A podcast about the human connection to nature. Biophilia is the innate connection that human beings seek with the natural world. Every other week, hosts Monica Olsen and Jennifer Walsh sit down with thought-leaders and experts across a wide range of industries to discuss the impact that nature has on our wellbeing, why we need nature in order to thrive, and what steps we can all take to live in harmony with the natural world. They pose questions centered around finding common-sense solutions to some of society's biggest problems. Asking guests, how can we take local and global actions that nurture the living, social, and economic systems that will sustain future generations? Faced with challenges like climate change and an ongoing pandemic, reconnecting with nature has never been more imperative. We hope you’ll join the conversation around the growing biophilic movement and come along on our biophilic journey. Subscribe, follow and listen today, because nature has the answers. Learn more at biophilicsolutions.com
Saving The World’s Quiet Places with Matt Mikkelsen
Natural places, untouched by man made noise pollution, are practically nonexistent in the modern world. Unfortunately, the lack of quiet in today’s world doesn’t bode well for our health; noise pollution is tied to an array of health problems like cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, and attention disorders. Our guest today, Matt Mikkelsen, is a sound engineer, audio recordist, and documentary filmmaker who also serves as the Executive Director of Wilderness Parks at Quiet Parks International, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save quiet for the benefit of all life. Preserving these places for our own calm and respite - and for the biodiversity and habitats of other species - is absolutely vital. In this episode, we chat with Matt about his work governments all over the world, the importance of true listening, and finding hygge in the wilderness.
Quiet Parks InternationalGordon HemptonQuiet Parks International CertificationQuiet Parks International AwardFollow Quiet Parks on InstagramFollow Matt on Instagram
Key Words: Quiet, Silence, Wellness, Biophilia, Biophilic Design, Environment, Noise, Noise Pollution, Parks, State Parks, Park, Conservation, Land Conservation, Climate Change, Hygge
Restorative Spaces Inspired by Nature with Oliver Heath
Picture this: you’re at the office and you’re having a terrible day. We’ve all been there at one time or another. So … where do you go to cry? That is the question that designer Oliver Heath poses to all of his prospective clients. More often than not, the response he gets back is the bathroom. From Oliver’s perspective, this answer reflects a larger issue in the built environment, especially in the workplace: a lack of spaces specifically designed with restoration and wellbeing in mind. Oliver is the founder of Oliver Heath Design, an architecture and interior design practice that focuses on health and wellbeing in the built environment and he is one of the leading experts on biophilic design. In this episode, we chat with Oliver about his approach to nature-inspired spaces, the fascinating and approachable white papers he has co-authored with Interface, and why we need to design with individual needs in mind.
Design a healthy home: 100 ways to transform your space for physical and mental wellbeing by Oliver HeathOliver Heath DesignBiophilic Design Courses from Oliver Heath DesignWhitepapers, Reports & Guides (Oliver Heath Design x Interface)Interface14 Patterns of Biophilic Design (Terrapin Bright Green)Exploring the Nature Pyramid by Tim Beatley (The Nature of Cities)Oliver Heath Design InstagramOliver Heath Design TwitterOliver Heath Design FacebookKey Words: Nature, Design, Interior Design, Architecture, Sensory Experience, Biophilic, Biophilic Design, Biophilia, Restorative, Attention Restoration Therapy, Wellness, Wellbeing, Built Environment, Office, Work, Covid-19
Shifting to a Green Economy with Dr. Edward B. Barbier
This week we’re diving into environmental economics, specifically how global economies can start valuing nature and shift to a model that is greener, more inclusive, and more democratic. Have you ever wondered why many environmentally damaging industries receive government subsidies while natural raw materials are treated like inexhaustible resources? What about businesses who maintain the status quo even though their bottom line would benefit from incorporating more sustainable practices? We’re tackling all of this and much more with economist Edward B. Barbier.
Dr. Barbier is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics at Colorado State University, where his main expertise is in environmental and resource economics as well as international environmental policy. He has served as a consultant and policy analyst for a variety of national, international and non-governmental agencies, including many UN organizations and the World Bank. His latest book, Economics for a Fragile Planet, provides solutions and action items for building a green economy.
Edward B. BarbierEconomics for a Fragile Planet by Edward B. BarbierA New Blueprint for a Green Economy by Edward B. Barbier and Anil Markandya Paris Climate AgreementAdopt a carbon tax to protect tropical forests (Nature)The Water Paradox: Overcoming the Global Crisis in Water Management by Edward B. BarbierSeveral states will follow California’s lead in banning gas-powered car sales by 2035 (The Hill)Inflation Reduction ActHow to Help People in Jackson, MS Right Now (The Cut)Key Words: Nature, Climate, Climate Change, Economy, Economic Systems, Fossil Fuels, Fossil Fuel Industry, Emissions, Democracy, Deforestation, Natural Resources, Sustainability, Environment, Environmental Policy
Native Plants, Wildness, and Landscape Architecture with Dr. Alfred Vick
Is it important to know the cultural context of a place? How do landscape architects help connect us to nature? This week we’re talking all about Native American ethnobotany, environmental ethics, and finding the right balance between wildness and order with Dr. Alfred “Alfie” Vick, the Georgia Power Professor of Environmental Ethics at the University of Georgia and Director of the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program. With Alfie as our guide, we explore the cross-section of landscape architecture and Native American studies, the changes he’s observed in the fields of landscape architecture and biophilic design, and he even reveals a hot tip for combating poison ivy naturally.
UGA Environmental Ethics Program About Alfie VickThe Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective by Rachel Kaplan and Stephen KaplanLos Angeles River Revitalization ProjectFlight Path and Lost Waters with Urban Designer Hannah Palmer (Biophilic Solutions Podcast)State Botanical Gardens of Georgia - UGAKey Words: Native American, Indigenous Wisdom, Plants, Botany, Ethnobotany, Landscape Architecture, Landscape, Environment, Biophilia, Biophilic Design, Climate, Climate Change, UGA, Serenbe
Rethinking Housing with ‘Brave New Home’ Author Diana Lind
This week, we’re exploring the rise of the single-family home and its many pitfalls, including the isolation brought on by large homes on expansive plots of land, exclusionary zoning that exacerbates social issues, and environmental factors like resource-intensive turf grass, massive energy usage for few people, and the necessity of cars. Luckily, however, new trends in housing are reshaping the way we live - from co-living spaces with shared utilities, resources, and perks to chic tiny homes to eco-conscious villages like Serenbe that encourage community, wellness, and biophilia.
Our guest is Diana Lind, author of ‘Brave New Home', which investigates how the single-family home became synonymous with the American Dream before delving into the paradigm shifts making housing more accessible and environmentally aware. Diana is a writer and urban policy specialist whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Architectural Record and Next City, where she also served as Executive Director and Editor in Chief. Currently, she is the incoming Communications & Publications Director for the Penn Institute for Urban Research.
Brave New Home: Our Future in Smarter, Simpler, Happier Housing by Diana LindAbout Diana LindAgainst the White Picket Fence (New York Times)WATCH: Five Things Diana Lind taught us about housing (Philadelphia Citizen) Ideas We Should Steal: Treat Homelessness as a Health Issue by Diana Lind (The Philadelphia Citizen)Key Words: Urban Policy, Urban Planning, Housing, Housing Crisis, Biophilia, Biophilic Design, Wellness, Health, Zoning Laws, Suburban, Suburbia, Tiny Home, Environment, Climate Change, Climate Policy
Silence, Awe, and Being Present with 'Golden' Authors Leigh Marz & Justin Zorn
What is the deepest silence you’ve ever known? That’s the key question posed by Leigh Marz and Justin Zorn in their new book, Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise. For Justin and Leigh, silence means many things beyond the literal absence of noise. Silence can be found in moments of calm, moments of awe, and self-transcendent experiences like witnessing a birth or death. When we venture out into nature, we hear nature’s sounds all around us but the feeling of calm and tranquility gives us the quiet contemplation we desperately need. In today’s episode of Biophilic Solutions, we chat with Justin & Leigh about the incessant noise and pace of modern life, finding silence to foster greater connection to the world and to each other, and why true silence is completely different for everyone.
Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise by Justin Zorn & Leigh MarzHow to Build a Culture that Honors Quiet Time (Harvard Business Review)The Busier You Are, The More You Need Quiet Time (Harvard Business Review)Is noise bad for us? The authors of ‘Golden’ on why silence is good for your brain (Salon)A new book considers what silence is and how it can enrich us (Boston Globe)Astrea StategiesKey Words: Silence, Quiet, Nature, Biophilia, Focus, Attention, Technology, Meditation, Mindfulness, Wellness, Activism
I am a veteran communications writer focusing on social media, pop culture and contemporary issues. This podcast and the quality of the revolving guests is something I organize my weeks around. I learn something new with each episode, the very fluid way Monica and Jennifer engage their superb line up is truly informative and memorable. It’s caused me to not only appreciate nature in a new way, but also incorporate it into my life. It’s made me healthier, wealthier in wisdom and creativity.
I am in my third year of law school pursuing a career in corporate law. On of my professors suggested this podcast for its content, for the way it discusses how we should change the way we live… for our health, the environment and to incorporatte nature into our everyday life. Jennifer and Monica are amazing—i woukd love to meet them and be like them in my career. They get the smartest and mist topical guests. Outstanding podcast!
Where have you been all my life?
Just listened to my first episode — “Blue Mind” — and I had so many a-ha! moments that I couldn’t write about all of them here. I just downloaded Nichols’ book and I can’t wait to give up whatever else I was going to do today to read it.