Tree Speed – Future Feed Visioning Think Tank

On June 1-3, 2020, we hosted a virtual, immersive, and trans-disciplinary exchange for SUNY New Paltz faculty and staff to initiate an ongoing process of creative collaborative visioning around education.

System Drawing June 1, 2020
System Drawing from June 1, 2020 collaborative process.

Thematic Framing:

The global health pandemic asks us to distance ourselves socially for an indefinite length of time. On a larger time scale, the global effects of our collective greenhouse gas emissions have been relabeled a climate emergency. Our institutional pedagogy inadvertently perpetuates related dangerously destructive patterns, habits, and systems.

We as educators are now challenged to recognize our complicity and re-envision how and what we teach. How can we empower our students to become change makers who actively work toward an emerging sustainable and resilient world in the midst of shifting markets, territories, cultures, and threats?


On the three mornings, during which we met via WebEx, we engaged in body work borrowed from theater and from Indigenous and Eastern wisdom traditions, set out on guided slow individual experiential explorations, and engaged in silent collaborative drawing processes using ConceptBoard. We then visually traced our emergent dialogue to feed our growing word nursery of new paradigm discourse and practice. This collaborative process was followed by casual virtual brown bag lunch times for free exchange. Our process was augmented with shared readings.

June 1 – gathering, taking stock  
Detail from June 1, 2020 collaborative System Drawing process
Mind map System Drawing following our collaborative process.
June 2 – consciously observing, connecting, dissolving boundaries
Screenshot from collaborative System Drawing process
System Drawing mind map from our June 2 conversation.
June 3 – tapping into system wisdom
Debriefing drawing after 4-direction exercise, June 3, 2020

Organizing Team:

Tree Speed – Future Feed Lab, Michael Asbill (Lecturer in Art) and Andrea Frank (Associate Professor in Art)

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