Control the Room 2023 was a remarkable occasion that presented many valuable opportunities for connecting with others. Beginning with the annual facilitator summit on February 7th, the event featured a week-long series of virtual speakers. This year’s summit was centered around the theme of IMPACT, prompting us to consider the ways in which we impact our clients, our professions, and one another. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience.
This year’s event saw the return of our virtual space, which was once again seamlessly integrated with our live space. Our Vice President of Programs, Shannon Varcoe, and Mark Tippin, the Director of Strategic Next Practices at MURAL, were the perfect hosts for the occasion. As a longtime Voltage Control collaborator, participant, and friend, Mark brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the event. Together, Shannon and Mark formed the dynamic “Zoom Crew,” guiding our live audience through reflections after every three speakers. This allowed for a deeper connection between the audience and the speakers, which made for a more engaging and interactive experience for all involved.
Throughout the event, both the virtual and live audience were engaged with a variety of prompts and activities. These included sharing impactful resources with each other, connecting our unique superpowers, and even sharing our set-up selfies. The result was an atmosphere that was both collaborative and inclusive, with participants feeling a sense of belonging and connection to each other. For those who missed the event, the full MURAL is available to view online.
Read on for the recordings of each reflections section, and the full transcript accompanies each.
Reflections Round 1
Reflections will be coming up periodically through the day with Shannon Varcoe, the VP of Facilitation
Programming here at Voltage Control. Awesome, Shannon, and a long-term friend, Mark Tippin. He was
actually a guest at year number one of Control the Room and has been with us ever since. I think he has
not missed a summit since.
Back by popular demand, we’re doing Reflections with Mark and Shannon’s going to be helping. We’ll be
doing that in a Zoom. We’ve got the QR code up there. Sorry, we’re going to be doing that with the
Zoom folks in a Mural. If you want to follow along on a laptop or a device, you can. That’s the QR code,
but we’re also going to have the Zoom folks up on the screen. You’re going to be able to hear them.
Anyone that wants to talk with folks in the Zoom, I’ll be passing this microphone around. If you want
them to be able to see you, there’s a camera right there by that TV. You can walk up to it and actually
have an experience with them. With no further ado, we’re going to switch over to the Zoom. Mark and
Shannon, let’s take it over.
Hey, great to see everyone. Oh, that was probably very loud. We’re joining you from either edge of the
United States right now. I’m in Portland, Oregon, and Shannon is …
Here in North Carolina. So excited to be on all ends of the country with everyone today. It’s great.
We’ve had an incredible lively discussion online, and we have some plug and play ways to bring focus to
this moment after the three speakers. This one, the theme that seemed to emerge for us is around self-
impact. It’s a great place to start. Everyone’s been asking us to be curious about ourselves, to
understand the voices in our head, and how since we can observe them, we’re not actually the voices in
I would invite you, there in the room, if you have a device, come and check out the Mural because it is
chock-a-block with books and recommendations and observations and insights, and it’s an asset that
you can take with you.
I wanted to say, Shannon, what was one of the things that really stood out for you from our three
I think just this theme around, as you said, thinking about impact and the impact that things we choose
to do have on ourselves, I thought was a really interesting thread. I think about impact that our actions
have on others or the external has on ourselves, but I think there is a really interesting thought going for
me about, it’s actually also the impact that my own thoughts, my own actions have on myself. That was
definitely something that really stood out for me around the impact we can have on ourselves, just as
much as we can have on other people. How about for you, Mark?
There was one quote that was shared in Zoom chat and it says that you don’t know what your
authenticity would do for someone else. Even in the process of getting clear with yourself and trying to
do the work of being authentic and getting from a two to a three, or getting from an eight to a nine, that
work and that journey in your personal life, you never know the impact that that conversation or that
struggle you’re having is going to benefit other people.
It’s so true. I think Renita mentioned Lizzo, and there was a lot of love for Lizzo in the Zoom chat and in
Mural. I think about that. Even just what you’re saying is that Lizzo, we use her as such an icon for the
impact that she’s had on body positivity in the world and on so many women, but also I can imagine that
didn’t just come easily for her. The impacts that her own authenticity for herself and the thoughts that
she has and the way that she presents herself into the world allowed her to be able to impact everyone
in this large way. I love that.
Absolutely. I’d love to see a show of hands in the room, because I’m not currently screen sharing, but for
those of you that don’t have a device in front of you, if you’d like, I can share the Mural just so you get a
visual sense. Show of hands, would that be of interest? All right, Douglas.
Here, allow me to. You tell me if you are able to see. Everyone in the room, okay, cool. I just wanted to
give a shout-out. I don’t know if this is 100% from the folks online, but this is what I’ve learned over the
years, Douglas. This is an artifact I come back to, year after year, and reference. I’d encourage people, if
you are taking sketch notes, upload those things into the Mural. Feel free at any time to come in and
add your own observations.
People are sharing things, like when we were talking about time management, Pomodoro technique and
timers, and books, and we’re playing along online as well. That’s a reminder, for those of you, that our
speakers are going to be taking the stage this afternoon. You have a vibrant community of 130 plus folks
here as well that are having a whole parallel, amazing conversation online, and we are just here to try
and bridge that gap.
Also, just wanted to offer the opportunity, if there’s someone on the Zoom side, if you had something
you wanted to share, feel free to unmute and share. If there’s anyone in the room that wanted to ask a
question to the virtual community, feel free.
Any questions or any reflections on the talks that anyone wants to share? I saw Kaleb’s hand first.
I just wanted to say the comment about… You said it. Self-care is being selfish. I had a family member
recently pass away, and she didn’t do enough self-care because she felt like it was selfish, and it’s just
really powerful. So, be selfish. I’m selfish as hell. Be selfish.
Do we have anyone else in the ground?
Yeah, zoom crew. Boom, go. I’ll say that, you guys rock. I got to get on Zoom the last couple of years,
though I’m now in person, but one of the things that we’ve been talking about… We went to dinner last
night and we talked about identity. That was the thing that we talked about and how people define us
by the things we do. I had an opportunity to have the universe intervene with me and a wise person in
her seventies. PhD from education who used to be a principal told me, “Sometimes we get so locked in
human doing instead of human being.” As facilitators, we’re always doing, doing, doing, and sometimes
we miss the things beside us, because we’re going so fast and getting things done as opposed to being
with the people and around the things. We miss the peripherals and we miss opportunities, so that’s
something to just throw out there.
I have to ask, was that my friend Jay? Certainly sounded like him.
Yes. Disembodied Jay for all the Zoom people.
Fantastic. Last call for anyone on the Zoom crew that has a question or observation to share. Remember
My name is Shamay Lucas and I just wanted to say thank you to Miss Renita for seeing me. Something
small about a shared or lived experience can go a long way, so that humidity with these edges, yes. Then
I wanted to thank Matthew, wherever he is right now, for wearing his pronouns, they as well. Small
things go a long way in your different experiences. Thanks.
Thank you, yeah. How are we doing on time, Douglas? I don’t want to overstep.
We got 10 minutes, if you want to fill it. We could also go to break if you want to, so you got 10 minutes
should you choose to use it.
I was going to say I would love to huddle with the Zoom crew online and figure out how to prepare for
the next wave of speakers, but if anyone there in the ground has any questions, feel free to hop in
Zoom, in the chat. Other than that, we can give some time back, I think.
All right, great. We’ll be back from break and I guess we’ll now be… What’s the official time? We’ll be
back from break at 10:40 Central.
Sounds good, thank you.
I’m going to mute the room.
We’re good. Okay.
Awesome. Zoom crew, hello.
Everyone, thanks for jumping in. I know the beginning was we didn’t get a chance to huddle up right at
the start, so just so glad that everyone is here. Thank you for joining us and hopping into the chat and
into the Mural and all of these things. We’re just so glad everyone is here and hope you enjoyed the first
segment of speakers.
I’d love to hear any and all feedback so far, especially anything that we might need to communicate and
bridge to our friends that are co-located there on the ground in Texas. Can you hear the speakers okay?
I saw a comment about trying to share the slides as well. I know they’re trying to do some camera
I know there’s a couple questions about trying to get slides shared, but it’s sort of like either it stays on
slides the whole time and we never see the speaker or we can do the shifting. I think we’re going to try
and do the shift and then hoping to just grab screenshots of slides where we can and just drop them into
the Mural so that you can see them in there, I hope, but everything’s …
I have some thoughts and questions about that. Is it possible to just ask the speakers who are coming up
… Hey, it’s okay if your slides change, but can you just share them in Mural or in a Google Doc or
something like that. We don’t have to wait until the presentation to see the slides, but if they really feel
like they want to wait, then maybe you can immediately be sharing them on the fly as opposed to
waiting until afterwards when we’re not connecting with them as much. That’s one thought. Should I
pause and listen because I have a totally separate thought.
Oh, no, I just wanted to acknowledge and thank you because you’re reminding me last year we actually
had them in advance and I had a separate Mural with all of the slides dumped out, and then I pasted
them as the speakers were going.
So you, you’ve reminded me of lost knowledge from last year.
I can see if I can see if that’s still a possibility. We could try to make that happen over this break.
I know sometimes speakers want to keep changing their slides or feel self-conscious about that, so
whatever you can do, it would be helpful. I want to be empathetic to how it feels to be up there.
Absolutely, thank you. We’re on that. Trish, what’s your other contribution?
One of the great things about attending in person is those relationships that we build over lunch, et
cetera. Last year I attended and I felt like we hadn’t figured out the whole hybrid thing yet because a lot
of us were online last year. Now the group is smaller. I would love to have little breakouts or ways to get
to know the people here. Tim, Jeff, Mike, Jose, I see your names, Jonathan, Andrea, Nancy, and then I
see some initials, Matt, G P G P B.
I don’t know who any of those people are, but if we could just create some norms that work for this
group, maybe sharing LinkedIn profiles or having some quick little sub breakout groups, where we can
start to meet some people. Or having a space in the Mural where we can create your own little profile
where you put a happy face and I’m into innovation or I’m into fostering diverse conversations or
whatever someone’s into that we can be attracted to each other and find each other in the same way. In a different way, actually, maybe even in a better way than we would in person because we have the
luxury as virtual attenders to maybe be able to multitask a little bit.
Let’s use that to our grand advantage and discover each other.
Again, thank you, Trish. I will point out that on the Mural, there’s an area almost all the way to the right
that says let’s make an impact together. I see people are already throwing in links to their social profiles
and things there. You’ve also made me think there, we might be able to open up breakout rooms
randomly if that’s something maybe in the chat, if we could see. Yes, if that’s something you’d be open
to do, just let us know. We could create an arbitrary number of breakout rooms and then leave them
open and bring everyone back to plenary before the session starts.
I like that.
I’ll jump in there too, Trish love the ideas. I think to your point, it’s also just we have this opportunity
that is different and so where we can maximize that, I just love that concept. I think, so lunch is actually
a spot where there’s not any programming for us virtually. I think that would be an awesome time for us
to do some breakouts. We can have those lunch tables going within Zoom. We’ll use that time.
The other thing I wanted to mention just kind of as a high level thing is that feel free, jump in, jump out.
We disabled the waiting room so you won’t get caught into a waiting room if you need to leave or come
back. I think for lunch, if we can have people who are on and want to be a part of breakout rooms and
then if you’re not, maybe bounce for a bit and then come back for the next speakers and we can do
some of those breakout times over the lunch break.
I have a thought. I’m sorry to keep throwing stuff out, but to make your life simpler, if it’s possible to
give people the freedom to go in … Set up a bunch of breakout rooms and let people freely go into
whichever ones they want, but in the Mural, maybe create a series of boxes with just numbers for the
breakout rooms and if people have a topic they want to put into a box, then you can see. Maybe we can
put names and say, “Hey, I’m going to go into that breakout with Broom with you over lunch.” Just a
thought. I’ve been thinking a lot about this, by the way, as you can tell. I’m looking to create
communities doing this kind of online connecting and networking. I haven’t figured it out, but I’m just
throwing out some possibilities to put a little lubricant in the muffin pan there.
Thank you for sharing your ideas. We are all about experimenting and trying new things and giving
things a go.
Can I point out something here?
I had one more.
Hang on, sorry, we’ve got too many people talking at once. I think, Shamir, you had your hand up. So I’m
going to go to you next and then Eric, you’ll go after him.
Thank you Eric for that. Yeah, I just wanted to mention I had an idea around the presentation slides
because being able to see it clearly is quite helpful. I think what’s happening is because it’s sending
through the video, what happens is Zoom normally reduces the quality of video. But when we share
screen, it makes sure that the quality is clear. If you could share the video that’s coming in from the
stream from Texas over the shared screen, they have an advanced feature that’s content from second
camera, it normally sends it much better quality from there.
I don’t know if it’s possible with the tech team, if you could have a word with them to do that, then
probably the slides should be, my assumption is that it should be clear. Maybe that will work. Just
wanted to throw that out there in case it’s possible.
That’s helpful. I’ll pass that note along. I’ve got a text start going with the people on the AB side, so I will
shoot that over.
Cool. On the board Shannon and I are putting together, you’ll see some hexagonal shapes. I’m going to
give them numbers and we’ll set this space up and feel free to … I’ll drop numbers in each one. Not sure
how many breakout rooms we’ll have. We have 130 people. I thought I’ll air on the side of more than
less, but feel free to drop a suggested topic maybe on a note in the middle of one of the rooms. I’ll drop
some numbers in here. I have some handy dandy numbers I can use.
Lindsey, go for it.
Hello, I just wanted to thank y’all for opening this up and welcoming feedback. This has been great so far
and I wanted to give a little bit of feedback about that. It was kind of frustrating that one of the in-
person activities was designed without offering the Zoom people access to the phone number. If it was
meant as a demonstration of what inaccessibility feels like, then I understand that. I just wish the
speaker had explained that afterwards, but if it wasn’t intentional, then I just wanted to reach out and
ask that It would be great to keep Zoom access in mind going forward for any other activities. Thank y’all
again. I really appreciate it.
Lindsay, thanks for sharing that. I think it’s a great point, and we’re definitely trying to find those ways to
bridge the gaps between in-person and remote, so definitely appreciate that thought. I think it’s
important for our speakers to be able to think about both too. So yeah, thank you.
I could throw out sort of another thing. I found it a little disconcerting. I couldn’t hear the clapping when
the speaker was done. That’s kind of a little weirdness.
I sent that note over actually to the team. We were like is it happening? You can see it, but you can’t
hear it. I don’t know if we can try and get them to hold the mic up just so we can at least hear little or
we have to, maybe I’ll do a virtual clap track.
Hit the right one here.
Got to get that, because I agree with this a little bit. Are they there? Is it happening?
Thank you Eric for that.
Okay, cool. I see a topic being suggested already, so that’s great. I think one of the observations is we’ve
been in a pandemic and remote so long. I think as Douglas said, at the top, it feels good. It feels like
we’re back, but part of moving forward is not actually going back to the ways we used to forget
everyone that wasn’t located in the room and those centers of power and influence that we broke free
of and got into this new space of collaboration. That would be an interesting topic actually to go into
some is how do we actually pull the whole conversation forward, taking what we learned as opposed to
suddenly just getting back into old habits?
Yeah, so agree with that. I so agree with that. Couldn’t agree with you more.
I know. Folks in the Zoom crew may not know, but Shannon could be there in person and she willingly
volunteered to hold down the fort virtually and stay here and not be part of that community because
this community is as important. I certainly appreciate that.
I love, I think it was Erin’s comment, but we want to create the FOMO for people who are in person
here. I experienced that last year. I’m not going to lie to you. I spoke last year and I remember feeling
like there’s this whole world happening on Zoom that I’m not a part of, and I was excited about it. I was
excited to join this year and help make it happen. Rachel.
I just want to say thank you because it was so fun last year and also what you’re doing is exhausting.
Both of you, I really, really appreciate you being able to be on the screen all day to facilitate this space.
All good. Also a good thing to note is that important, somebody said too, is that important to take
remote breaks as well? I know we’re going to be joining back for the next speaker at 10:40 Central.
Want to make sure that people take a break, grab some extra coffee, grab a snack, whatever you need
to do to get yourself ready for the next segment. Also too, the day on Zoom is really long, and so we
don’t necessarily expect everyone to join for the entire time. If you are joining, you’re going to get
videos of the speakers and things. Feel free to do what you need to do, take care of yourselves as we
heard from our speaker first, do what you have to do, take care of your day, your energy. If you want to
jump in, jump out, do whatever you need to do. Greg, question?
It’s not a question. I just wanted to applaud the Zoom crowd. I’m finding that what is being put on the
Mural board and what’s being put into the chat is actually elevating the content significantly. One of the
side conversations I’ve been having with my team is, wouldn’t it be nice if everybody in the room was on
a tablet or something taking notes on the Mural board like this group is? I think that there’s an awful lot.
I’ve noticed E.J., who is an amazing source, a fount of reference material and rec book recommendations
and insights. I just think there’s so much brain power and lived experience in the room, virtually all of
the rooms that we’re sitting in and the room in Austin. I just wanted to applaud the group and say thank
you for all the content that you’re providing. That’s sort of meta level of value that’s being added. So
thanks for that.
Thank you, Greg, appreciate that. It’s so true, right? It’s not just the speakers that are the ones that are
the experts today. It’s also everyone here and everyone has amazing resources and things to share.
We’re glad that we have a space to do that. So, thanks Greg.
Thank you. I couldn’t agree more. I do a lot of this for a living, but I am so humbled every time I show up
in this community. When I was there in person in 2020, I was telling Douglas, I feel light-headed. I feel
like I’m breathing pure oxygen because everyone I talk to is in this zone on this journey. As you said,
there’s so much, not only resource knowledge, but lived experience knowledge that it really is
something. I come into intentionally beginner’s mind and blank slate. It’s the thing that manifests online
in the chat on the Mural board, that’s magical. That’s why I love facilitation. I don’t have to have all the
answers. I just create a space and I’m always blown away.
I’m guessing now would be a good time. We’ve got about 10 minutes. Now would be a good time for
people to get some fresh oxygen, stretch your legs and refill coffee and or water. I’m going to do that
and I’ll be back in probably about five minutes and we’ll strike up the conversation and get ready for the
next round of lightning.
Be back in a bit.
Back in a bit.
Reflections Round 2
All right, we’re getting close to lunch. We have a few more reflections here. So we’re going to turn it
over to Mark and Shannon. Mark and Shannon, are you out there?
We are indeed.
We are here.
So share my screen. Always blown away by the journey that a lightning round can take us on. I just
wanted to share my screen, and again, let people know that this is a resource that’s being built, and it’ll
be available to everyone from here on out.
But I just… There were some interesting points between the three of these that I wanted to stitch
together. And this lens that we were going to use is looking, really, at the conditions for impact. And the
Zoom crew has already been sharing their observations around impact. But just one by one, I wanted to
say that Taylor’s points resonate with me as someone who’s been struggling in design, and product
management, and development for so many years. And how many times have you done a retrospective,
almost robotically, and there’s a sadness there because what you’re doing is acknowledging all the stuff
that didn’t work right? And what potential there is to use the gifts that we have around being present on
the teams where we’re working, to bring that presence to observe what’s happening now and try and
influence what will happen next to improve the ability for those outcomes. I just really wanted to thank
Taylor for that.
Benjamin, I appreciated AI as a topic that I’ve been curious about. And it just seems like in the last year,
it went from an interesting thing, to almost consuming the world faster than software consumed the
world, and these other waves from Alvin Toffler and Future Shock and Third Wave back in the day. It’s
just these waves are now coming so quickly.
I just want to thank Benjamin for highlighting, especially, looking at the conditions for impact there is
understanding where our conversations happen. In his talk, it was observing if AI is seen as a technology,
and it’s thrown into a tech area, that’s not really looking at it for the strategic impact that it has. And I
think that’s a lesson that we certainly resonate with every time we’re trying to lead a powerful
conversation, and we find ourselves not close to any centers of power. Having amazing conversations
with passionate people that are there and willing to have them, but not being seen for the strategic
potential it has, to create the connections and the community and bring the imagination, increase the
imaginal capacity of an organization. So that was something I wanted to thank Benjamin for.
And Yvonne, so many things. I mean, this board is… Our observations around the conditions are littered
with things just at the flurry at the end of your speech. And appreciate, especially, again, hitting on
authenticity, but also vulnerability. And every time I find I’m not being effective in my role is usually
when I’ve put up a wall and I’m not being authentic, I’m not being vulnerable, and I’m not really putting
my energy back on the crowd and focusing out there. There’s something where I’ve pulled it back for
one reason or another. And I think that vulnerability is a quick way to put the energy back in the room
and ease back into that supportive role.
Shannon, I wanted to invite you as well. Some of the things that we’ve seen in the chat, or some of your
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Mark, and appreciate your thoughts on all of those. I think as we were
imagining around conditions for impact, I also think about, especially when you’re talking about the AI
and just that whole presentation and just the impact that the technology has had so quickly. Thinking
about what conditions were in place for so many users to start using AI technology as soon as it was
launched, I think there’s some interesting, I don’t know the exact statistics, but number of users that
were using ChatGPT was just absurd compared to how quickly other users were using other
technologies that have hit the market. And I think about, what conditions were in place for that to have
the impact that it had? And what conditions continue… Do we develop to allow people to use those
technologies in new and different ways? And also, how are we communicating those?
And then I think too, just around this topic with facilitation, just thinking about, what conditions are we
setting for our participants to be able to fully participate and be impacted by the things that they’re
learning, the conversations that they’re having, the people they’re connecting with?
And then on the flip side of that I’ve also been thinking about too, with all of these connections and
things that are happening with participants here in the Zoom Room, but also participants in the room, is
that, what are the conditions for us when we’re a participant? Not just as a facilitator, but what are the
conditions that we allow ourselves to be in to be impacted, to listen, to hear those stories, to get that
information? What conditions are we, in a learning environment, or in a conference, showing up as, that
allow us to show up as great participants?
So we’ve got some really amazing participants in the Zoom Room too, so I want to shout everyone out.
And if there’s other reflections or things that people are thinking about when we think of the conditions
for impact, curious, in the room and also in Zoom, if anyone wants to jump in with your thoughts.
Douglas, any questions from there in the room or observations?
Scanning the room for hands. I haven’t seen any yet.
What a hungry faces there, staring at you. We stand between them and food.
I kind of have a question both for Ben and Yvonne, just listening to this notion of audience deserve to
feel the facilitation. What’s your facilitation story? And Yvonne talked about… Or I’m sorry, and then
Ben, we’re talking about some of the artificial intelligence to say, “This isn’t how I would’ve done it as a
human,” in terms of what the AI says. And for me, I was thinking instantly, is that not diversity? Is that
something that kind of takes us out of our… And I’d be really interested to sit around a campfire with
Ben and Yvonne and ask the question, “What is AI for diversity? What might AI for diversity mean? And
what might AI do for realtime facilitation story development?” Ben and Yvonne, I’m just going to call an
audible. Let’s meet over here at the camera and do a little quick little roll with that.
Rock and roll, Doug. Thank you.
Over here at the camera, if y’all would, yeah. Ben and Yvonne. Yeah, let’s do it. Awesome. So just some
comments on what [inaudible 00:07:31] had to say.
Okay. Where am I facing?
Camera, okay. Yeah, at the camera. Yeah, that thing. Right. So do you want to answer initially from an AI
perspective, and then I will jump in?
Yeah. I think from an AI perspective, I think it’s important to think about what we mean by diversity. Is it
a different kind of cognition that we need to open our minds up to if we’re going to accept it as a
partner in our work? Absolutely. But like any other partnering or human collaboration, you have to
assume that it’s not going to be perfect. It will be biased. It’s incumbent upon us in those partnerships to
be mindful of where that bias might arise and what it might look like.
The other thing I want is with AI, we obviously all believe that encouraging diversity is critical for
ourselves, for our organizations, for our communities. I don’t think we need to go out of our way to
bring in AIs necessarily, but it can challenge us to think in different ways, which is, I think, part of the
value of diversity.
Thank you. I think that’s absolutely correct. I will also say that I’m glad you brought up bias, because as
human beings, every single one of us alive is biased. Whether that’s based on current, or past lived
experience exposures, or lack thereof, there’s bias in all of us. And those programming AI, those
designing for AI themselves are biased. So I think it’s incredibly important to be responsible to try to
mitigate bias as much as you possibly can. And one way of doing that is to engage in community and to
expose what you’re trying to build to others so that their vantage point is thus included, because they
have a better understanding of the potential pitfalls and harms that can occur if their perspectives aren’t
included. So I think that that’s critically important. Yeah.
All right. I’d like to add something as someone who studied AI in college to that perspective about
diverse perspectives, if that’s okay. If we think about where AI comes from, it comes from whatever
learning sets it’s been fed. So while we might in some cases think of the AI as a different perspective, it
could actually help us with diversity in innovation by recognizing that in a lot of cases it’s the common
perspective. So it could help us to question, “Hey, if that’s the common perspective, or that’s what
emerged from the learning set, how might we think about it differently than the AI came up with?”
Yeah, I think that presents a very interesting dialogue. I think one of the things that myself and my team
are focused on, especially when it comes to AI and the dialogues on it is, what are we doing to ensure
that not only there are multiple perspectives and voices at the table and the design work, but also to
make sure that we’re not upholding continued systems of oppression and marginalization that have
occurred in our society that are kind of like the pillars in many respects of our society. And how can AI
help to overcome those barriers and those challenges, but not feeding into the existing systems,
creating more challenges and barriers that we already have?
Yeah, that’s a really great point. I mean, I think, again, back to the initial conversation and my talk,
there’s very real sense that this is dangerous and this is threatening. There’s a very real sense that this
represents an opportunity, and I think that’s what we’re talking about. It’s really both at the same time. I
think our biggest enemy with AI is urgency. I mean, there’s such an urgency to do something impactful,
to do something big to get ChatGPT out there that sometimes we don’t stop and think about, where
might we be making mistakes, or taking advantage of people, or instilling biases. And I think a lot of
times, with our clients, I tell them, “We have to slow down to speed up.” Because if you push a model to
market too quickly and it’s got some problem with it and it hurts somebody, that’s oftentimes
unrecoverable. So yeah.
Yeah. It’s fiduciary responsibility 101.
I wanted to extend an invitation to Taylor. I mean, if he also might have anything to… Or questions for
Taylor as well.
I was getting my product placement out.
There you go.
There you go.
So the one thought that I had related here, when it comes to measurement and the things that we’re
trying to turn into metrics that dictate the outcomes that we’re looking for, when we begin to list out
what we want to measure, we have to be really aware of, are those things are on our list because
they’re just assumed to be the things that we should measure? And put another way, is there sort of
inherent bias in the things that we believe we should be measuring as opposed to what truly, A,
equalizes and, B, actually leads to the outcomes that we’re looking for? So as we reflect on the activity
that we did, or if you are going to go back and do it again, maybe with your team, each of the
measurement pieces, each of the metrics that you list, make sure you challenge yourself to say, “Okay, is
this measurement, is the assumption that this measurement is based on an inherently biased
Wonderful. Thank you very much, Taylor. Yeah, great talks. Just real quick, I just wanted to draw folks
attention to some activities that you can check out. If you’re doing sketch noting, some people are
already sharing some of their visual sketches. We have a place for you to drop them there. People’s
social media connections, that’s happening, so there’s community and connect.
You’re not sharing your screen, just real quick.
Oh. Oh, yeah. Here, sorry about that. There we go. Just drawing your attention over here on this side, if
you have any sketch notes you want to share, if you want to drop your social media connections in here,
and maybe even flag a note specifically with your name, if there’s someone in particular you want to
connect with. We also have an area here to share your setup selfie. So if you are remote, we’d love to
see your… If you want to share, what are your setups? What do you use? What’s critical? And if you’re
there in the room, what’s your mobile setup for when you go into these spaces and try and capture all
this wonderful knowledge?
I also wanted to do a shout-out that at lunchtime, Zoom Crew is going to be hosting some virtual
breakouts, and the topics have been suggested here. So feel free, once you have your lunch, if there’s
some time left, there will be some breakouts if you want to jump in Zoom, and we’ll get you situated in
one of these impromptu unconference breakout rooms. Okay, that’s it, Douglas. Back to you.
Reflections Round 3
And that brings us to another Reflections with Mark and Shannon. We can see if we can get Mark and
Shannon back on the screens. Are you all there?
We’re here. Oh my gosh. We’re here
We’re here. We are strong. We’re confident.
We’re confident. The Zoom crew. We can do anything. I’m going to share the screen, but I’m going to …
Shannon, would you mind kind of kicking us off? You’ve been the inspiration behind this particular focus,
For sure. Yeah, thanks Mark. So let me make sure I can see what you’re sharing. I can see it.
Oh, yep. And here and share.
I’d say what a kickoff of three speakers to bring us out of lunch. I think in the chat somebody had said
with the box activity, even though we weren’t able to fully participate with boxes on our own heads, we
had some people with the different masks and things in Zoom and trying to create our own version of it.
But it was certainly fun to see a room full of people with boxes on their heads, even from afar. So really
appreciate getting to interact with that and just keeping the energy alive post-lunch sometimes can be
difficult. So just appreciate being able to feel that energy coming from the space in Austin.
But yeah. So we’re going to jump through and talk a bit about this concept of ripple effect. And so this
was something that, as Mark and I are planning some of these debrief sessions, we were just talking
about the different kinds of impact and what can happen when we think of impact, what comes up and
ripple effect was one that came to mind for me is this idea of that kind of classic image of a drop of
water and the ripples that come from the impact of that drop onto the water surrounding it.
And so we wanted to use this as an opportunity to have everyone share what impacts were these last
three speakers on you, what impacts existed for you there, for those in Mural, jump in and just kind of
drop some of those initial impacts in the middle of the circle. And then think about what are the ripple
effects of those impacts on you, on others, and how they often start to relate and kind of build on onto
each other. So we’ll pause there, Mark, happy to have you share some more thoughts too, but give it a
chance for people to drop in. And if those people in the room too have some thoughts and impacts,
we’re happy to add those as stickies into the mural for you, if you aren’t able to join in Mural in person,
but want to think about what are the impacts, immediate impacts of listening to these talks and some of
the takeaways and then how those might turn into the ripples that happen today, tomorrow, next week,
next month from the things that we’re learning and the ways that we’re connecting today.
This transcript was exported on Mar 03, 2023 – view latest version here.
Yeah, absolutely. I just wanted to share a little bit about what might be missing there in the room is
some fantastic authentic responses and some of them quite humorous. Like some people saying, “Be
right back, I’m signing up for eHarmony after Corey’s amazing share.” But again, the conversation that’s
blending the real time synthesis has been so impactful. We even had someone holding down the
shouting on our end. Most of us were muted, shouting to our significant others and family in our space.
But we’re following along here. Yeah, I’ll zoom in right here, as people are adding and to see Douglas,
are there any observations from there in the room? Those with just three amazing speakers back to
I’m looking for hands. Kaleem.
So the box, Mr. Clark. Yes. Like lean on me, Mr. Clark. Something though for me though about the box,
probably a little bit opposite of what a lot of people were feeling, but for some reason I felt like we were
all the same. I felt like I could do some silly shit and no one would know it’s me. So it was kind of a really
cool superpower. So I don’t know if you want to try to throw some of that in there, but especially I grew
up in Maine for some of you that don’t know, so it’s the whitest state in the country. Sometimes being
the same is super, super helpful. When you’re looking around, we all have boxes on our heads, so it was
really cool. Thank you.
Was there a hand? All right. We got another one.
Hi, I’m Liberty. I took notes on Jimbo’s talk because I was so just invigorated by just the demonstration
that you did and the energy that came off of it. So I just thought that you did such an incredible job of
integrating all of the things we’ve heard today and really having that interaction. It’s one of the first
times I’ve seen interaction go so well in a space like this, so I feel really jazzed about how I can
incorporate that. But just connecting the dots that we’ve all been seeing. And then it was built on by
Corey and Matthew, and so thank you for inspiring us. This has been an incredible time and I really
appreciate all the effort that went into that box activity and getting us all to interact, so really appreciate
We’ll open it up to anyone here from Zoom that wants to share impacts or thoughts, feedback,
I think we got another one in the room here.
For me, when Matthew said to change how we talk to our children about what success means, and
instead of telling them what success means, asking them what it means to them, that hit so hard home
for me. Because I think a lot of us, I know in my group, a lot of us said that we thought success is trying
to make our parents happy and doing what we think our parents want us to do. And so much of our life
is built inauthentically because we’re trying to make other people proud of us and other people happy.
And I think that’s the biggest sin of life, is abandoning our own truth to make others happy. So thank
It’s such a great share and I think such a great element to bring up too is the power of changing the way
that we talk to our children about what success is, is about asking. And just thinking about, and again,
back to this ripple effect is like what are the effects that then has on how they imagine success, how
they talk to others about it, right? So they’re just the ripple effects of those things, and they have impact
on us just even reframing those things. But also the impact of changing the way that we do something
can have for a long time, and on people.
That resonates so much with the talks that we’ve heard today that are about getting your own kind of
mental house in order, in the way that you deal with a momentary conflict or a big disruption in life. But
that being selfish and taking the time to actually give yourself the space to deal with that, you are also
demonstrating that behavior to everyone around you and making that possible, whether you realize it or
not. And certainly presenting options.
So many things have been said today that hit each of us in different times in different ways, but
something that wasn’t even in our imagination suddenly we’re made present of that, like changing the
way we talk to our kids, something we weren’t really thinking about or thinking about how we got to
this space today and how things are going to go and then suddenly we elevate our consciousness around
these things and realize the impact that we all have throughout a day. Even in moments, you don’t
notice, ways you manifest frustration or not, or deal with adversity in the line at Starbucks or something.
These are all ways in which you’re getting yourself in order and then making other ways of being
possible for other people.
So true. And I think about that, especially as facilitators, how the ripple effects of choices that we make
and how we’re showing up, how we’re caring for ourselves in how we show up in those spaces and
when we’re facilitating, to your point too is. But also it made me think when you’re saying that too, is
how the ways that we talk to our participants or when we choose to add a thought or add a comment
here or there, just how that can also change the way that they’re thinking about something or how they
might move through an activity or move through a learning experience, that even something that seems
maybe small can also sort of have these ongoing effects from them, in good ways and in bad, right? I
think there’s always kind of the positive side of that too.
Yeah. Well, once again, we created a space. I think we were trying to be organized coming in and have it
all planned and mapped out, but we created a space and it’s been filled in incredible ways.
Yeah. And it looks like Alexis has her hand up, so I want to give her [inaudible 00:10:17].
Oh yeah, please.
Yeah. I just wanted to share. Thank you so much. These last three sessions were wonderful. Something
that really stood out to me was the vulnerability that started off with Jimbo’s talk and he said, if I have
to see through to you, I have to let myself out. And even just opening the eye was so powerful, and I
think that that just started to ripple from his talk down to Corey’s talk and then the vulnerability of that
conversation onto kind of this curiosity in the last conversation. I thought just the way that everything
flowed also really hit me, so I thought it was great. Thank you.
Yeah, thank you, Alexis.
So I was joking with my table and saying that I didn’t know that we were going to have a therapy session
today, but I appreciate the last three speakers because Jimbo, you created a moment where every …
you’re right in front of me, of sameness, so I appreciate that. Corey lived experience through abuse, had
to gather, still trying to gather those experiences and those feelings and what it means. Matthew, we
have a shared experience as well. And one, I realize that I’m down the street from this man. He lives in
Winston-Salem, I live in Greensboro, so thank you for making that connection. And then two, you helped
me realize that my experience similar to yours in elementary school. Woo. Sorry y’all. Is a double edge
sword because without it, I wouldn’t be sitting right here.
Reflections Final Round
Well thank you all again just so much. From the Zoom side of things, we just appreciate everyone for
being here, hanging with us all day long. And I was just amazed. I should just say one quick thing was I
was amazed at the end in mural how quickly people were putting things in. I was about to do something
and add a book to the board and it was already there, and I was just like, “This crew is on it.” It was
amazing. Just so appreciate everyone being here and just diving in and being part of our team today. It’s
Can we all come off mute and just give a big woo-hoo?
Yes. Yes. And also if you want to come off-
[inaudible 00:00:37] at each other.
If you want to come off camera too, I can take a screenshot, get a little picture of us. So if anyone wants
to jump on camera quick.
No [inaudible 00:00:52] is needed now.
That’d be great. Off camera.
So if you want to join on camera, even just for a minute, I’ll just quick snag a pick of everybody.
For the board.
Join us, join us. Everyone good?
How about we do the proper audio applause?
Oh yes, go Shamir. Do it.
No more fake applause. Unmuted myself-
It’s being recorded. It is being record.
All right, ready? Everyone smile. Three, two, one. All right, excellent. Okay. I’ll do another one too. We
can make funny faces or whatever.
[inaudible 00:01:36] too late.
Too late. Yeah, with a box on your head.
All right, ready? We’ll do one more. One, two, three. Awesome. All right, thanks everyone.
Yeah, thanks. I’ve been with Mural for what, seven years now and this is what good remote
collaboration looks like. I mean this is really one of the best examples I’ve seen of a cohort just jumping
in and making stuff happen.
So Mark, are we all… you dub us official Mural designated content curators? We can put that on our
You bet. Yeah, reach out to me on LinkedIn and I’ll give you the gold star you can put on. No, but
seriously, this is fantastic and I appreciate it very much.
Yeah, so fun. Appreciate everyone so much. And I know there’s been a couple questions about feedback,
and so we will definitely be providing a link for some feedback survey stuff. I don’t have it on me right
now but I’m sure you’ll get it by email, so definitely check out your email by the end of this week for that
because we’d love to hear your thoughts, feedback. If you’ve got some top of mind right now, drop
them in the chat. You can even direct message them if you don’t want to post them to everybody, that’s
totally fine too.
But yeah, again, just loved all of the experiments and thoughts and ideas too and just the willingness to
jump in on those. That was, I think, probably one of my favorite parts of working with be today. So
hopefully those will be the things that will kind of be the foundation for how we might plan this next
time, so I really appreciate that. And yes, the mural will be available following… We’ll probably continue
to add some more things to it, so definitely check back and use it as a resource moving forward too.
Cool. All right.
Are we doing a Zoom happy hour or was that a joke I saw in the chat?
Oh I mean, I’m happy to hang. I’m here.
I’d love to.
Brooke’s been up for like 12 hours, but…
Well I wanted to respect that. If you’re exhausted, no worries. We can wrap up
I’ll abruptly shift from coffee to Jim Beam or something and then catch up with you guys.
I put that in there, but it’s like 3:00 PM my time, so all y’all on the East Coast, just enjoy or a nightcap.
It’s 11:00 PM here, so onto the nightclub is fine by me.
Very good. I am actually going to wind down and make sure I’ve got chat saved and various things end of
day, but please reach out, connect LinkedIn, would love to stay in touch and appreciate this community
very much. Thanks everyone.
Thank you, Mark.
Thank you, Mark.
Huge shout out to Shannon. I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
Teamwork. Teamwork makes the dream every time.
Take care everyone.
All right, see you Mark. Bye.
Thanks everyone. Bruno, so good to see you.
Yeah, we’ll see a lot of… Not the last time you’ll see me.
Yes, for sure.
Bruno and I wondering what we won, Shannon.
You know, it’s a great question. I [inaudible 00:04:55]
Somewhere at the end sort felt like it was building up to something good.
Yeah, they’re announcing-
I love the true prize part.
I honestly don’t know. So we’ll find it out.
I would love to win the AI course if that’s possible.
I’ll see what I can do. Sounds good. Bruno, how about you, because you won something too, right?
Yeah. Me and Arianna, we are doing everything together. So if you can put this both in the same one, we
are fine with that.
All right. I’ll see what I can do.
That’s so weird. We’re like voltage controlled twins.
I love it. That’s awesome. I know, I feel like I do see you guys on a lot of the same things.
Except for [inaudible 00:05:32].
You know that we’re even connecting offline without you guys. We’re great behind your backs as well.
Missing out. Missing out. No, I’m so glad. That’s great.
Thank you, Shannon.
It’s a lot. It was amazing.
[inaudible 00:05:44] Good job. I know how exhausting this is. You just absolutely did such a great job. I
kept saying it, but it’s not enough. You guys-
I appreciate it. Thank you so much. The part that’s so weird after these virtual things, it’s like you feel so
connected all day and then you close it and you’re like, oh, I’m alone in the room. It’s so weird. But I
appreciate it as much… Just even this couple of people talk, it’s like, oh, there’s real humans over there,
so it’s great.
Hopefully you can sleep for two days.
All right. Bye everyone. Thank you so much.
Big thanks to the community for making each retrospective exciting, engaging, and fun! Thank you to the Voltage Control team for the hard work and dedication, to Mark Tippen for making our retrospectives a unique experience for everyone, AND to Shannon Varcoe for being a master facilitator of fun, creativity, and inspiring memorable conversations.
We hope you all have found value in each retrospective, one of our core values is buliding community, and this event was a shining example of the power of community, networking, and knowledge sharing! We are looking forward to seeing everyone at next year’s event!
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