I thought I’d take a few minutes to write a bit about a recent ecological/environmental conference I attended, which I found completely inspiring, energizing and life affirming. If you’ve not come across Green & Away, it’s Europe’s only tented conference centre, with everything in the open air or under canvas. Set in rolling fields outside Worcester, by the river Teme, I’d highly recommend it. I took part in the Resurgence summer camp, and as well as several great speakers and workshops, found the experience of living outdoors for 4 days (including taking open air showers!) really lovely. Satish Kumar, peace activist and ecological campaigner, ‘headlined’ and spoke of a trinity of ‘soil, soul and society’, which in essence I took to mean thinking of ecology as three inter-connected spheres which we must nurture as a whole if we’re to find sustainable solutions to the challenges of climate change, inequality and the many other ills facing the world. I was particularly interested in the ‘soul’ aspect, and the importance of connecting with our inner landscapes whilst moving away from a constant outer focus, for example on material possessions.
Related to this I attended a workshop on creativity and deep ecology, which drew on Joanna Macy’s work (see Joannamacy.net). This involved making connections with fellow ‘work-shoppers’ in a way you might not normally do, writing, telling stories and drawing. I’ve not come across this approach before, but am keen to find out more (hopefully with TTT) – Joanna’s website sets out a goal: ‘to help people uncover and experience their innate connections with each other and with the systemic, self-healing powers in the web of life, so that they may be enlivened and motivated to play their part in creating a sustainable civilization’
Kirsty Schneeberger also inspired the conference with her talk on climate change and intergenerational equity. An amazingly self-assured and natural speaker, she spoke about how she came to attend the UN climate negotiations in Bonn as part of a youth delegation, where she presented her ‘how old will you be in 2050?’ campaign. I’d really recommend looking out for her at other events
Finally, I’d love to get a (small) tented structure like one of these up at the community garden – let’s see what might be possible!