I was spending a week on Terschelling, one of the five Frisian Wadden Islands in the North of Holland. The island is a nature paradise with huge dunes, lovely cranberry fields, pine forests and endless wide beaches. It’s an invitation for biking and hiking. And that’s what we did.
Normally the Dutch dunes are protected. On the mainland it’s strictly forbidden to leave the hiking trails and to penetrate into the dunes. In the Netherlands they fulfil the protective function securing the land from the sea.
On Terschelling at the entry to the dunes you find this signpost:
Vrij wandelen means free walking.
You follow your nose or the wind or you take a trail meandering through the sandy landscape. You discover some traces or paw prints you decide to follow; and when they come to an end you stop and watch where to go from there. The sound of the sea or the lighthouse towering over the dunes providing the orientation you need.
You cross some grassland or small forests and shrubs before you hit the heathland and the cranberry fields full of red berries. And finally cross the highest dune and reach the wide beach for a stroll along the shore or some wave jumping in the North Sea.
What if in front of each meeting room we would find an invitation for free thinking?
I imagine a golden engraved plate in front of each meeting room telling: Free thinking.
A space that invites for arranging free seating suited for the planned event or meeting: No fixed arrangement in U-shape but chairs, big and small tables light and handy to move around, some cushions and poufs. A space that is warm and welcoming, friendly and inspiring.
A space with walls ready to be filled with our notes, keywords, drawings, sketches and doodles. Virgin walls happy to be decorated with our ideas, reflections, thoughts, associations, questions, conclusions, exclamation marks, findings and insights.
A space that invites us to think freely, to combine our ideas and explore our thoughts. A meeting room that offers discovery, that invites us to get off road, to leave the beaten tracks and get lost, and come back meandering our thoughts freely.
Space matters. An invitation to think freely within the protected boundaries of a defined meeting space – I definitely would go for it.