Tag: Elizabeth Pastor

05
Jun

ReAppreciating Richard Saul Wurman

Starving for Understanding?

Required historical background reading for anyone joining Humantific is Richard Saul Wurman’s Information Anxiety, published in this first edition in 1989. Years later Richard did a refresh and republished the book as Information Anxiety 2. The later version is easier to find than the original book. Either is recommended if you want to better understand the remarkable time-warp story of how the Understanding Business, the Explaining Business, the SenseMaking Business actually preceded, by decades, the Big Data business.

Of course, all of the technology-related references inside Information Anxiety are now dated, but Richard’s central message remains even more relevant today than when it first appeared. Forget all the Big Data buzz for a moment. It was 20+ years ago that Richard began expressing concern about “the black hole between data and knowledge” and “the widening gap between what we understand and what we think we should understand”. It is rather amazing to consider Information Anxiety in the timeline of technology history. It was in 1989 that the world-wide-web began appearing in public and Apple introduced its Mac SE/30 and the Mac 11ci, running at 25 MHz with an 80 megabyte hard drive!Continue Reading..

25
May

Reflections at 10,000 Feet

The Real Life Bird’s Eye View (or Why I Love to Look from Above).

Flying over Manhattan. May 2013.

These days I get on a plane often. And with repetition and familiarity comes lack of attention to things around you. Yet every time I get a window seat, I hang out the small window like a child, at least as much as you can on a plane. The clouds are something you never get tired of staring at… so fluffy and airy… you just want to reach out and touch them.

Oh, and the view, that bird’s eye view of our world. Not sure why I am so fascinated by looking down… even when there is little to see or when the scenery is quite similar. I guess it makes everything come into place for me in a visual way… everything makes sense.

We live our lives at that 10 feet level (well for me it’s more like 5 feet!). That’s our vantage point, and how we make sense of things. And yet, when we come up to those 10,000 feet, we abstract ourselves from that 10 feet reality and look at life in action from a different perspective. It’s not better or worse, it’s just different. It allows us to understand it in another way, and have a more complete picture. So that we understand why we are doing what we are doing everyday at that 10 foot level. In other words, it helps us reflect and align ourselves to where we want to go.

I probably enjoy this so much because this is what I do in life. What we do at Humantific. We help our clients and partners look at their opportunities and their challenges in different ways, from alternate perspectives… to think them through. They are typically very close to the 10 foot level, and have a hard time abstracting themselves to that 10,000 feet level. Because when you are in it, it’s hard to see beyond it.

Oh, how I love that bird’s eye view! You get to ask all the basic questions, or as I often like to call them, the dumb questions. And then create that picture of it all… To paint that view from above, to put the houses in the right place, and the mountains, the trees, the rivers and everything else… and then connect it to the 10 foot level view. It’s so much fun. It’s so valuable.

Need a bird’s eye view? We’d love to help!

27
Nov

Markets For Good Heavy Lift

Outlining an ambitious revolution in how information could, should, and hopefully will play a key role in future social change-making, long-time Humantific collaborator, Markets For Good, has published a new report entitled: “UpGrading The Information Infrastructure For Social Change”.

Forget the fluffy, high-profile, change-the-world stuff – someone has to do the hard work of building awareness of the need for more social change infrastructure, and our friends at Markets For Good have taken on that important heavy-lift task. Humantific is delighted to be helping!

Markets For Good is an effort to improve the system for generating, sharing, and acting upon data and information in the social sector. Our vision is of a social sector powered by information, where capital flows efficiently to the organizations that are having the greatest impact, programs and interventions are more effective and responsive, beneficiaries have a voice, and there is a dynamic culture of continuous learning, development, and innovation.”

“Our hope is that this paper, together with the new website www.marketsforgood.com, can help to expand and amplify a conversation to explore issues, discuss challenges, and discover the best approaches for getting and using better, more reliable, and more consistentdata in the social sector. While this paper is an outgrowth of numerous discussions among more than 20 social sector intermediaries that have been part of the Markets For Good collaboration, we realize that we are still very much at the beginning of this journey. As such, we intend this paper to be a ‘living document.'”

“We recognize that this vision is ambitious, and realizing it will require many technical, behavioral, and cultural changes….We look forward to your thoughts, and hope you join us as we imagine, and help build, a better tomorrow.”

You can dowload the new UpGrading The Information Infrastructure For Social Change” report here!

Humantific works with LiquidNet, LiquidNet for Good, Markets For Good, and several other organizations involved in this important social change initiative that is sponsored by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and LiquidNet.

Related:

Humantific facilitates Markets For Giving Workshop in NYC.

Mapping Markets For Good

Humantific is also involved in numerous other Social SenseMaking for ChangeMaking projects, including the ground-breaking Measure of America initiative.

 

19
Nov

Elizabeth Pastor at ESADE in Barcelona

Humantific CoFounder Elizabeth Pastor will be in Barcelona November 29 doing a two hour Introductory Visual SenseMaking Workshop for the ESADE Alumni Innovation Club. Organized by ESADE Alumni and open only to its membership. See how Humantific applies Visual SenseMaking to real-life business challenges. See how onboarding Visual SeneMaking capacity can fuel adaptability & agility in your organization.

If you would like to attend a future Humantific workshop in Madrid, Barcelona or New York send an email to programs (at) humantific (dot) com.

19
Nov

Elizabeth Pastor at ICADE in Madrid

Beginning Tuesday Nov 20, Humantific CoFounder, Elizabeth Pastor is in Madrid teaching cross-disciplinary Strategic CoCreation skills to MBA students at ICADE, one of Spain’s leading Business and Economics Universities. In the social business economy today we see interest in innovation, collaboration and sensemaking rising in every country and industry.

Strategic CoCreation skill-building is part of Humantific’s Complexity Navigation Program. These are 21st century leadership skills taught in experiencial workshops. It is a very different kind of experience from reading case studies! See how onboarding Complexity Navigation capacity can fuel adaptability & agility in your organization.

To inquire about having Humantific teach cross-disciplinary innovation skills, nextdesign thinking skills, complexity navigation skills in your organization or graduate program send an email to programs (@) humantific (dot) com

08
Nov

Elizabeth Pastor at Game Changers

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Humantific co-founder Elizabeth Pastor will be giving a talk on “Using Information Visualization to Prepare for ChangeMaking” at the Game Changers Conference in San Francisco, Monday Nov 11! See how onboarding Visual SeneMaking capacity can fuel adaptability & agility in your organization.

Related:

Making Sense of the Early SenseMakers

Elizabeth Pastor Teaching at ICADE in Madrid

Out of Balance Competition Launches

17
Oct

Making Sense of the Early SenseMakers

Thank you, William Playfair… for going beyond the words and the numbers.

As part of a “White Paper” we are doing at Humantific on the subject of data visualization, I have been enjoying revisiting some of the historical material from the 18th century. I always enjoy looking at the logic behind early data visualizations and learn a lot from the perspective of how to make things more understandable and clear.

For this study, I am spending more time specifically on William Playfair (1759-1823), among the first persons to create graphic representations of data (He was preceded by Joseph Priestly, who created the first timeline chart in 1765). Playfair is credited with being the inventor of line, bar and pie charts. For this paper, I am not focusing so much on how the charts work or don’t work, but, rather, what were they pictures of.

 William Playfair’s historic “Commercial and Political Atlas”, 1786,
described as the first major work to contain statistical graphs.

Reflecting on when this happened… I started to wonder: If Playfair came up with one of the first graphical representations of data, how did people make sense of all those numbers before? I mean, really, how did people actually make sense of everything before? 

When someone says the airplane was invented, we all think, “Wow, that was amazing,” but we don’t always put ourselves at that moment of time, and think about what it meant to not be able to get on a flight to go see your family across the ocean, to go down to the Caribbean for a beautiful vacation, to go to a meeting, etc, etc. I guess most of us would be much closer to our original birthplaces–and if we weren’t, we wouldn’t be going back that often.

So, back to that time when Playfair had that inspiration to represent numbers visually… or, as he called it, making “Data speak to the eyes”.  Being a visual learner, I can’t imagine what that would be like… the fact that studying any subject, would be just words and numbers. Would my ability to understand and learn (and go to the next level of learning and development) be seriously diminished? What would school have been for me growing up? Not that my school years reflected a tremendous amount of meaningful visualization, but it definitely was part of the vocabulary and it helped me learn better.

The second thought I had, was, being such a visual sensemaker myself, would I have started to draw things intuitively to understand them, or would I have stayed in that highly verbal world and struggled to operate in it?

I guess that we will never know the true answer to those questions since we can’t go back and unlearn all the visual language we now take for granted; however, I would venture to say (and I am sure many others would too) that it’s pretty likely that my ability to learn and excel would be diminished quite a bit. A highly verbal language only speaks to a part of the population, as we know from many studies on cognition and multiple intelligence theories.

Thank you, Playfair, for going beyond the words and the numbers, and revealing what is behind the data. For all of us visual thinkers and learners, it’s made a big difference! Really.

:::

[ And thank you to Howard Wainer and Ian Spence for republishing Playfair’s The Commercial and Political Atlas and Statistical Breviary ]

More on William Playfair on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Playfair

Image Source: Playfair, William. The Commercial and Political Atlas and Statistical Breviary. Wainer, H. and Spence, I., Eds. 2005. Humantific Collection, New York. Reproduced from Playfair’s Atlas, 3rd ed. London: J. Wallis, 1801.

Related on this Humantific blog:

Consider TIME / Big Data for WHEN?

26
Jun

SenseMaking at IDEAS to ACTION!

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Last week Elizabeth Pastor taught Humantific’s Glimpse into Visual SenseMaking Workshop at the IDEAS to ACTION International Conference on Creativity & Innovation in Atlanta hosted by the Creative Education Foundation. The CPSI Conference is an important event in the Applied Creatvity community that has been around for many years. It was launched in 1954 by Alex Osborn and is still rockin.

Feedback from the Humantific workshop has been extremely positive. One participant said that Elizabeth’s workshop was among the most valuable and successful at the event. We are pleased to hear that participants will be taking their new Visual SenseMaking skills into practice in their everyday lives.

Visual SenseMaking is one component in the Humantific Complexity Navigation Program that combines Strategic CoCreation, Design Research and Visual SenseMaking. These are 21st century leadership skills applicable to leaders in all industries.

See more on Complexity Navigation here:

Humantific at the BBC in London
Humantific at Instituto Europeo di Design in Madrid
Complexity Navigation Program

For information of how to get Humantific at your innovation event write to programs (@) humantific (dot) com

 

 

26
Jun

Humantific teaches at MBA Program

Humantific CoFounder, Elizabeth Pastor has been teaching cross-disciplinary strategic cocreation skills in one of Spain’s leading Business and Economics Universities, ICADE in Madrid. Elizabeth is teaching in the Executive MBA Program. Students are organizational leaders from diverse backgrounds and industries.

To learn more about how to tap into the teaching power of Humatific send an email to programs (@) humantific (dot) com

05
Jun

Humantific & FutureBankingLab

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All organizational leaders, perhaps especially those in the financial services industry, are facing enormous continous change today. For more than a year, Humantific has been working with the The Inter-American Development Bank’s FutureBankingLab designing and delivering a traveling proactive Beyond Banking Program.

The FutureBankingLab is essentially a multi-disciplinary, global think tank formed by institutions and experts in different areas of banking. It travels around the globe involving many stakeholders in structured dialogue.

Its purpose is to explore challenges and opportunties accross the global banking system at this time of great change. One of its functions is to promote sustainable governance principles that will empower the industry to thrive in a challenging future.

Having kicked off the program last year in Cologne, Germany, Humantific was recently invited back to lead the facilitation of another round of sessions in Madrid, this time focused on developing strategies to fund “The Missing Middle” in Latin America and the Caribbean’s financial sector, in  collaboration with IDB, BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria) and the MIF (Multilateral Investment Fund).