My Sketchnotes from the Innotown Conference in Ålesund, Norway

I’m the son of a retired army major and an interior designer. For this among other reasons you could say art runs in the family. All my exercise books and textbooks from pre-school all the way to Form 4 (12th grade) have drawings, sketches, cartoons and caricatures filled in them in the space that wasn’t marked for writing notes and any blank space or page. It’s been in my DNA as one “creative son-of-a-gun”. I took art on-and-off in high school but was far too busy making sketches to actually do “art and craft.”

So when I found out a while back that there’s people who’ve taken this into a very unique career, the likes of Austin Kleon and Mike Rohde I set out to make sure I start thinking visually and taking better sketchnotes of talks and speakers I listen to. I recently did one on my other blog “missed the mark” (for the stuff that doesn’t make this blog, mark: my words) my notes were on a session on Design Research I attended by Catherine Sun, Associate Creative Director at frog design in New York (it was at the iHub in Nairobi, not in NYC :) check it out here.

Which brings me to this blog post; Innotown is the most amazing conference I’ve ever been to. It was a life-changing and mind-blowing experience that had my brain tired from all the sponge-work it was doing. Listening, noting down and reflecting on the amazing lessons I was learning from 8 of the smartest people on the planet talking about innovation, technology, nature, the deep sea, marketing, social change, energy, music and nuclear science (yes, those two together) and finance and economics. It changed the way I view the world as much as the way I view myself. It took place in the picturesque and tranquil Ålesund and I had the pleasure of sharing a stage with these amazing individuals as well as getting to listen to their wisdom.

I’ve taken sketchnotes before and was honoured to have them appear on the worldwide community sketchnoters blog! So below are some snapshots of my sketchnotes that you should feel free to enjoy, copy, paste, save, email, spread, tweet, like and unpack. Each of the visual cues have meanings so if anything’s unclear, drop me a comment below and I would love to take you through what it meant! Also I recommend you keep up with Innotown (I’ll have blog posts dedicated to the conference on my blog all this week) plus you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what’s up there.

Dayna Baumeister co-founder of the Biomimicry Guild on Innovation Inspired by Nature


Bill Strickland, President & CEO of the Manchester Bidwell Group on The Art of Leadership and the Business of Social Change



Dr. Stephane Garelli, Professor at IMD and Professor at University of Lausanne on From Breakdown to Breakthrough: A Competitiveness Outlook for 2011


Jeffrey “Skunk” Baxter (Doobie Brothers & Steely Dan guitarist and National Security Advisor) on Assymetrical Thinking in a Conventional World

Like I said, each of the visual cues have meanings so satiate your curiosity and let me know what if I can clear up anything and I’d be glad to if you drop me a comment below. And yes, I’d love you to come out to your conference to take Sketchnotes!

  • Bobby McGraw

    Good stuff. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mark Kaigwa

      Thanks Bobby, thanks for stopping by!

  • Kennedy Muema

    This is really good

    • Mark Kaigwa

      Thanks, Kennedy!

  • Lulu

    Fab quotes and great drawings. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mark Kaigwa

      Much obliged, Lulu. 

  • Lulu

    Fab quotes and great drawings. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lulu

    Fab quotes and great drawings. Thanks for sharing!

  • Pingback: From the Sandbox: Mobile Innovation is Africa’s Future by Mark Kaigwa | Sandbox()

  • Sebastian

    epic stuff. boom!