The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

New collaboration initiative to support meaning making and inner resilience in education and practice

Three researchers talking in a forest. Christine Wamsler,  Martin Garwicz and Max Liljefors. Photo: Kennet Ruona.
Christine Wamsler is pictured with the other coordinators of the initiative, Martin Garwicz and Max Liljefors. Photo: Kennet Ruona.

Professor Christine Wamsler is co-coordinating the new Existential Resilience Collaboration Initiative, ERiCi, at Lund University. It aims to explore methods that support meaning-making and strengthen our inner resilience in education and practice - through contemplation, aesthetics and compassion.

– Today’s crises result from modern societies’ story of separation, which assumes that our thinking mind is separate from our feelings and bodily emotions, that we are all separate from each other, that some humans are superior to others, and that we humans are separate and superior to the rest of the natural world, says Christine Wamsler, Professor of Sustainability Science at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS). She is one of three coordinators of the initiative.

Efforts to support a better, more sustainable world,  have historically focused on external factors and solutions: technology, economics or medicine. It is only recently that interest in inner factors has begun to grow. Important policy organizations, such as The UN’s climate panel IPCC and the UN’s development program UNDP, are increasingly arguing that transformation towards sustainability also requires an inner change, an inner journey. Both make reference to Christine Wamsler’s research that shows what kinds of inner capacities we need to act and support outer change, such as self-reflection, perspective-taking, compassion, and hope.

The ERiCi initiative is rooted in international research and work being done at the Faculties of Social Sciences, Medicine, Fine and Performing Arts, and the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology at Lund University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden. It explores the role of contemplation, aesthetics and compassion to counter stress, fragmentation and loss of meaning that underlie today’s societal crises.

It supports existential resilience through integrated approaches that link art and health, nature and health, inner change, relationship-building and sustainability across individual, collective and global levels. Academic expertise is complemented by experience knowledge and collaboration with relevant professionals within healthcare, sustainability, schools and higher education institutions.

– We work with professionals from diverse backgrounds to create synergies and innovative solutions. We explore and connect contemplation, the arts and nature-based approaches to support individual, collective and planetary wellbeing, explains Christine Wamsler.

Note: this article is based on a longer article about the new Existential Resilience Collaboration Initiative, ERiCi, written by Bodil Malmström.

Read the article on 

Christine Wamsler

Christine Wamsler is Professor at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), Research Fellow at the Centre of Natural Disaster Science (CNDS), Associate of Lund University Centre for Risk Assessment and Management (LUCRAM), and Honorary Fellow of the Global Urbanism Research Group, Global Development Institute (GDI) of the University of Manchester, UK.

Read more about Christine's research and work.