The wind was rich, smooth, peaceful, and inviting. We launched our paragliders from one of our favorite mountains in northern California and cruised over the giant coastal redwoods, winding left and right, spiraling up and then down, gliding over the rolling oak woodland ecosystem. Delighting in the little lifts, we skimmed gracefully over the top of ephemeral, invisible thermal waves. Finally descending toward the Pacific Ocean, gratitude flooded my spirit and I smiled, brightly in the crimson late afternoon sunshine. Something about the ocean’s infinite expanse opened my heart. I could breathe peacefully again.

“Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing’s gonna be all right.”

Bob Marley

Nature’s Reflection 2020

From Fear to Flight

Tragedy and loss befall us all in life. And, wherever we are in the world, we are living in deeply troubled and turbulent times. This turmoil, I want to believe is part of our natural transition toward a more mature, conscious, cooperative community. But, I do imagine we could also turn away from the sun, devolve as a species, and affect our own demise. As I’ve been going through a personal evolutionary process, I’ve been reflecting over many sets of ocean waves on the natural rhythm of life, our participation in its dance, and our interpretation of what it all means. I have come to realize that while we can’t avoid the continuous tide of personal-professional-planetary change; we can decide how we immerse ourselves in each moment- how we internalize change and how we respond to disruption in our world. While we can’t control the pain, suffering, or reality of climate chaos, the corona virus, continuous biodiversity loss, or global ecosystem collapse; we can respond. We can decide how we live our lives forward. We can re-direct our compasses true north and evolve toward a more naturally intelligent, carbon neutral (negative), zero waste, inclusive, coherent society.

Flying over the Pacific Ocean it dawned on me that the first step to gaining right-bright perspective on local-global change is to embrace an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude naturally opens us up to a more positive, progressive, holistic view of the world; while judgment, condemnation, and despair, shuts us down. To experience flight — mentally, spiritually, and (if one is so lucky) physically — to trust in the winds of change, to live with an attitude of gratitude — is a gift. To be courageous enough to launch off the mountainside into the big, unknown future with full trust — is to embody the kind of faith that moves mountains. And, moving mountains — creating systems change, inspiring global movements — is exactly what we need to be doing right now, while staying grounded in the reality of what’s right here; right now is right here and now… no matter what. Why? Because everything that transpires in the world is an opportunity to respond with right action. In a presentation I attended this week with Jack Kornfeld and Paul Hawken at Spirit Rock, Paul spoke to a jam-packed audience about the perfection and right timing of climate change. At first everyone in the room was stunned and silent. Then, he explained that this climate change — donned the greatest existential threat to humanity and life on earth; was a blessing. What? Why? Climate change impacts everyone (some less or more at first); but as our earth systems are intertwined and there is only one ocean-one biosphere upon which we all depend — we are all impacted by climate change. As in the book “Taxi Wisdom” — On a jet airplane you are no safer in first class than anyone else.” … and so the same when it comes to global warming. So, guess what? The global threat of climate change gifts us with the greatest collective opportunity to express our highest uber-social selves (which according to EO Wilson, is a manifestation of our truest humanity) with right actions to drawdown carbon. These actions, we then collectively, exponentially scale by sharing widely through our peer groups and influencer circles — in uber-social, true human ways. Essentially, climate change gives us the opportunity to be truly human — to show up in the world with great humility and humanity. I’ve been on this human path — also to decarbonize my life… and I encourage you to do the same. It’s community enriching, creatively stimulating, environmentally rewarding, and personally healthier.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. “ Leonardi da Vinci

Check out the following to get you going on the right flight path:

Project Drawdown

Global Footprint Network


Exponential Climate Action Roadmap

(Note: If you know others; let me know… I like to share.)

So in the spirit of thanksgiving and flight over our fears, here’s a short-list of few people and programs, actively and aggressively responding to climate change and environmental degradation — for which I am grateful. There are 100’s of initiatives, so note that these are only a few central to the New Deal for Nature and People.

In Gratitude for Early Signs of a New Nature Revolution

In Gratitude for Our Natural Intelligence

Thankfully, we are already biologically and socially programmed with natural intelligence — an innate and intuitive sense of connection to each other and communion with the natural world.

We just have to awaken that root part of our being that naturally seeks to cooperate with others. According to the founding father of social biology, EO Wilson (mentioned above), “Evolution has hard-wired us for cooperation. Our emotions are what bind us together, make us ultra-social, and give us the evolutionary advantage to dominate our world.” Our ultra-social nature is what has driven the Industrial Revolution, advanced science, nearly eliminated extreme world poverty and polio, and taken us to the moon. Now, given the right alignment and coordinated intentions; we have the U-social evolutionary advantage to revolutionize our energy production, design an integrated circular economy, and transform our food-waste-water systems in ways that optimize our existence in earth’s unique biosphere and revitalize ecosystems, so the life continues to thrive. We now have the knowledge, the technology, and the tools to create a paradigm shift toward a zero waste, carbon-negative (balanced), nature-regenerated global society. As many of these design strategies are already mimics of the biological world, we are already actively observing the natural world and learning from the collective intelligence of life within the biosphere.

Check out — Ask Nature for a few cool tips.

Pre-order my book, Naturally Intelligent by Design for a deeper dive into natural intelligence and optimizing our lives.

Nature’s Reflection 2020

In Gratitude for Open Dialogue about our Human+Nature

Thankfully, a more honest, open, and authentic conversation on our human+nature relationship is happening within the international community of world leaders as I mentioned in my earlier post on the Davos Manfesto. Since the Industrial Revolution, economic incentives have generally favored expanding economic activity to the detriment of nature conservation or restoration. (IPEBS) Thankfully, we are becoming more aware of the tenuous State of Nature and recognizing the gravity of our mad and rapid drive toward a possible sixth extinction of life on earth…unimaginable, right?! Thankfully, we are beginning to appreciate that we are inextricably tied to the life force of the planet and that the biosphere as it has evolved over the past 3.7 billion years is our ideal Garden of Eden home. Thankfully, there is also growing intrigue about the natural principles that preserve the integrity of natural dynamic systems. There is no waste in natural systems. All living creatures are essential contributors to the mutually synergistic, balanced, and circular flow of energy through the ecosystems, which keep them healthy and stable. And, when the great poets of humanity speak to us about our kinship with the natural world and one another; they are really saying that the biology of life on earth is woven into the fabric of our being.

Nature’s Reflection 2020

We are waking up to the reality that we are dependent on nature for every breath we breathe, every molecule of food we eat, every sip of water we drink, and every heart beat in resonance with the rhythm of the natural world. We are becoming more aware that we rely on a healthy natural environment and vibrant symbiotic ecosystem to maintain our own personal health, emotional balance, and spiritual wellbeing. Thankfully, we are beginning to acknowledge our dependence on nature for raw resources — timber, medicines, forage, seafood, minerals, textiles, food… and free services-cleansing, recycling, renewing, pollinating, processing… that fuels and ignites and drives our global economy, markets, and industries, everywhere. We are also realizing that nature can be our greatest ally in designing forward a stable, yet dynamic future global society according to the same principles of nature — namely, crafting economic systems that are circular and developing natural resource plans that are regenerative.

In Gratitude for Increased Valuation of Nature

The climate-nature crisis before us is an unconscious reflection of how we have perceived and valued nature in the past century. Since the early 1900’s we created an artificial human-dominated, urban landscape completely isolated from nature. And, thousands of years prior — during the Agricultural Revolution (12000 years ago), we began to cultivate, domesticate, and alter the natural environment to grow our own food and to build our villages distinct from wild nature. What we didn’t realize was that by breaking nature’s symbiotic laws –by disintegrating from nature, by producing non-biodegradable waste, by polluting water and air, by burning off ancient stores of carbon to fuel industry, by dumping plastics and chemicals into our waterways, and by replacing wetlands- (nature’s natural filters) with mega-cities and industrial farms; we were breaking with the rhythm of nature. Nature would respond.

Thankfully, real-time geospatial snapshots of the earth and earth systems are now making us painfully, transparently, and undeniably aware that nature is responding, wildly. We are rapidly and exponentially approaching irreversible planetary tipping points. (Johan Rockstrom, Potsdam Institute)

Thankfully, we are now finally paying attention. We are beginning to realize that we are now not only linked to one another through global markets, international trade, worldwide communications, international education-technology exchange; but also shared concerns for the stability and health of our biosphere — Our Planet, Our Common Home. We are noticing the unhealthy ramifications of our polluting human activity to air, water, land, and life. We are an innovative species. We can respond fast, efficiently, and exponentially to crises. We can mobilize…and create our own cultural tipping points to counter our dismal mismanagement of nature- now!! Despite historic resistance, ego, selfish, short term economic interest… many more world leaders in business and government are now finally beginning to admit our faults, seek reconciliation, and rise to the climate-nature crisis. Yes, certainly not everyone is on board the new bio-economic ship. But in the spirit of embracing an attitude of gratitude — we celebrate those who are on board the bio-economy ship — like the We Mean Businesses Science-based Targets Initiative with WRI, WWF, Climate Disclosure — 826 Global Companies aiming for carbon neutrality, and stimulating the positive tide of change.

Thankfully, many more global good companies (Mahindra Group, Microsoft, Apple), investment firms (BlackRock), and financial institutions realize that we can no longer afford to keep the real value of nature- raw resources and free services; such as, clean air, water purification, pollination, carbon-offsetting soils and forests… off the financial books as external (unaccounted for) natural capital. Poor accounting and ultimately unsustainable management (poor economics) of nature’s resources, we now realize will ultimately destroy business, markets, and entire financial systems. Thankfully, in the recalibration of our values to value the resources and services of nature in a new bio-based economy (see Prince Charles 12-point plan); we are waking up to the real value of any economic exchange — Nature.

Nature’s Reflection 2020

“We can no longer afford to act as if we have a planet in reserve…we don’t.” Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum

Thankfully, we are acknowledging more and more that our historic market capitalism places value in the wrong places — the medium of exchange (money), the final products/services of the exchange or the brokering of the exchange (in fees) itself — with little regard for the life cycles, supply chains or backstories of those products/services, as well, the cost/benefits to the environment of those products/services. We are confessing this Lenten season that until now we have been measuring growth and economic development with limited tools and metrics that have not included the real value of nature. And, we are more critically evaluating our current nature debt — trying to figure out first how to balance our human+nature books; then how to regenerate our accounts to put our world back in the green, literally. Pioneering ecologists like Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer and Co-author of A Global Deal for Nature, Science in his NIW Podcast interview with Natural Intelligent Media (NIM) continue to challenge economists and make this point super-clear. “Unless we take care of the life support system of our planet, there will be no raw resources for companies to create, market, and sell products. Our current, consumptive approach to nature is crazy.” Enric Sala It is time to evolve into the naturally intelligent, conscious beings we were born to be… not only to guard against our own demise, but to protect all living beings in the biosphere.

Thankfully, our valuation of nature and ecological crisis is simply a crisis of perspective. More than ever, we need to view nature now with an attitude of gratitude. We have historically bound the production of goods (stuff) and the consumption of goods (stuff) to economic prosperity; without looking at how a purely consumptive, single use, throw — away culture is ultimately harming the larger ecosystems upon which the sustainable future of businesses and industries, depend. Thankfully, we can change our perspective. We can change our valuation of nature.

Thankfully, we simply need a new measure for ecological-economic growth that recognizes the over $125 trillion USD economic value of nature, equating to 60% of the global GDP. (Natural Capital Coalition) We simply need to shift our vision of value and flip our foundation for financial markets upside down. We simply need to recognize nature as the real fuel that powers our economy. We (not so simply) need to evaluate, quantify, and integrate natural capital into our financial calculations for all transactions and exchanges of value. Herein lies the crux of the matter…and that is why innovative financial tools, like Mark Tercek’s (former TNC Director) Debt-for Nature Swaps and M. Sanjayan’s corporate alliances for protecting nature and Marco Lambertini’s WWF International Our Planet visions, are so powerfully important now.

“Discerning what’s good for the planet and people should be the primary variable driving future economic investment decisions in economic statistical models.” (Brune Poirson, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Energy, France)

Nature’s Reflection 2020

In Gratitude for Global Optimism and Global Alliance-Building

Thankfully, these times do not have to be dark and grim. Instead this transformative period of human history that’s birthed the Anthropocene, can be highly creative, innovative, cooperative, and exciting. Christiana Figueres (the Global Optimist) reminds us that every one of us has choices — every moment, every day of our lives.

· Where will we invest our money?

· How will we move ourselves through our world?

· Where will we work?

· What food and energy will we choose put into our bodies?

· What media, messages, and music will we feed our minds and souls?

· What products will we buy; what metrics will we use to buy them?

· Where will we live; how will we live?

· How will we treat our neighbors and our neighborhood?

Thankfully, enlightened businesses and communities are beginning to insist on carbon negative futures.

Companies are looking more critically at their internal operations, and more importantly, their supply chains (where over 80% of carbon is produced) and invest in nature-based solutions to climate. (Satya Nadella, $1 billion USD for climate) As well, 100’s of alliances are sprouting up like new shoots in spring from the Food and Land Coalition to the Friends of the Ocean Action Alliance to the Investment Coalition, the 1 Trillion Trees Initiative, the New Deal, the Green Deal… it’s the real deal. Streams of committed actions are now finding their way down to larger rivers of coalitions and currents, driving communities toward the ultimate ocean of wisdom –where when immersed in those mineral-rich waters — our every action becomes right action and we recover our naturally intelligent stewardship role in Eden’s Garden of life on earth. Beautiful, aye!

World leaders, like dynamic and down-to-earth Prime Minister Jacinda Arden of New Zealand confess that GDP may no longer be the optimal measure of a country’s growth profile anymore. Thus, nation-states may need to find new ways to measure progress, and in a new global 4.0 world perhaps that measurement needs to include people and nature. Clearly, emerging economies in the global south can’t follow the same blueprint of economic development as the global north’s urbanization from the past. The Industrial Revolution has revolved. Thankfully, that exciting time has come to innovate new ways for optimizing energy-efficiency, carbon neutrality, zero waste, and regeneration of nature in the re-design, re-imagining of human habitats within our larger, interconnected, global society.

Nature’s Reflection 2020

True, a consumption-centered, waste-generating society was tolerable when our numbers were few and our communities were smaller, disconnected. But now we are a connected and large global consumer society whose health is threatened by the waste and pollution we have created and the changed climate we have catalyzed. True, our centralized, electrification energy infrastructure was so elegantly designed and engineered to meet our past energy needs and shape of society. But now a new generation of energy producers has risen — the producer-user of energy — one who can generate clean, renewable energy in a direct, decentralized, distributed way from home or office. And so, the time has come for energy companies to capitalize on new efforts for managing and optimizing efficient, coherent grid systems of energy production-transmission-use…and empower the production of energy for and by the people!

In Gratitude for Youthful Vision and Pro-Action

Thankfully, this generation of young adults recognize the existential threat of climate change and ecosystem degradation. They are already energetically on board, and are expressing their truth with great authenticity and passion (Greta Thunberg) … so as to ignite a chain of volcanic cultural eruptions and inspire the movement of many internal and external mountain streams toward the one ocean. Thankfully, well-educated, environmentally conscious, globally astute, fearless youth are raising the bar for good country governance. Melati and Isabel Wijsen, founders of Bye-Bye Plastics @ age 10 and 12 years unilaterally decided to eradicate plastics from their home- the island of Bali…and they did it! Together, they started a petition that gained nearly 100,000 signatures to ban plastic bags, straws, and styrofoam and in June 2019 the government agreed. And this is only one example. The Youthtopia movement that the Wijsen sisters are leading promises to spotlight many more, as will the UN’s lighthouse projects, and other local-global movements. Global thought leader and economic theorist, Jeremy Rifkin, believes that the self-reflection of this generation’s youth — as part of a one world global citizenry and a singular, significant species part the entire biosphere — is what will save our world. In his keynote talk at DLD 2020, Jeremy Rifkin outlined how and why he believes the world will soon operation on virtually free energy (Nikola Tesla’s world vision), zero-margin cost production, and widespread abundance. And, the youthful vision of a shared, equitable, carbon neutral future plays a heavy hand in his new economic theory.

Thankfully, well-established climate action investment groups, like Southpole, have caught the youth-inspired wave. For over 20 years, Southpole has been a leader in financing sustainable development projects for medium-large businesses and organizations offsetting their carbon footprint in the global south, while decarbonizing emerging communities and creating new economic opportunity. Now in 2020, Southpole (led by my friend, Rene Heuberger- WEF Social Entrepreneur) is consciously flipping the climate change narrative on its head — pitching a positive, progressive, popular, people-driven climate for change. The Southpole tribe is innovating their portfolio of investments to empower youth — — and every person, everywhere to now live a carbon neutral lifestyle… And, we are beginning to see other values-based companies sprouting up to give youth the power of agency to act on their beliefs and collectively change the world.

Thankfully, more and more children are being born with a seemingly innate and profound attitude of gratitude and bio-consciousness. It is as if our species knows it must evolve our consciousness to survive. Prince Charles in his book, Harmony, wrote that we are not suffering a crisis of the environment now. We are suffering a crisis of our relationship to nature. During the industrial revolution, human cultures considered nature a resource for our one-way, extractive purpose and human development outcome. Those at the helm of the Industrial Revolution believed that nature served the purpose of human development. This unilateral perspective is quite different from many indigenous cultures that maintain a more visceral, respectful, multi-sensory, and inter-dependent relationship with nature. It is also quite different to the earth consciousness rising in the youth movement. Most everyone has now heard about the Fridays for Future and Earth Guardians gaining ever-greater momentum.

In Gratitude for Spiritual Guidance

Thankfully spiritual communities and religious leaders around the world are developing psychological techniques and spiritual trainings for helping us cope, build resilience to a future of accelerated change, and deal with the real climate stress, anxiety, and depression that exists. Sadly, these tools will only become more and more essential to build greater strength against a more acute and anomalous climate future as we have already committed ourselves to a warmer, more chaotic world. We will need to adapt. Many sustainability and economic development experts believe we will only survive when we make sure that our adaptation strategies protect the regenerative nature of nature, while at the same time lift people out our poverty. (Achim Steiner, Director UNDP). Thankfully, many development leaders are partnering with conservation leaders now as nature –by design is resilient and can be our greatest ally in recovering our nature debt and decarbonizing our human activities.

Thankfully, leaders like Pope Francis are preaching greater cultivation of healthy human+nature relationships and active compassion for the most vulnerable peoples already feeling the climate change impacts. (Laudato Si) But what tangibly, practically can we do? Read the Laudato Si and this article from IRC- Equality for everyone on the planet- How we get thereProject Drawdown– also a global exercise in sourcing the most progressive, productive, and universally positive de-carbonization actions and ecologically positive initiatives ranked Educating and empowering young girls, globally-and especially in the global south as the top three action (see Project Drawdown’s NEW 2020 Project Review). Unfortunately, in the most recent 2020 Gender Gap Report by the WEF, we are looking at economic parity between men and women in business and government 100 years out… not anytime soon. But, that doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to drive in that direction…. We do! Women are change agents of the home and communities; now necessary to recover a healthy human+human and human+nature relationship.

Nature’s Reflection 2020

Whether it be loss of arable land due to desertification or inundation of freshwater aquifers with sea water with levels rising; or complete devastation of home and community with more intense flooding, hurricanes, fires; most every person alive on the planet now will experience the impacts of radically changed climate (outside the Holocene Era of variability), either directly or indirectly. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland has been an advocate of Climate Justice for decades and was personally responsible for ensuring that the Climate Paris Agreement acknowledged and included the global responsibility to help build resilience in vulnerable communities. But what can we practically, realistically do? In a CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria, Mary Robinson warned us that the movement of people escaping unlivable conditions due to weak resilience to changes in climate will only increase unless we invest in climate adaptation strategies. Not only does migration physically, emotionally, and psychologically stress refugees; but it puts additional human pressure on the receiving countries and communities.

As we learn more about the abhorrent conditions of refugees escaping poor environmental living conditions and political turmoil in the Middle East, we also realize that receiving communities and countries; suffer. Currently, over 3.8 million refugees are attempting to migrate to Europe via Turkey and this situation- now complicated by the wildly spreading corona virus, is stressful for everyone. UN Figures show now a record number of people (70.8 million) forcibly displaced by the end of 2018. According to David Miliband (International Rescue Committee IRC President) — “this should be a wake up call to humanity about the cost of war, economic misery, and climate stress.”

Nature’s Reflection 2020

In Gratitude for Those Helping Us Recognize our Need for Nature

I want to believe that we are becoming more morally conscious in society. I want to believe that we are more aware now of the urgent need to regenerate nature and reverse (mitigate at least) biodiversity loss.

Thankfully, I believe we inherently know that we are connected to one another and to the natural world. I believe we also know that we suffer — emotionally, biophysically, socially, and economically when we disconnect from nature. Yet, we have advanced our human civilization in competition with nature, extracting earth resources as if they were infinite, polluting our ecosystems as if they were too big to fail, and exploiting wildlife as if extinction was only a dinosaur myth from the past. Now, as we are too many people, taking too much from nature without giving back. We are driving the biosphere to the edge of collapse. We have altered 3/4th of the planet; risking not only the wellbeing of other plants and animals, but risking our own Homo sapiens (Wise human) species.

Thankfully, I believe deep down we know we need nature and that we can only advance our human civilization in collaboration with nature. We intuitively know we need to grow our global economy, societies, and businesses with a clear commitment to conserve nature and to recover ecosystem integrity. I am grateful to world leaders like Marco Lambertini (WWF International Director) and M. Sanjayan (Conservation International Director) now helping us realize that we need nature and that advancing a New Deal for Nature and People will require not just protection, but regeneration of degraded, damaged ecosystems. The good news is that the business opportunities to adopt this new deal narrative are infinite in the new bio- based economy… and these conservation leaders (among many others) are helping drive this good news forward.

Thankfully, respected elders like Sir David Attenborough, also continue to awaken and to inspire the global public — billions of people worldwide, in authentic ways to care for nature…and remind us that our roots are in nature. In every BBC Nature broadcast, the quintessential naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, reels us back to our true Human+Nature (Natura Vera). How? He views wildlife and natural systems with wonder, respect, and infinite curiosity. How do animals live and thrive? How do ecosystems so elegantly, efficiently, and synergistically function…naturally?

Thankfully, the New Deal for Nature and People ultimately proposes a new relationship with nature and a new morality with practical apex goals that reclaim our role as guardians of nature and entreats us to treat the animals, plants, insects, birds, marine wildlife in the living biosphere with respect, reverence, and love. (Our Planet, Sir David Attenborough)

Nature’s Reflection 2020

In Gratitude for Forests and Oceans

Thankfully, the forests and the ocean have buffered our excessive carbon activities for the past decades of development during the Industrial Revolution. By now it is common knowledge that intact and healthy forests worldwide have the capacity to drawdown 23% of human-generated carbon emissions. And by now the Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) narrative highlighting nature’s role either directly or by smart biomimicked design has gained traction within the climate and sustainable development community. Thankfully, mission-driven initiatives, like the 1 Trillion Trees, are providing a platform for regenerating forest ecosystems on a massive scale and in inclusive ways; where everyone can participate. As forests are the lungs of the planet, we are allowing the biosphere to exhale a deeper sigh of relief when we engage in such regenerative actions.

Turning now to the ocean, imagine — the blue sea covers 70% of our planet and is home to 80% of all life on earth. The ocean is also our greatest ally in buffering the detrimental impacts of climate change. The ocean absorbs 25% of all carbon emissions and captures 90% of the heat from these emissions, while returning 50% of the oxygen life needs to survive. That also means that every other breath is a gift from the ocean ecosystem. Further, marine wildlife provide food to most everyone on the planet and livelihood to over 500 million people. Minerals mined and energy extracted from the ocean have also built and powered our human civilization in extraordinary ways. How can we return our gratitude?

Participate virtually/actually in the UN Ocean Conference this June!

Mahalo! If the ocean lives in us and we live by the ocean; and if we take care of the ocean, the ocean will take care of us; then why have we poisoned and over-fished and mismanaged ocean life and ecology? For most of us living land-locked or only on the ocean shore; the ocean is not seen nor heard; so often forgotten. But those ocean-lovers who have experienced the deep sea, like Sylvia Earle and Prince Albert and John Kerry and Enric Sala and Peter Thompson and Doug McCauley and Marc Benioff and the entire Cousteau family and Jim Leape… and many others I am forgetting now, the ocean is home… and they will continue to advocate for larger marine sanctuaries and protection of marine wildlife until their last ocean breath.

Nature’s Reflection 2020


As I return home this evening after flight over the ocean, a sea of stars accompanied by a luminous sliver moon greeted me on my on my porch. I looked up to her reflected light through the sparkling fibers of a massive orb spider web in perfect Fibonacci pentagonal shape stretching from my door clear over the open porch to the plum tree branches below.

How is it nature is so ordered, so perfect, so harmonious, and so wise? How can we not — if we take the time to notice, live with an attitude of gratitude for the extraordinary, ordinary miracle of abundant life doing its naturally intelligent thing with complete grace and in perfect pace with the rest of the wildlife in this place?

We once lived in the Garden of Eden at the heart of the Holocene (Jochan Rockstrom). And now we live in the Anthropocene- an age driven and dominated by humanity’s collective decisions and development. We are young and immature, and we are making mistakes. But as an ecological crisis is before us, we could grow up fast and engage our collective intelligence, innovation, and ingenuity to survive the next century.

Who are we going to choose to be?

Will we follow the true path of the tree?

Will we choose to awaken the naturally intelligent Me-We?

Why Test the Laws of Nature and discover Earth’s Planetary Boundaries via disaster? Why not unlock our true humanity and build the bridge across this ecological chasm to design a naturally intelligent future?

As I believe in the goodness of humanity; I believe more of us, more and more, will choose to adopt an attitude of gratitude and begin re-create our lives with a broader red-tailed hawk perspective overlooking the ocean and the natural world with wonder and awe.

Nature’s Reflection 2020

In gratitude for the creative talent and contributions of my production teams with Eikosphere and Natural Intelligence Media for over 15 years!

It takes a village… with the right people, energy, ethic, values.

Dr. Catherine Cunningham, PhD, Natural Intelligence Media is committed to awakening Natural Intelligence in the World. We produce multimedia content — books, films, and podcasts that inspire everyone to live a happy, healthy, nature-conscious life.

Visit our Eikosphere Website HERE

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Listen to our Natural Intelligence Worldwide Podcast HERE.

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  • Catherine Cunningham, PhD

    Mission Possible: Awaken Natural Intelligence in Our World

    Natural Intelligence

    Dr. Catherine Cunningham, PhD is an ecologist, anthropologist, writer, filmmaker, and media host producing films, interactive experiences, and online multimedia for international clients who are focused on positive economic, social, and environmental win-win-win solutions to global conservation and climate change.

    Catherine has travelled, written, photographed, and filmed in 70 countries, producing creative films and music videos in support the UN Global Goals and the human+nature planetary health narrative. Visit Natural to see where her work has premiered internationally. Over 20 years, she has interviewed hundreds of global thought leaders to promote sustainable solutions to climate change and conservation in creative ways. Catherine has written numerous articles on climate change, nature, and regeneration. She’s currently writing two books: “Naturally Intelligent by Design” — a fine art science and culture book for families and “Natural Intelligence”— a guidebook for well-navigating a post COVID-19 world by following nature’s principles. Partnering with Eurovision News and Events, Catherine is also an independent media host— producing content on nature, climate, and regeneration; syndicated globally by EuroVision’s News Direct. She is a regular contributor to Thrive Global and Medium. She currently produces communications for the Prince Albert II Foundation and participates in programming @ the World Economic Forum on Climate Change, Nature, and Biodiversity. As an university educator, Catherine taught undergraduate and masters courses in corporate sustainability communications at Arizona State University; global sustainability at Chapman University; biology, ecology, botany, and environmental science at Denver State College and Front Range College. In 2016, she designed one of the first university courses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (also online), contributing to youth action on the UN Global Goals. She also created a post-graduate program with UNESCO on the MAB (Man the Biosphere) reserves. Catherine earned her PhD in Ecosystem Science at ETHZ in Switzerland, studying climate impacts on mountain ecosystems. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Cultural Anthropology and International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters degree from Utah State in Ecology. Catherine speaks fluent English and conversational Italian. She loves creative collaboration, media production, mountaineering, outdoor sports, yoga, wellness, and travel.