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105. On Valuing Nature: Biocomplexity, Belonging & Animist Investment / Alexa Firmenich
19th March 2023 • Nathalie Nahai In Conversation • Nathalie Nahai
00:00:00 01:06:12

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For the first episode of the season, I have the pleasure of interviewing Alexa Firmenich - an investor, consultant and facilitator on the climate crisis, whose life’s work centres on dissolving the boundaries that divide human beings from other forms of life, and enabling nature to express its fullest creativity. Focused on developing strategies that repair our planet’s ecologies, Alexa’s work experience spans from political science and leadership development to corporate sustainability analysis, journalism, eco-cultural projects in emerging markets, land-based conservation initiatives and climate communication. She is currently co-director of SEED, a new initiative housed inside the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich, that is creating the world’s first biodiversity measure that accounts for all scales of life’s complexity at a genetic, species and ecosystem level. Having co-founded the animist investment studio, Ground Effect, to direct capital on behalf of other species and back ventures that maximize planetary generativity, her current areas of investment and research include regenerative agriculture, soil health, food systems, earth jurisprudence, ecosystem restoration, ecological pedagogy, new ownership models, biodiversity, and scientific research that illuminates life’s relational processes. As an author, poet, photographer and wilderness guide, she brings people into direct contact with the living world. In her role as an Associate at Leaders’ Quest and through the company she founded, Atlas Unbound, she develops and leads multi-day immersive learning journeys for global corporations and decision-makers, principally into “nature”. These journeys embody her thesis that we learn most rapidly and durably through direct experience, and that visceral connection is a remedy to our systemic alienation from the living world. As a means to inspire a greater number of people in their climate/restoration trajectory, she started the podcast Lifeworlds. The show is an intimate dialogue with our planet’s ecologies where she explores the mindsets, skills and actions needed to partner with other forms of life. Her guests are farmers, lawyers, scientists, investors, indigenous scholars, artists, and many others, who have all learned to be in close relationship with the lifeworlds of other species. Recorded on 9th February 2023.

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