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Vision Map

Posted by Jutta Goldammer from Visionautik Akademie


Group size

1 – 500

Subgroup size


More infos to group size

If participants explore their own ideas/vision, you can do it with as many participants. If you work on a common topic you can either explore individual dreams within it or it is limited to 5 people working with one map.

Is participant experience relevant?

It's okay if participants haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years.

Physical trust needed

Mental trust needed


Material Description

• Maps: Print the (soon) attached template on DIN A0 paper and a cover template on DIN A3 cardboard. Fold and glue together. Make sure to do it together with someone and have a good conversation aside or to listen to a good audiobook; it takes a while to prepare them. But it is worth it, people LOVE to have their own map with their name on it and they value the love and care you put into it. If you have a lot of time with the participants you can also let them craft their own map. The minimalistic way is to give each person a flipchart paper, but it is not the same.
• A printed list of legend symbols and their meaning to inspire for each participant. You'll find a legend template attached soon.
• Creative Materials: Pencils, pens, colors, brushes, old magazines, stuff to glue on (feathers, leaves, collected flat items, glitter stuff, fabrics etc.), scissors and glue. It is great to have a huge collection that supports the participants to think their ideas in terms of abundance.
• Tables to put the map on and/or large, light boards (we like to use large canvases, they are light and robust) and/or easels.

Create materials quick and dirty

20 min

Create materials with love and care

3 hours



2 hours – 10 minutes

Experience level of the facilitator

taken part OR some facilitation experience

Number of facilitators


Location requirements

Enough space to spread all the maps.


Level of activation


Woo-Woo Level – How touchy-feely is this method?

From 1.Rationalist-Materialist “No feelings here, folks.” to 5.Esoteric-Shamanic Bleeding Heart:

Innovation Phases:

4 Idea Generation

Method Category:

Idea generator


Drawing, painting and writing a vision/idea landscape on a big map using the analogies of geography and topology to intuitively explore visions or complex future ideas. Especially suitable if the vision/idea is still vague and difficult to express.



Analogies from other areas of life help explore new perspectives. Visualization is useful for filling out ideas in an intuitive way. A map with all different aspects of topography turned out be vast enough to record all different kinds of idea "landscapes". At the same time, the map provides helpful questions like: "Where in my project/vision/idea are nature reserves that must be preserved in any case?" or "Where in my project/vision/ideas are the wells, the natural resources, the points of interest, the ruins, the dangerous cliffs, etc."


Visionautik Akademie




If people are not familiar with the concept of working with analogies you can do a little introduction game in the circle (or in small groups if the group is very large) where the participants say something about themselves like "If I were a plant I would be a ....(name of the flower, e.g. a sunflower) because.....(e.g. as they turn always to the sun and I am a very optimistic person with the ability to see the light in a situation). Animals are also suitable analogies.

PREPARATION (excluding materials)

Prepare or buy a map for each participant. For more information see the Materials section.
Prepare a table with creative materials.
Make sure there is enough space for the participants to spread out their maps. It is not necessary that they all work in the same room. It is nice to have some light boards to stick the maps to -- that gives the participants the flexibility to also work outdoors or put them on an easel. Otherwise you can work on tables, on the floor or stick them to the walls. Find the right ground according to what's available in your workshop space and what your participants might need or want.

1 Briefing

Hand out the maps and the legends and explain the task: they should draw/paint/create a map that visualizes their project/idea/vision. Introduce the idea of analogies with a few examples and make sure they have all understood the principle about working with geographic analogies. Some people might have fear of painting. Encourage them to be amateurish, the idea is not to paint a beautiful picture. Maps are meant to give orientation, they don't need to be artistic. They can of course, but that's not important. Tell them the meaning of the legend is just a proposal. They should give the topographic items the meaning they find helpful.
Tell them to find a place where they want to work, set a time when you want to come together again and offer to be there to help and answer questions.

2 Creating the vision maps

Let your group spread out and be creative with their maps. Be around to hold the space, answer questions or support where it is needed.

You should leave at least two hours to work on it. Our participants often worked with the map during a development process over several days or weeks. Whenever something new occurred or changed, they added a new layer, a new scribble or picture. The map is a work in progress.


The method self-contains the harvesting. A nice version of group harvesting is to make a vernissage of the maps. Provide a festive ambience, prepare glasses with prosecco or juice and classical music, maybe there is even someone who can play a live piece on the guitar or piano. Introduce the vernissage with a few appreciative words about the purpose of the exhibition and the gifted artists.
Split the group in half. One half stands next to their map and explains what their map is about and answers questions. The other half stroll along the maps as in a vernissage, asking questions, enjoying watching, getting inspired, giving feedback and further ideas. After a while (20-30 minutes) swap the groups and the other half can show their maps.



-If people work individually on figuring out about their vision/future project and don't know yet how to start, it is good to scan what is really important in that whole field.
-This is a nice way to individually explore viewpoints in a group where there has been a lot of thinking and talking. It adds space to the process, slows down the thinking mind and is a good grounding exercise. Also, some people can think and develop more easily in a non-verbal way and with individual space. It helps integrate ideas from people who are not so good at expressing their ideas or who are more introverted.


If you are in an interesting diverse landscape, let's say a seminar house with a lake and woods, hills, etc. around, you can invite your participants to sketch the real surroundings and go to the places in nature and give them the meaning for their project/idea/vision. It can be very powerful to anchor the idea in the physical surrounding and create spaces with "vision memories" just as the Aborigines from Australia connect ideas, knowledge and memories to a certain physical space to help the mind remember.

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