Day 1: Vision


*Note: This event has passed. Please view the recording below.

Inspiring Creativity

It starts with a bad meeting — maybe you’ve been at one (or three). It was a meeting drowning in complicated information; a meeting where the loudest person’s voice wins, leaving you unsure why you were even invited. A meeting where you left big parts of yourself — and who you are — at home or at the door. You leave feeling disconnected from your work, and from others.

This is where the need for visual practice begins. Visual practice helps us access new ways of thinking and being together. In this talk, Sam Bradd will share some things he has observed as a graphic facilitator and global consultant, and he’ll break down some myths. One of these myths is “but drawing is unprofessional — I can’t do this at my job,” and another is “but I’m not an artist!” and we’ll talk about why these might not be true. We’ve never had more access to information, but what we do with it is what matters. Let’s use the power of visuals for a more just and equitable world, to start.

Sam Bradd

An image of Sam Bradd

Sam (he/him) is a graphic facilitator, meeting facilitator, and the principal of Drawing Change. Sam combines 20 years’ facilitation experience with visual tools to help groups engage, solve problems, and lead. His clients make the world a better place, and he amplifies their work by transforming complex info into something joyful. Together, they’re drawing change.

Throughout his career, Sam has worked with collaborators in 12 countries, with the World Health Organization, Indigenous communities, and groups working to change the world. He has an MEd in educational studies (UBC) and is a Dialogue Fellow with the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. Sam’s facilitation integrates frameworks from appreciative inquiry, systems thinking, participatory decision making, and uses an intersectional and anti-racism lens. He is the co-editor of two books — including Drawn Together through Visual Practice (2016) — and a number of book chapters and is a co-founder of the award-winning Graphic History Collective. He’s a white settler of Italian and Scottish background and lives on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories.


Katarina (Kat) Thorsen

Kat (she/her) is an artist, writer, and creative engagement facilitator who is passionate in her belief that art can heal and build connections. Kat specializes in arts-based programming for all ages and demographics, particularly vulnerable populations. The heart of her work is visual storytelling, restorative practices, whole-brain engagement, and facilitation. Kat’s interactive art events and street art encourage participants to become part of the creative process. Her own artwork can be found in private collections in North America and Europe.

Kat is currently an associate of the Centre for Restorative Justice at Simon Fraser University and the program director at Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society. A passionate writer, illustrator, and researcher, she published her first book — Drawn Together: Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Art — in 2013. Her current project is a true-crime analysis in the form of a graphic novel and a television series. Kat resides in Vancouver, B.C.

Jason Toal

Jason Toal

Jason (he/him) is a designer, educator, and educational media producer working at Simon Fraser University located on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Kwikwetlem nations. He brings 25 years’ experience to his role supporting instructors to design engaging learning experiences. From the sketchbook to a web page, Jason works with educators to find creative ways to share knowledge.

As an artist, Jason has explored drawing across many practices. Art, activism, graphic recording, visual facilitation, and careful thought all find their way into his visual approach. His ongoing passion for promoting the use of the “pencil” in teaching and learning has given him superpowers in sketch noting, storyboarding and comics, and in a variety of media, both traditional and digital.

Jason is currently working remotely on the traditional territories of the Okanagan (Syilx) Nation.

Susan Clements-Vivian

Susan (she/her) is a senior lecturer in the School for Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University and is known for her innovative use of participatory sketching while lecturing. Participatory sketching involves the students and Susan working together to create visual notes during the lecture. These visual notes replace what is traditionally located in slides, readings and on the course management system. Visual notes are then referenced throughout the course as core learning materials. Susan developed this style of teaching through the completion of several teaching and learning development grants. She is currently working on an open educational resource on visual thinking for educators with Jason Toal and Kat Thorsen.