Oika Concept:

Oika refers to the distributed and creative intelligence of natural systems. While the principles of Oika are as ancient as life on earth, for many it will be a new idea. This webpage aims to introduce one small (but growing) manifestation of Oika.

The word Oika comes from the Ancient Greek "Oiko" (which is the same source of the word "eco" as in, ecology and economy) to refer to "person, place and property." But because Greece was a deeply patriarchal society, the "person" meant the man of the house; the "place" meant the physical house; and the "property" was all the man owned within his house (including his wife, children, animals and other things).  

The word Oika aims to bring a balancing, feminine aspect to the original Oiko concept. Switching the "o" with an "a" also creates a founding principle for Oika that is more inclusive, expansive, and relational. 

Oika now includes;
  • Person - The identity that resides behind the eyes. The intimate, personal narrative self.
  • Place - The natural, local ecological setting (i.e. valley, island, town, forest, bay etc.) in which the person (above) forms their identity. 
  • Practice - The daily activities and practices through which the person becomes integral to the place.
  • Profession - An acknowledgement that an ecological self still needs to make a living.
"Between every two trees is a doorway to a new world"
                          - John Muir
Oika is an ancient, new idea. But it is neither pseudoscience, New Age mysticism or old-school religion. The insights of Oika are based on a modern, scientific cosmology, but Oika isn't science either. As an ex-scientist trained in the philosophy of science, I know enough not to claim that we are doing science. But we do accept the findings of science as the most rational, magical and enjoyable interpretations of our ultimately mysterious cosmic circumstance.

Oika is also a kind of language that we can learn to hear and speak. It feels good to cultivate a new relationship with Nature through Oika and when we do the world opens up in unexpected new ways. The humble hammock is our primary vehicle for tuning in to Nature so the practice of "Hammoiking" plays a key role in learning the language of Oika.

Some memories from our second year
Oika Academy:

Based on the principles above, the Oika Academy is a new kind of educational initiative that is distributed, ecological, and adaptive.  

 The goal of the Oika Academy is to train individuals in the principles and practices of ecological intelligence and then support them directly in their individual paths of ecological leadership.  

People who practice Oika professionally are entrepreneurial by nature. Often this means that together we are designing new, economically viable, career categories from which to operate.

The Oika Academy also develops programming that cultivates the capacities of ecological intelligence across a diversity of human domains. Our current programs include:

1. The First Encounter

The First Encounter is an adaptable, place-based public lecture series that crosses the artificial boundaries between science, art culture and and local nature. 

At the heart of every lecture is the idea that a personal relationship with Nature can provide a deep new source of creativity, intelligence, inspiration, contentedness, prosperity, empathy, empowerment, companionship and joy.

The First Encounter Tour is now underway in Summer 2018
2. Oika Workshops

First Encounter talks can be followed-up by an impromptu weekend-workshop hosted by a member of the local community. These small, informational workshops dive deeper into the principles of Oika, explore some of the "tools-for-tuning-in" that we’ve made and demonstrates how to put them into practice outdoors.

3. Oika Pro

Workshop participants interested in taking Oika to a professional level can choose to pursue a certification program through the Oika Academy.  This self-paced, modular program is ideal for early-career optimists, the mid-career disillusioned, and professionals in allied careers (i.e. yoga instructors, educators, artists, therapists, etc.).

4. Oika Kids

Our Oika Kids program aims to validate empathy links that children already feel with nature. We facilitate the weaving of emotional bonds with the natural world to foster ecological identities durable enough to withstand the corrosive effects of culture. Through our fun and safe activities, we explore and cultivate genuine feelings of appreciation, gratitude and personal empowerment.

5. Oika On-the-Natch

Our goal is to wake people up to the interconnectedness of all things. We believe this feeling of infusion can have real consequences that extend across personal, social and ecological levels. Our On-the-Natch experience brings this idea into new cultural contexts.