TEAM - cont.
His first field research was in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region examining the status of Twa former hunter-gatherers before and after the Rwanda Genocide. Around 60% of Rwandan Twa died or disappeared during the genocide. Since 1994 he has conducted long-term research in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) with BaYaka forest hunter-gatherers.
Publications focus on egalitarian politics, ritual, language, music and dance, the BaYaka’s relations with neighbours, and their approach to forest management. The impact of logging and conservation initiatives have resulted in many groups losing access to their best forest and being forbidden to hunt. Given this difficult situation, he has conducted award-winning applied research supporting conservation efforts by forest people and facilitating them to better represent themselves to outsiders (Cuthbert Peek Award, Royal Geographical Society 2010). These efforts have resulted in the creation of the Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) research group at UCL in 2011 to develop the tools and methodologies to enable any community regardless of literacy or language to collect and analyse scientifically valid data. ExCiteS is a winner of the Nominet Trust 100 2014 award for using digital innovation to change the world for the better, and the Provost’s 2018 Public Engagement Award at UCL.
Building on his work in the Human Ecology Research Group at UCL Jerome established the Centre for the Anthropology of Sustainability (CAoS) in 2013 with Marc Brightman. CAoS’s inaugural conference in 2015 brought together a host of anthropological luminaries to reflect on what sustainability means from a global anthropological perspective. The rich reflections published in 2017 provided Jerome with the inspiration to develop the concept of Flourishing Diversity as an effective approach to pull us back from the 6thGreat Extinction and assuring a future inhabitable world for us and other species. In 2018 CAoS won the Newton Prize for Brazil with the indigenous organisation CTI. Jerome became an advisor to Synchronicity Earth in 2013.
With the creation of The Synchronicity Foundation in the late 1990’s, with her husband, she helped create a new model to support long-term funding. Her work with the foundation opened up a multitude of opportunities to support diverse projects across the world. Ultimately, it became self-evident that the environment was inextricably linked to everything the foundation was supporting – extinction and climate change were increasingly a cause for concern – so by 2007, the foundation shifted gears.
Upon investigation into the conservation sector, they found many gaps in funding, collaboration and strategy. Their increasing knowledge, passion and concern led to the founding of Synchronicity Earth, a UK based charity, in November 2009, as a way to leverage her philanthropy. Synchronicity Earth is a research-based platform acting to address overlooked and underfunded conservation challenges for globally threatened species and ecosystems. Its vision is an Earth in which all life is valued, celebrated and flourishing.
Jessica is also an International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Patron of Nature, helping to raise the visibility of global conservation needs worldwide, and was appointed Honorary Conservation Fellow at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in March 2015. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
She has previously occupied key positions from the government/policy building sector to direct work and engagement with local indigenous organisations. She held several positions at the National Foundation for Indigenous Affairs (FUNAI) and has acted as a consultant for many NGOs. She was also one of the collaborators for the successful Newton Prize 2018’s proposalto support Guarani restoration efforts in the Atlantic Forest in partnership with the Ashaninka people, which have brought them to London for the Flourishing Diversity Series. She is the co-founder of CLOSER, a multidisciplinary research group on Brazilian socioenvironmental research, and a member of the Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS)research group and of the Centre for the Anthropology of Sustainability (CAOS). Carolina has an MSc in Anthropology and Ecology of Development from UCL and is currently finishing her PhD thesis at UCL Anthropology, being fortunately supervised by Dr. Jerome Lewis.
In 2018 she was commissioned an installation - Reliquaries - for the acclaimed Broken Nature Exhibition in Milano Reliquaries have also been praised by the Italian President for being one of the most inspiring art pieces to help people open their eyes to the importance of Nature. She has been working with the Mamos (spiritual leaders) of the Arhuaco community in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta-Colombia, for the last four years. Empowering them to build an education system based on their culture and securing some of their sacred sites. Paola’s mission is Mother Earth and she is working on projects with Indigenous Communities - Older Brothers, to increase the awareness of how much we all - Younger Brothers, we need to remember who we are and how to leave in harmony with Nature and ourselves.
Living in South-east Asia and leading initiatives in the non-profit sector, it became clear that Western models of education and ‘development’ quickly brought a new set of issues to individuals and communities.
Disillusioned by this system and the lack of true solutions, she began to explore technologies of inner transformation, spending a year in community in south India, living the science of classical Hathor yoga which included connection to and honouring of the 5 elements. Further investigation brought her to learn from the land and indigenous communities in Nepal, the Amazon and Peru.
Committed to the evolution of humanity, Katy seeks a return to the ways of beauty, harmony and unification through the honouring of diversity and the creation of new systems that marry the tool of the mind with the wisdom of the heart.