Events and Programmes
Events and Programmes Event Calendar
Deepening our connection to nature - A journey into Gaia and Deep Ecology

An online programme by Dr. Stephan Harding, Juliana Schneider, and Natalie Leung of Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden
Date: 6 – 20 Jun 2023  
Location:  Online
Public Events

1. Nature

This two-week online course is led by Dr. Stephan Harding and facilitated by Juliana Schneider and KFBG staff. It introduces the Gaia theory and deep ecology, providing an integration of scientific, philosophical and practical foundations for developing a deeper engagement with the natural world. This online journey combines learning materials, live teaching and discussions, guided exercises and experiential sessions.  Practical exercises that can be done independently at home help ground the learnings and reflections. The course follows the Schumacher College model of encouraging exchange between participants as well as with the teachers and facilitators, thus creating a true community of learners.

This course is for anyone wishing to deepen their relationship with the natural world, whether in their own lives or in their professional practice. No previous knowledge of Gaia theory or deep ecology is required.

“A human being is part of the whole called by us the universe. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.” (Albert Einstein)

Click HERE to download programme poster

Short promotional video:

Teacher: Dr. Stephan Harding

Stephan is one of the founding members of Schumacher College, an international centre of transformative education for sustainable living, located in Devon, UK. He has coordinated and lectured on the master’s in holistic science for nearly two decades, besides teaching many of the college's short courses. During this time. Stephan has taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological thinkers and activists, including Arne Naess, the proponent of deep ecology, and James Lovelock, proponent of Gaia theory, as well as Fritjof Capra, Lynn Margulis, Brian Goodwin and Rupert Sheldrake. He is now the Deep Ecology Fellow at Schumacher College and is a teacher on several ecological educational projects internationally.

Facilitator: Juliana Schneider

Juliana has been a close affiliate of Schumacher College for the past decade, having graduated with a master’s in holistic science and worked as a facilitator alongside a variety of experts including Stephan Harding, David Abram, Vandana Shiva and Satish Kumar. In 2013 she founded an educational enterprise in Brazil that experiments with more participative organisational methods. Juliana has also taught and facilitated holistic thinking through numerous groups with highly diverse backgrounds. She is now a collaborator of educational initiatives in Brazil and internationally through mentoring, consulting and teaching, as well pursuing a PhD as a researcher with the Schumacher Society.

Facilitator: Natalie Leung of KFBG

Natalie is the Senior Education Officer at KFBG, she is also a certified forest bathing guide, Zentangle teacher and a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance.

2. Content and Schedule
The two-week course includes the following:

Week 1 (6  – 12 Jun 2023)
Session 1: Coming together online Zoom session
Date and Time: Tues 6 Jun , 7:30 - 9:30pmHKT
Welcoming group members, plus introduction to the scientific revolution and its impact on the modern world. Participants are guided in the particular ways in which thinking has become separated from our sensory engagement with the world.

Session 2: Online Zoom session
Date and Time: Thurs 8 Jun ,  7:30 - 9:30pm HKT
Continuing our exploration of the scientific revolution and more holistic ways of seeing. Participants are invited to reflect on their plant observation exercises carried out at home and practise contemplative exercises during the session.

Session 3: Experiential
Date and Time: Sat 10 Jun, 9:30am – 12:30pm HKT*
Nature immersion experience by KFBG staff (ANFT-certified forest therapy guides). This journey offers a sensory connection and a rebuilding of humankind’s relationship with the living forest. The session highlights the interconnectedness between humans and nature, and explores experientially our ecological engagement with the living earth.

*Session will be postponed to Sat 17 Jun , 9:30am – 12:30pm HKT in case of bad weather

Week 2 (13 – 20 Jun)

Session 4: Online Zoom session
Date and Time: Tues 13 Jun, 7:30 – 9:30pm HKT
Who is Gaia? Stephan Harding guides participants in an exploration of the view of scientist James Lovelock, founder of Gaia theory. This hypothesis proposes that from the complex interactions and feedback between living and non-living things on the planet emerges self-regulation of key planetary variables at the scale of the whole planet, such as global temperature and acidity.

Session 5: Online Zoom session
Date and Time: Thurs 15 Jun , 7:30 – 9:30pm HKT
A journey into deep ecology: introducing a sense of belonging to an intelligent universe and developing deep commitment to a more eco-centric lifestyle. Using Arne Naess’s deep ecology approach, participants look into nature’s intrinsic value, which proposes an in-depth interaction with the community of all beings as a way of expanding one’s ecological awareness committed to living well with Gaia.

Session 6: Experiential Deep Time Walk
Date: Any day between Tues 13 – Mon 19 Jun
A self-guided experience in which participants use the “deep time walk” mobile application on a 4.6 km walk designed to scale with Gaia’s developmental trajectory over geological time. As participants walk in their own Gaia space, they can feel the earth beneath their feet and consider the planet’s astonishing history over vast spans of time to reflect on the role of humans in the evolution of the planet.

Session 7: Online Zoom session
Date and Time: Thurs 20 Jun , 7:30 – 9:30pm HKT
Deep ecology in our everyday life. Reflection on and sharing participants’ course experiences , and how these might translate into everyday life actions and choices. 

3. Language
Sessions will be conducted in English, with Cantonese option ​available for the experiential forest immersion walk.

4. Target group/ No. of participants
- Aged 18 or above
- Maximum of 20 participants
- Minimum of 12 participants

5. Course Period
6 - 20 Jun 2023

6. Format/ Location
- Live course and interactive session: Zoom
- Experiential forest immersion walk: onsite at KFBG
- Deep time walk: mobile application

7. Fee

8. Application
Please complete the registration as follows:
- Please click HERE for the online registration and payment on or before 24 May 2023
- Upon receipt of the application form and payment, a confirmation letter will be sent by email within 2-week
- Payment is not refundable after confirmation

9. Enquiry
Natalie Leung at +852 2483 7108 or

10. Note

  • A pot plant is needed for the home exercise Recordings of the Zoom sessions will be shared on KFBG learning platform; personal login ID and password will be provided prior to the start of the course. Participants can login to access materials within the learning period.
  • Please download and install Zoom on your device before the interactive week.
  • Please check your email inbox and junk/spam folder regularly to ensure you receive the latest updates.
  • Prior notice will be given to participants in case of cancellation. A full refund will be arranged accordingly. 
  • KFBG reserves the right to select participants for this workshop in order to ensure the quality of the workshop for all participants. Unsuccessful applications will receive a full refund.

More about Kadoorie Earth Programme

This experience is brought to you by the Kadoorie Earth Programme (KEP). 

Kadoorie Earth Programme is an initiative co-created by KFBG and its network of collaborators and volunteers. By integrating the various strands of KFBG’s nature conservation, sustainable living and holistic education programmes, it provides life-transforming learning experiences that reconnect people with themselves, each other and the rest of nature and enable them to cultivate resilience in the face of climate change, economic uncertainty and other related challenges. Facilitated by leading educators, KEP guides participants to experience a paradigm shift, to let go of the same way of thinking that created the problems1 and open their hearts to new ways of knowing and acting. We invite you to be part of this unfolding initiative, to make a difference together in this world.

1 “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.”
Albert Einstein