Growing Through Nature

Photo: Nikolaus Geyrhalter – from the film Homo Sapiens

The Human Relation to Nature

Is Nature a threat to humans or vital for our survival? Most people would certainly say ‘both’. But why do we view nature as we do? Why do some people protect trees and others cut them down? Top that with mass extinction and biodiversity – who are we to give ourselves the right to leave large parts of the planet barren let alone deprive our grandchildren of close encounters with thousands of species?

Do you know the biodiversity index of your territory? How many nature-oriented entrepreneurs do you host in your organizational network? What is a human/nature relation? How does it work and what are the benefits for you?

For hundreds of thousands of years, humans walked on Earth on seemingly peaceful terms with Nature. Is it really only within the last 200 years that things have started to change? And if we really did become the enemies of our own soil, what happened? And how do we find our way back?

Let us take you for a ride of the last 12 000 years of human/nature relations – and the next 20. The discourse, the language, the institutions, the places, and things. Learn what we try to do to nature and how it responds. How a human/nature bridge works. After two hours of common discovery, your world will never be the same.

Hear about the history and philosophy of humans’ relationship with nature and book us for a lecture or workshop.

The lecture can be held in both English and Danish.

From 2 to 4 hours, at your place or in a location we define together with you.

A day in close encounters

What happens when you bring your concerns out of the office and into nature? When you define your highest ambitions and play them up into the resonance of trees, bees, grasses, and soil? When you learn the secrets of water and relate them to your lofty ideals of a better planet of being a good person?

The communicative success of branding products, organizations, and value chains brought along an unintended backlash: it left its proponents deaf and blind to their relation to nature. It left us without an active ‘memory of nature’.

But now, the loss of our active relation to nature is not just a “nice to have” anymore. Through the practices and theories of e.g. Regenerative Leadership and Cultures, and through the ubiquitous popping up of requests to rewild, blossom, render fertile, the physical spaces that human organizations inhabit, our awareness of the role nature plays is changing once again.

Managers and specialists walk the human/nature edge every day, looking ‘out’ at nature from ‘within’ their human perspective. Most of us lack the language to understand, relate, and measure the contents of their relations to nature. Nature is perceived either a space that we pass through or the body from which we extract materials to make what feeds us.

But in fact, every act of communication, organization or production, expresses a relation to nature, whether manifest or not. Do you think of the world as a mechanical thing, bodies as clockworks, and organizations as machines? Then it’s time to embrace the complex multiplicity of adaptive natural systems and reformulate your value circles.

In August 2021, we responded to a request from a Danish health agency, asking to bring them back together again after 18 months of pandemic-related distance. We decided with them to use the occasion to take them for a whole day of exploring a site of urban nature on Refshaleøen, and to try out some of their organizational and relational tools against the urban/natural ecosystems. The result was an eye-opening experience while at the same time offering the deep gift of connecting to each other in nature-based settings.

Hear more about what we can do for you and your staff by taking a day in nature and book us for a ride!

From one to two days – with or without spending the night in the woods, close to your place or in a totally surprising location. How deep are you ready to dive to re-kindle the living spirit of your organisation?

The workshop or field trip can be held in both English and Danish.

Some of the people behind

Oleg Koefoed
Oleg holds a PhD, in philosophy and history. He has been working on the relations of humans to issues of sustainability since 2006. This has brought him still deeper into the world views and material participations of humans in their environments and the analysis that humans have forgotten how to relate deeply to nature (around as well as within us). As a trained facilitator and method developer, Oleg has been able to design more than 100 exercises that bring us back inside the practice of encountering nohuman beings, thus re-membering our broken paths in the world.

Lars Engberg
Lars A. Engberg, PhD, is the founder and daily leader of Planerary Guardians, a movement and non-profit company working for rewilding projects across the globe. Lars has been a researcher for many years in the fields of urban sustainable development and citizen engagement and lives the practices of being part of the greater circles of human-nature relations. .

Nikolaj Noel Christensen
Nikolaj Noel Christensen has been associated with GP since 2016, when he was still a student in sustainable education and nature relations. In 2021, he delivered his master’s thesis in Naturdannelse – nature formation/education/Bildung, presenting the conclusion that our chance of relating to nature is all about an ontology where we recognize other beings as real and demanding our full attention. Nikolaj is a very active member in various nature associations, the Danish Ornitologists’ Association, RCE, etc.

Patricia Czobanczi
Patricia is a Designer and researcher of urban co-existence with a focus on food systems, urban nature, and communities. She is specialized in Industrial Design, but is always on the look for new ways to get inspired by natural designs and materials to develop new tools for a deeper engagement between humans and our environment. Patricia is also one of the main forces behind the Pollination Academy initiative and a strong believer in the power of journals.