Do you live in or near the Boston area? Have you seen or been interested in learning more about “scribing”—an artistic practice that visually represents ideas while people talk? Maybe you are already familiar with sketch noting, white boarding, flip charting, or other forms of making the spoken word come alive on a page in various formats, and you want to know how to use these methods in a facilitative way?

If any of the above sounds familiar, then consider joining use for one or more “taster” studio sessions. Each 3-hour module will provide some basic frameworks, tools, and time for reflection on how the learning could be applied back in your own working context.


Studio Sessions:

  • The Art of Scribing – Sunday, October 6 from 9am-12pm
    Learn about the “art of scribing”—a practice that visually represents ideas while people talk—and its role in transforming conversation and decision-making. Participants will explore the profession, learn 4 Levels of Scribing, and experiment with scribing conversation.
  • Levels of Listening – Saturday, October 12 from 9am-12pm
    Listening is a cornerstone of all facilitative work. This session will include a review of “Levels of Listening” (by Otto Scharmer), and apply the levels directly to scribing. Participants will practice conversing and drawing with different levels: factual, relational, and generative.
  • Systems Scribing – Sunday, October 13 from 9am-12pm
    Here we dive into the basics of systems scribing and present a framework based on systems thinking, systems being, and systems living (as informed by this article and collaboration with Jessica Riehl). Participants will learn specific methods and techniques for recognizing basic feedback loops in conversation and mapping systems, including 2D modeling.


Who should participate?

These sessions are open to anyone who is interested in the “live” visual practice of scribing, with no previous experience required. Drawing will be our primary form of expression, and conversation the primary form of shared reflection. Ages 12 and older welcome. No childcare provided on site.


Delivery Team


Kelvy Bird has been working as a scribe in the fields of human and organizational development since 1995, with a focus on innovation, collective intelligence, and systems thinking. As part of the Presencing Institute since 2007, Kelvy has helped shape many of the global community offerings, most recently the edX course u.lab, for which she provides extensive visual material. In 2016, she co-edited the anthology: Drawn Together through Visual Practice, and in 2018 released Generative Scribing: A Social Art of the 21st Century. Kelvy received a BFA and BA from Cornell University, and currently lives in Somerville, MA USA. More


Bess Paupeck is a curator-producer-artist and maker of experiences that forge connection to community, self, story, and our shared humanity.  Bess lives and works in the Boston area and over the years has worked with many cultural institutions, including the MIT Museum, the Somerville Museum, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Harvard University, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Science, the Somerville Arts Council and the Nave Gallery.  Living life as a work-in-progress, a love for making, teaching, listening, building, curating, arts production and community engagement come together in the offerings she creates on the daily.





Washington Street Art Center, 321 Washington St # D, Somerville, MA 02143.
Note there is some limited parking on site and in the area. T and bus information to be provided.


Each session will follow this schedule:

  • Coffee and tea welcome: 8:30-9:00am
  • Studio Session: 9:00am – 12:00pm


  • Rate One: $100 (Working Professionals)
  • Rate Two: $50 (Students, Artists)

The registration fee includes supplies and course materials.

Refund Policy: Unfortunately for these sessions there will be no refund policy.


Adjacent Events

Gallery Exhibit: SCRIBING: An Art of the 21st Century.

Engage with an array of examples from around the world that give an overview of scribing—a visual practice that represents ideas as people talk. Maybe you are already familiar with sketch noting, white boarding, flip charting, or other forms of visual documentation? If so, and if not, here is an opportunity to learn more about this unusual art form that combines 2D representation with modeling and awareness-based methods to, essentially, help systems see and sense their situations and dynamics, to reflect and inform conscious action.
Local resident and global practitioner Kelvy Bird has curated original large-scale pieces, reproductions from digital archives, and videos of drawings being created. There will be explanation of each piece to help the audience find their way into the practice, which usually occurs in real-time, at a client site, in a meeting setting, and in front of anywhere between 12 and 10,000 people.
Location: Washington Street Art Center at 321 Washington St # D, Somerville, MA 02143
Dates: October 4-28, 2019
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4pm each day