Visual facilitation tools

A little while ago I came across a graphic in an article in Guardian Australia’s (GA) website.  You can find it here: Mandatory immigration detention is a billion-dollar business.  It is an analysis of Commonwealth Department of Immigration spending on private contractors relating to the mandatory detention system.

Now, GA and other have used a number of these web graphics to help communicate.  And of course, the article also uses text and graphs.


Interactive graphic from


The neat thing from my perspective is that this graphic is interactive.  You can click on individual circle to explore a contractor, and/or drag circles around to explore the big picture.  To achieve this, GA has found and organised a large set of information.

In  a workshop the next step would be for people to articulate the various values they have around the data and explore where those values align or otherwise.  This step would be part of the facilitator’s overall workshop design, and run accordingly.

So, how is an interactive graphic different to static images?  What possibilities does it open up for you?  If you were designing a conversation or workshop, how would you you use this kind of tool to help a group make sense of info and build shared meaning together?   What situations would you use this in?

Go well!


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