Eco-Centric & Indigenous Worldview

An Eco-Centric Worldview is one that holds that Earth’s ecology and ecosystems (including its atmosphere, water, land, and all life forms) have intrinsic value—meaning they should be protected and valued even if they can’t be used by humans as resources.

It is different to the current mainstream worldview of Anthropocentricism (or human-centrism)- the difference is illustrated beautifully in the diagram below which shows a human man on top of the pyramid of life on Earth in ‘Ego’ and all life as equally important in a decentralized circle of life in ‘Eco’.

(Diagram: S. Lehmann, 2010)

This is in alignment with and derived from Indigenous wisdom, and at ICA, we believe that indigenous thinking and learning from indigenous thought leaders can help us make the journey from EGO to ECO, as illustrated in the diagram below.

This theme underpins all our work because we believe that this fundamental shift to an eco-centric worldview is the transformation required in the world right now – both at an individual and collective level.

The world is experiencing a climate and ecological emergency at the moment. We aims to work through the inner dimensions of this emergency, by shifting the current worldview to an eco-centric one, helping humans to deeply adapt to collapsing systems while developing new, regenerative systems simultaneously.

Image courtesy of Michael Leunig

Associated Strategies

  • Global, cross-cultural exchanges, dialogues, and inner inquiry on ecocentric perspectives and indigenous worldviews :

Engaging with emerging climate leaders globally to introduce ecocentric perspectives and indigenous worldviews, through experiential processes, dialogues and talks by Indigenous leaders, ecologists & academics; and to explore how it can transform their projects, climate solutions, community adaptation & resilience strategies.

  • Cultural bridge building in India to include and amplify Indigenous voices in the climate dialogue:

Building a bridge between Indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples in India, in an ethical, reciprocal, just, decolonial, equitable, and non-extractive way, to share knowledge and support each other to nurture regenerative living, biocultural diversity, and community resilience; Engaging Indigenous women leaders through our programs to learn from, and to help amplify their powerful stories of resistance, and earth conservation and ecological rejuvenation.

  • ​​Local, place-based community climate action programmes that incorporate ecocentric perspectives and traditional ecological knowledge:

Engaging with local communities on place-based ecological awareness and climate action programs, that integrate local traditional ecological knowledge, ecocentric perspectives, and information about global ecological and climate crises, and co-designed community adaptation projects.

  • Develop a knowledge repository on incorporating ecocentric perspectives, indigenous thinking and emotional resilience-building into climate adaptation strategies, action plans and implementation:

Developing shareable knowledge products through implementing action research frameworks for all our programs, to document and analyze observations, learnings, and insights from each cycle.

“In the Western tradition, there is a recognized hierarchy of beings, with, of course, the human being on top—the pinnacle of evolution, the darling of Creation—and the plants at the bottom. But in Native ways of knowing, human people are often referred to as “the younger brothers of Creation.” We say that humans have the least experience with how to live and thus the most to learn—we must look to our teachers among the other species for guidance. Their wisdom is apparent in the way that they live. They teach us by example. They’ve been on the earth far longer than we have been, and have had time to figure things out.”

― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Inner Climate Academy (ICA)

ICA is a project of Social Entrepreneurship Association, a unit of the Auroville Foundation.

We rely entirely on funding from grants and other donations to fulfill our vision, mission & purpose.

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