Hi! My name is Noemi Bardas, and I am currently a transformative social innovation student. In my study, as well as personally, I am interested in how we can contribute to a lifestyle that supports healthy ecological and societal systems. As an approach, I am passionate about movement practices that strengthen our mindbody connection – from improvisational dance to yoga to body work and everything in between. Therefore, I am curious to explore the intersections of these topics and how embodiment can play a role in societal transformation.  

To begin with, I can say that my overarching professional goal is to support the transformation towards an ‘eco-entangled’ society (Brand, 2019) – one in which we, humans, proactively take our part in the eco-system. The way I see it is that, on a societal level, we have a systemic relation of disconnection – from each other, from nature and from ourselves. Firstly, the dominant homo economicus narrative – which views people as inherently self-interested and competitive – reinforces rivalrous social dynamics, determining a social separation. Secondly, we are largely acting based on an anthropocentric mindset, seeing humans as the most significant entity in the universe, separate from and above the rest of nature. Thirdly, we see our minds and bodies as separate – a view which has deteriorated our relationship with ourselves. In the strive for endless economic growth we neglect, exploit and harm our own bodies, the people around us and the eco-system we are part of. 

I want to contribute to a different story; one in which we acknowledge the interconnectedness that defines our humaneness and actively take our part in all these relationships that support life on Earth. I want to participate in creating a world that prioritizes the wellbeing of all life. 

As I previously mentioned, I have come to discover my passion for movement practices that strengthen our mindbody connection. I believe this to be a crucial part of the transformation. On one hand, as previously highlighted, an eco-entangled society is one in which we are more connected with ourselves – our emotions, thoughts and physicality. On the other hand, I believe that our bodies can play a significant role in societal transformation. To elaborate on that, my approach is based on the phenomenological view that human existence is primarily embodied; that all our lived experiences are closely connected to our bodies. Furthermore, I believe that our experiences are what determine our mindsets. That is relevant because system change requires mindset change. Therefore, through my social innovation research I have explored how mindful movement practices participate in transforming our mental models and, thus, our society. This is a question that still interests me and that I wish to further pursue. (If you would like to know more about my research, you can take a look at this and this video. And if you are interested in reading more of my work, please let me know, as I am more than happy to share this with you.) 

During my study I developed myself as a process facilitator, as a community builder and as an experience designer. To begin with, my skills include creatively facilitating dialogues and stakeholder management as part of broader processes within a team, organization or community. As a facilitator, I have also become proficient in sharing my embodiment practice with others in various forms, including workshops or classes. In addition to this, I am an abled communicator, and I especially have experience within intercultural contexts. Furthermore, in both research and practice projects I like experimenting with arts- and performance-based methods, playing with different ways of interacting with and engaging participants by creating immersive experiences. In addition to this, I believe my strength particularly lies in the balance that characterizes me both personally and as a professional. Firstly, I am skilled at engaging both my analytical spirit and my ability to sense and empathize. Secondly, I am able to bring a good combination of reflection and action-taking into the work I do. 

The next steps I wish to take are in the direction of connecting to other diverse practices that support an eco-entangled society. I am curious how principles such as connection, regeneration, complexity or a focus on wellbeing translate to concrete social practices. I am especially interested in the subject of communities, as I believe this form of organisation is in line with an eco-entangled perspective. I wonder how we can organise ourselves differently, how can we create bottom-up structures that are fair and safe – in schools, in a neighbourhood, in a company? And how may I play a role in facilitating a process of transitioning to such forms of organisation?  

Furthermore, I am curious about what role embodiment may play in this. On one hand, I want to explore how bodies are involved in changing our worldviews and our behaviours. On the other hand, I wish to experiment with what my way of using movement practices is. What is my approach and how can I adapt it to different contexts? How can I translate abstract principles and values – such as complexity, regeneration, connection, safety or justice – into concrete movement exercises? Last, but not least, who am I as a movement practitioner and transformative social innovator simultaneously?  

Does this sound inspiring? Would you like to follow me along this journey? Then read the upcoming blogs I will post here as I am travelling along these topics.  
Would you like to take a step further and join me? Feel welcome to get in contact via LinkedIn!