By Joern Fischer.
From 6-8 February 2019, Leuphana University will host Leverage Points 2019. The conference has several key themes inviting us to look at leverage points where interventions might lead to transformative change towards sustainability. Here, I introduce one of these themes: re-connecting people with the natural environment.
Why did we choose to focus on re-connecting people with the environment as a potential leverage point for sustainability? Of course, there are many areas in which changes are required, including many areas in which “deep” changes are needed. But for me, re-connecting people with the natural environment has always stood out as an intuitively obvious area that cannot be ignored.
So much about modern lifestyles is hyper-separated from our immediate natural environment — in biophysical terms, cognitive terms, emotional terms, spiritual terms … and probably in a range of other ways, too. As a result, calls have become more and more prominent to address this gap between people and the environment. Leading scholars like Carl Folke and others have called for re-connecting to the biosphere, Kevin Gaston and others have warned of an extinction of experience and have thought of ways to consider the potential health benefits of greater exposure to nature. Far from the realm of science, Pope Francis has spoken of our need to care more deeply for the natural environment, and oneness with all that is has long been experienced as truth by many spiritual leaders (more on this at the bottom of this blog post…).
At Leverage Points 2019, we aim to take serious such calls for re-connecting with the natural environment. How do different disciplines approach this topic? How can we think about re-connecting with the natural environment? At which spatial scales should we connect? And how will this work in practice?
Abstract submission for this conference closes on 30 June — soon! Submit your Abstract here.
… Oh, and the following video is to check if you’re still awake. Since I talked about oneness with everything … it reminded me of this ….