VIDEO: Change through nature: a practical guide to designing transformative experiences of nature.

An interview by Adrian Harris with David Key at the 2020 Embodiment Conference, exploring how to design outdoor experiences of nature for wellbeing and sustainability.

Interview Summary

Q: What is the purpose of your work?

  • To realize that we are a part of nature ​(which implies that we need to live sustainably!).
  • To give a frame of reference for outdoor experiences to create an impact that goes beyond feeling refreshed or using nature for individual personal benefit.

Q: What is Transformative Experience?

  • A fundamental permanent ​change ​from one state to another.
  • A​ transition​ into something new that cannot be reversed. Once you've made that change then it stays with you.

Q: What are the essential ingredients that can make an outdoor experience transformational?

There are four types of ingredient, that when they come together seem to create these experiences:

ONE: The environment.

TWO: The activity.

THREE:  New information brought up during the experience.

FOUR: The immediate social group.

The facilitator combines these ingredients and a process of 'transpersonal shift' begins, where the participants see themselves as being part of a greater whole/nature. Being part of nature implies that we need to live sustainably.

Q: What is your job as a Facilitator and what is important?

  • ​The outcome of the experience is dependent on how well it is framed. After a while the frame starts to build itself and the facilitator gets out of the way.
  • To create a frame to try and convene the whole process in time and space​. Being present and helping people to feel safe and secure as they step into that frame and through it.
  • To allow nature to work its magic.
  • To hold a clear and passionate intention.
  • To be acutely self aware.
  • To work ontologically​: How "I am" with my group has a disproportionately powerful effect on the outcome of their experience.

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