Nature-Based Leadership Programme

We have offered a Nature-Based Leadership Programme as part of the Green Minds Project.

Watch a video all about the nature based leadership course here!

Nature Based Leadership

In the context of sustainable placemaking for cities, what is the role of nature within decision-making?

Green Minds decided to explore this question with a group of 17 multi-disciplinary professionals who had a certain level of responsibility for decision making within their sectors.

Participants self-selected through an online application process, to be part of a 6-month programme, led by Green Minds and Realise Earth, an organisation with expertise in sustainability leadership networks and facilitation.

Through the course, we co-developed a Naturally Inspired Sustainability Leadership guide with Realise Earth, aimed at leaders and professionals who want to make a positive impact on nature and the climate.

The programme

Together we covered:

Nature Connectedness

Research shows that by understanding we are all physically part of nature, we are more likely to support our health and wellbeing, be more inclusive and make decisions that are good for the environment.

Whilst the majority of sessions had to be held online, an important part of the programme included nature connection activities in our urban greenspaces and discussions around how we can continue to connect with nature within our personal and professional lives.

Social Values

Building on work done by Common Cause Foundation, which shows that the majority of people in the UK are more caring than selfish, we explored our own values.

We found that taking the positive outlook that people are inherently caring and motivated to help others and nature, helped us to gain confidence to make decisions that are in line with our own values.

System change

Recognising that we are all part of a system that is interconnected leads us to look at our decision-making in a more holistic way.

Through the programme we explored how our own actions can cause ripples or cascading effects in other parts of the system. This helped us identify where we might focus our actions but also recognised the dynamic and complex nature of the environment in which we work, requiring constant inquiry.

Action learning

Learning by doing and using the wisdom of the group to help shape our decisions was an important part of the process.

With the support of an action learning inquiry and 121 mentoring, participants created their own action plan to implement their learning, sharing what they had learnt from the experience at the final event.


The programme brought together a network of people who are motivated to build sustainability into their work in Plymouth. All participants have received free membership into the UK wide Realise Earth Sustainability Leadership Network, where we will continue to provide support, collaborate, share best practice and learning.

Next steps

Recognising time limitations, we are developing a series of short workshops on nature inspired decision making for a wider Plymouth based professionals from Autumn 2022.

Click here to read our Naturally Inspired Sustainability Leadership guide, co-developed with Realise Earth, aimed at leaders and professionals who want to make a positive impact on nature and the climate.