Lifeworlds

11/29/2022

[Full Interview] Nature as Mentor - with Jon Young

Season 100
Jon Young brings us into the ancient practice of nature connection mentoring. He describes how mentoring is a virtually extinct craft, and yet occupies critical importance in building the sensory awareness and neurology of young children. We delve into his rich tales of living among the San bushmen of Southern Africa, the role of wildlife tracking and bird language, insights on building ropes with the universe, and a turkey called Pete.For over 40 years, Jon young has been a deep nature connection mentor, wildlife tracker, peacemaker, author, workshop leader, and storyteller. A pioneer in the Western field of nature-based education, he co-founded the Wilderness Awareness School in Washington and the 8 Shields Institute in California. Jon has authored the seminal books What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World (2013), and Coyote's Guide to Connecting to Nature (2007). In 2016, he received the Champion of Environmental Education Award for his life’s work and for fostering the growth of the nature connection movement on a global level.Episode Website LinkShow LinksTom Browne Tracker SchoolFascinating biography of Jon’s lifeJon’s websiteCoyote’s Guide to connecting with NatureWhat The Robin Knows: Bird Language, Revealing the Secrets of NatureDescription of 8 ShieldsSan bushmenAnimas Valley InstituteSchool of Lost BordersMusic: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd
11/29/2022

10. Nature as Mentor: Wilderness Rites and Tracking

Season 1, Ep. 10
With Darren Silver & Jon Young.You’ve heard from many voices in previous episodes on how they’ve learned to listen deeply to the world around them. Today, as a fitting closure, we’re going to get into the HOW of all of this, so that you can embark on your own journey.Our two guests are wildlife trackers, wilderness guides, animal language experts and nature connection mentors. What they’ll share is that lifeworlding starts in the body, with core skills that were central to human cultures across time. These are ways of being that our modern world has rendered practically extinct, or rather exotic and primitive.There was a time when the land spoke vividly to each one of us - a snapped twig on a trail, an odor on the breeze, every utterance from a bird’s beak would be harboring a message, guiding you through the savannah or a steep canyon, the stakes here being your survival, your family’s meal for the week, your escape from the jaws of a toothed predator. Imagine the heightened electric body of yours that pulsed through that land. This is a world I long to come home to, again and again.These are the very things that keep me alive. Something visceral and untranslatable happens out there. When I peel away distractions, life becomes crystal clear. There is a sheer simplicity and poetic resonance to everything.Our first guest Darren Silver explains what quests like these entail, and why our culture so desperately needs them. For two decades he’s been working with teenagers and adults in initiatory practice, rituals and wilderness skills. After Darren, you’ll hear from Jon Yong, a renowned elder, a master storyteller, and a pioneer in nature-based education, wildlife tracking and bird language. Jon’s books, How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World and Coyote's Guide to Connecting to Nature, sit proudly on my bookshelf, tattered and dog-eared, having guided me on many an adventure. He’ll bring us delightful tales from his time with the San bushmen of Southern Africa, his love for bird language, and his friendship with a turkey named Pete.Episode Website LinkShow Links:Tom Browne Tracker SchoolAnimas Valley InstituteSchool of Lost BordersJon’s websiteCoyote’s Guide to Connecting with NatureWhat The Robin KnowsDarren SilverMyth of the Handless MaidenFox WalkingCore Routine - Sit SpotMusic: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd & The Rising by Tryad CCPL
11/15/2022

[Full Interview] Urban Ecologies - with John Thackara

Season 100
John Thackara is a writer, curator and professor who develops design agendas for ecological restoration, urban-rural reconnection, and multi-species design.He curated the celebrated Doors of Perception conference for 20 years, first in Amsterdam and later across India; he was commissioner of the UK social innovation biennial Dott 07, and the French design biennial City Eco Lab; and in 2019, he curated the Urban-Rural expo in Shanghai. His last book was How To Thrive In the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow’s World Today.Here we discuss...Why more information about the climate crisis just won’t cut it anymoreHow designers can experiment with the presence of microbial lives in their citiesThe phenomenon of weed watching and why it’s gone viralCelebrity hen and mango farmers in China who have broken down the rural-urban dividePlacefulness as a doorway into caringHow a giant consulting firm could better design their employee sustainability programme (hint: it involves having real tasks to do)Ecosystem restoration camps and place-based summer schoolsThe failings of snazzy car insulation made from myceliumAnd more ;)Episode Website LinkShow Links:John’s website Design for Multi Species Cities Regenerative Empathy Paper Sugi ProjectBack to the Land Summer School Urban Rural Connection in China Internet of natureLook out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes.Photo Credit: Jason Klassi via Getty ImagesMusic: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd
11/15/2022

9. Urban Ecologies: Where’s Nature in the City?

Season 1, Ep. 9
With Gavin Van Horn & John Thackara.How can people living in urban settings engage with a teeming animal world – right on their doorsteps? Can we design cities from the perspective and the lifeworlds of other species? And by the way, where does the city even begin? How can animals disrupt our associations of what cities are? Gavin Van Horn is the Executive Editor of the Center for Humans and Nature Press, and is the author of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness and The Way of Coyote. His story teaches a potent medicine for urban alienation, by honing our awareness to species like coyotes, robins, pollinators, and degraded urban forests. We talk about everyday intimacies, wild mutual gazes, the resplendence of pigeon feathers and examples of mutual healing when people repair urban lands and make nature whole. John Thackara, writer, curator and professor, develops design agendas for ecological restoration, urban-rural reconnection, and multi-species environments. He curated the celebrated Doors of Perception conference for 20 years, and was commissioner of the UK Social Innovation Biennial and the Urban-Rural Expo in Shanghai. John’s expertise lies in the realm of futures design and next economies, and in our chat he shares compelling examples of urban rural reconnection, such as designers experimenting with microbial lives, the viral phenomenon of weed watching, celebrity farmers in china, and placefulness as a doorway into caring.Episode Website LinkShow Links:John’s website Design for Multi Species Cities Back to the Land Summer School Urban Rural Connection in ChinaGavin’s website The Way of the Coyote BookKinship: Belonging in a World of RelationsGreencorps of ChicagoChicago WildernessBeing Salmon, Being HumanLook out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes.Photo Credit: Jason Klassi via Getty ImagesMusic: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd & The Rising by Tryad CCPL
11/1/2022

[Full Interview] Multi-species Entanglements - with Dr June Harrower

Season 100
Specializing in multi-species entanglements under climate change, Dr Juniper Harrower works at the intersection of ecology, art, activism and policy. She uses science methods and a multimedia art practice to investigate human influence on ecological systems, while seeking solutions that protect at-risk species and promote environmental justice. A founding member of the international arts collective The Algae Society Bioart Design Lab, she also founded the environmental arts production company SymbioArtlab. Harrower is the director of the art+science initiative at UC Santa Cruz where she also teaches art. In this episode we discuss the tensions that might exist between the fields of art and science, and how Juniper manages to blend both disciplines in her research. We explore the different ways that each field asks questions, and samples (spoiler: ecology involves a lot of counting), and then move into descriptions of her art exhibitions which reveal the language of leaves, Joshua Trees, mycorrhizal networks, deep plant evolution and settler culture. Episode Website Link Show Links: Juniper’s website and resourcesConversations on Botanical EntanglementsJoshua Trees and Art NYT: Airbnbs in Joshua tree featureCenter for Biological Diversity Algae SocietySymbioArtlab environmental arts production company Look out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes. Music: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd