Eshana Bragg PhD is an ecopsychologist, workshop facilitator, university lecturer, grandmother, forest regenerator and lover of life. Born in England, she moved to Australia with her family when she was seven years old, and now lives near Byron Bay. She has 25 years of experience in social research focusing on the way we experience and understand our relationship with nature, and how that affects our behaviour and well-being. In 1996, she was awarded a PhD in environmental psychology for her dissertation Towards Ecological Self when she was a member of the Rainforest Information Centre’s deep ecology roadshow, creating and co-facilitating workshops with John Seed and evaluating the effectiveness of experiential workshops. Since 1998, Eshana has worked with Peter Cuming as a Director of Sustainable Futures Australia, partnering with community, government and business to bring positive change through collaborative strategic planning, interpretive design, and community organising. She teaches university courses on ecopsychology and social change for the School for International Training’s Sustainability and Environmental Action program; and writes articles for the Ecopsychology Journal. Eshana is President of Friends of Foresthaven, a non-profit dedicated to rainforest regeneration, nature connection, cross-cultural understanding, creativity and personal development. She is passionate about providing young adults with the skills and psychological support to thrive at this particular point in human history!
The Joyality Program is a synthesis of tools and processes that Eshana has used and/or developed throughout her ecopsychological career, and which she believes are "core practises to encourage empowerment, connection and conscious action".
Rachel Taylor is a recent university graduate, environmental and social activist, dancer, photographer, sunset chaser, food and music lover and traveler. Born and raised on Vashon Island in Puget Sound in Washington State, USA, Rachel moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to attend Occidental College, where she earned a degree in Urban and Environmental Policy. Rachel has worked with organizations such as Community Coalition, Backbone Campaign, Monteverde Conservation League, Cogan Owens Greene, Fossil Free Oxy and LA EcoVillage doing community and campus organizing, environmental education, media design and communication, creative activism and community-based research. She is passionate about the Earth and holds a deep faith in the capacity of human beings to evolve, to come together and to consciously create a better world. She has a passion and talent for making the unconscious conscious and articulating universal truths in a way that is at once accessible and transcendent. As a young adult, Rachel is still figuring out how best to put her gifts and skills to work towards a sustainable future, but she is particularly passionate about awakening and deepening the human-nature connection, the role of women in facilitating cultural change, and nurturing diverse, decolonizing, inclusive and creative solutions to social and environmental problems.
Rachel's communication skills enable The Joyality Program to be practised and understood by a wide range of participants. She speaks straight to the heart.
Rita Gyorffy and Peter Gringinger are Fellows of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership Program in Melbourne, Australia. They teamed up to become the first participants in the Joyality program, providing feedback and helping Eshana and Rachel complete the program modules, and they also facilitated the first Joyality Circles. Rita and Peter are deeply passionate about enhancing the human-nature connection within our local and global communities. They see it as a pathway for empowering the deep paradigm shifts in human consciousness that are currently occurring on our planet and which are greatly needed in order to strengthen of the story of The Great Turning which is simply, among much adversity, an opportunity to create “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible”, in the words of Charles Eisenstein.
The Joyality Program been tested, reviewed, and developed by a growing international team of skilled and enthusiastic co-creators and facilitators:
- Yvan Rytz (Geneva, Switzerland)
- Haaweatea Bryson (Sydney, Australia)
- Brook Weatherwell (Auckland, New Zealand)
- Gavin Morgan (Forres, Scotland)
This project has been inspired by many wonderful activists, ecopsychologists, ecotherapists, deep ecologists, teachers and changemakers including John Seed, Ruth Rosenhek, Niki Harre, Caresse Cranwell and Tristan Snell who we interviewed and who have contributed or catalysed Joyality content. Special thanks to Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone for their ability to facilitate and communicate 'the work that reconnects', and for allowing us to stand on your shoulders. Other people involved in Joyality’s development include the students of SIT Study Abroad Sustainability & Environmental Action (Spring 2015); Mira Jordan (Byron Bay, Aust), Alex Kinczel (New Jersey, USA); Michelle King (Shark Creek, Aust); Erin London (Los Angeles, USA); and participants from the NSW Triple Ecology Gathering (2016).