Visual Practice

Visual Practice (VP) is a field of work that weaves together the disciplines of presencing, Theory U, systems thinking, and dialogue with “scribing”. It is a 2-dimensional social art that helps systems see and sense their reality and potential. 

Methods of Visual Practice

These are methods of Visual Practice connected with Theory U, brought into the world by artist and writer Kelvy Bird, among others.

These methods stand for deeper levels of listening and scribing, shining light on relationships, root causes, and energy that is felt. It is always done in service of a group, to 'presence' what a group or a social system wants to express, and then make it visible. The drawing establishes connections within content, aids with insight, and supports decision making.

The drawing can be used by the group to reflect on their conversation, while it is taking place, and also after, to 'see' something extra collectively. It is mostly done with markers or paint on a large surface, in the room where the participants are (a live 'mirror'!), but can also work digitally when the meeting is online.


Scribing (also known as graphic recording/facilitation) is a visual practice that has increased in contemporary use since the 1970’s. An artist maps out ideas while people talk, and they can see a picture unfold right in front of their eyes. The drawing establishes connections within content, aids with insight, and supports decision-making. It’s essentially a language that weaves words and pictures to facilitate group learning and cultural memory, and is now embraced around the world as a popular social art and meeting tool.

Systems Scribing

Systems Scribing is an experimental visual practice that combines graphic facilitation with the science of systems thinking. Systems scribing can be done in the moment or it can be iterative, providing cycles of feedback while it uncovers dynamics and interdependencies. The method strives to produce visual artifacts that make implicit structures and behaviors explicit, supporting ongoing reflection and thinking over time.

Generative Scribing

Generative Scribing advances these practices by extending the range of the practitioner to an entire ecosystem, while drawing with an attunement to energy. A generative scribe calls particular attention to an emerging reality that is brought to life by, and for, the social field in which it’s created. Because of its interactive and co-creative nature, it serves as a device for social seeing, while offering a route to a sacred way of being, where the spirit of our humanity prevails over any individual agenda.

Visual Presencing

Visual Presencing is the act of two-dimensionally representing an experience of presencing. “Presencing, the blending of sensing and presence, means to connect from the Source of the highest future possibility and to bring it into the now”. (Otto Scharmer) Presencing also means “being with”, in order to access the potential of a moment, to open to a channel of spirit. Visual presencing aids with this attunement, both for the artist during the creative process, and for those engaging with life force through a picture. It can be practiced in private, or embedded as a method within the more social art of scribing.

Visual Sensemaking

Visual Sensemaking is a method that uses two-dimensional language to “unpack” a current condition, inquire into its complexity, connect with source through presencing, and reveal an emergent, more coherent, possible future.

How can scribing help shift our fundamental way of being, our deeper humanity, and how we come together as human beings and a species on this planet? How can our awareness really shift as a result of these drawings?


Social Arts | 
Visual Presencing Practitioner Certification

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Generative Scribing: A Social Art of the 21st Century (English)

"Scribing—visually representing ideas while people talk—is a distinct social art form that facilitates group learning and cultural memory. Scribes listen and draw simultaneously, creating large pictures that integrate content, prompt insight, and aid with decision-making.

“Generative scribing” extends this art by attending to the field of energy and relation between people, and to the emerging potential of a system” – Kelvy Bird (from the introduction).  

This book frames the key concepts that inform and cultivate a scribe’s inner capacities of being, joining, perceiving, knowing, and drawing. It is for scribes, facilitators, coaches, and organizers, and for anyone who cares about how we exist together as humans. It’s for those who want to explore their interior functioning, to approach the world anew.

Click here to preview the book’s introduction.

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場から未来を描き出す――対話を育む「スクライビング」5つの実践 (Japanese)






生成式敘畫generative scribing:21世紀的社會藝術 A SOCIAL ART of the 21st CENTURY (Traditional Chinese)

  在《悲劇的誕生》(The Birth of Tragedy)一書中,尼采提到,作為一位哲學家,他的任務是「透過藝術家的奧普蒂克量杯(optic)觀看科學,以及透過人生的奧普蒂克量杯觀看藝術」。 本書的作者凱葳 ‧ 博德(Kelvy Bird)在敘畫(scribing)以及 社會藝術的世界中,體現了尼采在哲學世界所達到的境界:它標記著一個階段的結束,並且預示著另一個階段的開始。

  這本書以創新之姿研究與探索「敘畫」這個新興領域,所 觸及的層面不只攸關那些想要進化為生成式敘畫(generative scribing)的敘畫實踐者,也和其他想要鍛鍊啟動生成式社會領域能力的社會藝術家、引導師以及自然流現實踐者有關。


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