Behind the Scenes: What Attending a COVE Workshop is All About

Beyond the Scenes Blog

So you might wonder, what is a COVE workshop all about? Our flagship workshop is the Foundations of Visual Literacy and what makes it unique is not only the engaging content of the workshop (more on this later), but that it is mostly conducted in art museums! We leverage the art museum’s collection in order to teach the tools that not only improve what we see in a work of art, but in the workplace as well. It so happens that the same approaches to seeing detail and creating meaning from a work of art also helps us see hazards that have become so familiar to us that we no longer see them. That is until an incident occurs and we look back and say “I’ve walked by that a thousand times and I just never saw it!”

Our workshop is a combination of classroom activity and time in the museum galleries learning about Visual Literacy by experiential learning. We do activities and exercises that build competency in understanding how the tools work and why that is important to our work in safety and operations. The same tools that we use in the galleries are then practiced in the classroom on actual workplace examples. We learn using art, but quickly shift to application in real world situations using workplace examples to make objective observations leading to hazard identification. Visual Literacy is a form of critical thinking that reveals how we process visual information. 

Workshop Highlights:

  • Expert Facilitators: Our workshop will be led by industry experts with extensive experience in risk management and visual literacy.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with professionals who share your interest in creating safer and more resilient work environments.
  • Interactive Learning: Engage in hands-on activities and discussions to reinforce your understanding of visual literacy concepts.
  • Certificate of Completion: Receive a certificate to showcase your commitment to continuous learning and professional development.

When you leave a COVE workshop, you are ready to implement on a personal level the use of the tools to improve how you see, how you interpret what you see, and take more meaningful actions as a result. We work hard to explain how the brain processes visual inputs and makes meaning so we understand what we are looking at. We talk about how biases influence our interpretation of what we see and impact our decision making. We also share the three keys to effective communication so that we can share what we see effectively.  

The opportunity to experience an innovative approach to improving safety performance is only a registration away. We look forward to seeing you in a future workshop!

Doug Pontsler

Doug is Chairman and Managing Director for COVE, the Center of Visual Expertise. Launched in 2018 by the Toledo Museum of Art, COVE is dedicated to the application of visual literacy for industrial and service applications with an emphasis on safety. In this leadership role he is responsible for all aspects of the enterprise including thought leadership, product development and client satisfaction. Prior to his current role, Doug was the former vice president of operations sustainability and EHS for Owens Corning. He joined Owens Corning in 2002 and held leadership positions including director of corporate services and vice president of global sourcing. Doug also served as a member of the National Safety Council Board of Directors and as the Chairman of the Campbell Institute at the National Safety Council. He is a recipient of NSC’s 2019 Distinguished Service to Safety Award. Follow Doug on LinkedIn


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Behind the Scenes: What Attending a COVE Workshop is All About