How hiking can spark innovation

Other pages: Read more about hiking and:
ThriveClimate ChangeEnvironmentPlace-makingInnovationResourcesStorytelling

Drawings by Frits Ahlefeldt,

Traditional hemp clothing illustration

Rain Gear for Hiking

Hiking gear Research project and sketches about rain protection from traditional designs to future designs

Concept sketch of different ways of using wheels when walking. for suitcase, backpack etc.

Hiking with wheels project

Ways of using wheels when hiking research project

Conceptsketch of solar powered tent concepts Drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt.

Solar power tents

Ideas, sketches and research into how solar power panels and batteries might be used in connection with tents

Sleeping pads with solar charger. concept sketch Drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt

Solar power sleeping mat

Got an Idea for a sleeping mat with solar panel integrated – concept drawings and thoughts

Solar power umbrella types sketches. concept sketch Drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt

solar charging umbrella

Concept: could we design umbrella types that also work as solar chargers ?

Floating biodiversity wind turbiine. off shore. Atoll version. Concept sketch watercolor and pencil. By Frits Ahlefeldt

Atoll wind turbine biodiversity concept

Idea sketch of an atoll sustainable wind power turbine, with a structure that can support biodiversity

Concept and sketch: Bow off shore wind turbine generating power for remote areas and supporting biodiversity Concept sketch watercolor and pencil. By Frits Ahlefeldt

Bow wind turbine biodiversity concept

Idea sketch of an bow shaped sustainable wind power turbine, with a structure that can support biodiversity

Concept for a wind generating island by hikers shelter in remote area Concept sketch watercolor and pencil. By Frits Ahlefeldt

Seal island wind turbine

Idea sketch of a vertical, floating sustainable wind power turbine, with a structure that can support biodiversity

Illustration of a hiker scientist taking a GPS photo of an invasive species in action. Environment scientific Science drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt

Hikers can help observe invasive species

Hikers can help monitor, photograph and share data about invasive species of both animals and plants

Drawing of a hiker with a binoculars, taking notes of birds. Citizen Science illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Helping monitor birds while hiking

The birds of our planet are endangered – we’ve lost more than 1.5 billion birds in resent times – Hikers can help monitor both where the birds are and how well they are thriving in habitats and along migration routes

Drawing of a scientist in rowboat with lots of space for more, people on land asking him if he needs a hand. Citizen Science illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Giving a hand to science

drawing of people who want to help scientist alone in his research boat under difficult circumstances

Hikers taking samples

Drawing of hikers taking samples and doing scientific work while hiking

Drawing of girl with a star in her hand looking at different options to classify it, while two others participate. Citizen Science illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Organizing scientific data

When not hiking people can make a huge difference by helping sorting data about the trails, habitats and even helping science learn more about the stars above

Drawing of a man on one side watching tv and on the other side doing science. Citizen Science illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Citizen science from passive to active

drawing of a man watching TV about science vs exploring

Drawing of two hikers watching a stream where pollution has killed birds and fish. documenting it. Citizen Science illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Hikers documenting pollution

Hikers can help monitor and create map about how well the environment is doing

Drawing of people working with wild birds, ringing and monitoring them. drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt

Where to report a ringed bird

Hikers sometimes come across dead birds that has been ring marked. Here hikers can help the mapping of local and global bird populations by documenting their findings on

Illustration of hands holding a phone with a biodiversity game app on it. Citizen Science drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt

Biodiversity game app

Inspired by games like Pokemon Go, new apps are entering the world, where the real magical creatures of the planet are the main characters

Drawing of a search chain of people beside a line of people following the leader or expert. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Search chain vs line

Two very different ways of moving through a landscape and strategies to gain new understandings

Drawing of two young people with backpacks. They are having two puzzle pieces putting letters together that form the word "facts" Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Facts of a bigger picture

We will often be able to gain better understandings from more perspectives when sharing our knowledge

Drawing of a scientist fishing with a magnifying glass. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

The science angler

Heading out in the landscapes to catch facts and do research

Drawing of people working with press and media. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Talking to the press

Drawing up how more and more hiking projects also becomes media projects – getting funding, making videos and sharing updates to get funding or attention

Drawing of a lone scientist on a small island, beeing dragged by a ship towards land. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Scientist island

Drawing of a scientist alone on his island being towed to a better place to re-connect with others

Drawing of a city with citizen science written over several buildings and people talking. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Cityzen Science

Can we design places along the trails that are more open and better support innovation, debate and science

Drawing of a girl and a dead bird. first she is feeling sad, second she is sharing on social media, third image she is engaged in collecting, sharing and saving the species. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

From sad smiley to engagement

Using new technology hikers can move from not only being concerned about the environment to actually help innovate new solutions and knowledge of how our planet is doing

Drawing of planet Earth with people working in groups around it to innovate, collect and share understandings. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Building global networks of knowledge

We live in a special time where it is possible, using technology, to build new collective landscapes of understanding

Drawing of a hiker with a phone, collecting data about whales along the coast. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Whale watching while hiking

Hikers walking coast trails can sometimes not only see whales but also help science, by documenting where they see them

Drawing of a car with a net attached to catch and research insects. Citizen Science illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Citizen science insect projects

Cars driving around with huge nets on their roofs help document and collect new knowledge about local insects

Drawing of people taking test along the shore and in sea. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Walkers and volunteers collecting water samples

Walking along the coastline can be combined with collecting important data and samples and sharing it with scientists

Drawing of a scientist thinking in data, a citizen thinking empathy to a flooded person and planet Earth thinking a heart. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Science, citizen and planet mindset

New knowledge focus on how there are huge differences between how scientists, engaged citizens and maybe even the planet thinks

Drawing of a landscape with people and nature with all details having projects attached to them. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Connecting to Citizen Science projects

The amount of citizen science projects that hikers and walkers can connect to and help in are growing

Drawing of group of people with scientists sitting together innovating in "science jam session", hiker included. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Science jam session

Science is often seen as a top down lecture activity, but hiking together and debating, seeing and meeting different point of views around a campfire is a better way to innovate

Drawing of a scientist as a music conductor. Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt

Scientist as conductor drawing

Drawing of a classic way to see science, as the knowing expert with the overview and plan, creating knowledge and understanding is maybe a bit like the conductor creates music experiences together with musicians

Working with groups vs individuals

Some projects and trails are created by volunteers working together, others are placed in the hands of organisations where members work together

Walking can make people creative  in new ways. The experts are not really sure why, but it works and has been used by inventors, writers, artists, philosophers, musicians and many, many other creative souls to explore options beyond the edge of the known, to push borders of the established conventions and create new understandings, solutions, designs and art

To hike and to innovate is close related in strange ways, not only in our language, where the metaphors about innovation is filled with paths, dead ends, u-turns and depending on what the pathfinders bring in their “backpacks” and if they can think outside the box and move through unknown terrain, even against the wind… to light up the fire of the new.

Walking is a unique way of creating new understandings and exploring the creative potential of designs

One of the main things on is to connect hiking and innovation, to create thrive, save resources and explore new and more sustainable ways of living on this planet.