Connecting to the Invisible World: Between Micro-organisms and Planetary Health

Ecological Memes, ‘AWAI’ gathering on Friday, November 19

Photo by Quentin Lagache on Unsplash

Sustainability is high on the agenda and climate change projections provide plenty of reason for concern and action. An important underlying question here is how we as humans relate to the world around us, as this largely determines our interaction with our natural environment. Can we even see nature as something “outside of ourselves”? As part of this exploration, on November 19 we will dive into an “invisible” world of micro-organisms: self-healing concrete, regenerative agriculture (supported by data analysis), and the relationship between bacteria and physical health.

Based on her recent book on planetary health, we will explore with Dr. Lisa Kirimura (Ehime Medical University, Japan) the relationship between bacteria inside and outside our bodies. She takes us through the relationship between our intestinal flora and physical health, and her research on micro-organisms for healthy food in regenerative agriculture, done in collaboration with Sony Computer Science Laboratories making use of data analysis.

An entirely different perspective is brought to us by Prof. Dr. Henk Jonkers of Delft Technical University (DUT). He will show us how the smallest bacterial organisms can help to extend the life cycle of our largest structures, such as dams, bridges and tunnels. This method is now being used in practice by DUT-spinoff company Basilisk and was featured in the exhibition ‘Design by Nature’ at Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle, among other places. In our exploration of the relationship between man and nature, the integration of the healing potential of micro-organisms in heavy industry opens up the possibility of surprising possibilities.

In the surrounding dialogue, Shuhei Tashiro, graduate student in anthropology at the University of Heidelberg (Germany), takes us through his perspective on ‘multi-species anthropology’, based on Anna Tsing’s ‘The mushroom at the end of the world’.

Are you interested in sustainability? Are you working in urban management or responsible for large-scale infrastructure? Do you care about healthy food and sustainable agriculture? We cordially invite you to this multi-faceted exploration of our connection with the invisible world!

Ecological Memes

Yasuhiro Kobayashi, Shuhei Tashiro and Hillen Oost

Online (Zoom)

Date and Time:
Friday, November 19 from 10:30-13:00 o’clock.

English and Japanese (including translation)

For more information and access to the event: