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Thoughts from a Keynote Artist & Visual Strategist

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  • Writer's pictureJulia Bakay

Virtual Graphic Recording for the Innovation Acceleration Forum

A key event at the International Water Association (IWA) Water and Development Congress & Exhibition (WDC&E)


I had the great honour of joining the Innovation Acceleration Forum held at the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition in Kigali, Rwanda! The Forum provided a platform for innovators, government, utilities, city managers, and practitioners to deliberate on sanitation and access to technology offerings, especially those from Africa or relevant to its sanitation landscape and challenges.


The Forum allowed innovators, the government, utility providers, city managers, and practitioners to connect and share their unique insights.


IWA Conference Bridge - Virtual Graphic Recording from London to Kigali

To support the Innovation Acceleration Forum, the IWA Inclusive Urban Sanitation Team invited me along to visually capture it, by listening closely to draw and link the key takeaways from every session throughout the day.


I tuned in virtually from the UK to practice my art of Live Graphic Recording, and my canvas was projected in the Forum room in Kigali during the breaks - the miracle of technology!


Live Graphic Recording IWA Conference - Visual Scribing Remotely

Here's a breakdown of what happened at this great Forum, as seen in my Visual Notes!


The First Session included a Keynote Speech and Panel Discussions on enabling Sanitation Innovation in Africa.

Live Graphic Recording at IWA Water and Development Congress - Innovation Acceleration Forum

Some key themes and takeaways were:

  • Major Transformation is needed, and that requires Leadership

  • Time to reframe the sector, disrupt and transfer to a sustainable business model

  • The importance of Policies, Regulations and Partnerships emerged several times


Virtual Graphic Recording at IWA Water and Development Congress - Innovation Acceleration Forum

The Second Session focused on Women- and Youth-led Sanitation Innovation Initiatives.

Virtual Graphic Recording at IWA Water and Development Congress - Innovation Acceleration Forum

The Third Session of IWA's Innovation Acceleration Forum focused on Funding and the Future.

  • Grants and Scalability - The Funding Pathways for Sanitation Initiatives

  • The Vision Forward

    • a systematic transformation is needed to move forward

    • these initiatives need to be facilitated by the Government but ultimately led by the Community

The Graphics Projected on the big screens between the sessions were a great success, not only did they decorate the walls of the congress room, but served as a great summary of the sessions and a touchstone for conversation while networking.


Once the IWA Innovation Acceleration Forum was over and all 3 Live Graphic Recording Pieces have been received and reviewed, I was commissioned to bring it all together, to create a Visual Summary of the day that takes highlights and combines all three sessions into one piece.


Here it is!


Innovation Acceleration Forum by International Water Association - IWA Conference Visual Summary

Read on to learn more about this new genre of Event Illustration: 'Visual Conference Summaries'.


The IWA Sanitation Innovation Team after event with Virtual Graphic Recording

I'm so grateful to have been invited to this wonderful event – The Innovation Acceleration Forum.



To find out more about the art of Graphic Recording, please read on!



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