Feedback Loops

Meet Kirsten, SLE’s social media specialist.

Our mission at SLE is to bring awareness. It is to engage with underrepresented cultures, and to learn their languages.  It is to exchange knowledge and understanding, to become an engaged citizen.

For me, part of being that citizen is not only uniting my world with that of the global community, but also engaging with the environment.

Conversation is a constant flow of words; it moves with expression and tone, and survives on mutual comprehension. It is a cyclical loop, one answering and another responding. With misunderstanding though, the conversation halts.

This communication takes places between people and between countries, but also between the Earth and our bodies.

Like a conversation, Nature consists of feedback loops, which occur in overlapping symbiosis throughout levels of ecosystems, building upon one another.


With many of our global trends, we are halting the conversation with the Earth. Did you know that Southeast Asia has one of the highest relative rates of deforestation in the world? Amidst all the environmental talk in recent years of global warming and climate change, I myself was surprised to learn about the rampant amount of forest destruction that still goes on today.

But why haven’t we heard about it? I may be talking about here, and those in Southeast Asia may be talking about it there— but we are not having a conversation about it.

In Southeast Asia, many of the global implications of climate change are being initiated at the level of farmers, those who cultivate growth. I personally would not know how to communicate with a farmer who speaks Javanese in Indonesia. I cannot speak Thai to a farmer in Thailand, or Vietnamese to a farmer in Vietnam.

Likewise, I cannot communicate with a businessman or take charge against a corporation. I can’t even begin to get a better grip on the situation on the ground because I can’t read their books, or access the research on their websites.

I can’t do any of these things until I learn their language, until I learn how to start a conversation.

I am a part of SLE because I want to learn how to speak to others. I want to get the conversation started with those who work most closely with the land.  Their languages matter, and yet, they are not being taught in our educational system.

When we are unable to speak to one another, we cannot help each other; we cannot grow together. The Earth cannot grow.

And I may not be Captain Planet, but I want to save the Earth, and I’m starting through SLE.


Kirsten Craig

Kirsten Craig

Kirsten is a graduate student in Columbia University's Masters of Global Thought program. A lover of anything friend and everything sweet, she is passionate about the environment and the many ways our communication is intricately linked to its preservation.

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