The wellbeing of people is interconnected with the health of nature.
We know in our hearts from everyday experience that we flourish when we have healthy relationships with ourselves, other people, community/society and with the rest of nature, there is now mountains of research that backs this up. However, we tend to focus on our own self and social development and leave out the development of our relationship with nature. We know that we can feel a great sense of purpose when we grow vegetables, or plant trees, we feel empathy when we take care of our pet dog, our creative imagination is sparked when we marvel at a shooting star, we feel refreshed when we walk out in the breeze, we feel expansive when we look out at the ocean, we feel uncomfortable out in the cold and the rain, we feel like we belong to something bigger than us when we look out at a view. Some people call these types of feelings a sense of connection to nature, all of these feelings directed at one-self, others and nature, together are what defines wellbeing and wellbeing is what allows us to flourish.
Reason for being
HumaNature Connect was founded in 2013 in response to the mechanical and siloed way in which our society is addressing the environmental crisis we face. Whole conversations and solutions could be crafted in offices in the name of environmental sustainability without even mentioning the word plant or animal or ocean or… any reference to any of the natural world including people, that we are trying to sustain. I made it my mission to bring nature back into every day consciousness and in doing so strengthen a sense of belonging and connection to the natural world towards a vision of a flourishing natural world including humans.
Programs, workshops and presentations introduce human wellbeing into the conversation about environmental sustainability and introduce the health of the natural environment into the conversation about human wellbeing. Drawing on twenty years of experience working in the fields of biological science, outdoor education, bush and adventure therapy, and health promotion, as HumaNature Connect I offer a wide range of experiences and learning opportunities.
How we work
To think and act differently about the human-nature relationship requires a transformational shift from the mechanistic and siloed way we think now as a society to a more holistic and empathetic way of understanding.
HumaNature Connect works at the group level to create shared understanding, shared vision and inspiring ideas and works with individuals to develop their ability to see nature, see self in nature and see nature as part of wellbeing.
To achieve this we utilise an experiential human-centred design process that may include:
- Experiences in (outside) or with nature (inside) that engage all the senses
- Reflection on experiences in and of the natural world; engaging thought and intuition.
- Meaning making through different forms of expression
- The identification of new actions, projects or different ways of being.
Informing fields of thought
The work is informed by many different fields of thought and techniques associated with personal and social transformation including:
- Health Promotion
- Strength based and narrative approaches
- Social transformation processes -e.g. Utheory (deep listening); future visioning; collective thinking, human centred design
- Behaviour change theory and Social Marketing
- Creative inquiry process; art therapy
- Nature and outdoor education; bush adventure therapy
- Indigenous ways of knowing
- Education for Sustainability
- Social Ecology; Human Ecology
Who we work with
Anyone, but particularly people who can influence others such as educators, social service organisations, teachers in training, community development workers, leadership facilitators, designers, leaders in development.
We also believe everyone has the human right to access nature and so we work with some of the most excluded in the community through community mental health programs.