A Week of Giving Back

nature-in-the-city-chart

This week has been about giving back. It started off doing some graphic recording for Colorado State University's Center for Public Deliberation as students facilitated an event for the City of Fort Collins' new initiative to plan for green space in the city in the future called Nature in the City. The folks running the project solicited input from city leaders on what kinds of parks, green spaces, and wildlife habitat were most visually appealing to them and why, to guide the planning process.

 Students share their map of a conservation collaborative.

Students share their map of a conservation collaborative.

I also had the opportunity to be a guest teacher in three classes at Colorado State University this week teaching about graphic recording, visual thinking and participatory decision-making. Working with both graduate and undergraduate students focusing on Conservation Leadership and collaborative conservation, I shared my thoughts on how visual thinking can be a useful tool when working with diverse groups and complex situations.

The students blew me away with their willingness to jump in with both feet and a rainbow palette of markers to process the projects they are working on. Many of the graduate students will be traveling internationally next spring to partner with agencies across the globe to help research and implement conservation work.

 Conservation Leadership through Learning students discussing their program and projects.

Conservation Leadership through Learning students discussing their program and projects.

Additionally, I'm delighted to do some drawing for the FoCo Cafe, a pay-what-you-can restaurant rooted in local food, building community, sharing stories and meals, and every person should be treated with dignity. Here's a "before" snapshot of the large chalk boards that will show and describe how the FoCo Cafe works. Stay tuned for updates on the final product!

 Donated chalk boards -- before!

Donated chalk boards -- before!

 ...and after! With Jeff, co-founder of the FoCo Cafe! Soon they will be hanging above the counter. 

...and after! With Jeff, co-founder of the FoCo Cafe! Soon they will be hanging above the counter.