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Ecorium Exchange

FFF is promoting the establishment of an innovative EcoriumXChange that explores the human place in nature will encourage understanding in the community of the interdependence of healthy human societies and healthy ecosystems on which they depend, and promote the development and application of biosensitive practices to support the transition toward an ecologically sustainable society living in harmony with a thriving planet.

Principles and Framework for Biosensitive Society 

While there has been much excellent work done to promote environmental sustainability in recent years, there are still some shortfalls. Sustainability has taken on a very human-centric approach, that ignores how compromised the planet's environment already is. FFF believes we need to go beyond this approach to one that recognises humans as part of the environmental ecosystem. The Frank Fenner Society that accepts that humans need a vibrant and healthy biosphere to be truly healthy, and that our relationship with nature underlies the environment's health, our society's health and so people's health.

Despite Canberra’s dedication to national cultural and environmental institutions, there is no institution in Canberra that provides a venue for learning about and understanding about the direct interaction between humans and the environment. There is no institution which provides the national community with an understanding of humanity’s place in the natural world, and to promote about how we can better live in harmony with the life processes that underpin human existence.

Humans have had a huge impact on the planet that we rely on to support us and every day the Earth’s systems experience a myriad of damaging environmental changes. The Frank Fenner Foundation recognises that humanity is pushing the Earth system’s boundaries to potentially dangerous levels and that urgent action is required to safeguard human civilisation and the other beings with whom we share this planet.

Biosensitivity is a respect for, and appreciation of, our relationship with the other living beings and the air, water, soil and elements which takes humans beyond sustainability as a focus. Our current society is not living biosensitively; nor is it ecologically or socially sustainable. Society needs to move beyond its present way of thinking, planning and living to make sure we can have a future worth living in. The ways to change are challenging and will take time but by working on how we can change makes this easier. Part of the Fenner Foundations goal is to influence our culture, which is the aspect of our society that makes us act the way we do. By changing how we act in our society we need to change our culture. This project aims to explore how to make changes to culture. It intends to take a ‘research by doing’ participatory action research approach with a focus on implementation of change.

Frank Fenner Foundation proposes the establishment an Ecorium xChange to provide a platform to generate the conversations that will advance the understanding and engagement which provokes action toward this change. The Institute will go beyond educating about the importance of living in alignment with the biosensitivity principles – it will engage individuals, their communities, businesses, education facilities and governments in shaping the processes of transformation of our economic and political systems. Much effort in recent years has been dedicated to increasing our knowledge of the environmental and cultural problems currently facing human society. While ongoing refined research of the causes of these problems will help us in tackling these problems, the focus of the Institute is on ways forward – to bring together integrated and holistic perspectives from existing research to build partnerships and diverse approaches to work toward a just, healthy and ecologically sustainable society – to redesign our systems and practices, and to work to maximise collaboration between governments, businesses, academic disciplines and the general public.