Peter Durand is Creative Director of Alphachimp Studio Inc., a graphic facilitation firm located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
As an illustrator, painter, traveller and graphic facilitator, Peter has been an entrepreneur all his life, and has worked on over a hundred corporate projects in North America, Europe, Africa and Austrailia. His varied career combines group facilitation, information graphics, visual learning and web design. He is considered by many to be one of the top graphic facilitators in the world. He receives requests to participate in projects focused on community problem solving, product design and strategic planning.
Futurist and author Andrew Zolli writes: "In my opinion, visual thinking is the most under-leveraged and potentially powerful tool available for creating and enhancing innovation. Alphachimp Studio is among the very best in the industry, and their ability to capture, enhance and represent big ideas is second-to-none. Do yourself a favor and hire this company, or worry that your competitors will."
Peter has used his talents to serve such diverse clients as the Amercan Heart Association, Bayer Chemicals, Cap Gemini, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ernst & Young, GM, GE, MIT, Fidelity Investments and Microsoft. His skills at synthesizing ideas in a compelling and useful form have been used at major conferences for the Center for Business Innovation, MIT, Pop!Tech and the Society for Organizational Learning. He has also been invited to contribute his talents to strategy sessions and war games sponsored by DARPA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Peter's interests have recently turned to the emerging field of social enterprise. The Pittsburgh Social Enterprise Accelerator asked Peter to co-design a methodology for aiding non-profits in the design of revenue-generating business models.
In terms of facilitation, Durand doesn't believe in the old "Sit-N-Get" method involving PowerPoint slides and bullet point lists. He believes that Nature gave us incredible minds and bodies built for movement, creativity, intellectual rigor, emotional engagement and fun. His firm Alphachimp Studio Inc. crafts their events and workshops to involve all of these learning styles in order to serve the ultimate needs of the team and their stakeholders. Alphachimp's mantra is very direct: "Make stuff. Make stuff happen."
In a 2002 interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Peter describes what he does as "doodling for dollars." His wife and business partner, Alicia Diane Durand, reminded him they're not supposed to say that. However, writer Brain O'Niell observed, "But they do. They have a unique capacity for taking what is said at brainstorming sessions and putting it into clever cartoon form, so that conversations and ideas can be visualized concisely and quickly. That's worth money."
Alphachimp Studio Inc. collaborates within a national network of talented facilitators and consultants who specialize in a diverse set of specialties. Together, they can design an engagement to accomplish any team's specific goals:
Biotech and Pharmaceuticals
IT Infrastructure and Implementation
Branding and Marketing
Military History and Theory
Complexity Theory and Application
Working from the business goals backwards, each workshop is designed with the end in mind, combining Artist Way at Work techniques with the philosophies of the architect Christopher Alexander, the product designers Ray and Charles Eames, and business thought leaders such as MG Taylor, Peter Drucker and Peter Senge.
- BFA in Visual Communication from Washington University in St. Louis (1991)
- Artist residency, Cité des Arts, Paris, France (1991)
- Institute of Polish Language and Culture, Jagiellonian University, Krakow (1994)
- MFA in Industrial Design from the Polish Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow (1995)
- Masters thesis: "Pilgrimage to the Black Madonna Shrine of Czestochowa"
- Awarded the Miliken Travel Scholarship by Washington University (1991)
- Kosciusko Foundation Cultural Scholarship (1993)
- Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, sponsored by Oak Ridge Club, District 6780 (1994)