"It felt like a gathering of hearts and minds creating waves of love that ripple out into the world."
- HAIDA BOLTON, BC Canada
Forest Bathing International
July 10 and 11, 2020
The 2020 conference will bring a group of leading edge presenters into conversation and shared experiential practice about the transformative potential of forest therapy during this unprecedented time in human history. We are inviting fresh perspectives to be shared with the thriving ecosystem of practitioners, researchers, activists and guides. This gathering will be live-streamed for the global community.
2020 Call for Proposals
We invite artists, authors, medical professionals, educators, eco tourism specialists, researchers, policy makers, scientists, activists, guides and other creative visionaries who have a perspective on forest therapy to submit a proposal to present at the conference. Presentations will be filmed and made widely available.
We may not be able to accommodate all proposals, but we'll do our best to create a diverse range of learning topics and experiences.
Heartfelt connections and cutting edge perspectives.
Intellectual curiosity and authentic caring.
Support of like-minded people from diverse backgrounds.
Vision and Purpose
The vision for this conference reaches back to when innovators in Japan and Korea were developing versions of forest wellness practices. From there, it has spread throughout the world. Through travel and correspondence, many of us--practitioners and researchers --have developed friendships and global networks of professional connections that continue to strengthen. This conference is an invitation to support a growing and diverse international movement, that encompasses many ways of bringing people and nature environments together for the well being of all.
The conference is being produced by Forest Bathing International in partnership with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs, It is inspired and guided by the strategic vision of Amos Clifford, David Motzenbecker and Pamela Wirth.
"We're seeing rapid growth in this field, affecting many regions of the planet. The work we are doing is essential. And it's essential that we support each other, and that we continue to learn together," says Amos Clifford.
Together with many other forest therapy guides and practitioners we envision the movement growing like a healthy forest, as a rich ecosystem with many niches, some developed and others yet to appear, that when fully occupied create a vibrant ecology of support and growth.
Thus, part of the answer to the question of who we are is: we are you. Please join us to make this so.
About the Congress
One of the challenges in an emerging field is coming to a shared definition of what we mean by terms such as "Forest Therapy." An array of efforts have been made to develop international and cross-cultural definitions, some of which are promising beginnings. However, so far there has not been a truly international dialogue and process for exploring key questions. Asking questions and thinking about them together, from many perspectives, culture, nations, and experiences, may be a very helpful process.
Thus we envision that part of our gathering will be dedicated to a congress of delegates from organizations that have earned status as contributors to this field. Delegates will engage in facilitated discussions around key questions. Toward the end of the conference, there will be a plenary session at which the results of the congress will be presented. These results may be part of a foundation for a future consensus document.
We envision this congress as being one step of what will likely be a multi-year collaborative process. We expect spirited debate, perhaps at times contentious, but if we come with a spirit of humble inquiry--and if we remember that our work is essential to helping humanity negotiate the critical passage of our times--we may achieve a great work that supports and empowers us all.
The 2020 Forest Bathing International Conference will be held on the beautiful grounds of Sonoma State University, arguably the birthplace of ecopsychology. Its expansive grounds include redwood forests, a stream, wonderful outdoor trails and comfortable indoor meeting spaces. Lodging is in economically priced student quarters which offer private single rooms with dormitory style single beds and showers. For more luxurious accommodations we recommend the nearby Doubletree Hotel.