Visual capture at Express Scripts’ 2019 Experience Diversity Summit

We were truly honored and privileged to be a part of Express Scripts’ annual Experience Diversity Summit again this year.

If you’re paying attention to news and social media, then you’re no doubt aware of the need for greater inclusivity and equality in all aspects of life. The Experience Diversity Summit, Express Scripts’ seventh, gives a full and unfettered context to the soundbites and headlines you see day-to-day. It’s a venue for those whose stories all too often go unheard.

Engagements like this one present a unique challenge that we don’t experience as often during our normal workshops. In 90% of our client discovery sessions, we’re drawing on whiteboards and flipchart pages, and the drawings are based on a back and forth conversation. Everything we capture helps us to gather information to tell the story in some other way—in an animation, an infographic, and PowerPoint deck, etc.

The Diversity Summit, and conferences like it, don’t afford us the luxury of asking clarifying questions like, “What does that look like?” or “Could you repeat that?” Our role, instead, is focused on graphically capturing as many ideas as possible from a keynote speaker, storyteller, or panelist—live and without a rewind button.

This means we generally do less filtering and simply draw as much of what we’re hearing as possible. And having a large canvas (in this case a 4×8’ board) is key to moving with speed, as you don’t have to grab a new flipchart page every few minutes. It’s also helpful to have a second artist at the board. That way, one person can capture the thought with a drawing, and the other artist can come in after and refine with color, labels, or additional visuals, helping to finesse the capture.

It would be an understatement to say that a day spent at an event like this is an inspirational one. With each speaker came new eye-opening revelations on inclusivity and equality. During each panel, insights about race and culture were abundant. And it was exciting to have the chance to draw along with each one, and help to get those stories out into the world.