We live in times of great change. It is no surprise that the complex global changes taking place at rapid speed and scale are causing a great shift and uncertainty in the way we live and work.
What may be surprising, though, is that, according to best-selling author, entrepreneur and environmentalist Paul Hawken, across the planet, a vast and fast-growing worldwide movement is taking place that “has the potential to heal the planet.” Comprised of two converging, parallel and powerful movements for social justice and environmental restoration, this movement has revived our understanding of our interconnection with the natural world.
Tens of millions of people like – you and us – are putting hearts and minds to work to redefine our relationship to the Earth and to one another. We have heard the cries of the impoverished, seen the struggles of the chronically ill, and bent under the weight of inequities. People everywhere have watched and listened and have been working hard to heal the wounds of the Earth and its people.
“We are part of the Earth’s immune system each time we exercise our active compassion in the name of social justice and ecological health.” – Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest
Our inborn social-ecological connection may have been broken in our short human history by global drivers such as human consumption, economic activity, toxic pollution, population growth and rapidly accelerating climate change. Yet, today, our collective genius is compelling millions around the world to work for social justice and ecological health.
“Paul Hawken states eloquently all that I believe so passionately to be true – that there is inherent goodness at the heart of our humanity, that collectively we can – and are – changing the world.” Jane Goodall, UN Ambassador for Peace
Reviving our social-ecological connection - our human-nature link - helps us to understand that what we do to each other, we do to the Earth; and how we treat the planet, is reflected in how we treat each other.
Paul Hawken reminds us that by returning people to the heart of the world and of life, we return to the priorities of each other and the Earth. We can address people’s deepest longings and everyday pleasures of learning, taking care of others, preparing food, raising children, taking journeys and doing meaningful work.
At the Winder Foundation, our work takes its place alongside millions of organizations and people who are working at the edge of this new social technology - to help children, young people, families and communities face the future not only with the required knowledge, strength and skills, but also with hope, wisdom and resilience.
At the heart of our work are boys who are experiencing social, emotional, behavioral and educational challenges. Yet, it’s not just about the boys. We see young men as part of wider, interconnected social circles – of young people, families, teachers and their communities.
Our work touches each of these circles in an effort to return us to what matters most - people and our ripple of relationship beginning with ourselves, and extending to others and the wider world.
Winder Foundation programs are practical and pioneering. They nurture the natural growth and flourishing of young men and families, and take into account all human aspects of the whole person: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.
When young men learn the emotional wisdom and social sensitivity to be expressive, conflict-free, peaceful and nonviolent, they create a ripple effect that spills into better relationships with their peers, families, teachers, caregivers and the wider world.
Their emotional space is free and clear to focus on their learning and their life. They begin to think beyond themselves to higher aspirations – their goals and dreams; what they want to be when they grow up; who they are and how they want to contribute.
Boys learn to express themselves, work with their strengths, come to new insights of their social and moral framework, re-ignite their passion and values such as kindness and generosity, take on personal responsibility for their actions, step up to be leaders, and love themselves, others and the planet.
Boys learn to grow into greatness as our future parents, emerging leaders and healthy and happy sons, siblings and citizens. This is the platform from which we all work together to create positive, lasting change and a better world.