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Three things I learned from the Earthed Summit
Community, community, community.
I had the pleasure of attending the first Earthed Summit a few days ago. It was an entire day of non-stop talks and workshops on ecosystem restoration, regenerative agriculture, and urban nature, led by the some of the biggest voices in the space.
Highlights included talks from Ellen Miles, urban nature champion and founder of Nature is a Human Right; Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef and environmental activist; Tayshan Hayden-Smith, footballer and urban gardener; and many, many more. Too many to list here.
The event was run by Earthed, an organisation well worth checking out. Their digital platform is packed with courses on everything from urban gardening and river resotration to food and soil sovereignty.
The inspiration I got from sharing the room with so many like-minded people clamouring for a better world was just wonderful. My head is still spinning, my hand still aches from the frantic note-taking, but here are my three main takeaways from the day.
People want change.
Make no mistake: the world wants change. We know there is something deeply wrong at the heart of our social and economic systems. The symptoms of it are more present than ever, from rampant inequality to the collapse of nature and our planet’s habitable climate.
But being in a standing-room only space surrounded by people hanging on to the every word of passionate speakers just filled me with inspiration. Everyone wants to make a difference. Everyone wants to leave this world in a better state than we found it.
Recognising the problems is the first step towards addressing them.
We have the solutions.
Everyone I had the privilege of speaking and listening to was making a positive change in some way or another. Whether they were setting out to transform the supply chains of the fashion industry, reduce our reliance on industrial agriculture or bring nature back into urban spaces, these experts were showing us what is possible today.
John D. Liu kicked off the event by demonstrating the incredible transformation of the Loess Plateau from being one of the most degraded environments on earth to a lush , thriving ecosystem. He has created several documentaries on the subject and I strongly recommend checking them out.
Community is key.
The common thread running through the event was community. Social resilience will be more important than ever as we face up to the existential threats of the coming years. It’s easy to be intimidated, to switch off and to isolate ourselves, but nearly everyone spoke at length of the virtues of building a strong community. The call to find solace in networks of ambitious people all driving towards the same goal was irresistably infectious. It’s the driving force that is getting these incredible people out of bed every day and continuing to fight against overwhelming odds.
None of us can tackle the climate and biodiversity crises alone. It is only through mass collective action that we can implement meaningful, sustainable change. So it is fitting for me to thank you, dear reader, for embarking with me on this weekly journey of discovering the nature on our doorsteps.
There are plenty of wonders yet for us to explore, restore, and protect - together.