Collaborative Project Facilitation

Collaborative Project Facilitation

Powered by Nature Competition, 2013

Project Specifics

  • The challenge: To co-create a social media campaign to raise awareness of “natural solutions” for energy and encourage the young generation to become “powered by nature”.
  • Launched by IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication and the Alcoa Foundation in February 2013
  • Competition open to European communications students
  • 11 winners from different countries took part in a five day residential workshop in the Netherlands
  • Two facilitators
  • A state of the art green venue built on sustainability principles
  • Inputs from sustainability, communications and energy experts online
  • Local excursions to gain inspiration from nature
  • Tight deadlines tested participants ability to cope with feelings urgency and at the same time be creative

Powered by Nature is an innovative programme for European communications students to co-create a social media campaign on energy and nature. In August 2013 eleven students from all over Europe met for the first time near Amsterdam. In less than five days they created a witty online campaign called ‘Better in the Dark’ that calls on people to switch off the light. My role was to co-facilitate the programme, and help the participants achieve their very ambitious goal. Wiebke Herding, the instigator and inspiring programme manager put together a superb schedule that included online learning, feedback from experts, and inspirational journeys by boat and vintage limousine. What I did was help to build the team, support and encourage, and ask timely questions to keep the group on track. Thanks to one of the participants, I also learned how to use the Vine App, which turned out to be a great tool for encouraging spontaneity and laughter.

“Edward is a pro. I hired him as facilitator for the Powered by Nature workshop, and was blown away by the results the group achieved with his guidance. I love his willingness to experiment with new formats, his ability to blend online and offline spaces and his skill in holding challenging conversations and processes with ease and humour. I’m looking forward to future projects together.” – Wiebke Herding, Sustainability Communications Expert and Facilitator