According to the founder of a reflection methodology commonly known as Appreciative Inquiry and a thought-leader in organization learning - David Cooperrider, PhD: “The artful creation of positive imagery on a collective basis may well be the most prolific activity that individuals and organizations can engage in if their aim is to help bring to fruition a positive and humanly significant future.” 


"Consistently this facilitation team has managed to help us have the right conversations while we participate in fun, captivating simulations during highly-customized learning programs.  Some of the exercises that stand out over the years include the Team Everest simulation that served as a backdrop during our two-day leadership forum with the Home Depot’s Supply Chain management group.  I am sure you will also enjoy the benefits of their capabilities in providing team effectiveness, leadership development or organization change learning programs.”

Mike Rowe, CFO - The Home Depot

The “visual turn” means simply that the image today is now on par with the written word in import and usage.  As Howard Esbin, Ph.D. wrote about the visual turn in our culture during these disruptive times, (in Pedagogies for the Visual in Innovative Learning, 2016) he declared that “the visual as a method for 21st Century learners has been amplified by the internet and technology” such as multimedia platforms – allowing for synchronistic (same time & same place) and asynchronistic participation.  We aligned with this global trend for ‘learning differently’ from experience by developing and delivering memorable learning programs for client groups with simulations that provoke self-exploration, self-expression, co-creation, and dialogue.  Accordingly, “the visual turn has become central to contemporary notions of creativity

and education. Those interested in creativity increasingly look to the visual and nonlinguistic

symbolic forms that feature in the multimodal mediascapes people of all ages populate” (Jewitt, 2008).

“Just finished processing the evaluations from our workshop with your facilitation team.  The vast majority of those who provided feedback indicated that they thoroughly enjoyed the Team Everest session.  Given the skeptical nature of some, this is a very positive outcome.  One person even commented that they worked closely with someone who they had encountered conflict with previously, and they were able to move past it. Thanks again for a wonderful day."

Glenn Stevens, Training Coordinator - Police Services Special Investigations Unit

Simulation-based training since the early 1990’s has increasingly been used within the military to practice and develop the skills of successful soldiers (then adopted by police and for medial training).  For the skills associated with successful military leadership, program designers’ inability to model human behavior to the necessary degree of fidelity in constructive simulations requires that new interactive designs be developed.  


For example, the ICT Leaders Project supports leadership development through the use of branching storylines realized within a virtual reality environment. At Townhall Builder (THB) we are not looking to build better soldiers but better members of workgroups – even through learner-driven co-design - where people become more interpersonally effective and productive, as well as more satisfied contributing to a work environment grounded in a healthy culture.  These simulations with branching storylines are built upon the THB platform to enable learning and professional development to occur on individual, team and organizational levels.

Anchored in massive icons for humanity: the summit of Everest, the Poles of the Earth, the Sahara, what’s next - the bottom of the ocean, Mars, growing a garden, going with Alice into Wonderland perhaps… Townhall Builder is only limited by your imagination to design an experience grounded in metaphor (within your own experiential learning context) and the power of story as a shared, memorable and transformative experience.

A single word can possess multiple meanings; yet as the common expression goes, one picture is worth a thousand words.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, then one experience can be worth a thousand pictures;

And if an experience can be worth a thousand pictures, then one metaphor can be worth a thousand experiences."

Mike Gass, The Book of Metaphors, Volume II – 1995 page xv.


© 2017 Mark Jenkins