B.A.? Sooner than you think!

On EuViz 2014: An interview with Loa Baastrup
Interview: Jost Burger

How does one become a Visual Facilitator? This is what the "Education, Learning, Training" workshop will be about. One thing's for sure: The B.A. is coming - sooner as we might think. And Visualization is going to be the tool of choice for solving just any kind of problem.


Visualizing means applying one of the most natural and human problem solving strategies there ever was, says Loa Baastrup.Together with Ole Qvist-Sørensen she is leading the workshop on Education, Learning and Training at the EuViz 2014. Both Baastrup and Qvist-Sørensen are founding members of the Danish consultancy "Bigger Picture", whose work is based on visualization. An interview about where to train to be a Visual Facilitator, when there’ll be the first university courses and how we are going to deal with complexity in the future.

Could you give us an outline of what your Track will be about? 

Our track will explore where and how in the world the skills of graphic facilitation / visual facilitation are being taught - in schools, universities, MBA and in business in general. With leading experts already experimenting with various educational programs - and with anyone intrigued by learning.

How will it be put into practice? 

During the track session 1 (Wednesday), we will have 3 short inspirational presentations giving a rough outline of a learning / education landscape, this is followed by adding insights and inputs from those who join. We will aim at co-creating a first draft of this landscape (connecting the dots). The second session (Friday) will also feature 3 short presentations focused on what the future seems to be bringing. This sets the scene for an exploring of types of educational programs the session participants can imagine being offered in the near future.

Trainers everywhere are already using elements of visualizations. How are modern visualization techniques different? 

We believe that today the way visualization is used is more and more about collaboration and engagement, rather than teaching. The visuals are used to tackle an increasing complexity. And much more so than in the past, technical capacities for handling large amounts of (visual) data, sharing and spreading, is increasing the impact and value of the techniques.

When you‘re conducting workshops, are you usually able to build on what people already know? 

Yes - we have as a core principle of our learning approach applied to both workshops, conferences and trainings, that everyone contributes and hereby tapping into the knowledge and experience of the ones in the room.

Do you think there will ever be a B.A. for Visualization Facilitators? If so, how long do you think it's going to take? 

Yes - we see the patterns out there, and are ourselves involved in steps towards such a BA (it may come sooner than anyone thinks).

How do you expect your own field to develop? 

The speed in which the field is developing an taking shape, has taken longer than we thought, but is now happening faster than imagined. It is hard to see areas in work and life, where it is not applicable. It will be integrated in all sectors - and maybe even invisible due to the fact that it is such a natural way of working which has now found widespread use.

And how do expect visualization to develop in general? 

Just as the visual user interface of technological devices has transformed worlds over the last 10-25 years in ways not imagined, we expect that 10-15 years from now our technological capabilities will enable us to navigate in virtual and real worlds, where information and knowledge is visualized and facilitated in such ways that hyper-complex challenges can be tackled at a rapid speed. This means we - with the development of visualization techniques and practices - will be able to solve most of the challenges we face.

What are your expectations for the EuViz 2014? 

To meet, share, inspire, learn and become inspired to continue developing the field, with more connections and higher aspirations than before EuViz 2014.

The interview was conducted by e-mail.


"We believe that today the way visualization is used is more and more about collaboration and engagement, rather than teaching." Loa Baastrup: B.A.? Sooner than you think!

"It is hard to see areas in work and life where visualization is not applicable." Loa Baastrup: B.A.? Sooner than you think!

"This means we - with the development of visualization techniques and practices - will be able to solve most of the challenges we face.." Loa Baastrup: B.A.? Sooner than you think!


changeX 17.07.2014. Alle Rechte vorbehalten, all rights reserved.


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Jost Burger

Jost Burger ist freier Journalist in Berlin. Er schreibt als freier Mitarbeiter für changeX.

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