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Remembering, Renewing, and Reweaving

Ecological Belonging x Regional Hearth Summits

With a name inspired by the fires around which humanity has gathered since the dawn of time, regional Hearth Summits are built on a profound appreciation for ritual, tradition, and culture. They epitomize a harmonious fusion of local traditions and global connectivity, fostering a profound discovery of cultural heritage and our intrinsic bond with nature. At the core of this exploration of Ecological Belonging: living in an ongoing interconnected relationship with ourselves, each other and our broader natural world.

These locally-led, globally-connected, and universally human events serve as vibrant hubs where communities converge to celebrate and preserve their unique customs. Through storytelling, workshops, and experiential learning, the Hearth Summits invite changemakers to a global dialogue rooted in the authenticity of local identities and a shared reverence for the natural world.

Across the regional Hearth Summits, discover how local communities are remembering their inherent bond with the world, reweaving ancient rituals into modern-day life, and reconnecting with the natural environment. Want to go deeper into the world of Ecological Belonging? Join our global movement.

Calling All Artists in These Regions

Alpbach, Austria // Bangalore, India // Cali, Colombia // Dakar-Thiès, Senegal // Kyoto, Japan // São Paulo, Brazil // Washington, D.C., USA

In an exciting collaboration with Community Arts Network (CAN), we are excited to launch a global initiative around the arts to create a unique and magical vision, along with local communities, around the concept of Ecological Belonging.

We are seeking 7 passionate and dynamic individuals, one for each of the regional Hearth Summits listed above in 2024, to take on the role of Ritual Alchemist. Through the arts, the Ritual Alchemist will delve into a local ritual or practice and engage the community in a journey to renew it for today.

Individuals with a background in arts, a passion for wellbeing and local practices, and a deep sense of belonging in the above regions are invited to learn more about the role and apply to be a Ritual Alchemist by 23:59 CET on 30th April. 

RECONNECTING WITH NATURE

“Nature is the source of all true knowledge.”

Leonardo Da Vinci
CREATING SPACE FOR AWE

With many events hosted in the heart of local landscapes, changemakers immerse themselves in the raw beauty of their surroundings, allowing nature’s wisdom to permeate every aspect of the Hearth Summit experience.

Immersed in the magical landscape of the Omega Institute, changemakers at the first regional summit in North America were able to connect to each other and themselves, all in the awe-inspiring environment of the 250-acre campus.

Nestled on the banks of the Guarapiranga dam, The Wellbeing Summit São Paulo offered a pristine view of the Brazilian coast, including 200,000 m2 of preserved Atlantic forest, home to 290 native species that have been re-introduced to the environment, thanks to Clube de Campo’s conservation efforts.

REWEAVING RITUALS

“Learning to touch deeply the jewels of our own tradition will allow us to understand and appreciate the values of other traditions, and this will benefit everyone.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

BASSARI COMMUNITY

The Wellbeing Summit Dakar-Thiès welcomed youth from the Bassari country, led by Black Keme (Antoine Indega Boubane) — an Ambassador of Bassari Culture — who guided participants in experiencing the energizing power of ritual Bassari dances. Watch the music video for Black Keme’s song “Kro Zebna”, which encourages future generations to appreciate and preserve their cultures.

VOICES OF ECOLOGICAL BELONGING

Hear Stories and Perspectives on Ecological Belonging From Around the World

Colombian singer Fonseca brought a larger-than-life concert to the Wellbeing Summit in his hometown of Bogotá.

Dak’Harmony, a group of music enthusiasts from Dakar, brought upbeat African music and covers of classic songs to the closing celebration of The Wellbeing Summit Dakar-Thiès.

Roll The Voice, a collective of multidisciplinary musicians with diverse abilities in Bogotá, invited audiences to explore their perspectives on disabilities through their energizing hip-hop performances.

Oro y Platino, a group from the Condoto Chocó region of Colombia, shared soulful renditions of alabaos, traditional Afro-Colombian songs of mourning and healing.

Wellbeing of the World, a collaborative project from Tod Machover and the MIT Media Lab, unites the Summits by inviting participants to co-create a symphony of global wellbeing sounds.

French-Israeli singer Yael Naim shared her experience healing with the arts and treated The Wellbeing Summit Brussels to an intimate performance of her soulful music.

Black Keme (Antoine Indega Boubane) embodied the fusion of tradition and modernity in African music by weaving in his cultural Bassari heritage in his performances.

Harpist Alix Collin rang in each new session at The Wellbeing Summit Brussels with the powerful, vibrating sound of the gong.

Bangladeshi mental health activist and musician Farzana Wahid Shayan gifted moving performances of songs dedicated to the themes of forgiveness and self-empowerment.

Local youth performed dances mixing traditional Bangla moves with modern sounds, all set against the musical backdrop of songs that inspired the freedom fighters in Bangladesh’s 1971 independence war.

Tuntun Shah Baul offered the soul-stirring melodies of traditional Baul music, which embodies the inner pursuit of peace preached by the Bengal mystic, Lalon.

Sister Fa (Fatou Diatta), a Senegalese rapper and activist, reflected on her wellbeing journey and social change in Africa with an invigorating hip-hop performance.

THEATRE

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

Thorton Wilder

At The Wellbeing Summit Dakar-Thiès, Brrr Production, a Dakar-based theatre company exploring political and social issues, performed MONDIAL.E.S. This piece explores the role of women in Senegal and the wider world through the story of Salimata and Fatoumata, who decide to set up an association to promote gender equality. By questioning our stereotypes of men and women, the show took a humorous, ironic look at the possibilities of fighting for a fairer world.

The Wellbeing Summit Dakar-Thiès welcomed youth from the Bassari country, led by Black Keme (Antoine Indega Boubane) — an Ambassador of Bassari Culture — who guided participants in experiencing the energizing power of ritual Bassari dances.

Participants were encouraged to paint together throughout The Wellbeing Summit Bogotá to enjoy the flow of creativity, together, under the guidance of local creator Carlos Eduardo Meneses.

During Omega Institute and the Harlem Wellness Center’s musical performances, cartoonist Liza Donnelly captured the essence of the music with live illustrations.

RENEWING OUR APPROACH

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

George Bernard Shaw

Modou Fall, better known as L’Homme Plastique (The Plastic Man), issued a rousing call for Africa to no longer “be a trash can” in a panel discussion on how to address the plastic pollution crisis in Senegal and across the continent.

Breaking down the plastic pollution challenge, Zéro Déchet Sénégal educated participants about different types of plastics, challenges around recyclability and waste management, and alternative lifestyle choices available to reduce plastic consumption.

The Wellbeing Summit Dakar-Thiès ventured to nearby Rufisque to learn about an “ecozone” created by local youth and elders. Supported by the Fondation Sococim, they cleaned up the village center and installed lights, turning it into a safe, plastic- and pollution-free space for the community to gather.

Designed With the Earth in Mind

THE WELLBEING SUMMIT DHAKA

The Wellbeing Summit Dhaka was decorated with Ecological Belonging in mind. All materials used to accentuate Bangla Academy’s lush gardens were:

  • Upcycled, such as printed signs on cotton from used sarees;
  • Locally handmade, reducing the environmental footprint of production and transportation;
  • Free of single-use plastic; and
  • Designed to be used again or recycled rather than thrown away after the event.

Learning From Living Buildings at the Omega Institute

THE OMEGA CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE LIVING

In addition to enjoying magical moments of inner and outer discovery on the Omega Institute campus, participants also learned about innovative solutions for ecological preservation at the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL). The OCSL’s award-winning living building hosted talks on regenerative, climate-positive design, using the center’s Eco Machine™, a water reclamation system that uses only natural processes to treat wastewater, as an example. Answering the question, “how should we live?”, the OCSL inspired changemakers to reexamine how they relate to the world and natural resources.

TheMerode’s curated art exhibition, Shōkakkō, explored happiness in all its forms through works created by 54 artists from around the world placed throughout The Wellbeing Summit Brussels.

In collaboration with the 12th edition of Partcours, Tostan curated a special exhibit about wellbeing with Senegalese artists Fatim Soumaré and Omar Diouf (Yafane) called Yoonu ci biir (The Inner Pathway)”. 

The Omega Institute and Harlem Wellness Center worked with the Rubin Museum to bring the Mandala Lab to a regional Wellbeing Summit, inviting participants to explore their emotions.

At Tostan’s Training Centre, participants contemplated the “Art for Mental Health” exhibition, featuring creations from clients of the Moussa Diap psychiatric clinic’s groundbreaking art therapy programme.

EXPLORE THE RECONNECTION TO THE EARTH FURTHER

Dive Into Ecological Belonging Stories From Around the World