Note-taking can be a mundane and repetitive process that doesn’t always help inspire innovative new ideas. But that all changes when Guillaume Wiatr puts pen to paper.
Wiatr, CEO and founder of MetaHelm, has become a fixture at the GeekWire Summit. The 44-year-old positions himself just off the main stage at our annual tech conference with a large white canvas that he uses to sketch drawings inspired by the fireside chats and panel discussions.
Wiatr joined us for the third-straight year last week at the 2017 GeekWire Summit in Seattle, where on-stage discussions ranged from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on developing breakthroughs in quantum computing, to Fred Hutch President Dr. Gary Gilliland on fighting cancer, to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson on battling Donald Trump.
The one constant throughout the two-day conference was Wiatr and his canvas.
“I visualize their talks and turn their ideas into images,” Wiatr said in an interview. “I create maps of conversations.”
Wiatr’s creative process is a combination of listening, identifying patterns, and ultimately turning words into the “maps of conversations.” The end result is visual web recounting key parts of a discussion that also ties together any overarching themes.
While sketching, Wiatr said he’s doing something called “dual-coding,” a theory about how humans think in images.
“When you think about something, you don’t see a written word '” you think of an image,” Wiatr explained. “We think in patterns, too. I’m actively using this. Everyone can do it, but it takes practice and technique to turn it into something larger.”