Nature Intelligence is a multidimensional concept comprising human qualities to connect to nature in a cognitive, emotional and spiritual manner, and to actively use these qualities to support both one’s mental and social health and well-being as well as the well-being of nature and the planet.
About the content
Based on a review of the literature and input from partner organizations, NQ was conceptualized as a multidimensional concept that describes young people’s relationship with nature in terms of four domains of competencies: Cognitive competencies (Literacy, Interest, Skills), Emotional competencies (Connectedness, Embodiment, Open-Mindedness), Spiritual competencies (Transcendence, Mindfulness, Authenticity) and Action competencies (use of nature for Health, Engagement, and Socializing). The four domains of competencies can be graphically represented in a flower model, with NQ in the heart of the flower as an emergent property.
To understand nature intelligence better, we researched various approaches such as environmental education, connectedness to nature, peak experiences, restorative environments research, nature-based therapies, and pro-environmental behaviour. All these approaches have five similarities that explain NQ:
- active bodily engagement with nature,
- free time in nature,
- a balance between social and individual activities,
- taking away excessive fears, and
- exposing participants to a diversity of environments, including green spaces in the direct living environment.
About our future work
We set several additional goals within this project, and some are still to be reached. We have already developed and tested a self-assessment test that offers you to check the level of your own nature intelligence. This self-assessment test serves as an indicator which competences in the frame of nature intelligence you should focus next.
In addition to that, we finalized a list of principles that will guide trainers and youth workers when creating youth activities that contribute to nature intelligence in young people. In April 2022, we organised a training course for youth workers to become more fluent in fostering nature intelligence in young people. As a result, we will publish a fully constructed programme for such training course that can be used in the future. And for all people who learn through other people`s reflections, we plan to prepare a set of inspirational stories and articles that address different aspects of nature intelligence and an online training course.
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About the Partnership
Our partnership reflects the variety and unique contribution to the project’s products. Up to now we have partners that work with positive psychology, nature coaching and Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence. Our partners have experience with the promotion of nature connectedness through a cognitive, emotional, behavioural, or intuitive approach in youth work and will make a unique contribution to the quality of the project. This project not only brings a new holistic framework, but also provides opportunity to personal and professional development of the staff involved. Apart from Ambitia Institute, the project partners are Anatta Foundation from Netherlands, A.S.D. Kamaleonte from Italy, CIA Cekija from Czech Republic and Stichting IVN from Netherlands. Project has been supported by the Erasmus + programme.