Dorothy Grant

Dorothy Grant is an internationally renowned fashion designer and traditional Haida artist. In 1988, Grant became the first to merge Haida art and fashion utilizing her formal training at the Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion Design. She believes that her clothing embodies the Haida philosophy Yaangudang, meaning “self respect", stating that the driving force behind her designs is “empowerment, pride and feeling good about oneself.”

She is the recipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Business Award, the Asper Business Institute – “Business Woman of the Year” award, the Royal Canadian Academy Prestigious Award for the Arts, the BC Achievement Award for Individual Lifetime Achievement Award in Business and in May 2015, Dorothy received the “Order of Canada” for her contributions to Canada’s fashion industry and for mentoring youth through her example as a designer and entrepreneur. She was voted as one of 100 Most Influential Women in British Columbia by Vancouver Sun Newspaper and was honored at Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.

Dorothy's work can be found in 15 museums world-wide, including the the Denver Fine Art museum, the Liverpool World Museum in the United Kingdom, the Natural History Museum in New York city, the Burke Museum in Seattle, the Seattle Art Museum, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, the Deyonge Museum in San Francisco, the Vancouver Museum and the Museum of Civilization in Hull.

He work has been commissioned for the Seattle Mayor's Office and former Canada Prime Minister Kim Campbell.

In February 2016 her “EAGLE RAVEN TUXEDO” was worn by actor, Duane E. Howard at the Oscars Red Carpet and in 2018, P. Diddy wore her RAVEN TEASING FROG KIMONO on his birthday.

3 words to describe Nature?

Balance. Power. Health

3 things Nature taught you?

Stillness
Awareness
Calm

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Hlk'yah G̱awG̱a (Windy Bay) - Gwaii Haanas National Park, Haida Gwaii
Lake Point, Point Roberts
Hiellen Haida Gwaii, Rose Spit

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

I live by the ocean and every day I see the tide come and go. The rhythm from the tide makes me appreciate and feel respectful about life’s rhythm. I also feel extremely aware that we need the ocean just like we need the air, or the land. We are all one.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Really calm and taken care of. I feel like trees have this tremendous power - every time I come back from Haida Gwaii, I feel revived and healed by them. I feel like I am one of their subjects, under their wisdom.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

In awe, from a long distance. To be honest though, I can’t really relate since I haven’t experience it.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Reflective on the timing of all things, the cycle of life

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

I reminds me of the Thunderbird, the Native American legendary creature, as it flaps it winds, ready for take off. It makes me feel like anything can happen.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like nature is in control, a reminder that we have no control.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean and Forest

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory.

As child, we lived in Ketchikan, Alaska and our house was next to a creek. That creek was our favorite playground. I knew every little nook and cranny, the places we could play like this swimming hole at the mountain’s edge, or others we had to stay away, like those giant rapids high up. I spent so much time, countless hours exploring that creek.

 


Wallace J Nichols

Dr. Wallace "J" Nichols - called a “Keeper of the Sea" by GQ Magazine, “a visionary" by Outside Magazine, a "water warrior" by AQUATICS International and a "friend of the sea" by Experience Life Magazine - is an innovative, silo-busting, entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, renown marine biologist, voracious Earth and idea explorer, wild water advocate, bestselling author, sought after lecturer, and fun-loving Dad. He also likes turtles (a lot).

In 2010 Nichols delivered the commencement address at DePauw University where he also received an honorary doctorate in science. In 2011 he was inducted as a Fellow National member of the Explorers Club. In 2014 he received the University of Arizona's Global Achievement Award. And in 2017, he was presented by Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama the Champion of Change Award at the World Oceans Festival on Governor’s Island, New York.

Nichols has authored more than 200 scientific papers, technical reports, book chapters, and popular publications; lectured in more than 30 countries and nearly all 50 states; and appeared in hundreds of print, film, radio, and television media outlets including NPR, BBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Time, Newsweek, GQ, Outside Magazine, USA Today, Elle, Vogue, Fast Company, Surfer Magazine, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among many others.

His book Blue Mind, published in summer 2014 by Little, Brown & Company, quickly became a national bestseller and has been translated to numerous languages and inspired a wave of media and practical application.

J. is currently Chief Evangelist for Water (CEH2O) at Bouy Labs, a Senior Fellow at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies' Center for the Blue Economy, a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of Ocean Revolution, an international network of young ocean advocates, SEE the WILD, a conservation travel network, Grupo Tortuguero, an international sea turtle conservation network, and Blue Mind a global "movement of movements" sharing the new story of water.

He co-mentors a motivated group of international graduate students and serves as an advisor to numerous non-profit boards and committees as part of his commitment to building a more creative, stronger, more progressive, and connected environmental community.

J. lives with his partner Dana, two daughters and some cats, dogs, and chickens on California's Slow Coast, a rural stretch of coastal mountains overlooking the Monterey Bay where organic strawberries rule, mountain lions roam and their motto is "In Slow We Trust". The Nichols chose to settle down in this area after trekking the entire 1,800 kilometer coast from Oregon to Mexico.

3 words to describe Nature?

Primal. Creative. Home

3 things Nature taught you?

Humility

Solitude

Confidence 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

50 miles offshore and 50 feet deep from Bahia Magdalena, BCS Mexico

The source of Mill Creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Greyhound Rock

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Optimistic

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Connected

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Awe

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Hopeful

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Warm

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Nostalgic

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Yes on all!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

11

Share with us a childhood nature memory.

Backpacking to Deep Lake, in Wyoming, when I was 11 and feeling like I wanted to feel that way a lot more throughout my life. The origins of “blue mind” research, practice, philosophy and the growing global movement.

 

 


Karen Elliott

Karen Elliott was elected as Mayor of the District of Squamish, British Columbia in October 2018 after serving as a member of Squamish Council from 2014-2018. She moved to Squamish in 2012 after spending six years abroad in Melbourne, Australia. Karen decided to run for elected office because she quickly realized the significant opportunities and challenges that lay ahead for Squamish as it experienced significant growth and big city pressures, despite its small town feel. During her time on Council, Karen chaired the Community Development Committee, Finance and Audit Committee and was the Council representative on the Food Policy Council, the Library Board, and the Community Advisory Community for the Official Community Plan review.

In addition to her Council duties, from 2016 - 2018, Karen served as the first Ombudsperson for Quest University Canada, working with students, staff and faculty to ensure policies and practices were fair and followed the principles of natural justice. In addition, Karen has 15 years of consulting experience as a specialist in organizational effectiveness and leadership development. She supports her clients with strategic planning, team and leadership development, change management and large group facilitation. When she is not at work, Karen is a literacy tutor and enjoys spending time with her family and friends exploring the beautiful environment around Squamish.

3 words to describe Nature?

Inspiring. Evolving. Home

3 things Nature taught you?

Patience

Courage

Systems thinking - about how everything is connected.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The middle of a prairie

The top of a mountain

Around the campfire

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

I am not an ocean person to be honest. Although I appreciate the ocean’s beauty and vitality, there is something a little unsettling when I look at this vast mass of water. It reminds me that there is a whole world I cannot see.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Like taking a deep breathe and walking quietly.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

It makes me think about the creative power of the earth, about creation and not so much about destruction.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

When I see a sunrise, I am grateful for the day ahead. When I see a sunset, I am grateful for the day I just experienced. Sometimes, I will admit, I am just grateful that the day is over!

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Anticipation. In fact, during a thunderstorm, every time I see the flash of a lightning, I start counting the seconds until I hear the big bang so that I can calculate how far away the impact was. I have been doing this since I was a child and it is habit now.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Like wanting my loved ones to be close, like coming together. It creates in me the desire or instinct to protect.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I would say mountain and forest because of where I live now but really, I am a prairie person. I love these endless landscapes and the big skies. It is home for me. I am a long term, big picture thinker and the prairie gives you that perspective. You see things from far away, you see them approaching, passing by and leaving, providing you with different perspectives with which to take it all in.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10 because of where we are today. We often say that we don’t appreciate something until it is gone. With the current state of our planet, nature and our relationship to it at risk, we must find our way back to nature and reconnect. The planet can exist without us. But we can’t exist without a healthy planet. It is the only support system we have.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Paddling with a friend, on a lake in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario late one night and watching the moon rise. Suddenly the trees up on the hills started to turn orange, like they were on fire. For a few minutes we couldn’t understand what was happening. And then this massive moon started to rise. It was like a sunrise! I was speechless and humbled by the incredible beauty of what I was seeing. I was a teenager at the time, and this moment really affected me. It broke through my self-centred teenage attitude and made me realize that I didn’t know it all, and hadn’t seen it all. It shifted my perspective and made me start appreciating many things that I took for granted, or hadn’t taken the time to really see.

 


Jean-Charles Boisset

Jean-Charles Boisset is a leading producer of luxury wines in France, California and Canada. His parents, Jean-Claude and Claudine, founded the family winery in 1961 with an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in one of the most traditional winegrowing regions in the world.  Today, the family collection includes wineries that share more than 20 centuries of combined winemaking heritage and tradition in some of the world’s most prestigious terroirs, from Burgundy to the South of France, to California’s Napa Valley and Russian River Valley, including Domaine de la Vougeraie, Jean-Claude Boisset, Raymond Vineyards, Buena Vista Winery, DeLoach Vineyards, and many more.

Jean-Charles has expanded from the world of wine and spirits to include a lifestyle vision; he has created namesake collections for jewelry, perfume and the JCB Passion Collection by Baccarat — the first glassware line the historic French crystal company has ever done with a vintner. In addition, the JCB offerings include home accessories that exemplify the JCB world of hospitality and entertaining. As a natural extension of his growing influence in the lifestyle realm, in June 2019 Senses by JCB, a fashion and fragrance boutique and medi-spa debuted in the JCB Village in Yountville. Senses showcases high-profile luxury fashion, accessories and skincare products from around the world, with highlights including a selection of vintage handbags as well as an osmologue machine that enables guests to blend custom scents.

Jean-Charles’ sets forth a vision of the wine and luxury worlds centered on family, passion, history, innovation and a commitment to sustainability. Decanter magazine has included him on its “Power List” of the 50 most important people in the wine world each year of its publication since 2007; in March 2008, he received the Meininger’s International Wine Entrepreneur of the Year; and in December 2008, he was named “Innovator of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast. The French-American Foundation awarded him their first-ever French-American Partnership Award in 2013, bestowed upon an extraordinary individual or organization that has contributed to creating a strong and enduring French-American partnership in business, government or academia. Haute Living named him to the Haute List San Francisco, recognizing the 100 most influential people in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was honored with the 2014 Jefferson Award by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, which celebrates the museum’s historical connection to wine. Also in 2014, JFK University in Concord named Jean-Charles and his wife Gina Gallo its “Entrepreneurs of the Year.” In 2015 Jean-Charles was named an Honorary Co-Chair of that year’s Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, which broke all records by raising a staggering $4.5 million. In March 2017, Jean-Charles and Gina received the Mondavi Food & Wine award Robert Mondavi Wine & Food award by The Collins College of Hospitality Management in honor of their vision and leadership to advance the wine industry. In May 2019 Jean-Charles accepted the Wine Country Business of the Year French American Business Award from the French American Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco.

3 words to describe Nature?

Inspirational. Generous. Beautiful

3 things Nature taught you?

Respect

Authenticity

Truth

3 most treasured Nature spots?

In the vineyard

On the ocean

In the air

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Energized

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Oxygenated

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

On fire

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Reflective

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Excited

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Inspired

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

11

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I have this vivid memory when I was 7 years old. Growing up in France, roaming the vineyard, we were always connected to the land, to nature, and the rhythm of the seasons. I felt the pendulum of life, being in touch with all the forces and the vibrations of the universe. I felt this energy pulling me in, it was magnetic. Winemaking, creating from the earth and nourishing our spirit, is for me a celebration of this memory I felt as a boy. 

 


Charles Michel

Charles Michael connects art, gastronomy, experimental psychology, crossmodalism, human-centered design, theory of change and ritual to catalyse communities and foster human development. He has recently starred as a master chef in Netflix’ latest food show The Final Table, but my work has taken many shapes.

Charles has published over 12 papers in peer-reviewed journals on multisensory science, co-created a multisensory VR experience to take the viewer to the Amazon forest, and a spoon that enhances flavour perception and nudges towards healthier, more mindful eating.

At the intersection of community and social change, he’s helped design a sustainable village project in Ecuador (Tanusas), founded an artistic movement (Crossmodalism) inspired by total art and cross-disciplinary collaboration. Charles also has designed transformational gatherings (Domus) and directed events for hundreds of young leaders (Sandbox) in Kenya, Europe and South America. 

He’s given over 30 talks on the future of food and eating, on stages such as The Royal Society with Prof. Brian Cox, at The Royal Institution’s famous “Faraday Theatre”, Tech conferences, Burning Man, TEDxHackney and TEDxMogadishu. He currently teaches through Patreon, and have designed courses on Culinary Leadership, Sensorial Exploration and Luxury Gastronomy for the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon.

3 words to describe Nature?

LIFE. UNIVERSAL. SACRED. 

3 things Nature taught you?

That humans are the nervous system of the planet, in the way we exchange information and resources. 

That it is the greatest source of wisdom and innovation, if we know how to look, and if we pay enough attention to what is really going on, putting time into perspective.

That contemplation is a natural state of humans, and that doing it more often is healthy, just like meditation. 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The “Heart of the World” - Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta in Colombia, home to the largest indigenous tribe still operating in pre-Columbian ways.

The forest where we build a treehouse with my father, near Bordeaux.

Iceland in the winter… I felt like traveling on a different planet.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Small… I have a deep sense of reverence to the Ocean, it is a mystery that we are not able to understand fully.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Connected to everything. Abundant. 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

The immense power of the flying rock we are standing on and we call home. A mix of fear and full presence. 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Pure Awe…

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

A blend of excitement and humility. And extreme comfort, if I find myself in a warm, dry place. 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Energised. I feel it carries a message. 

In ancient pre-columbian wisdom, the wind is a woman who carries a song, a message that we must listen to carefully.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I think I’m a forest person. The trees reaching their arms up to the sky, roots deep into the black earth, the mycelium web intimately and discreetly interconnecting everything. The vegetation capturing and storing sunlight, water and carbon to sustain life and ignite the cycles. Breathing organism, pulsating to the energy of solstices, dancing with light and dark. 

I relate to Forests more than any other living ecosystem.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10. We should listen to nature more often…

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I was 7 or 8, in the eastern Orinoco plains of Colombia. My family owns land and are farmers and ranchers. I remember the day I went on a full day of work with my cousins, all barefoot riding horses, to go check on the cattle in remote parcels of land. Crossing rivers, passing by caimans and seeing flocks of birds flying. The journey lasted for about 8 hours, I remember well the feeling when we got back to the ranch at sunset… the smell of the tired sweaty horse, the mud on my feet, the companionship of family and the comfortable shelter where the mothers had prepared warm sancocho soup and cold “agua de panela” - water with raw cane syrup and lemon… I was proud to have made it!


Nile Zacherle

Nile Zacherle is the co-Founder of Mad Fritz Brewing Co and Director of Winegrowing at David Arthur Vineyards on Pritchard Hill in the Napa Valley.

Nile first began his journey into fermented beverages in 1990 at the age of 18 when he and his father brewed their first batch of beer at home. What began as a father/son home project continued to evolve until he transitioned his schooling from a focus in art and design to a BS in Fermentation Science at UC Davis. While at UC Davis, Nile completed the Master Brewers program passing the 2 day exam issued by the IOBD (Institute of Brewing and Distilling based in the UK) in 1996.

After an internship at a Napa Winery doing small lot winemaking and research enology he returned to UC Davis to finish his degree.  From winemaking positions in Napa Valley’s Barnett Vineyards and Chateau Montelena to roles at Western Australia’s Pierro Margaret River Vineyards and Bordeaux, France’s Chateau d’Arsac, Nile built a career producing award-winning wines from Burgundian and Bordeaux varietals.

In 2014, together with his wife, they started, Mad Fritz, named after their two children Madeleine and Fritz. Their focus is on malting and brewing beers with a ‘Farm to Foam’ approach. The sourcing of single variety barleys that are craft-malted with an origin, as well as hops and water sourcing defines the beer styles in what they call ‘Origin Beer’. 

3 words to describe Nature?

Inspiring. Powerful. Subtle

3 things Nature taught you?

Respect

Patience 

Gratitude

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The ocean/waves at Kailua Beach in Hawaii 

The forest/trails at Moore Creek in Napa

The rocks/geology at Yosemite Valley

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Calm yet tentative -aware

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Excited yet unknowing - insignificant

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Inspired yet scared

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Impatient

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Helpless

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Curious

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Forest/Mountains

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10 (living around it and exploring regularly keeps me sane)

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Moving to Hawaii and learning to duck the waves as a young boy, feeling safe in ocean as big surf rolled in rather than scared. Accepting and swimming towards the monster rather than away

 


Nate Weis

Nate Weis is the Vice President of Winegrowing at Silver Oak Cellars & Twomey Cellars. A Napa Valley native whose father is also a winemaker, Nate grew up with wine on the table and a drawer full of t‐shirts emblazoned with winery logos. His first job after graduating with honors from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Biopsychology/Neuroscience was as a “cellar rat” at Groth Vineyards & Winery. Nate then spent the 2003 harvest at two New Zealand wineries – Craggy Range Winery and Sacred Hill Wines – and when he returned home he worked a harvest for Etude Wines before starting grad school. After earning his MS in Viticulture and Enology, he was hired as cellar master at Etude, and then spent two years as assistant winemaker for Patz & Hall Wine Company. In 2008 Nate was hired by Marchese Piero Antinori to be winemaker for Antica Napa Valley, where he made Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot. He also served as winemaker for Aril Wines in Napa, a small ultra‐premium producer of Cabernet and Syrah. 

In 2014, Nate joined Silver Oak. Under Director of Winemaking Daniel Baron, he was responsible for managing Napa Valley and Alexander Valley wine production from grape to bottle and also serving as an ambassador for the brand.

Nate earned his Executive MBA in Wine Business from Sonoma State University in 2014. He is married, and with four children, the little free time he has is spent playing rugby, running and reading.

3 words to describe nature?

Powerful. Vast. Unforgiving

3 things nature taught you?

Humility

Patience

Resilience

3 most treasured nature spots?

Yosemite

Lake Tahoe

Milford Sound

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Relaxed and Calm. The Pacific has been the backdrop to some of my most treasured memories and times

When you see a forest, it makes you feel?

Excitable, ready for exploration. The way the redwood forests near my home filter light makes me feel reverent

When you see a volcano it makes you feel...?

Very, very small and very, very young

When you see a sunrise or a sunset, it makes you feel...?

Hopeful for a peaceful night with loved ones or for a day full of new opportunities

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Powerless

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like hunkering down and reading a great book

Are you an ocean, mountain, forest, or desert person?

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is nature to your well-being?

10. Nature provides me with my profession and career in addition to my escape from my profession and career.

Share with us a childhood nature memory

I was never much of a scout but still have vivid memories of backpacking through the Desolation Wilderness as a young man with my father and some Explorer scouts. I think what sticks out were the senses of empowerment and independence. 


Ian McAllister

Ian McAllister is a co-founder of the wildlife conservation organization Pacific Wild. He is an award-winning photographer, film director and author of nine books, his images have appeared in publications around the world. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society; a recipient of the North America Nature Photography Association’s Vision Award and the Rainforest Action Network’s Rainforest Hero award and Time Magazine’s “Leaders of the 21st Century” award for efforts to protect British Columbia’s endangered rainforest. He recently directed the Great Bear Rainforest IMAX film, the film is narrated by Ryan Reynolds and produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films. 

3 words to describe Nature?

Life-support. Metamorphosis. Fragility

3 things Nature taught you?

Love of earth

Curiosity

That working in defense of nature is the most fulfilling life pursuit that I can think of. 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Where the Pacific ocean meets the temperate rainforest

Anywhere underwater

Staring into the eyes of a wild wolf

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Humble, at home, empowered by the beauty and strength of it but also sadness for how our actions are impacting life below the surface.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Like I am surrounded by a collective of ancient and wise souls. 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Glad I don't own real estate under it

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Sunrise. A sense of awakening, anticipation. 

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Energized and wide eyed.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

comfort, if I am in a safe harbor, exhilarating if I am offshore.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I live at the interface between ocean and the rainforest and feel a deep and strong affinity for each environment. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

When I was nine years old I opened our front door to find my mothers favorite goat giving its last breath as a large cougar had just crushed its throat. My dad wasn’t sure who was more dangerous at that point, my mom or the cougar. He quickly ran outside and yanked the cougars tail so hard it literally flew across the driveway and quickly climbed a tree. I have never been so close to a cougar since. 


Mike Velings

Mike Velings is one of the managing partners and founders of Aqua-Spark, a global investment fund for sustainable aquaculture, combining a healthy financial profit with environmental and social impact. A lifelong entrepreneur, Mike has spent decades jumpstarting a range of successful businesses. Among other ventures, he co-founded Connexie, which has helped catalyze a professional employment industry across the Netherlands. Mike naturally combines his business background with environmental and social engagement. He understands the potential for business to create durable solutions to complex world problems. With this in mind, Mike founded A-Spark: an investment company that assists entrepreneurs across the globe in realizing their visions of a start-up with a world-changing element. Through A-Spark he has invested in a broad range of ventures over the years– both in the developed and developing world. Mike serves on several boards and is an active supporter of a range of non profits.

3 words to describe Nature?

Beautiful. Forceful. Unforgiving.

3 things Nature taught you?

Nature has an unparalleled capacity for efficient design

Resilience

The smaller parts are as important as the bigger parts

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Calm

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Fresh

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

In awe

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Calm

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Invigorated

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Alive

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

8

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

With my best friend lying in the park, in the bushes, studying the behaviour of ducks in the pond

 


Krista Tippett

 

Krista grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, attended Brown University, and became a journalist and diplomat in Cold War Berlin. She lived in Spain and England before seeking a Masters of Divinity at Yale University in the mid-1990s. Emerging from that, she saw a black hole where intelligent conversation about the religious, spiritual, and moral aspects of human life might be. She pitched and piloted her idea for a show for several years before launching Speaking of Faith — later On Being — as a weekly national public radio show in 2003.

In 2014, President Obama awarded Krista the National Humanities Medal at the White House for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of ​every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.” Krista is now at work on her next book, Letters to a Young Citizen. Her first book Speaking of Faith, published in 2007, is a memoir of religion in our time, including her move from geopolitical engagement to theology. In 2010, she published Einstein’s God, drawn from her interviews at the intersection of science, medicine, and spiritual inquiry. Krista’s 2016 New York Times best-selling Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living opens into the questions and challenges of this century.

 3 words to describe Nature?

Extravagant. Intelligent. Fierce.

3 things Nature taught you?

To get quiet inside

To marvel

To know myself a creature among other creatures

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The highlands and islands of Scotland 

Byron Bay, Australia.

In my hammock under the White Pines in my Minnesota backyard

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Liberated from any illusion of significance – pensive, joyous, and free

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Like clambering around in the branches

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Respectful

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Liberated from the Newtonian straitjacket of clocks and calendars while utterly present to time as rhythm and pattern and passage and mystery.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Happy to have no option but to hunker down indoors (if I can)

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Giddily spooked

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean, also Valley

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10, though I am not always faithful to that truth

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I grew up in central Oklahoma, where we kept the natural world at bay. I was never taught the names of the trees or flowers that grew on our semi-desert, oil-rich land. We were drilled only to watch out for the things that bite and blister, and they were legion: poison oak and poison ivy, black widow spiders and scorpions, water moccasins, rattlesnakes. We were forbidden to explore the wilderness that was rapidly being consigned to memory all around our manicured housing estate.

And yet, if you ask me about the happiest days of my childhood, my mind goes to expeditions through as yet unconquered woody areas nearby. It goes to tadpoles and turtles discovered with furtive awe. I can still see those tadpoles, feel them swimming in cold creek water through my splayed fingers. A rapt attention settles all the way through my body in their presence. I know how memory works, that I am reconstructing all these sensations from fragments scattered across my brain. But I feel my breathing slow before the mystery of minute creaturely life observable. Amazed.

Wrapped up in these memories, too, is a dawning tension between their smallness and my relative giant size; their fragility and my power – to scoop them up, starve or orphan them, literally kill them with my amazement. And the power instead to forego dominance, and take care with my delight.

We turned up home at the end of long summer days sunburned and freckled and festooned with pink rashes from the poison ivy we wandered into and tangled with after all. We’re covered with feasting blood ticks, fat and purple with our blood, and all manner of worms. Other worms were gifted from our dogs, who ran leash-less and half wild in those days and were officially what we were allowed to befriend from the wild.

They would occasionally disappear for days at a time. We would wash and pick them clean when they returned mangy and exhilarated. We would vicariously absorb their effusive abandon.


Miki Agrawal

Miki Agrawal was named 2018 Fast Company’s “Most Creative People”, 2017 “Young Global Leader” by World Economic Forum, “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the World Technology Summit, “Top 20 millennials on a mission” by Forbes, and was one of INC Magazine’s “Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs of 2016.” That year, she made the cover of both Entrepreneur Magazine and Crain’s Magazine. She is the recipient of the Tribeca Innovation Award and was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture in 2017 by the Brooklyn Magazine.

She co-founded THINX, a high-tech, period-proof underwear brand and led the company as CEO to a valuation of over $150 Million and to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2017, all while helping tens of millions of women period better.

She also founded TUSHY, a company that is revolutionizing the American toilet category with a modern, affordable, designer bidet attachment that both upgrades human health & hygiene as well as the environment from wasteful toilet paper consumption. She and her team are also helping fight the global sanitation crisis by bringing clean latrines to underserved communities in India through their partnership with Samagra. SNL covered TUSHY after its subway campaign was banned. Watch the clip here.

She is the founder of the acclaimed farm-to-table, alternative pizza concept called WILD with 3 locations in New York City, one in Guatemala and more on the way.

Additionally, Harper Collins published her first book entitled "DO COOL SH*T" on entrepreneurship and lifestyle design. Hay House published her second book “Disrupt-Her”.

3 words to describe Nature?

Alive. Present. Symbiotic

3 things Nature taught you?

That we are tiny specs of dust that are here for a short amount of time, so we must add more to nature than take away from it. 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The Catskills

My backyard garden

Redwood forest in California 

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Ever-present

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Meditative 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Powerful 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Rejuvenated 

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Energetic 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Alive 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Forest 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10 

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

Going camping in Stowe with my family and climbing Mt Orford at 3 years old and feeling very accomplished :-)

 


Jan Van Ijken

Jan van IJken is an internationally known documentary photographer and filmmaker from the Netherlands. Self-taught and working mainly autonomously on long-term projects and microscopy, he is interested in human/animal relationships and nature. 

His most recent video BECOMING (2018) has been screened at more than 25 International Film Festivals and received the Award for Best Short Documentary at the Innsbruck Nature Film Festival 2018 and the Vision Science Award at Imagine Science Abu Dhabi 2019. The film went ‘viral’ on the internet, being awarded the Vimeo Staff Pick and watched by a few million people on National Geographic, Aeon, Colossal, Live Science, IFLScience and numerous others.

His ART OF FLYING (2015) movie was Awarded Best Art Film at Pärnu Film Festival, Estonia. It was screened more than 50 times at international film Festivals, Galleries, Biennales, etc.

FACING ANIMALS (2012) won the Grand Prix Short Films at Split Film Festival, Croatia

Jan has published 3 books: Precious Animals (2005), New Neighbours (2004) and A touch of Divinity (2001)

3 words to describe Nature?

The connection with all other life

Pristine beauty

A fragile ecosystem, not to be destroyed by humans

3 things Nature taught you?

To be silent 

That all life is one

To care for other creatures

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The North Sea and Waddenzee (NL)

Kagerplassen (NL)

Waterland (NL)

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Free

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Open

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Humble

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Joyful

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Alive

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like running

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Definitely Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Ice skating in our neighborhood on local waters


Jon Bowermaster

Photo by Jennifer May

Writer, filmmaker and adventurer, Jon Bowermaster is a six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council. One of the Society’s ‘Ocean Heroes,’ his first assignment for National Geographic Magazine was documenting a 3,741 mile crossing of Antarctica by dogsled. Jon has written a dozen books and produced/directed more than fifteen documentary films.

His Oceans 8 project took him and his teams around the world by sea kayak over the course of ten years (1999-2008), bringing back stories from the Aleutian Islands to French Polynesia, Gabon to Tasmania, and more, reporting on how the planet’s one ocean and its various coastlines are faring in today’s busy world.

Jon lives in New York’s Hudson Valley. He is the Executive Producer of Oceans 8 Films and President of One Ocean Media Foundation, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation and a Board Member of Mark Ruffalo’s Water Defense.

3 words to describe Nature? 

BIG. ALL-ENCOMPASSING. AT-RISK

3 things Nature taught you? 

HUMILITY 

APPRECIATION OF QUIET

RESILIENCE

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

ANYWHERE ON THE EDGE OF THE OCEAN

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

THAT PLACE WHERE BLUE-MEETS-BLUE: CALM

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

DARK AND MYSTERIOUS

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

VIOLENT

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

SUNRISE = EXCITED / SUNSET = AT PEACE

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

EXCITED AND A LITTLE FRIGHTENED

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

CALM

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

OCEAN

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

FIRST SAILINGS ON CRYSTAL BLUE LAKES OF THE NORTHERN MIDWEST; FIRST KAYAKS ON THE SAME BODIES OF WATER. AS AN EARLY TEENAGER.


TOKiMONSTA

Jennifer Lee "TOKiMONSTA" is one of the top producers and DJs in the world. In 2010, she was invited to attend the Red Bull Music Academy in London. Making her mark on the music scene, Jennifer became the first woman to sign with Flying Lotus's Brainfeeder label. Following the release of her first album Midnight Menu, Lee was rated the #1 Hottest Los Angeles Lady DJ by LA Weekly. In 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with an extremely rare and potentially fatal brain disease known as Moyamoya (Read story here). After undergoing two brain surgeries, Lee was left unable to speak, create, or even listen to music. Through perseverance and faith, Lee’s memory returned and shortly after taking a break, she was finally able to regain her music making abilities. After regaining much of her memory and music-making talent in March of 2016, Jennifer made her triumphant return with jaw-dropping performances at SXSW and Coachella. In 2019, she was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Dance / Electronic Album. Lee was featured on Vox-Netflix series Explained. Check her latest album, Lune Rouge.

The name Tokimonsta originates from the Korean word for rabbit (tokki), which she took from a Korean's children's song "San Toki”

3 words to describe Nature?

Beautiful. Freedom. Enigmatic 

3 things Nature taught you?

Beauty

Patience

Mindfulness

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Big Sur

Joshua Tree

All the beaches of SE Asia

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

At peace

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Connected to all of nature 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Chaos 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Joyful to end or begin another day 

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Fear 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

A bit spooked 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I remember driving with my family to Palm Springs almost every weekend. I used to find the monotony of the landscape quite boring while sitting in the car, but grew to appreciate the landscape more.

 


Rachel Payne

Rachel Payne is the CEO and co-founder of FEM Inc., a holding company focused on research and development at the intersection of media, technology and gender. In 2015, FEM Inc. launched Prizma, an Artificial Intelligence tech startup for major media, telecom and tech companies. Prizma was acquired by Nielsen / Gracenote in June 2018.

She has built an exceptional career as a technology executive and entrepreneur, while actively involved in philanthropic activities. A recognized thought leader in the advancement of technology to reshape our world, she champions policies that make a meaningful place for everyone in the new economy. 

After graduation, Rachel worked for International Data Group and the publisher PC World to help build their digital network, which is where she discovered the power of technology and joined the first wave of Internet companies in Silicon Valley, including eBay, Hotwire and Razorfish.

Rachel returned to school at Stanford Graduate School of Business, studying public management and international development, working in Mexico City and Kampala for microfinance organizations that provide financial services and access to technology for low-income individuals in Latin America and Africa. After earning her MBA, Rachel joined the founding team of Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, which focused on Poverty Alleviation and Climate Change in their grants, projects and investments. Rachel and the early Google.org executives created the first blueprint for this type of organization – a hybrid corporate philanthropy and investment vehicle.

While at Google, Rachel led International Business Operations in Emerging Markets, spending several years living and working in sub-Saharan Africa. Rachel served as Country Manager, Africa Leadership Team, with the goal of building the foundation for an Internet Economy. She focused on infrastructure, localization, strategic partnerships, and public policy to ensure broad-based participation in the opportunities created by mobile phones and emerging technologies. Her team’s work was recognized in 2010, where she accepted Google’s first award at Mobile World Congress for “Best Mobile Apps for Economic and Social Development” for building and scaling critical mobile services in agriculture, trade and health that serve people in poor, rural areas. She also worked with heads of state on policy relating to Internet access and job creation. She moved back to Southern California to lead the Technology vertical for Google, managing cross-platform media sales teams. She later became Principal, Global Strategic Alliances, and managed Google’s most important strategic partnerships in Media & Entertainment 

Rachel served on the Board of Directors for BRAC USA, ranked the #1 NGO in the world. She is a Guest Lecturer on Business Applications of Artificial Intelligence at Loyola Marymount University.

3 words to describe Nature?

Profound. Awe-inspiring. Harmony

3 things Nature taught you?

Self discovery

Infinite possibility

Humility

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Patagonia, Argentina

Amazon, Peru

Pacific Ocean (anywhere!!!)

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Free, joyful, in alignment

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Protected, safe, joy

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Power, feminine, creation

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Sublime, tranquility, peace

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Exuberant, curious, alive

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Curious, respect, humble

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

All of the above, don’t make me pick one.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

As a child, we want camping a lot in National Parks like Bryce Canyon and Zion. Our parents taught us  about living on the land in harmony with nature, appreciating the bounty and beauty, reminding us we were only visitors and needed to show respect and care. These golden memories are filled with joy and awe.


Kevin Hainline

Kevin Hainline is an astronomer working on the science team for the NIRCam instrument on the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. His research looks at how galaxies change as the universe evolve, focusing on the relationship galaxies have with their central supermassive black holes. He has given hundreds of planetarium shows, spoke at countless elementary high schools and has travelled the world giving night sky shows, sharing his inspirational message about the connection we all have to the universe. He currently lives in a small pink house in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife Lara, a musician, and his cat J. Louisiana, a meower. 

3 words to describe Nature?

Complexity. Truth. Entropy

3 things Nature taught you?

Everything is more complicated than it seems

There is a time for action, just as there is a time for inaction

Life is miraculous, given its inherent chaos

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The deserts of southern Arizona. 

The beaches along the California coast.

The mountains along the southern Atacama desert of Chile.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Overcome. The ocean tells us secrets about where we came from. 

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Nostalgic. Growing up in a city on the coasts meant trips to the forest were special growing up, and the smell of the woods is tied directly to these memories. 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Humbled. So much of change on the planet is gradual and incremental, and yet here are these volcanoes violently changing the landscape on human timescales. 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Eager. For an astronomer, a sunset brings with it the possibilities of the night, and the sunrise is the reminder of our own closest star.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Stirred. The thunderstorms in the southwest accompany powerful monsoons, and are unlike anywhere else in the world. You can feel the charge in the air, and the thunder is the pronouncement.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Charged. The Santa Ana winds haunted me during the autumns my youth. 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I grew up as an ocean person, but I have recently discovered that I am a desert person. The desert gives back what you give it. It rewards patience, and observation, and endurance. Last week, it snowed about five or six inches. It was surreal, walking through snow-covered cacti and desert shrubs. The desert resists categorization. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10. Science is the imperfect human method of understanding nature. Without my relationship with nature, both nature as the universe, and nature as the manifestation of life on our planet, I don’t know who I would be. It is a constant companion, quiet and giving. My current research on NASA’s upcoming flagship space telescope has me excited for the future, because JWST will both help us answer longstanding questions about the history of the universe as well as introduce new fundamental questions. What more could we ask for? 

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

One summer, my father bundled my brother up once and drove us up to Cajon Pass northeast of Los Angeles early in the morning to watch the Perseid meteor shower. My love for astronomy mostly came from reading books as a child, so while I was fascinated by space, it was still very foreign to me. Being able to lay out on the hood of a car, in the stillness of the very early morning, covered in blankets, and see so many stars, was revelatory. It felt less like I was under them but that I was laying in front of them, as a child I felt the push of the Earth through space, towards those meteors which glowed, incandescent, as they fell through the atmosphere.


Barrie Mowatt

Barrie Mowatt, a pioneer of visual arts, has a long and accomplished history as an educator, philanthropist, and entrepreneur opening the Buschlen Mowatt Fine Art gallery in 1979. Barrie is the visionary behind the Vancouver Biennale Open Air Museum, where he combines his passion for art, education and community service in exhibitions that bring great art to public spaces where people live, work, play and transit, free for all to enjoy, explore and be inspired by. Barrie is also the founder of the Celebration of Hope Foundation, co-founder of Taste the Nation, and the Buschlen Mowatt Scholarship Program at Arts Umbrella. Barrie received the Vancouver Business in Arts Award from the Vancouver Board of Trade, and the Ethics in Action Award, presented by Vancouver City Savings and the BC Work Ministry. He has twice been nominated for Western Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the category of socially responsible businesses.

3 words to describe Nature?

INCREDIBLE. AWE INSPIRING. MAGICAL

3 things Nature taught you?

PATIENCE 

GRATITUDE

FRAGILITY OF LIFE 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL FOREST 

YOSEMITE

HAIDA GWAII 

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

DWARFED AND INSIGNIFICANT 

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

ALIVE AND REFRESHED 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

EXCITED, CURIOUS AND IN AWE 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

GRATEFUL TO BE ALIVE IN THAT MOMENT 

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

ALIVE AND CURIOUS ABOUT WHAT WILL FOLLOW 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

ALIVE AND EXCITED 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain,Forest, or Desert person?

I’M ALL 4 OF THESE. 

I LUV LOOKING AT, CLIMBING & BEING ON TOP OF MTNS; AS WELL I LUV BEING DEEP IN FORESTS, AND IN THE OPEN DESOLATE DESERT AND WATCHING AND LISTENING TO THE POWER OF THE SURF...EACH ARE INSPIRATIONAL RETREATS WHERE I CAN BE AT ONE ONE WITH MYSELF AND IN AWE OF THEIR GRANDEUR AND IMMENSITY. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

BEING ALONE IN THE MTNS PICKING HUCKLEBERRIES, DISCOVERING LADY SLIPPERS AND RUNNING NAKED AMONG THE TREES AND TALL GRASSES! 


Jaha Dukureh

Jaha Dukureh is the founder and CEO of Safe Hands for Girls, an NGO that works in The Gambia, Sierra Leone and the USA. Since 2013, Safe Hands for Girls has advocated for an end of female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage (CEFM). She works at grassroots level to change attitudes, mobilize opposition to both practices and provide support to survivors. 

The work Jaha led with Safe Hands for Girls was instrumental in convincing President Obama’s administration to investigate the prevalence and profile of FGM in the USA, and the subsequent Summit to End FGM at the United States Institute of Peace. Safe Hands for Girls’ advocacy was also a key contributing factor in the Gambian government’s decision to outlaw FGM in 2016.

In April 2016, at aged 25, she was named to the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In December 2017, she received the award of “Human rights activist - Humanitarian of the Year” at the seventh annual African Diaspora Awards and was named one of the 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine. She has been named as one of the top 100 gender global policy influencers by Apolitical, and one of the top 10 Africa Changemakers by YouthHubAfrica. She was appointed UN Women Ambassador for Africa in February 2018 and nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian Politician Jette F. Christensen

Jaha is the subject of the film Jaha’s Promise, a documentary that covers her life and work. Her story, in her own words, can be read here.

Jaha was born in The Gambia in 1989, the daughter of a prominent Imam. She was subjected to FGM when she was just one week old. At the age of 15, Jaha was sent to New York, and forced to marry a man who was much older than she was. Having fled this marriage, she later remarried and moved to Atlanta, before returning home to The Gambia in 2018, where she now lives with her three children.

3 words to describe Nature?  

Peaceful. Green. Enchanting

3 things Nature taught you? 

Love

Appreciation

Meditation

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Beach 

Lake

Mountains

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

Calm

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Alive

When you see any volcano, it makes you feel...? 

Scared

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Happy

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Afraid

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

Afraid

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? It's off the charts important. 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

When I was young I used to go to the farm with my family. I enjoyed seeing nature through the forest and learning about the different animals, trees and the different seasons.


Ami Vitale

Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Throughout the years, Ami has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit— keeping true to her belief in the importance of “living the story.” In 2009, after shooting a powerful story on the transport and release of one the world’s last white rhinos, Ami shifted her focus to today’s most compelling wildlife and environmental stories.

Her photographs have been commissioned by nearly every international publication and exhibited around the world in museums and galleries. She is a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, an organization of renowned female scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers working together to create powerful and persuasive stories that shed light on the hardships women in developing countries face and the programs that can help them. She is also on the Photojournalism Advisory Council for the Alexia Foundation.

Currently based in Montana, Ami Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and frequently gives workshops throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

3 words to describe Nature?  

Healing. Connecting. Inspiring

3 things Nature taught you? 

To slow down 

To observe 

To marvel

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Montana 

Kenya

Planet Earth

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

Humbled

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Like we are in an intricate web and deeply connected to one another

When you see any volcano, it makes you feel...? 

I have never seen one up close. But I imagine in awe

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Ephemeral

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Respectful

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

Like snuggling up with a good book

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

All the above

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? It's off the charts important. 

10 is not enough

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

Sneaking out at night to sleep on my dad's boat. I always loved being on the water from as early as I can remember. 


John Coyle

John K. Coyle, #TheTimeGuy, is a world leading expert in innovation and Design Thinking, and best-selling author of Design For Strengths: Applying Design Thinking to Individual and Team Strengths (2018) and The Art of Really Living Manifesto (2016). A graduate of Stanford University’s Product Design Program, John is an NBC sports analyst, two-time TEDx presenter, and sought-after keynote speaker. He earned an Olympic silver medal for speedskating.

John is a thought leader in the field of chronoception—the study of how humans process time. He lectures and teaches innovation courses at Marquette University, Northwestern University and CEDIM University Graduate School in Mexico. His mission is to innovate the human experience.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Wind. Sand. Water. 

3 things Nature taught you? 

The oxymoron that I am tiny in the grand scheme if things… yet I matter. 

Color and light are a core source of joy. 

I am never alone in nature - only in cities with people. 

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Sonoran sunsets

Yucatan cenotes

Utah snowfields

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…? 

Home. I was raised on a lake and on boats: the scent, reflections and ripples of wind and water return me to my youth and possibility. 

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…? 

An adventure brewing. What is behind that copse? If I climb the ridge will I see the world? 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…? 

Like climbing to the caldera and looking into the mouth of the world… 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…? 

That despite hedonic adaptation to almost everything (particularly money or success) a sunset NEVER gets old. 

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…? 

Fearless. As kids we used to run outside in lightening storms, pelted by the big drops waiting for that first big rush of wind and leaning into it with smiles. 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…? 

That I need to move. The wind is the devil: it hounds you, never lets you go, slows you, makes you hot, makes you cold, makes it impossible to relax and read. I need to get the hell out of Chicago… it is always windy.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

I am an Ocean/Desert person hence I am moving to the Baja peninsula in August!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10. I am an “outdoor person”. As my parents used to say, “in or out!” I was always out. Pretty sure I never wore shoes or a shirt until I was 10 or 11 in summer. 

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

I’ve now seen it a couple of times. Late summer / early fall, last hot day with warm rain in the evening spurs a “frog crossing”. Thousands of frogs and toads use the cover of darkness, the wetness and warmth to migrate (to where? a new home?) and like worms after a downpour, they are everywhere. One evening when I was maybe 8, there were 3 white owls swiveling their necks in my driveway eating frogs like they were in a french buffet…


Becca Skinner

Becca Skinner was born into a family of adventurers and was raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and the high plains of Wyoming. This environment fueled a lifetime passion about wild places and exploring.

While studying Social Work and Technical Writing at the University of Wyoming, she won a National Geographic Young Explorer's Grant to document post-tsunami Sumatra, Indonesia.

That trip sparked a leave from school, which led to 32,000 miles of living out of a car, traveling and photographing around the West. She now resides in Bozeman, Montana, working as an adventure and conservation photographer and writer. Make sure to follow her in instagram

3 words to describe Nature? 

Calming. Grand. Curiosity

3 things Nature taught you? 

How to be more curious

To to be more self reliant

How to have a paradigm shift

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Tule Elk reservation

Paradise Valley, MT

Open Sage Country in WY

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

Small

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Strong

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

Motivated

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Relaxed

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Calm

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

Grateful

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Mountain

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

Growing up, my parents would take us into the Wyoming desert for vacation. We spent days in open sagebrush country, just walking to look at whatever there was to look at. I remember once watching a herd of pronghorn run across the horizon line at dusk. The dust they were kicking up was pink with the fading sun, and I thought it had to be one of the most special moments of my life.


Sofia Sanchez de Betak

Sofía Sanchez de Betak (aka, Barrenechea) is a Buenos Aires born, New York based, Art Director and Fashion Consultant.

An avid world traveler and style influencer, Sofía is the author of the Assouline published book, “Travels with Chufy",where she highlights off-the-radar hideaways and secluded retreats where those in the know seek unforgettable experiences. Sofía has been named among the 10 most influential women of Argentina, together with the country’s First Lady and the Vice-President. With a keen eye and love for fashion and travel, Sofía has collaborated with several magazines and brands, working on special projects and often served as a brand ambassador. This list includes Chanel, Valentino, Rodarte, Chloe, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto, Roger Vivier, Zara, Mango, Massimo Dutti, Globe Trotter, Jason Wu, The Luxury Collection (Starwood Hotels), VogueCondé Nast TravelerHarper’s BazaarW MagazineRevista La NaciónPaper Magazine, among others.

3 words to describe Nature?

Prestine. Pure. Amusing

3 things Nature taught you?

That we should cherish it

That we should learn from her

That she is the wisest one of all

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Patagonia

Antarctica

Mallorca

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

In peace

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Small

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Powerless

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Blessed

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Awake

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Breathless

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Mountain

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Long horseback rides in the mountains of Patagonia… best views in the planet!


Dallas Taylor

After cutting his teeth as a sound designer/mixer for networks like NBC, Fox, G4, and Discovery, DALLAS TAYLOR launched Defacto Sound, where he’s led thousands of high-profile projects ranging from blockbuster game trailers and advertising campaigns to Sundance award-winning films. A respected thought leader on the narrative power of sound, Dallas is a sought-after speaker at conferences, a regular contributor to major industry publications, and creator of the podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz.

3 words to describe Nature?

Calming. Symbiotic. Human

3 things Nature taught you?

We are nature disguised in fancy clothes and fancy devices.

Nature is the most preferred human sound.

Nature is a double edged sword. It can kill us, but also be the most soothing thing for our brain.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Kalalau Valley Lookout overlooking the Na Pali Coast

Any stop along the Road to Hana

Anywhere in the Rocky Mountains on a warm day

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Peaceful

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Exploratory

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Terrified

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Time

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Sleepy :)

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like getting a recorder. Good, clean, howling wind is rare and hard to capture.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

A mountain overlooking an ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I used to take long walks and bike rides in the Delta of Arkansas growing up as a kid. I grew up on a lake that was formed by the Mississippi River, but later leveed off. I grew up right before the explosion of the internet, so my childhood was filled with 4+ hour walks/rides up and down the Mississippi River and my lake (Horseshoe Lake, AR). I think that helped me sort out the difficult times in my childhood and ultimately prepared me for adulthood.


Jonathan Santlofer

Jonathan Santlofer is the author of 5 novels, including the international bestseller The Death Artistand Anatomy of Fear, which won the Nero Award for best crime novel of 2009. He is editor, contributor and illustrator of the short story anthology, The Dark End of the Street, editor/contributor of LA NOIRE: The Collected Stories, The New York Times bestselling serial novel Inherit the Dead, Akashic Books’ The Marijuana Chronicles, and The New York Times “notable book” It Occurs to Me That I Am America. His stories have appeared in numerous short story collections. Santlofer, also a well-known artist, is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, has been a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, the Vermont Studio Center and serves on the board of Yaddo, one of the oldest arts communities in the U.S.

His bestselling memoir, The Widower’s Notebook, has received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, has appeared on more than a dozen “best books” lists of 2018, and is an Amazon bestseller. He was recently a guest on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

3 words to describe Nature?

Beautiful. Calming. Fierce.

3 things Nature taught you?

To be respectful

To slow down

When I bought an old house in upstate NY there was no lawn, no grass, which I planted and was awed when it grew!

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Dutchess County, NY (where I had my house)

Canyon De Shelly

The Arizona desert

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Mostly calm

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

From a distance it makes me feel small. Inside, I can feel either protected or lost and it often reminds me of fairy tales, like Hansel and Gretel.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

I have never seen a volcano in nature. In pictures or films they amaze me with their power, and make me think of Pompeii, which I’ve been too.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Depends where I am, and what it’s like, but often good – if I’m paying attention (and I guess I should be).

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

I love thunder if I’m inside.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Again, if I'm inside, or on a porch, it’s like eerie though beautiful music.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

My upstate home was surrounded by forest, which I liked. I love driving through the desert. Being near the ocean is always special. Mountains are beautiful in the distance, but I’d never climb one.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

Not sure I would put a number on nature but it’s essential to my well-being. I live in a city so it’s important for me to escape on a regular basis. I am always calmer in nature, which makes me wonder why I live in a city!

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Getting lost at the beach when I was around 6 or 7. Always a kid who daydreamed, I wandered along the shoreline far away from my parents. I remember sitting in the sand and drawing pictures in it with a stick and watching the waves wash them away. I was very happy doing this, having the water lapping over my feet, and not at all afraid even though I knew I was lost. Eventually the lifeguards found me and took me back to their station, where they gave me ice cream.


Michael Shainblaum

Michael Shainblum is a landscape, timelapse and aerial photographer based in San Francisco, California. He has been working professionally as a photographer and filmmaker for 11 years since the age of 16. Michael first made a name for himself through his unique creativity and the ability to capture scenes and moments in his distinct style of surreal, visual story telling. A dedication to challenging the boundaries of creativity, as well as a flair for coming up with unique ideas, has since resulted in this dynamic visual artist being commissioned by large clients including Nike, Samsung, Facebook, LG, Apple and Google. You will also be able to find Michael's work published widely by media outlets such as National Geographic, Wired Magazine and The Weather Channel.

3 words to describe Nature?

Majestic. Unpredictable. Therapeutic

3 things Nature taught you?

How to truly appreciate the world we live in and just how much we need to protect it.

It has given me a sense of purpose in my life to be honest, through my photography and my art.

It had also taught me to appreciate the little things in life and to drown out the daily struggles. Laying down for a nap in the Sand Dunes, or enjoying the reflection of a mountain in a lake, these moments have helped me through some tough times.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Just my most recent nature spot I have been too. Each place is special and I feel like my most recent trips are the ones I have fresh memories about capturing.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

At home, I grew up by the ocean and I do not think I could live far from it.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Adventurous, nothing like a good hike through the forest.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Conflicted, so much powerful, yet devastating beauty.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

I have been shooting sunrise for over a week now here during winter in Utah and it has been bone chillingly cold. Yet every time I wake up and get to witness that beautiful morning light, it is worth it. I suppose it makes me feel fulfilled.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Excited, I absolutely love capturing and witnessing lightning strikes.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like hopefully the timelapse camera I have set up is not going to blow over :P

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean just based on how I grew up, but I love capturing everything. The desert is my favorite at the moment, with all the incredible shapes, colors and textures.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10, I have dedicated my life now to capturing the beauty of nature and I would not have it any other way.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Funny enough I was never fully able to appreciate nature as a kid. I mean I went to the park and to the beach. But camping and hiking came a bit later on in my life during college. My family never had the ability to travel and the outdoors was never something that interested them. I found my appreciation of being outdoors through photography and I am so appreciative of that.


Maya Lockwood

Maya was born in Bangladesh, her roots lie in one of the oldest remaining matrilineal tribes that still reside in the jungle. She now lives in California.

She is currently the Communications Director at IndieBio, a leading seed stage investor and accelerator for biotech companies that are influencing the food, materials, therapeutics industries and more. IndieBio transforms scientists into entrepreneurs, giving their ideas the capital, network, structure and voice to emerge in billion dollar markets. IndieBio is a part of SOSV, a $500M global fund.

Prior to joining IndieBio, Maya was the Director of Engagement at Foresight Institute, an organization that brings together the world’s leading scientists, researchers, and technologists to facilitate high-level conversations and collaboration. She has worked with venture capital and startup clients, including Richard Branson’s 2015 Extreme Tech Challenge as their publicist. Her background includes 15+ years as an analyst, managing implementation, training and more with Meditech, UCSF Medical Center, and Symantec.

Maya wants to help the most influential people develop their message for a global audience. She is inspired most by entrepreneurs who are disrupting old systems with technologies that create solutions for our grandest challenges. She is an eternal optimist and futurist, who is deeply committed to the evolution of humanity and our planetary and human health.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Awe. Mother Earth. Home

3 things Nature taught you?

To surrender to the flow of life.

To know that everything is born and dies- that I will die too.

That I am always a part of her wisdom, grace and love.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Marin headlands for hiking

The Andes mountains for connecting with spirit

The Caribbean sea for snorkeling and diving.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Completely at peace when I look at the Pacific Ocean, where I often dreamed I’d be able to visit daily. My dream came true when I moved to to the west coast.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Like I’m surrounded by creatures, networks of trees, and life that only comes alive with my silence and awareness. The forests in Washington State are magical places.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Wonder at the earth’s magnificence. I rode a bike down the volcano in Maui at sunrise and it was exhilarating.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Grateful there’s another day, most beautiful to witness when held in the arms of my beloved.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Warmed by the thought of a storm and rain, assuming I’m safe and cozy indoors by the fire.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like wrapping myself in a warm blanket, sipping tea, snuggling and reading a book.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I’m all of the above and in deep reverence for the four elements: the earth, fire, water, and air. Being in nature has brought me great healing, from swimming in the ocean or delighting in the waves, watching stars, climbing mountains or appreciating their majesty, or wandering through the forest and listening to my heart. I have found beauty in the desert at Burning Man and the red rocks of Sedona, which have all connected me more deeply with mother nature and the cosmos.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10 

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I remember snorkeling in the pristine coral reefs of Thailand when I was 6 or 7 years old with my dad. It was the most vibrant memory of a world we’ve completely disrupted, but I remember those colors so well along with the variety of marine life.


Sharad Kharé

Sharad is the co-founder of media company Kharé Communications. Beside creating content for companies such as Indochino, Innovative Fitness, Microsoft, Goldcorp, UN Women, Emily Carr University, Oncosec, Draper University, TEDx, Rick Hansen Foundation, Arkay Packaging and many others, he has been producing legacy documentaries and interviewing some of the world’s most interesting individuals. His infectious positive energy and communicative talents has allowed to sit down with people such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Jack & Suzy Welch, Chip Wilson, May Musk, Dr. Ron Burnett, Tim Draper, Bing Thom, and many more.

Sharad has a Masters in Communications and coaches storytelling & branding to leaders in private industries and public companies.

He is the co-founder of “The Indigenous Collective” and has been a prolific collaborator with the Indigenous community, directing and producing video projects that capture First Nations stories and culture. His past projects include the documentary Breaking Down Walls, Building Bridges (BCIT), Diversity Circles project video series, James Hart: The Dance Screen (Vancouver Art Gallery, and an Indigenous-women awareness video featuring Ellena Neel (BWSS).

Sharad is currently the President of TIE Vancouver, a global entrepreneur group that mentors and advises some of the most active entrepreneurs in the world.

3 words to describe Nature?

GREEN, BLUE, GOLDEN

3 things Nature taught you?

EVERYTHING HAS LIFE

WE MUST FEED THE EARTH AS WE FEED OUR OWN BODIES

THE SUN IS LIKE A GOD TO ME

3 most treasured Nature spots?

SANTA MONICA PIER

THE BEACHES OF GOA

DEER LAKE WHERE I GOT MARRIED

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

CALM AND RELAXED

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

LIKE EXPLORING

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

LIKE I AM SO SMALL IN COMPARISON

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

LIKE I AM CLOSE TO GOD

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

ANXIOUS FOR THE NEXT ONE TO COME

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

LIKE THE AIR HAS LIFE

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

OCEAN

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER WE HAD A FOREST CLOSE TO OUR HOME. MY BROTHER, MY NEIGHBOURS, AND I WOULD EXPLORE IN THEIR WITH OUR BIKES AND PRETEND WE WERE CHARACTERS OF THE HOBBIT. WE WOULD ALSO SEARCH FOR ANIMALS THAT LIVED THERE BUT WE NEVER FOUND ANY.


Kid Carson

Originally from Toronto, Kid is one of Canada’s most notable radio personalities. He started as mid day host for KISS 92, then moved to Z95 in Vancouver, hosted the morning show for The Beat 94.5 and finally host at KISS Radio. Kid has been honored with the BC Award of Excellence Association of Broadcasters, has received on multiple occasions the TV Week Readers' Choice Awards and was nominated a few times for Canadian radio personality of the year by CMW (Canadian Music Week). Some of his favorites interviewed guests include Eckhart Tolle, Dr. John Gray, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Gary Chapman and Malcom Gladwell.

For the past couple of years, Kid has been fully dedicated at launching a new digital platform he co-founded that will disrupt the growing podcast industry. The launch is set for early 2019.

3 words to describe Nature?

Connected. Provider. Intelligent

3 things Nature taught you?

I read a book called “the hidden life of trees”. It taught me that trees have personalities and are able to learn. They make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes. A tree that kept its leaves too long during one year will never make this mistake again. It makes you wonder, without brains, where do trees save their experiences? Learning this…taught me that there is an intelligence in nature that we don’t fully grasp.

That WE are nature… and not separate from nature like we are taught.

That, as an energetic human being, the environments I spend time in, have an influence on me.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

I love the old growth around lighthouse park, the smell, the energy.

Standing at the top of a mountain holding my snowboard in Whistler.

Jet-skiiing around the local islands… it’s almost meditative. This summer I had the experience of a lifetime when I rolled up on a pod of whales! We just cut the engines and floated in silence listening to them talk and breach the water a few times. It was surreal how close we were.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Calm, dialed in

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Curious!

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Tiny!

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Excited for the day ahead, and reflective of the day passed.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

I like it… builds some anticipation…

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Annoyed

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean all the way. It’s really important to me that I live within’ a few minute walk to the water.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

In elementary school, my friend’s family lived on a huge nursery. We spent hours and hours, running thought the forest, greenhouses, secret paths, tree forts, bush tunnels… it was epic and such a great memory


Michael Hebb

For the past 20 years Michael has been working to understand the secrets of human connection. His projects have turned into international movements and impacted millions. His second book "Let's Talk About Death" published by Hachette/Da Capo will be available in the U.S., U.K., and Australia in October of 2018. Michael recently became a Partner at RoundGlass to further expand his efforts to impact global well being.

Michael is the Founder of Deathoverdinner.org, Drugsoverdinner.org, EarthtoDinner.org, WomenTeachMen.org and The Living Wake. He currently serves as a Board Advisor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts; and in the recent past as Senior Advisor to Summit Series, Theo Chocolate, Learnist, Caffe Vita, CreativeLive, Architecture For Humanity, ONETASTE and Mosaic Voices Foundation.

In 1997 Hebb co-founded City Repair and Communitecture with architect Mark Lakeman, winning the AIA People's Choice Award for the Intersection Repair Project. In 1999 Michael and Naomi Pomeroy co-founded Family Supper in Portland, a supper club that is credited with starting the pop-up restaurant movement. In the years following they opened the restaurants clarklewis and Gotham Bldg Tavern, garnering international acclaim.

After leaving Portland, Hebb built Convivium/One Pot, a creative agency that specialized in the ability to shift culture through the use of thoughtful food and discourse based gatherings. Convivium's client list includes: The Obama Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, TEDMED, The World Economic Forum, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, X Prize Foundation, The Nature Conservancy.

Michael is the founding Creative Director of The City Arts Festival, the founder of Night School @ The Sorrento Hotel, the founder of www.seder.today and the founding Creative Director at the Cloud Room. He served as a Teaching Fellow at the Graduate School of Communication at University of Washington. His writings have appeared in GQ, Food and Wine, Food Arts, ARCADE, Seattle Magazine and City Arts. Michael can often be found speaking at universities and conferences, here is his TEDMED talk.

3 words to describe Nature?

 Life, life, life…

 3 things Nature taught you?

Human connection is the electricity we need to light up the human forest.

I don’t make a distinction between the “natural” world and the “human-built” world. So in essence nature has taught me everything I know. I do acknowledge the difference between high frequency, rich environments, and low-vibrational places and communities. I learn equally from both, but the lessons are different. A healthy forest is a perfect example of high vibration, high connection, forest's speak to each other, the forest community transmits information about threats and opportunities across miles in seconds. They speak across species, across class, even animal to plant. We are suffering from a crisis of connection- human connection - which is just a subset of nature connection. I believe that living a meaningful life will elude us until we build networks of higher connection, not just via digital networks, but inclusive of the “natural” world. Our culture is toxic, and I don’t mean that as a judgement, I just mean it is working against human vitality. Connection is the cure, forests and mountains and oceans need to be interwoven powerfully into the center of our lives.

Our lives will continue to be bereft of meaning if our connection patterns look like the electrical grid and not an ancient forest. Every indigenous culture has revealed wisdom that mesmerizes us with its modernity, timelessness and clarity, this is not on the shoulders of a personality, an exceptional genius, but exceptional insight within a forest of vitality. We can’t begin to answer life’s important questions until we are living in a deeply connected ecosystem.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The Olympic National Forest, all of it.

The Oregon Coast, almost all of it.

Any glacial lake, anywhere.

 When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Like we are more than just thoughts and things, the ocean makes me feel expansive.

 When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

If it is a vital, alive, thriving forest, I feel a deep sense of love.

 When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

Awe

 When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

Sometimes sad, sometimes peaceful, sometimes excited.

 When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Powerful, connected to the earth and sky.

 When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

A sense of the wild.

 Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

All four. They all align with different parts of me.

 On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

 Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I spent much of my childhood in the woods, alone, building forts out of fallen branches and whatever I could find. It was a way of self-medication. There was heartache, pain and drama in my house and I was far too sensitive to be around it. I needed the woods, I needed to re-create a womb-like environment (the fort) because I wasn’t getting the nourishment I needed from my family. Later when I was a teenager and dealing with many existential crises, I climbed trees, massive Douglas Fir trees, 40, 50, 80 feet into the air. I would sit up in the trees for hours, and the pain would stop.