Karl short bio

Karl is the founder of Gude Thinking and consults with organizations on the topics of Infographics and Creativity. Karl is an award-winning Professor of Practice instructor from Michigan State University, where he taught both of these disciplines. Prior to joining the academy, Karl was the Director of Information Graphics at Newsweek magazine and The Associated Press. 

 

Karl is a data artist and creative thinker who has consulted with numerous companies on the topics of visual communication and creative thinking. He has presented at three TEDx talks, at Harvard University's "Political Analytics Conference" and more than once at the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference on the “Power of Visual Storytelling." 

 

Karl is avid artist, doodler, goofball, and writer.

Karl long bio

Professional infographics: Karl Gude’s two professional loves are creative thinking and data visualization, specifically infographics. Karl was the Director of Information Graphics at various organizations, including The Associated Press, Newsweek magazine, and the National Sports Daily. He created, oversaw and collaborated on the creation of, hundreds of Infographics during his 25 years in New York City and Washington, DC. (see a sampling under "Karl's infographics" under the "About Karl" tab.)

     Speed is everything in the competitive world of journalism and Karl began searching for technologies that would allow him to complete his work faster. He embraced the world of Apple computers early-on and was even in a national Macintosh ad when he introduced them to United Press International, where he worked at the time.

    

KARL'S INFOGRAPHICS

     While at MSU, Karl cultivated a passion for creativity and wondered how he could help all 50,000 students, 5,700 faculty and top administrators on campus come up with more effective and unique ideas for solutions to the challenges in their lives.

     To that end, Karl worked with then university president, Lou Anna Simon, who was also enthusiastic about creativity, to bring creative problem-solving methods to these stakeholders. She arranged for Karl to conduct a hands-on  "Design Thinking" workshop for 200 college deans, department chairs and top campus administrators. We had intended that these participants would then hold equivalent (but smaller!) workshops for their faculty and staff, who would routinely include such creative-thinking methodologies in their classrooms and offices. Unfortunately, President Simon left MSU before we could see this through.

       Teaching and creativity: In 2006, Karl left the world of news for academia after being invited by the School of Journalism at Michigan State University to create two programs: one teaching infographics and the other on creative thinking and problem-solving. As the Director of their Media Sandbox, Karl oversaw programs that mix students with different interests and abilities to solve complex problems. The students worked to help non-profits locally and nationally with their communication needs. 

     While at MSU, Karl cultivated a passion for creativity and wondered how he could help all 50,000 students, 5,700 faculty and top administrators on campus come up with more effective and unique ideas for solutions to the challenges in their lives.     To that end, Karl worked with then university president, Lou Anna Simon, who was also enthusiastic about creativity, to bring creative problem-solving methods to these stakeholders. She arranged for Karl to conduct a hands-on  "Design Thinking" workshop for 200 college deans, department chairs and top campus administrators. We had intended that these participants would then hold equivalent (but smaller!) workshops for their faculty and staff, who would routinely include such creative-thinking methodologies in their classrooms and offices. Unfortunately, President Simon left MSU before we could see this through.

       On the side: Karl is a visual storyteller who, in addition to his work at Michigan State, consults with organizations to help them create accurate and understandable infographics and/or to be more creative in how they do what they do. He has given three TEDx talks and presented twice at South by Southwest (SXSW) on the power of visual storytelling Karl was also a regular writer for the Huffington Post. In addition to his day job, Karl is a self-taught artist who loves to draw and paint (see "Karl's artwork" under the "About Karl" tab.. Karl has illustrated two children's books that, together, sold 100,000 copies and his illustrations and cartoons have been published on the OpEd page of the the New York Times. Karl also has a very popular online Coursera course, "Design and Make Infographics."

In the beginning... Karl has had an eclectic mix of jobs. He has worked as a dairy farmer in Vermont, an English teacher in Colombia, a factory foreman in Los Angeles, a carpenter in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and a bike messenger in New York City. Through it all, Karl has done his art. He is a self-taught artist who  moved to New York in his early 20s to see if he could build a career in that field. While there, he stumbled into journalism and infographics, and never looked back. Karl's ability to draw and paint, his management experience in early jobs, his curiosity about the world, and hunger  for learning blended well to make it in the world of high-stakes journalism.

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