We are happy to announce the first round of confirmed guests and contributors!

Jan van Boeckel [Professor Art & Sustainability, Research Centre Art & Sustainability, Hanze UAS, Artist and Filmmaker – The Netherlands]

Jan van Boeckel is professor Art & Sustainability at Research Centre Art & Society of Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, the Netherlands. He started his career as a cultural anthropologist. With the passing of time, Jan increasingly focused his attention on both his own developing artistic practice and on the teaching of art – two orientations that eventually converged into the role of artist-educator. Jan has initiated and taken part in several research projects on the interfaces of where art and sustainability meet. Specializing himself in the new field of arts-based environmental education, he received his degree as Doctor of Arts in arts education at Aalto University, Helsinki, in 2013. In the past years he has worked in several Northern countries – among which Iceland, Sweden, Estonia and Finland. Each autumn, At the invitation of the Estonian Academy of Arts, Jan teaches the intensive course ‘Art and Sustainability Education’ in Lahemaa National Park. He regularly facilitates wildpainting courses across Europe, that aim to inspire participants to connect to nature through art making activities. As part of Tim Ingold’s “Knowing from the Inside” research project, Jan explored how a regenerative pedagogy would look if it would encourage teachers to be attentive to the participants’ “light in the eyes.” At Hanze UAS, Jan’s primary research interest is in how art can help us face the great challenges of our time, of which the ecological crisis in its many dimensions is the most pressing.


Anita Goldman [Author, writer och publicist – Sweden]

Anita Goldman is a Swedish writer och publicist. She has published almost twenty books — fiction and non-fiction. She is presently working on a big book: Det vilda hoppets geografi (“The Geography of Wild Hope”) which is a very broad investigation into our(Western) civilization’s relationship to Nature. Goldman also contributes larger opinion-pieces to the foremost Swedish daily, Dagens Nyheter. She is one of the few voices in mainstream media and culture that offers a thorough civilisatory critic of our society, focusing on the nuclear war culture and energy, on the threats to the very earth we stand on and live from, on the absurd way we manufacture food etc, but also on the healing that comes from being in touch with Nature and growing and the importance of awe and a spiritual grounding. Goldman is an impatient but avid grower of vegetables and perennials at her house at the south easternmost tip of Sweden, Österlen.

Mikael Kurkiala [Author and Researcher, the Swedish Church, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Uppsala University – Sweden]

Mikael Kurkiala is associate professor of Cultural anthropology at Uppsala University and researcher at the Church Office. He is the author of, among other titles, In every drum beat the earth’s pulse: about the fear of differences of our time (Ordfront 2005) and When the Soul Goes into Exile: Modernity, Technology & the Sacred (Verbum 2019). He has also participated in several anthologies about the place of existential issues in contemporary society and is the editor of an annual anthology – Tidens tecken – (“Signs of the times”) published by Artos.


Isabella Lövin [Author, co-chair Friends of Ocean Action and former Minister of Climate and Environment, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Deputy Prime Minister – Sweden]

Photo: Kristian Pohl

Isabella Lövin is an author of Tyst hav – Jakten på den sista matfisken (“Silent Sea – The Hunt for the Last Fish”) (2007) and Oceankänslan (“The Ocean Feel”) (2022), co-chair of Friends of Ocean Action, regularly featured as columnist in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri, former Minister of Climate and Environment, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Deputy Prime Minister. Former EU-parliamentarian and journalist. Honorary doctor at SLU and World Maritime University.


Pella Thiel [Author, Activist and Educator – Sweden]

Pella Thiel is a maverick ecologist, activist and author who works with relational, systemic activism, change processes and leadership för a society in harmony with nature. She is a knowledge expert in the UN Harmony with Nature initiative and co-founder of swedish hubs of international networks like the Swedish Transition Network and End Ecocide Sweden. She also teaches ecopsychology and is a part of the eco-psychology/art/activist NGO Lodyn.

Guest and contributors will be posted as they are confirmed. May be subject to change up until the start of the conference.