Rainforest Immersion:                           The 1-day program that has launched innovation ecosystem movements from Canada to the Caribbean.

about the rainforest immersion program:

For groups wanting a dynamic introduction to Rainforest principles, one that yields insights that can be put to use immediately, the 1-day Rainforest Immersion is very powerful. It can be run for participants from a single organization or for stakeholders     from an entire innovation ecosystem; from an executive team to a regional conference of 100-400+ stakeholders. This high-energy 1-day program is a common starting point for leaders considering our Innovation Fellows program, or engaging in Innovation Strategy and or Leadership programming.

What makes Rainforest Immersions unique? Prior to the start, participants complete the Rainforest Scorecard assessment (the short-form takes about 20 minutes online).         An analysis of aggregated (anonymous) scores reveals how participants perceive their organization's innovation strengths and weaknesses, and illuminates improvement opportunities. This baseline assessment ensures that participants translate Rainforest concepts into real-world meaningful insights they can use to launch initiatives for improving weaknesses (a re-assessment in 6-12 months highlights progress and restarts the cycle toward continuous innovation ecosystem improvement).

Rainforest Immersion cases: Rainforest Alberta, US/Mexico Innovation Frontera (see video below), Innovate Daytonaand the US Virgin Islands

To start a conversation about a Rainforest Immersion for your organization or innovation ecosystem, contact us. To get into the details, read on! 

Check out this video from a Rainforest Immersion conducted for Innovation Frontera. It was attended by innovation ecosystem members from El Paso, TX + Las Cruces, NM + Juarez, Mexico in 2015!


The 1-day Rainforest Immersion program benefits organizations and ecosystems in three principle ways by:

  1. Providing an enjoyable, engaging, and practical introduction to innovation ecosystem concepts, so participants can begin immediately to appreciate what is helping and hindering innovation in their organization or regional culture;
  2. Presenting a remarkably fast way to build rapport and collaborative momentum in an innovation ecosystem, whether in a single organization or across an entire region; 
  3. Setting the stage for a dramatic and positive shift in the values by which collaborators and fellow innovators operate. Clients have shown us that when they redefine the "Social Contract" in their innovation ecosystem, enormous amounts of passion, good will, and resources are brought forward and put to use with amazing speed.

Program Flow

Rainforest Immersions usually follow the flow outlined below. Program topics can be expanded depending on client needs. Our typical 1-day program covers: 

  1. Frame, Flow, and Introductions to kick off the Immersion.
  2. Activity: Envisioning an innovation culture; what helps and what hinders?
  3. Presentation of innovation ecosystem concepts and analogies: "Rainforest" vs "Farm."
  4. Activity: Synthesize your Rainforest Scorecard assessment results using data visualization tool: Rainforest Radar.
  5. Presentation of aggregated anonymous scores with analysis. 
  6. Activity: Making sense; finding patterns; identifying high-leverage improvement opportunities.
  7. Activity: Assembling Innovation Initiatives for high-leverage improvements uncovered in previous activity.
  8. Activity: Consensus around a Social Contract and values to enable a vibrant innovation ecosystem.
  9. Dialogue to synthesize the day's learning and confirm next steps.

Delivery Modalities

Rainforest Immersion programming is designed using proven accelerated collaboration techniques, cutting-edge design-thinking, and experiential adult learning methodologies.

  • In-person event (10 to 400+ participants)
  • Rainforest expert presentation and group facilitation
  • Real-time graphic facilitation

Timeline for your Rainforest Immersion

The typical Rainforest Immersion program has the following timeline. Clients find this planning and execution process easy and familiar: 

  • 4 weeks prior - Program is scoped and scheduled, unique to each client's context. Client sponsors meet with Rainforest Strategies (via WebEx or in person) to frame the context for the event, establish desired outcomes, develop a participant invitation, clarify the Sponsor's role, and set up both the online and onsite admin and logistics.
  • 3 weeks prior - Participants are invited to complete the Rainforest Scorecard online. Participant data is captured securely on a Rainforest Strategies cloud server as each participant completes the survey. The online assessment closes 1 week prior to the event to allow time for analysis.
  • EVENT DAY - Participants and Rainforest Strategies facilitators convene at the venue of your choosing. The Rainforest Immersion is a full day experience, typically running from 8am to 5pm including a working lunch.
  • 7-10 days post - All presentations, participant work, data and analysis are packaged into an event summary. These summaries are informative, colorful, and designed to deliver both story telling about what happened and support for implementation of improvement initiatives developed in the event. During the scoping process prior to the event we will show you several examples of these powerful post-event products.
  • 14 days post - A debrief conference call with client sponsors and Rainforest Strategies confirms next steps for confident implementation. We will help you unpack progress during and after the Immersion; how to make best use of the event summary to grow participation going forward; and how to organize implementation on improvement initiatives. 

Email or call us to start the conversation about setting up a Rainforest Immersion event for your organization or region. To learn about our other services go to: Innovation Culture, Innovation Leadership, and Innovation Strategy.