and participants can vote on their ideas using the Stamp function within the Annotate menu. Stamp gives us the ability to add a green tick (or heart for example) beside our preferred idea. An added bonus is that the voting process is anonymous (unless you use the arrow for stamping; as a facilitator exclude that from the options), thus reducing (in part) group think bias.

 

  • Checking in for understanding

This can be used in many ways, one way for example is to check to ensure everyone has a shared understanding of a problem. Using the Breakout function break people into groups and invite them to draw out the problem. The whiteboard function in Zoom allows people to draw on the whiteboard at the same time. Smaller groups can work together scribbling on the board, drawing out their shared understanding.

 

I hope this has given you some food for thought for your next facilitation session. Do make sure that you regularly familiarise yourselves with the latest Zoom security updates.

 

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Video: A future visioning tool

Video: A future visioning tool

I’ve made another video – this time it’s one where you actually see my face! I hope you like it. I’m on a mission to get more comfortable with creating videos (I find it strange not having an audience!) so I’d love to hear what you think and what tips you have for improvement.

Today I’m sharing a future visioning technique. If you have difficulty imagining what your future may look like give this technique a try – click on the image below to watch the video. Let me know in the comments how you get on.


If you enjoyed that you may be excited to know that the pilot of the brand new programme Draw Out Your Future is now open for enrolment. The 6-week programme kicks off on Tuesday, January 12th 7pm GMT and I can’t wait to meet everyone.

This programme has been designed so that we can all feel excited about our future regardless of what else is going on in the world.

Over the course of 6 weeks we will:

  • Learn a clear process for drawing out your future (no artistic skills required) that you can reuse time and time again, using visual goal setting and action planning
  • Gain focus, clarity and direction in your life so that you feel calm and in control of your destiny
  • Feel excited about your future and use that excitement to propel you forward
  • Boost your self-esteem so that you feel more resilient when dealing with life’s obstacles
  • Harness the power of the collective and be part of a unique supportive community

We’ll be using digital visual templates which you will get copies of to use and reuse at will 😊.  Let’s start 2021 as we mean to go on – with creativity, flair and purpose.

And as this is a pilot programme, places are going for around half the price of what I intend to sell them for.  There will be a maximum of 12 people on the programme so be sure to act quickly to secure your place!  You can also sign-up for a bundle package which includes three 1:1 coaching sessions alongside the 6-week programme.

 

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