Make Nature-based Education the Dawn of a New Beginning
Smoky Sunrise-Yellowstone River, a painting by Paul Krapf/Via fineartamerica
The World is in a Bad Way- Fix Education, Fix the World
Ecological Degradation and the Climate Crisis are the classical signs of a Failure of Imagination
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself.” – William Blake
The Wisdom of Mother Nature belongs to all Life.
Let be guided and inspired by Her and Save the Web of Life
'Be like the sun for grace and mercy.
Be like the night to cover others’ faults.
Be like running water for generosity.
Be like death for rage and anger.
Be like the Earth for modesty.
Appear as you are.
Be as you appear.'- Rumi
‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.'- Aristotle
The Time is Now to Embrace the Transformative Powers of the Nature-based Education- Kamran Mofid
“The future will belong to nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.” — RICHARD LOUV
“For over a decade, we've been living in a society bloated by its own success and excess, congratulating each other on how successful everything has been. Property prices were going to climb for ever, debt was treated as cash for free and technology was going to sort all of our problems. The problem is that we have been ignoring the costs that been paid for a shallow success that's only been measured in financial and material terms. Never has the opportunity for change been as great as it is now as the political, financial, social and environmental needs for common sense outcomes converge towards a single point.”
And now this is where the Wise Mother Nature steps in.
Let us take her caring hand and be inspired by her ways.
'We become teachers for the reasons of the heart.
But many of us lose heart as time goes by.
How can we take heart, alone and together,
So we can give heart to our students and our world,
Which is what good teachers do?'-THE HEART OF A TEACHER
‘Education is an essential factor in the ever more urgent global fight against climate change. Knowledge regarding this phenomenon helps young people to understand and tackle the consequences of global warming, encourages them to change their behaviour and helps them to adapt to what is already a global emergency.’- The Iberdrola group
‘We create changemakers’: the new UK college dedicated to climate crisis
Black Mountains College in Wales aims to prepare students for life during a planetary emergency
"No educational institution could be more important, nor more urgently needed."- Michael Morpurgo
Black Mountains College. A brand new college in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, to create a future where nature and humans thrive in harmony. More on this later.
World in Chaos and Despair: The Healing Power of Nature-Based Education
‘O Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty
and let my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears grow sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength not to be greater than my brother or sister
but to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me always ready
to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes
So when life fades as the fading sunset
my spirit may come to you without shame.’
- Chief Yellow Lark, a nineteenth-century Lakota elder.
‘In all my academic life, spanning over four decades, I have been dismayed, frustrated and overwhelmed with pain to notice that our education model has not embraced the beauty and the wisdom of our mother nature and our sacred earth, corporating them into the teaching curriculum.
This, to my mind, has seriously deprived the students, our future leaders, or indeed, our current leaders, to get a wholesome, values-led education, and thus, has prevented them, to vision and implement policies to heal our world, to better our lives.’- Kamran Mofid
'All creatures of Earth are looking to us for their destiny. Among these are our children and grandchildren, who depend on our decisions for the sustenance and flourishing of the life systems of the planet.This remains one of our primary challenges in the twenty first century.”-Father Thomas Berry, Evening Thoughts
‘We must restore our largely broken relationship with nature if we are to ensure the planet’s future – and our own…If our civilisation is to survive and thrive, we must shift our collective perspective away from being primarily a self-centred species, with demands that must be met and interests that must be served, to seeing ourselves as part of a wider natural system in which we have responsibilities towards other lifeforms. This is not only an ethical agenda but a question of survival, for if we wish to continue living on Earth, our life-support systems must be protected and repaired…One way to address the crisis of perception is to foster reconnection with the web of life that sustains us. For many people, especially those in urban areas, meaningful contact with nature can be rare. Solutions can be found, for example, through teaching about nature in schools…’- Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England.
‘Coronavirus shows us it’s time to rethink everything. Let's start with education.The pandemic is a tough lesson in the workings of the natural world – and proves how vital a knowledge of ecology really is.’- George Monbiot
When there is no Mother Nature Present- There is no Balanced, Values-led Education
A Time to Rethink What is Valuable, What We Teach, What We Learn, and How We Live
Learning from the wise Mother Nature
Continue to read: World in Chaos and Despair: The Healing Power of Nature-Based Education
“When beauty touches our lives, the moment becomes luminous. These grace-moments are gifts that surprise us. When we look beyond the moment to our life journey, perhaps we can choose a new rhythm of journeying which would be more conscious of beauty and more open to inviting her to disclose herself to us in all the situations we travel through.”-John O’Donohue
We should look beyond economics and open our eyes to beauty
“We seem to have forgotten that the human spirit is not satisfied by material progress alone. It’s time for us to reconnect with nature.”-Fiona Reynolds, former National Trust director general
“William Wordsworth is Britain’s best-loved poet, whose thoughts, sentiments and writings about people, nature and society, are so topical and current they could have been written yesterday. Wordsworth is known to be a worshiper of Nature. His love of Nature is tender and truer than any other English poets. There is a separate status of Nature in his poems. He believed that there is a divine spirit in nature. He believed that the company of nature gives joy to the human heart and he looked upon nature as a healing force. Above all, he regarded her as a great moral preacher. He believed that there is a link between man and nature.In his eyes, "Nature is a teacher whose wisdom we can learn if we will, and without which any human life is vain and incomplete. "He believed in the education of man by nature. "Sweet is the lore which Nature brings”.
And Now the Good News: A NEW APPROACH TO EDUCATION that We All Have Been Waiting For to Transform our World and Our Lives for the Better
Black Mountains College (BMC) which has been founded in response to the climate crisis, and is designed to foster creativity, imagination, hope, healing and adaptive thinking, in the rural surroundings of the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales.
‘Deep in the Brecon Beacons, writers Owen Sheers and Ben Rawlance have founded a centre of learning in response to the climate crisis. Black Mountains College will teach ecology and "future rural skills" – alongside science, humanities, performing arts and manual work – with the idealistic goal of fostering imagination, empathy and adaptive thinking…’- Continue to read
…’Its purpose is to help prepare people in all walks of life for the major social and economic changes ahead that will flow from the climatic changes already baked into earth systems. To do so, a diverse collective of scientists, educational experts, creatives and climate activists are pioneering a unique educational approach. Disillusioned with traditional education that mostly teaches knowledge in relation to a set of relatively stable and outdated conditions, they are proposing a different kind of learning that doesn’t just focus on acquiring facts, but equips people with the tools to unleash the hugely resourceful human in us all.
‘Our capacity to learn as humans is our key asset in surviving the future. To create homes, communities, businesses, and systems that are less brittle –more responsive and resilient– we will need to learn more and faster…’- Continue to read
And now, I wish to convey my heart-felt congratulations and best wishes to Black Mountains College. I wish them all the success in all they are doing.
The Time is Now to be Inspired by the Example of the Black Mountains College
Finally, a heart-felt plea to my academic colleagues and friends at business schools, departments of economics, MBA programmes and more all over the world:
Please let us not forget about the “Nature of Business- Transformational Change: Business inspired by nature”.
As noted throughout this Blog, a perfect storm of social, economic and environmental factors mean increased volatility for our working environments. In these transformational times our organisations are being challenged to ‘redesign for resilience’. As for example, Giles Hutchins in his book ‘The Nature of Business’ has so eloquently shown, organisations that seek out opportunities in these challenging times by redesigning for resilience are best able to survive and thrive the volatile times ahead. Firms of The Future are Businesses Inspired by Nature, applying ecological thinking for radical transformation at all levels of organisational design and behaviour.
Therefore, my friends, I invite you to design and offer modules on the relationship between a successful business and Mother Nature, the original entrepreneur, and the original guide to living wisely.
These modules should look at how nature is inspiring innovations that: increase energy and resource productivity; eliminate the concept of waste; catalyse the shift from product to service-oriented economies; build natural and social capital, and enhance business resilience. They should also provide an opportunity to think more philosophically about the natural world and our place within it, and to explore contested narratives about people and nature and how diverse perspectives are embedded in policies, institutions, leadership styles and business models.
Your friend in humility,
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