Facilitation inspired by nature

I hike, bike, and camp in the mountains to relax, to have a change of pace from the routine of daily life, to recharge creativity, and to challenge myself. While I purposely do not think of work, I find that many of my best facilitation session designs come during or after a long day of hiking or biking. Here’s my recent mountain inspiration and the design sketches back at the campsite.

A five-hour hike into a beautiful and rugged mountain landscape gave me time to let my thoughts wander. I had an upcoming online session on my mind and, while watching for bears (!), ideas for the session flowed into my consciousness. When I returned to our campsite, I grabbed the scrap paper I had thankfully brought and started to sketch the session. It’s not pretty; yet led to a completed design when I returned home. The event was an input session with 25 participants held online using Zoom. I sketched a Jamboard as the way to gather ideas and recommendations from five groups. The session went wonderfully!

I like to explore research articles that add to or dispute my experiences; so off to the Internet I went. Here are interesting articles about the ways that nature contributes to creativity. I offer these articles for you to explore. That’s what I have done, and I have not ascertained academic or scientific validation. Rather, I include them for you to read and think about what they mean to you.

The impact of nature on creativity – A study among Danish creative professionals



  • Nature can enhance creative ways of thinking.
  • Nature helps with recharging directed-attention needed when developing ideas.
  • Nature especially plays a role in the Preparation phase and the Incubation phase of the creative process.”

“This 2015 article investigates the ability of natural environments to enhance creativity. Seventeen qualitative interviews were performed with Danish creative professionals of different age, sex and profession about their creativity, their relation to nature as well as their experience of nature’s ability to stimulate their creativity. Findings from this study show that nature does indeed have the capacity to enhance creativity. This study explains how nature has the ability to evoke the creative way of thinking by making us more curious, able to get new ideas as well as flexible in our way of thinking. Nature also helps us to recharge our directed-attention which is needed when analysing and further developing ideas.”

A comparison of nature and urban environments on creative thinking across different levels of reality



  • 2D and 3D nature videos elicited higher creativity compared to urban videos.
  • Real-life nature and urban environments elicited equally high creativity.
  • Urban stimuli watched indoors diminished creativity performance versus nature stimuli.
  • Being outdoors in general was enough to stimulate creativity”

Being in nature always inspires me. What environment helps you to think, to feel, to create, to design?

Contact me to talk about hiking, camping, or facilitation.

When I am not hiking or camping, I am playing with my wonderful grandchildren, reading, gardening, walking, volunteering, and … oh yes, running a full-time facilitation business. Contact me to talk about the types of discussions and decisions your organization, team, or group may need and how I can help facilitate them. Perhaps a walk in nature could be part of our design. www.barbpedersen.ca

Facilitation inspired by nature
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