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“WE ARE NATURE”
At Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, our vision is to harmonise our relationship with nature. By promoting encounters with its beauty and intelligence, we hope to contribute to a world in which people live sustainably with respect for one another and other creatures.
Combining this vision with KFBG's conservation and educational work, we invite speakers from around the world to share their ideas and thoughts via online sessions. We believe that by bringing together experiences in nature and a range of different perspectives, we can find new pathways to re-discovering our place in nature.
The 2023 Talk Series, under our Kadoorie Earth Programme, take you on a journey of discovery and understanding of how “We Are Nature”. Get in touch with the power of the soil and seeds, the intelligence of the plant and animal world, and how we can act to transform ourselves and the world around us. We hope you can join us to cultivate an ecological worldview together!
---- Touching the Soil
“How many times have we touched the soil in the past week?” Indian environmentalist and writer Satish Kumar asks.
He continues: "and how many times have we touched our phones?"
Opening this year’s series on Earth Day - Saturday, April 22 - Satish challenges us that, in the midst of our busy lives, we seem to have forgotten that we are connected to the soil and to the web of life.
He is followed by Indian activist philosopher Dr. Vandana Shiva, who will inspire us to connect to the power of seeds as an integral part of this web.
“Soil Is the Source of Life” with Satish Kumar
Without soil there is no food and without food there is no life, no trees, no forests. Soil represents life on Earth. In our human-centred worldview, in our educational systems, in our study of science and technology, we have come to think that soil simply means dirt, and is unclean. But it is not dirty: it is the source of life.
At the moment we behave as if we can do to Earth what we like. Our activities are causing global warming and climate change, we poison the soil, we cut down rainforests, we interfere with seeds through genetic engineering. These are acts of war with nature! We engage in such a war because we see ourselves separated from nature. We need to realise that we are nature, we are all part of this healthy web of life maintained by soil, in particular, and by nature in general. As we are nature, therefore, what we do to nature we do to ourselves.
Date: 22 April, 2023 (Sat), Earth Day
Time: 18:00 - 19:30 HKT (10:00 - 11:30 GMT)
Registration: Click Here
“We Are Seed, We Are Soil, We Are Shakti” with Dr. Vandana Shiva
We are the living seed, the living soil. We are the creative power of Shakti, the Indian goddess of creation.
The living Earth is self-organised, creative, constantly evolving. Every part of the living earth is self-organised and creative. We are part of the Earth, we are part of nature. We are not separate from nature. Nature is not inert, mere raw material to be extracted for industrial use. We are not superior to other beings, We are part of the Earth family, united in diversity, life and compassion. When we sow seeds of love, we grow our future.
Date: 31 May, 2023 (Wed)
Time: 18:00 - 19:30 HKT (10:00 - 11:30 GMT)
Registration: Click Here
---- Deepening Our Connection to the More-Than-Human World
If most of our present problems are a consequence of our separational worldview, seeing “I” as independent from nature and others, how can we heal this division? In the age of the new science of interdependence, the Earth is considered a living organism and everything exists in relationship to it - from trees to worms to humans. Deepening our appreciation for the intelligence and wisdom of the more-than-human world, we take another step towards healing the wounds of division, disconnection and separation.
You can download the above poster HERE.
“Between the Body and the Breathing Earth” with David Abram
This talk explores the ecology of perception, pondering the ways that our bodily senses -- our sight, our hearing, our touch -- function to bind our nervous system into the surrounding ecosystem. It also examines the ecological influence of language: the manner in which our ways of speaking can serve either to inhibit or to encourage reciprocity between our senses and the sensuous terrain. David will likely draw examples from his travels as an itinerant sleight-of-hand magician, living among and learning from indigenous peoples in Southeast Asia and the Americas.
“Co-Existing and Co-Creating with the More-Than-Human World” with Om Sunisa Janwiset Deiter
Om's talk explores the insights and inspiration that drew her to explore the deep connection with the more-than-human world, various natural elements and the non-physical, subtle realms such as consciousness, energy fields and intuitive intelligence.
She also shares how Gaia Ashram has been building its culture and education programmes based on this concept of co-existence and co-creation in the community of all beings of which humans are a part of. This sharing includes practical guides for nature connections.
---- From separation to transformation
With the deeper understanding that we are nature, comes responsibility for the precious world we share. Shifting from the modern illusion of being separate individuals, with limited power for change, to understanding our role as part of this living web, how can we act to change the world around us?
Manish Jain explores how we can bring our energies to transforming the systems we live in after we have fallen back in love with the rest of nature. He shares his ideas and stories around moving from ‘Deadlihood’ careers and lifestyles to ‘Alivelihoods’ – those careers that bring our deepest selves, our communities and our ecosystems alive again. How to make our work sacred again? How to reclaim local culture and reimagine education? How to rebuild the gift culture?
He shares practical experiences from his work at the Ecoversities Alliance, Swaraj University and Complexity University.
More about Kadoorie Earth Programme
Kadoorie Earth Programme (KEP) 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, one another and the rest of nature, and enables 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. Inspired by the famous quote of the scientist Albert Einstein, that “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them” - we cultivate learning spaces to let go of the same way of thinking that created the problems, and to open our hearts to new ways of knowing and acting.