We are not beings, we are becomings

Coconut Thinking is an advisory and space to grow a community that wants to create learning ecosystems grounded in relationships that contribute to the thriving of the bio-collective—any living thing that has an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. We design learning experiences that de-center the human, moving us toward a more ecological civilization.

We have conversations, co-create plans, work on projects, and deliver workshops with and for organizations and individuals who are eager, open, or just curious about what could lie beyond the institution of school as we prioritize relationships among all living things. We believe learning is more than a twelve-year individual journey in educational institutions, more than something that can be measured, standardized, sorted, and labeled. We believe in learning for and as the bio-collective, recognizing that we are interconnected and that nothing exists in isolation. We don’t want to overthrow the system, we want to work with those who can imagine something else is possible.

We ask ourselves one guiding question: How do our actions contribute to the thriving of the bio-collective? In our view, learning is not an end in itself. Learning is a process that happens when one experience changes behavior in a subsequent experience, behavior that is expressed in the form of thinking and action. Learning is like potential energy that is converted to kinetic energy through thinking and action. We believe that this energy should be used to contribute to the thriving of the bio-collective.

We are not static, we are processes— flowing water rather than immobile stones—that unfold at the point when past and present meet, then we are not beings, we are becomings. We are not nouns, we are verbs. Understanding that everything is change is the key to understanding that we are impermanent, that we are nodes within the fabric of the universe. Through this understanding, we open up possibilities to emerge into the whole, where we belong, where we should never have seen ourselves as separated.

We think it’s time to get away as much as possible from the anthropocentric worldviews that perpetuate the big issues of our time: climate disruption, socio-economic injustice, and the precariousness of relations with other living things. We believe we need a more bio-centric approach. We would love to connect with anyone who is open to developing a fluid “curriculum” of and for regeneration, one that opens us all to the futures we can imagine.

We imagine learning ecosystems that extend beyond physical and conceptual walls. They would be inter-generational and collaborative. Alongside future-ready skills, they would teach future-saving ethics such as “practice eco-reciprocity,” “stand up for justice,” “share with solidarity,” and “act with kindness.”

This would give learning a new purpose: for action that contributes to the thriving of the bio-collective.

Why a coconut? Because a coconut is classified as both a seed and a fruit—the beginning and the end of the cycle of life, which continues onward. It is also a nut, which you need to be if you want to change the world. A coconut is difficult to open but provides a worthwhile reward inside; you can do so much with what’s inside coconuts. You just need a bit of persistence and creativity to crack it. Every coconut is unique, exotic (to us at least), and definitely not a low hanging fruit. We believe deeper learning is a lot like a coconut.

We named one of our cats Coconut because the word resonates so clearly for us… she is the third stray we have picked up, the second in Riyadh.