In a workshop by and for representatives of fellow proto-Zoöps, Het Nieuwe Instituut shares a number of lessons that you learn when you become a Zoöp. On 22 April 2022, the institute added Maike van Stiphout to the organisation as Speaker for the Living. The institute thus became the first Zoöp.With her background in nature-inclusive architecture and landscape design, and and based on observing the way Het Nieuwe Instituut participates in its ecosystems, Maike, as Speaker for the Living, represents the more-than-human interests within the Zoöp and ensures that these are included in the decision-making process.
Since Het Nieuwe Instituut adopted this organisational model, we have learned a lot: for example, about listening and watching life in and around the building, gardens and ponds, about the usefulness and feasibility of various regenerative goals, about working with a Speaker for the Living, and about ways in which to get an entire organisation on board with the Zoöp idea. Some lessons are specific to the institute as Zoöp, but many of the insights gained are relevant for all future Zoöps.
Based on the lessons of Het Nieuwe Instituut as well as on what aspiring Zoöps need, in this workshop we aim to develop the outline of a training programme for Speakers for the Living.