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Episode 069

July 15, 2020

069: Unflattening: An Attitude that will Expand Our Thinking with Nick Sousanis

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    workshops work is a podcast for facilitators, by a facilitator, about facilitation… so why have I invited Assistant Professor of Humanities and Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University and comic book artist Nick Sousanis to join me in this episode?

    I read Nick’s remarkable work ‘Unflattening’ recently and immediately knew that the world of facilitation needed to know about it. I was delighted when he accepted my invitation!

    What followed was a beautiful exchange of ideas and reflections from two distant fields, worlds that do not normally collide but have more in common than you might first think.

    This is a very special episode of workshops work – and one that I think could change our practice in a deep and powerful way.

    Find out about

    • Why trying to think outside of the boxes we are in isn’t necessarily a good idea
    • The most important question Nick believes we need to answer in this moment in time
    • Why unflattening is a journey, not a destination
    • Why images aren’t simply aesthetic, but communicative in novel and detailed ways
    • How creative constraints and limits help us learn, grow, and unflatten

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    Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.

    A huge thank you must go to SessionLab, the sponsor of Workshops Work. Claim your free two months of SessionLab Pro now – this deal is exclusive to Workshops Work listeners!

    Questions and Answers

    01:44 Is it correct that Unflattening was your dissertation?

    02:33 What prompted you to draw your dissertation?

    05:25 Where was the idea of Unflattening born?

    08:58 How does Unflattening relate to ‘thinking outside the box’?

    12:47 Did you create Unflattening to intentionally remove as many of these ‘boxes’ as possible?

    17:47 What is the magic ingredient for hearing each other’s arguments?

    22:27 Is Unflattening a journey, a philosophy, a destination?

    27:51 How can we practice Unflattening when it comes to emotive topics?

    31:50 What can pictures teach us that words cannot?

    36:21 How do you encourage people to follow the path of your writing without being too explicitly directional?

    45:05  What makes a workshop – or a class – fail?

    01:02:13  What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this episode?

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