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A New Island Mentality and the Quest for Sustainability (w/ Gove Depuy)

by Steve Stine

My guest this week is Gove Depuy, sustainability consultant, community-based planner, project leader and an advocate for bio mimicry. What are we talking about? Islands, and the growing idea that islands might serve as learning ecosystems for new ways of communing with the Earth we inhabit.

It’s not an entirely new idea. In 1962, legendary author Aldous Huxley, wrote and published the book Island, as a utopian companion to his better known and more dystopian novel, Brave New World. Inspired by time spent in Bali, Huxley described a people living in harmony with nature.

Today there’s a lot more traffic and a concerning amount of trash and plastic, but it’s still Bali – an island where animism and Hinduism blend to create a unique pact between humans in rhythm with the environment.

I sat with Gove by the banks of one of Bali’s many picture-perfect rivers, adjacent to the Five Elements Retreat. It proved the perfect setting to talk about life in Bali, community-based projects, and ultimately, the promise of islands as a petri dish for exploring new, potentially more sustainable ways of living in the world. Amidst the thick, verdant jungle, cascading waterfalls and buzzing birds and insects, it’s hard to imagine we face a climate crisis of epic proportions. Yet, we do.