The Nature Institute was founded in 1998 as the only organization of its kind in North America. We seek to transform how we think about, perceive, and affect nature. To this end, we work on developing a phenomena-centered, contextual approach to understanding nature, technology, and society. As our programs indicate, we pursue our goals through direct research, and also through educational offerings, publications, and lectures and workshops. This activity is focused locally (through our involvement with the nearby Hawthorne Valley School and Farm community) while reaching outward nationally and internationally.
Our mission statement reads, in part:
Nature around us is whole and interconnected. Though we are part of nature, we do not yet fathom nature's depths, and our actions do not embody her wisdom. A fundamental shift in our way of viewing the world is necessary if we would contribute to nature's unity rather than dissolution. At The Nature Institute we seek ways of knowing and doing that are fashioned after nature's own wholeness. Science becomes a participatory dialogue with nature, wherein each phenomenon finds its unique, contextual expression.