Tuesday, May 11, 2021

How would you visualize these ideas?

I've used visualizations to communicate ideas for more than 40 years. My work in retail advertising, from 1973 to 1990, contributed to this habit.  However, my need to share strategies of the volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs I led from 1975 to 2011 also encouraged visual thinking.

At the left is a graphic I used in the mid 1980s to describe the volunteer leadership team helping me lead the tutor/mentor program at Montgomery Ward's headquarters in Chicago.

At the right is a page from one of the print newsletters that I created in between 1993 and 2002.  This includes two elements that I've used often.  1) The "hub and spoke" design, representing the many different elements and types of mentoring and learning that could be made available to youth via an organized, site-based tutor/mentor program; and 2) a map of Chicago, with high poverty areas highlighted, and where organized tutor/mentor programs have been most needed for the past 40 years.

I started putting graphics into Power Point essays in the late 1990s and began putting them on this page in the early 2000s. 

I started this blog in 2005 and began embedding visualizations and maps in articles in 2006.  Here's one of the earliest examples. 

You could do a search for "tutor/mentor connection" plus any single word in this TAG cloud, then look at the images feature, and you'd find many of my graphics.  

You could also visit Pinterest.com/tutormentor, where I've posted many. 

A year or so ago I created a presentation that I posted on Slideshare, showing just a few of the visualizations that I've created. I've posted that below.

This is one of nearly 60 presentations that I share on https://www.slideshare.net/tutormentor

I host a similar number on Scribd.com.  Until December 2000 these were two different companies, but both are now owned by Scribd.com.  The presentation format differs between the two and for now, there's no cost to view presentations on SlideShare.  That probably will change  under the new management.

Between 2005 and 2015 interns worked with me every year, for as short a time as a week and as long as a semester, or a full year. I asked each to read my blog articles and look at my visualizations, then create their own interpretations.  Visit this page and you can see much of the work that was done.  Visit this page to see how I coached interns to do this work. 

Many of the visualizations I use in this blog were originally created as  part of multi-page presentations.  That means that there are probably hundreds of ideas that I've not pulled into articles, or that interns have not yet looked at.

That's where I'll close this article. With an invitation. 

Students in high schools and colleges, volunteers in business or faith groups, anyone concerned about the well-being of youth living in high poverty areas, could be taking my place in the photo at the left. You could be showing your own interpretations of the ideas I've been sharing and recruiting leaders, donors and volunteers to use these ideas in thousands of places.  

My voice is too small to have the impact needed. Add your own voice and others will join. Become a movement that changes how youth programs are supported and how they support kids as they move through school and into adult lives.

If you have questions I'd love to hear from you.  Post a comment, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIN.  

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