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Ecological grief

By Katelijn Janssens and Denise Oostinga.


In this blogpost, we would like to share our Value Creator journey with you. Two third-year students of Global Project and Change Management. We are both very independent, sensitive and we enjoy being in nature. For this project, we were happy to have the chance to work together.

For us, this Value Creator journey started with a lot of uncertainty. Where to go, what to do and why to do it? We investigated the topic of psychology and went to a masterclass about African well-being and depression. Very interesting, but not what we were looking for. However, it brought us closer to well-being in general. Though, overall well-being was still way too broad for a Value Creator topic. One day we were walking with the two of us, talking about mental well-being for a change maker in a messy, damaged world. Without knowing how to formulate it, we hit our topic here. After a conversation with our coach, Deanne, we learned there was a word, a concept, and a theory behind our careful first thoughts; ecological grief is the psychological loss to experienced ecological losses.

From this moment on, we dived into the topic of ecological grief. We talked to various experts, started reading really good books and followed online courses. This part of the process was very fun to do, as we had no idea yet what it would bring us. We were just able to ask questions, to listen, and to let the information sink.

From this stage, we moved slowly into the end phase. This started with brainstorming about our end product. There were so many options, what would bring the most value? We chose to make a series of vodcasts, podcasts with video, in which we interviewed some of the experts we spoke to earlier. We grabbed some microphones, made an easy setup, and started talking to the camera. This was something we underestimated; it can be difficult to act naturally in front of a camera when you are not used to it. But we managed and are very proud of our end product.

We would of course recommend you watch our videos, but we would still like to give you some insights we got during the conversations with the experts.

A lot of young people who are fighting for the environment experience feelings of despair, anger, or anxiety. They get hopeful, and then they get depressed. Try to find radical hope, instead of naïve hope. Maybe you recognize this around you or in yourself. The most important thing is that you allow your feelings to be there and to turn them around in the form of action. Find people around you to talk with and be grateful for small blessings.

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