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It’s mid-summer here in the northern hemisphere, and that means vacation season. So this week’s episode is a solo one, to give me a little space for my vacation.
Don’t worry, regular episodes return next time, including topics such as Caribbean coral reef systems, the incredible diversity of flies (yes, flies are more incredible than even the experts know!), raptor ecology, and eastern North American deciduous forests. And that just covers episodes in various stages of development during the month of July!
Before getting to the main topic of today – my progress with my new non-profit Jumpstart Nature – a quick follow-up.
The response to the field guide episode with Cricket and Allen (episode 47) has been amazing! Cricket, Allen, and I had more field guides we wanted to cover, so I’ve posted a blog post at podcast.naturesarchive.com with all the ones we just didn’t have time to discuss. This list includes something for everyone – African mammals, North American dragonflies, Colombian and Australian birds, and field guides in French, to name a few! Some of these are current, some are classics. Again, check out the post at podcast.naturesarchive.com, and if you missed it, give episode 47 a listen.
OK, now onto Jumpstart Nature.
For those who have followed me for a while, you know that I left my long-time tech management job to focus on nature conservation.
Some people thought I was crazy to leave a relatively senior position in a well known company. But I feel this is a calling for me. And it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to make a difference.
My new organization is called Jumpstart Nature, and its mission is to catalyze everyone to make a difference for the environment. Yes, everyone. It’s ambitious, and obviously I can’t start with everyone, but I plan to build towards that goal.
I’ve developed a business plan, including a vision and strategy. I’ve built a roadmap for offerings that I intend to launch, budgets, and more. And somewhat trivial, but fun – I hired a designer to create a logo! Check out the show notes at podcast.naturesarchive.com to see it!
And as I’ve said previously, Nature’s Archive is part of this vision – in fact, I want to improve it, so please keep the feedback coming! But the vision includes some truly innovative approaches, including a mobile app that seeks to empower people to make a difference in ways they choose, and some new and innovative audio formats.
My progress has been slower than I’d hoped. I thought I had a partnership worked out, but my new ideas revealed a fracture in the organization I was hoping to partner with.
And we’re still in a pandemic, and that has had various impacts on my family and I, as well as people I’m working with.
So, I’m still in paperwork and partner-seeking mode. The nonprofit process takes time, so it will be awhile before I’m official. If you are interested in supporting this effort in any way, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, in order for Jumpstart Nature to scale and reach everyone to make a difference for the environment, I really needed to learn much more about where people are at. This is a vast problem, so I had to tap into some prior work experiences to begin to make sense of it.
The following describes the model I created, and also gives a bit more insights into my past experiences, how I think about the world, and how I’ll approach Jumpstart Nature.
I originally recorded this about 6 months ago for my Patreon patrons, and while I’ve made some minor adjustments to the model, it by and large remains as I described it here.
As always, thank you for listening, and without additional delay, the Ladder of Environmental Care.
While you are welcome to listen to my show using the above link, you can help me grow my reach by listening through one of the podcast services (Apple, Google, Stitcher, etc) linked on the right. And while you’re there, will you please consider subscribing?
Links To Topics Discussed
People and Organizations
Books and Other Things
Note: links to books are affiliate links
Opening – Fearless First by Kevin MacLoed
Closing – Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLoed
Both can be obtained from https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/
Transcripts are automatically created, and are about 95% accurate. Apologies for any errors.
[00:00:00] Michael Hawk: Hi everyone. This is nature’s archive podcast and I’m Michael Hawk. It’s Midsummer here in the Northern hemisphere, and that means vacation season. So this week’s episode is a solo one to gimme a little space for my vacation. Don’t worry, regular episodes return next time, including topics such as Caribbean coral reef systems, the incredible diversity of flies.
[00:00:19] Yes. Flies are even more incredible than the experts know Raptor, ecology. And Eastern north American dis deciduous forest and that just covers episodes in various stages of development. During the month of July.
[00:00:31] Before getting to the main topic of today. My progress with my new nonprofit jumpstart nature, a quick follow up the response to the field guide episode with Cricket and Allen, that was episode 47 has been amazing Cricket, Allen and I have more field guides that we wanted to cover. So I made a blog post at podcast dot nature’s, archive.com, with the ones that we just didn’t have time to discuss in that episode.
[00:00:52] This list includes something for everyone, African mammals, north American dragonflies, Colombian, and Australian birds and field guides in French. Just to name a few, some of these are current and some of these are classic. Again, check out the post at podcast dot nature’s archive.com. And if you missed the original episode, it’s episode 47, give it a listen.
[00:01:12] Okay. Now on to jumpstart nature.
[00:01:14] For those who have followed me for a while, , you know, that I left my longtime tech management job to focus on nature conservation.
[00:01:20] Some people probably thought I was crazy to leave a relatively senior position in a well known company, but I feel like it’s a calling for me and it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to make a difference. As I said, my new organization is called jumpstart nature and its mission is to catalyze everyone to make a difference for the environment.
[00:01:37] Yes, everyone. It’s ambitious. And obviously I can’t start with everyone, but I plan to build towards that goal. I’ve developed a business plan, including a vision and a strategy. I built a roadmap for offerings that I intend to launch budgets and more and somewhat trivially, but fun. I hired a designer to create a logo.
[00:01:55] So check out the show notes at podcast dot nature’s archive.com to see what the logo looks like. And as I’ve said, previously, nature’s archive is part of that vision. In fact, I want to improve it. So please keep the feedback coming. But the vision for jumpstart nature includes some truly innovative approaches, including a mobile app that seeks to empower people, to make a difference in ways they choose and some new and innovative audio formats.
[00:02:18] My progress has been a bit slower than I’d hoped. When I gave an update earlier this year, I thought I had a partnership worked out, but my new ideas revealed a fracture in the organization. I was hoping to partner with. Edward’s still living in the middle of a pandemic and that’s caused some problems here and there. These were good reminders that success usually doesn’t follow a straight line, but to keep persevering. So I’m still in paperwork and partner seeking mode. The nonprofit process takes time. So it’ll be a little while before I’m official.
[00:02:44] But if you’re interested in supporting this effort in any way, please email me at email@example.com. So in order for jumpstart nature to scale and reach everyone to make a difference for the environment, I really needed to learn more about where people are at. This is a vast problem.
[00:03:00] Everyone has a different relationship with nature and the environment. I Had to tap into some prior work experiences to begin to make sense of this problem space. so the following describes a model that I created and also gives a bit more insight into my past experiences.
[00:03:14] How I think about the world and how I’m approaching jumpstart nature. I originally recorded this nearly six months ago for my Patreon patrons. And while I’ve made a few minor adjustments to the model by and large, it remains as I described it here. So as always thank you for listening and without additional delay, the Ladder of Environmental Care.
[00:00:00] Hello, Michael here. And welcome to my first bit of bonus audio on Patreon. I hope to use this, to share some ideas and thoughts that perhaps don’t quite fit nature’s archive podcast. So over the next few months, I’m going to share with you a model and a framework I’m developing that intends to help all of us improve how we communicate the importance of environmental conservation and preservation and how we can use this framework to hopefully reach more people.
[00:00:23] I’d love to get your feedback so I can improve it and refine my approach and the messaging that goes along with it. So for context, as I work to launch the next phase of nature’s archive, I’ve been spending a lot of time learning how to communicate more effectively so that I can reach more people. I went to the national association of interpretation conference.
[00:00:41] That’s a 7,000 plus member group dedicated to natural history and heritage communication. And from that same group I obtained my certified interpretive guide certification.
[00:00:53] I’ve also sought out primary sources in media relating to where social sciences, psychology and the environment all converge. I’ve studied those who I feel are successful in science communication. That’s people like past guests, Chris Helzer or Grif Griffith, Dr. Jaret Daniels and Beth Pratt.
[00:01:10] Unfortunately, people like that seem to be the exception and not the rule. So I wonder why is. Why do so many groups still talk at people rather than engage with people and why do so many groups stay within their kind of insular community rather than reaching beyond the choir to really make a difference?
[00:01:28] I have some ideas that I’m investigating. So as I do work to launch the next phase, one of my goals is to unlock the successful communicator secrets. And to apply their approaches in a way that scales to greater hights, and also to understand what limits those others
[00:01:42] For the rest of us note, really, to make sense I think I need to give a bit more information about my background. So I’ve worked in tech for about two decades, and much of my time has been spent communicating ideas. And these are often ambiguous and not tangible ideas. They’re technologies that kind of exist in the ether. I’ve had to influence people to take risks, consider new possibilities and accept the idea of the potential of good people who are motivated.
[00:02:07] Some of these ideas they don’t exist yet. So there has to be some trust. That sometimes means setting aside the comfort of the status quo and acknowledging our own often detrimental personal psychologies, that influence how we behave and what are the other impacts of this career has been a bias towards strategy and scaling ideas to a much larger vision.
[00:02:26] So, you know, all those personality tests that I’ve taken over the years, they highlight a few core strengths. I love to learn. I love to think strategically and I love to share. So when I joined Google little over a decade ago, it didn’t take much nudging before I embraced the idea of thinking 10 X or a hundred X meaning taking an idea, maybe it’s a good idea.
[00:02:46] And then totally throwing that idea out and rethinking it to make it have 10 times or a hundred times the impact of that first idea.
[00:02:53] When challenged with this sort of thinking, my first step is to create a mental model for thinking about the problem space. Then after I have a model, I try to turn that into a framework that allows for the model to actually be applied in the real world. Next, I develop a strategy for that application and then run experiments to test it out.
[00:03:12] All the while you have to maintain a consciously flexible mindset and an agile approach so that you can discard parts of the model, parts of the implementation that don’t work, pivot and continually adjust and improve. So today I’m going to introduce the mental model that I’ve created for environmental communication.
[00:03:30] And this is what I call the environmental ladder. we’ve probably all heard of meeting people where they’re at.
[00:03:36] That’s something that Chris Helzer are discussed way back in episode number 19 and the environmental ladder of care creates categories to help describe where people are so that you can at least take the first step to meeting them where they’re at.
[00:03:48] Keep in mind that any model or framework is going to have to generalize things. That’s the very nature of a model because you’re taking a complex problem space or system and trying to make it tractable, make it into something that you can wrap your head around and act upon.
[00:04:01] So the environmental ladder of care starts with people that aren’t even on the ladder. These people might be totally disconnected from nature either by choice or by the result of societal reality. For example, they may not even have access to nature. They may be forced to work three jobs or have no capacity for nature.
[00:04:20] Maybe they have phobias. They’re just simply scared of interacting with the environment.
[00:04:25] Now getting onto the ladder, the first rung. These are people who are aware of nature, but they generally ignore it.
[00:04:31] They aren’t impeded by access and they’re not impeded by. , so perhaps they are consumed by a societal pressures for achievement or consumerism, and they don’t leave any time for nature, or they simply grew up in a household that didn’t consider nature. So it’s kind of like inertia. That’s preventing them , from accessing and caring, stepping up a rung to the second level.
[00:04:52] These are people who casually enjoy nature. Maybe they have a bird feeder or they go for an occasional hike or a walk in the city park. Perhaps they use nature for exercise and adventure, kind of like those who mountain bike do or trail running.
[00:05:05] Moving up to the next level, the third rung of the ladder. These are people who actively seek out nature experiences, and they also seek out understanding with the primary goal being to experience nature. This might include backpackers bird Watchers, members of native plant societies and groups.
[00:05:21] Similar to that. They may even pick vacation destinations or day trips based on access to natural environments that align with our goals and the fourth rung of the ladder. The top rung is where nature advocates are. These people volunteer with nature groups. They donate money. They donate time and resources, and they also actively seek to mentor and grow others to do this.
[00:05:43] So now that we have this model, we can start to develop a framework to reach people at each level. That’s a big topic. So I’ll leave that for next time. Please let me know what you think. This is a starting point and I’m very open to ideas, gaps, things I’ve missed. Do there need to be more levels to the ladder, fewer levels.
[00:06:01] Let me know what you think. Thank you for listening.
2 thoughts on “The Ladder of Environmental Care”
How awesome! And exciting!
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