Harvesting is an approach we use with groups who are interested in helping the participants of a session understand content and conversations at a systems-level, with an attention toward emergent themes, patterns and points of divergence and convergence across a set of sessions, modules or conversations.

Often we use this approach in conjunction with the more focused panel or presentation scribing, so that participants are able to both see the detail in the pieces and see the connections across the pieces. This tandem approach requires two or more scribes on site, and requires a bit more upfront planning and coordination with the Client. This upfront work is largely around co-developing a visual structure or framework within which the content of a session will be placed – often these are structures that the organization is already using or referencing, which helps participants engage with the content more readily.

These knowledge walls can be very large – ranging from 10 to 100 feet, depending on the complexity and duration of the event, the size of the team of scribes, and the available floor or wall space!

We frequently work with Clients to devise engaging processes whereby participants are actually able to contribute (either in their own hand or through adding post-it notes) to the content that is captured on the wall. We also have integrated content from social media in sessions where we want to ensure outside voices are represented in the final image as well.

These integrated images, as they evolve over the course of a 1-5 days, are incredibly useful for participants to track their understanding alongside the physical progress of the wall. As a standalone image, the final digital picture allows participants to communicate their experience, further bridging the off-site time with “back at the office” application of gleaned insight.


Synthesis, harvesting, sense-making, meta-level graphic facilitation, dot-connecting