Geovana Mercado explains the potentialities of Nature-based Thinking* (NBT), a new nature-centred mindset that the CONEXUS project, through its Life-Labs, is promoting.
In the project, Geovana closely works with the Life-Labs. To non-experts, she explains the Life-Labs as “a community of learning and experimentation where different actors from different spheres of society can interact and test NBS.” As such, Life-Labs include a wide range of stakeholders, from local governments to grassroot organisations, academia, the business sector, NGOs and others. By definition, Life-Labs’ working method is interdisciplinary and focused on co-creation, from the bottom-up.
Hence in CONEXUS, they are understood as a space where stakeholders come together to discuss, learn and innovate through joint efforts and through the implementation of different pilot initiatives that seek to tackle current urban-environmental degradation issues such as mitigation of air pollution through urban gardens and increasing biodiversity through city-wide regreening plans, among others.
Nature-based Thinking upgrades the nature-based solutions concept, moving from a human-centred to a nature-first approach
CONEXUS recognises the interconnection between ecological, human, and technological systems towards a more holistic approach called Nature-based Thinking (NBT). As Geovana unpacks it, NBT emphasises the need for developing a different mindset that fosters a nature-centred approach to human living. Going a step further than the nature-based solutions paradigm, NBT wants to remain a “non-concept”, open to local interpretation and appropriation by communities so that “we as Europeans [do not] define it”, excluding other cultures and communities such as indigenous peoples.