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Follow Your Heart... to the Arctic!

The Follow Your Heart team had the incredible opportunity to travel to Tromsø, Norway and present at an interdisciplinary workshop hosted by the Faculty of Law and Department of Geosciences at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The workshop, Ocean Interconnectedness: Senses & Science, Love & Law, brought together students and professors to learn from each other and the ocean, through multi-sensory activities and reflections on the role that emotions play in science and law.

Co-authors Margherita Poto (left) and Emily Murray (middle) and team member Laura Vita (right) presenting The Story of Cora as part of the presentation on the journey of Follow Your Heart. Photo by Kai Mortensen.

Follow Your Heart: the school for multipotentialites encourages an educational space that fosters emotional intelligence to ensure that learners develop an awareness of their emotions, strong communication skills, and the ability to connect with others and the world around them. In the context of the workshop, Follow Your Heart promotes a conversation around emotions and how becoming more reflective and self-aware plays an important role in how we learn to protect and care for the environment, including the Ocean. Furthermore, developing strong emotional intelligence nurtures imagination and creativity, skills that are necessary for working in interdisciplinary environments and working towards a more sustainable society.

The workshop began with the senses, listening and watching a beautifully orchestrated concert with musical pieces connected to the sea and a visual backdrop of the Arcticboth above and below the water. The music invoked emotions among the audience and prepared the participants for the following two days of presentations and co-creation activities to improve ocean literacy among adult learners.

Pianist Giuliano Bertolotto Bianc, visiting from Turin, IT, playing an original piece "AKMA3 Cruise: Borealis Mud Volcano"

composed in collaboration with Giuliana Panieri and REV Ocean. Photo by Emily Murray.

One of the outcomes of the workshop will be a published book on the importance of emotional and ecological literacy in achieving a more sustainable society, with a couple chapters on Follow Your Heart and the intersection of emotions and the environment! We are also hoping to publish an illustrated children's story based on ideas of our connection to nature based on a project cover for "Cora and the Aurora". We met with Aila, a Sami PhD student studying at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, during our visit to Tromsø to have an open conversation around the themes of this new story of Cora and how to harmonize Indigenous perspectives into this emotional and ecological literacy resource for children.

Co-authors Emily Murray (far left) and Margherita Poto (far right) with Aila (beside Emily), Laura Vita (middle) and

Rada (beside Margherita) to talk about Cora and the Aurora.

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