Make an Impact
A year ago, we set our Walden Gathering 2018 theme to Making an Impact. Through out the year, groups of diverse individuals utilized nature to inspire their discussions about making great impact.
The causes varied from reconnecting children with nature, utilizing nature as a catalyst for mindfulness, using our investing for profits and impact, and the role of business and leaders to influence employees, customers, and the world.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
Through the efforts of over 200 Gatherers this year we created the following solutions that are now being put it into action.
Impacting the way we live
During discussions focused on sustainable development, architects and engineers uncovered a common problem. During the design phase, homeowners frequently request to create additional space for visitors, guests or special occasions.
The discussion soon focused on motivating individuals to build only what they need - "Expandable homes would be great!" - said one. Another suggested "temporary structures" - but how?
The Roving Pod –Temporary and sustainable structures that are designed to supplement the primary home. A roving guest house.
Scaling the Solution - Work with our team of architects and designers to create more Roving Pods and encourage our team members to spend quality time in them.
Impacting the way we explore and maintain
Technology is often blamed for decreasing our interactions with nature. Both children and adults cling to their screens and spend less time exploring. Rather than fighting this trend, we searched for ways to use technology to increase interactions, which has lead to the creation of an app the gamifies interactions with nature with a focus on preservation.
The app allows users to name trees. Think Pokemon Go, meets Google Sky, but for the forest. The idea behind naming trees seems simple, and perhaps odd; but we believe it personifies the trees, which will promote the care for such trees while encouraging individuals to get out and explore!
Scaling the Solution - Provide technology to our park departments to encourage people to explore while creating a new fundraising mechanism to address their needs.
Impacting access to nature for all
There's good news for people who live far from the woods. You can gain many of the health benefits of forest bathing closer to home. Taking a walk in a local park or even placing more houseplants in your home or office will increase your exposure to nature's healing essential oils.
Unfortunately, not everyone in the world can easily access a park. Whether its due to health, location or even imprisonment, Walden Gathering wanted to find solutions to share its inspiration with everyone and has created a virtual reality forest bathing experience that is already being used by those who can not physically access nature.
Scaling the Solution - Integrate this technology into virtual reality games to enforce a moment of relaxation after an allotted amount of game time has occurred. (Kickoff to begin in Australia)
As we enter 2019 we can not help but realize that Climate Change is the biggest problem we are leaving to the next generation.
With this in mind, the 2019 Gathering theme is 'Climate Change'
Under that heading, we are already working with organizations for our 2019 schedule that are dealing with the effects of:
Climate change on the individual
Investing with the environment in mind
The fashion industry’s growing carbon footprint,
The auto industry on climate change
Children’s awareness (our first student led Gathering)
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