services

Here’s a bit about what I do, how I do it, and the guiding principles I bring to each job. Keep scrolling for a list of select clients and testimonials!

 

Graphic recording

I love working with groups that are asking hard questions about race, equity, and social justice. These conversations require risk, vulnerability, and deep listening. Graphic recording allows the conversation to hold multiple truths at once, which helps folks move past the work of defending their perspective and towards the work of understanding each other.

When I’m in the room with you, I’ll be:

  • listening for key points, even if they’re contradictory and no matter who says them

  • analyzing the conversation, even when it’s fraught and especially if it’s uncomfortable

  • documenting what I hear using images and text, so that everyone stays engaged during the conversation and leaves with a shared understanding of what happened

Credit: Lydia Daniller Photography

 

Credit: Lydia Daniller Photography

Gathering well isn’t a chill activity.
— Priya Parker, The Art of Gathering

Facilitation

I create environments that welcome and support all folks to do their best thinking, especially those who face oppression on a daily basis. I love thinking through an entire day, from welcome to close. My favorite clients are those who talk about race, power, and privilege as part of our planning sessions.

My approach to facilitation includes:

  • preparation: reviewing background information to inform agenda design and day-of facilitation, co-creating a realistic agenda with the planning team, and designing group processes that achieve the desired outcomes.

  • day-of facilitation: leading participants through the day from welcome to close, creating and maintaining a supportive and respectful environment, managing difficult dynamics gracefully, engaging and including all participants, keeping up the momentum and energy, and switching gears on the fly to address unexpected issues or dynamics.

  • project management: check-ins with the planning team, timely and thorough communication via phone and email, and post-event follow up.

 
 

Guiding principles

Here are guiding principles that I bring to my work. I like to state these up front so that folks know what to expect from me.

  • Racism and oppression are real, and they have shaped each person’s experience in the world - including mine, and also yours

    How this plays out in the work: I expect my collaborators to start from this point. I don’t expect us to agree on what comes next and I’ll never push an agenda on anyone, but I do expect us to share this orientation to the world.

  • Everyone has a piece of the truth

    How this plays out in the work: I listen to all the voices in the room, especially those that don’t fit in a box. I won’t favor folks by calling on them more or putting more marks on the paper because of their titles or phenotypes. I will make sure the space is comfortable for those who are likely to be least comfortable.

  • Participation looks different for everyone

    How this plays out in the work: If I’m working with you as a graphic recorder, I’ll listen as intently to the voice that speaks once as I do the voice that dominates the conversation. If I’m working with you as a facilitator, I will create as many spaces for silence and reflection as I will spaces for open conversation.

  • This day cannot be everything for everyone

    How this plays out in the world: I will push you to identify priorities and make sure your stated goals align with the way the day plays out.

 

Select clients

  • Alameda County Public Health Department

  • Best Babies Zone Initiative at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health

  • Boston Consulting Group

  • ChangeLab Solutions

  • eBay

  • Girl Scouts Heart of Central California

  • New Orleans Health Department

  • San Francisco School

  • Social Grove

  • Target

  • The Opportunity Institute

 

TESTIMONIALS

Rio was a pleasure and a great presence in our Women in Tech Leadership panel at Target’s Open House. She captured the key messages from each of the speakers and the essence of the discussion that took place. Attendees and presenters were all impressed.

I highly recommend Rio’s work! She is professional, responsive, attentive and has a distinctly charming personality. I can’t wait to work with Rio again!
— Summer Koide, Sr. Director Product and Experience, New Ventures and Accelerators, Target
I hadn’t worked with a graphic recorder before and was unsure of what to expect, but Rio’s thoughtful questions and efficient prep calls set us up for success. The day of, Rio was professional, personable, autonomous, and neat — and brought a fun and refreshing spin to our event.

Rio’s unique combination of high-level thinking, strong communication, and graphic talent ensured important takeaways were not left in the room at the end of our event. I appreciate her ability to synthesize and simplify complex information into graphic form that’s both useful and grounding as we move forward in our work.

Thanks for everything!
— Sophia Pennella, Program Associate, ChangeLab Solutions
Rio is a consummate professional. From our planning conversations to her graphic recording of our national convening, Rio demonstrated her high-level of organization, emotional intelligence, and signature creativity.

In the planning process, Rio’s smart intake questions and thought partnership helped me get clearer, not only about my objectives for her role, but my broader goals for the convening.

During the convening, she demonstrated keen listening skills and a high capacity to synthesize complex information into visually striking recordings. Many participants said that her recordings helped them to process and integrate the information shared.

I would hire Rio again in a heartbeat!
— Emily Warming, Director of the Best Babies Zone Initiative at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health