Your NameJeniffer Heemann
Cohort AssignmentEurope Summer-Fall 2023, Cohort 2
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

At this stage of my life, my primary work is to further develop myself, becoming a person more connected to nature and to my community, so that I can work with the community, inspiring people to transform themselves and live in harmony with nature. For that, I would like to tap into the 4 ways of knowing (Jung): thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. Therefore, not only learning new concepts and tools (related to thinking), but also re-learning how to listen to the other ways of knowing.

2. What role do you see as yours to play?

I see my role as someone who brings people together to connect ideas and trigger relevant discussions that can lead to new ways of thinking and being. I would also like to bring people closer to nature, and nature closer to people.

3. What goals or aims do you have in regard to the above?

My aims are to:
i) get closer to nature and understand how it works (including learning and practicing regenerative agriculture), and
ii) create initiatives that bring people closer to nature and nature closer to people (for example, developing a concept for urban development in which everyone has access to nature in a 15-minute walk, fostering discussions that matter to society, developing workshops and courses). I have many ideas and aim to be able to listen to my needs and the needs of my community, leading me to invest my energy and time into an idea that matters and brings about change.

4. Where do you feel your next arenas for personal growth are?

Become more connected to nature and learn from nature
Become more self-aware through the 4 ways of knowing (thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition)
Have greater sensitivity, compassion, insight, tolerance, and empathy towards others
Improve my connection with my community

5. And for professional growth?

Develop complex/system thinking
Expand collaboration with local/regional actors
Take on new challenges in projects aligned with who I am, or initiative such projects - and learn by doing it
Improve facilitation and project management skills & methods that are aligned with regenerative leadership

6. What have you invested in to get you where you are?

I have invested a lot of time and energy in self-learning about placemaking, cities for people, and sustainability to create projects in Brazil focused on improving public spaces in a collaborative manner. I also invested money in an MSc program on Urban Management and Development, where I learned about complex cities, governance, networks, and policymaking, and also invested time researching climate action planning in cities. In the last couple of years, I also invested time in self-learning about complex thinking and regenerative leadership.

7. What fields of learning and which thinkers have been important in your life?

1. Complexity, Edgar Morin - for explaining complex thinking, showing how Western paradigms follow a mechanist logic, characterized by simplicity (partial view, focused on the part), binary oppositions or dualisms (either/or logic), separation and specialization, field --> topic logic. It is focused on technology and behavioural/individual perspectives and has influenced other areas of life.
2. Creativity, Sir Ken Robinson and Afonso Montuori - Montuori for explaining creativity from a complex thinking perspective, in which creativity is related to human interactions and work processes that lead to the creation of something, rather than an isolated phenomenon. Creativity is understood as a networked, collaborative, “bottom-up” process arising out of interactions of a given system.
3. Yuval Noah Harari for showing how the stories and ideas we tell in society shape how we live and act in the world
4. Placemaking and Cities for People - Jane Jacobs, Fred Kent, Jan Gehl
5. Others like Laura Storm and Giles Hutchins (Regenerative Leadership), Kate Raworth (Doughnut Economics), Ellen MacArthur (circular economy)

8. Can you frame your philosophy or cosmology of life? What role(s) do humans play in it?

Oh wow, that's a big one! Let me try it:
Things are more complex than what we think of or how we perceive them. We cannot fully understand and manage a complex system or a situation, but it's natural that we give it a try. Our paradigms influence how we behave and have led us to self-organize and impact the entire world as we have so far. If we aim to change the course of our actions, we need to change our paradigms.

Date CreatedAugust 29, 2023