Innovation for nature connection
At The Wild Network, we have championed the need for new ways to overcome the barriers to wild time. Originally identified in the 2012 Natural Childhood Report, these complex barriers are the profound and systemic drivers of disconnection, either directly or by displacement. Tackling them is of course complex. But we must tackle them if we are to close the gap between intention and long-term action.
That’s why this autumn we’re launching a new project called Wild Labs in partnership with long-term collaborators Swarm. Swarm have been a vital part of our journey so far, bringing their mix of creativity and innovation to help us launch Project Wild Thing as well as projects like the Wild Time app.
Wild Labs is an innovation programme that will explore each of the barriers that contribute to the intention gap, working with our community to create new interventions to power change and transform intention into action.
Balancing screen time with wild time
We are seeking progressive partners for each of these challenges, but we plan to launch with the issue that is consistently the most challenging for everyone in our community: How can we help children find balance between screen time (time with tech) and wild time (time outside).
While the benefits of technology in our lives are many, their darker side-effects – especially with children – are starting to appear. And once you get beneath the shiny packaging, the symptoms are deeply worrying.
Here are a few of the most recent:
- Screen addictions harder to kick than heroin;
- Children raised on high screen diets from a young age show lack of curiosity and wonder for the world and what is happening around them
- Many tech innovators creating the products our children can’t put down limit their own children’s access to technology for all these reasons. Even the late Steve Jobs restricted screen time.
At the same time when technology encourages kids to get outside, amazing things can happen.
Wild Labs is a response to this challenge
We'll bring together brilliant minds from diverse sectors including: technology, business, arts, research, design, outdoor play, nature connection, environment, gaming, branding, storytelling and more together with children to participate in a pioneering innovation project.
Together we’ll explore how a combination of creativity, technology, child-centred design, and cultural and natural intelligence can develop new and inspiring ways to help get kids outdoors and better navigate and manage their technology and nature relationship.
We’re seeking pioneering brand partners and funders to collaborate and mobilise the project. They will help us design and fund the programme, bringing technology innovations, prototypes, talent, issues and even corporate responsibility challenges into the mix.
In return, our partners will get to work in new, exciting, accelerated ways, participate in a dynamic creative learning community and be a part of something with the potential to create game-changing new tools and techniques to support children to thrive in a hi-tech hi-nature world.
Wild Labs will be an open project
We will build new networks, creating rich content and communications material for all partners. Through Wild Labs, we will create new insights and develop new ideas to help people overcome the intention gap and shift families, schools and communities from a place of awareness and concern to action.
If you are the kind of partner we are looking for, please get in touch.
What is the intention gap - and why does it matter in nature connection?
The Wild Network: Local - how communities are taking The Wild Network to their green spaces.
Making the Most of Groundswell Change The issues we care about so passionately are becoming a hot-topic in board rooms across the land.
Not playing out. Two thirds of parents have outdoor play concerns.