Stories are how humans have always passed on wisdom, but too often, tales of real-world impact can get lost in the world of academic research. We recognize the importance of getting science and evidence-based information to many different audiences in understandable and engaging formats.
We are finding new ways to tell positive stories of health and flourishing and developing relationships with advocates, policymakers, and journalists. Amplified through our strategic partnerships, our learnings can inspire better approaches, policies, and practices and significantly improve the health of individuals, communities, and the planet.
Ultimately, the collaborations that emerge through Nova programs, events, and outreach involve a rich tapestry. Individuals often arrive at Nova gatherings with expertise in a particular aspect of health—and leave with a tapestry perspective.
Looking back on 2022, I feel a renewed sense of connection. Throughout this year, which also marked the Nova Institute’s 15-year anniversary, the importance of
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Professor George A. Kaplan, our friend and Nova Institute’s Senior Advisor to the Scholars and Fellows Program, for receiving
Institute Scholar Dr. Steven Woolf‘s recent study revealed that between 2018-2020 U.S. life expectancy dropped by a huge margin and disproportionately impacted Black and Hispanic populations,
Racism is increasingly recognized as a public health crisis throughout the United States. Nova Fellow Heidi Gullet and Scholar Kurt Stange’s work illustrates how Community-Based System Dynamics can be used to tackle challenging problems exacerbated by racism and identify community-driven solutions.
A compelling concept woven throughout the recent 2022 Nova Annual Conference was “tapestry thinking” and ways we can embrace this idea to help people, places, and the planet flourish. Here we highlight just a few presentations from our amazing speakers to inspire you!
Healing is facilitated through safety, persistence, and trust.
Resources support us as we heal. They include reframing, responsibility, and positivity. “Making connections enabled participants to acquire and refine resources and skills that were essential in their healing journey. People also brought their own personal strengths to the journey.”
“Connection to others was an essential part of all the healing journeys.” Humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us need close relationships. Friends and family add meaning and value to life and help support us, in good times and bad.
When we experience relational trauma, relationships can feel scary, but reestablishing safety and trust in relationships is where the healing happens. (To be clear, we do not mean reestablishing safety and trust with abusers, but rather finding other healing relationships.)
“When safety and trust had been established, people were able to connect with helpers. The nature of the behaviours of helpers that fostered healing ranged from small acts of kindness to unconditional love.”
Healing probably means different things to different people, but one definition that emerged from the study is: “The re-establishment of a sense of integrity and wholeness.”
Healing was an emergent property that resulted from each individuals’ complex healing journey, a result of bridged connections between resources and relationships. “…they gradually found relief from suffering and began to exhibit emergent characteristics: a sense of hope, self-acceptance, and a desire to help others—the immediate precursors to healing.”
In varying degrees, “they were able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.”
Suffering is the ongoing pain from wounding.
There is debate about whether or not one actually needs to experience suffering on the path to healing.
Wounding happens when we experience physical or emotional harm. It can stem from chronic illness or by physical or psychological trauma for which we do not have the tools to cope, or a combination of those factors.
“The degree and quality of suffering experienced by each individual is framed by contextual factors that include personal characteristics, timing of their initial or ongoing wounding in the developmental life cycle and prior and current relationships.”
Characteristics: How predisposed someone may be to wounding/how many tools and resources someone may have to deal with trauma/illness.
Lifestages: Developmental timing plays an important role in the impact of trauma — young children often do not have the same resources as older adults.
Relationships: Relationships can provide solace and support for those suffering, while lack of healthy relationships can prolong suffering.