Science and Our Relationship with Nature, with Bonnie Keeler, The Natural Capital Project

The Natural Capital Project is developing practical tools and approaches to account for nature’s contributions to society.

Bonnie Keeler, The Natural Capital Project

Bonnie Keeler, The Natural Capital Project

As Bonnie Keeler grew up in Eagan, MN, she loved to explore Minnesota’s natural wonders with her family. “My mom was a master at relationships,” Bonnie recalls. “One of the things she taught me was, how people are at the center of everything. Every problem is essentially a problem of relationships. Science can take us part of the way there, in terms of providing the appropriate knowledge base. But when it comes down to actually making change, that’s all about relationships.”

Today, Bonnie is a lead scientist with The Natural Capital Project. The Natural Capital Project is a partnership between the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, the Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund. They solve big problems related to how we value nature and the relationship between people and the environment.

The Natural Capital Project works with a variety of organizations from local community groups who are advocating for a particular environmental future, to private sector companies who are trying to green their supply chain, to national-level governments who are considering the impact of infrastructure. They collaborate with decision-makers to identify questions and develop new science and tools to answer those questions. They test and publish results in peer-reviewed journals.

“If you’ve made a big international commitment to the environment, how do we make that practical, and think of the implementation of it?” Bonnie asks. “Where do you protect? What landscapes do you restore? How do you invest in new infrastructure, whether it’s hydropower, or a big agricultural incentive program? Or a payment program to farmers to adopt different conservation practices? Those are big environmental management decisions that have a set of consequences, not just for those ecosystems, but for the people who depend on them.”

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Bonnie Keeler

[spp-tweet tweet=”“We’re so connected to the environment in so many ways.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“The big problem is, those connections aren’t very visible.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“We’re often not thinking of the full set of consequences.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“There is a broad set of users and audiences that our projects serve.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“We have partnerships around the world.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“If you’ve made an international commitment to the environment, how do you make that practical?” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“We spent a lot of time car camping.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“My mom was a master at relationships.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“People are at the center of everything.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“It’s the human dimensions that require careful thought.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“I was searching for the connection between people and nature.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“There was a way to be a scientist, but be engaged in those people-oriented, human dimension problems.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Partnerships are everything.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Are you reading the environmental page in your local newspaper?” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Find someone who you have the opportunity to be inspired by.” @BonnieKeeler @NatCapProject”]

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:

About the Author
Tony Loyd is a TEDx speaker, podcast host and the author of Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs. He is a former Fortune 500 executive with extensive experience in strategic planning, talent management, and leadership development. Tony is the host of the podcast Social Entrepreneur where you can hear the stories of changemakers who are making an impact on the world.

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