The Pathways to Planetary Health initiative recognizes that the wellbeing of people and Earth are deeply interconnected. Our work builds understanding of planetary health through scientific inquiry and contemplative practice across traditions.

We build on over 20 years of experience developing practical, scalable approaches to addressing pressing social and environmental challenges. We are part of what the Planetary Health Alliance calls “a solutions-oriented, transdisciplinary field and social movement focused on understanding and addressing the impacts of human disruptions to Earth’s natural systems on human health and all life on Earth.”

Integrating what we know from science and contemplative practice at Garrison Institute.

We convene leaders – at the beautiful and serene Garrison Institute and beyond to launch new initiatives, build understanding across sectors, and deepen partnerships for planetary health. We create custom-designed events to facilitate exchange, such as roundtables, workshops, and symposiums.

We conduct applied research and strategically engage with decision makers to open pathways for action, develop the leading edge of new fields of thought, and gather momentum for new cross-sector efforts.

We develop leadership programs to create conditions for transformative learning and to grow awareness of agency, confidence, and relational systems thinking among leaders in society. 

We weave contemplative practice throughout our work to strengthen connections, provide balance, and inspire action.

2023 Pathways to Planetary Health Symposium.

Our Work Is Guided by Four Pathways

Biodiversity Stewardship: Biodiversity is the ecological foundation of planetary health. The extraordinary variety and complexity of interdependent life on Earth generates adaptability and resilience. We partner with communities, NGOs, companies, and governments to evaluate and elevate biodiversity.

Ecological Cultures: Human systems for energy, food, buildings, transportation and other elements depend on, and impact, Earth. Many current activities – and the scales at which they occur – are not aligned with planetary health. Ecological cultures align human systems of thought, care, and behavior with ecological processes and Earth’s rhythms. We research and promote the development of ecological cultures that regenerate planetary health and improve the wellbeing of all life.

Regenerative Economies: We explore emerging economic systems that center on planetary health and align the wellbeing of financial systems, people, communities, and planet. Regenerative economies align our systems for determining and directing value with nature.

Common Good: The Commons is a recognition of shared responsibility across peoples, species, and generations. A Common Good ethic involves inclusion, inter-being, and mutuality. Value systems oriented to the Commons treat every element—from organisms in the soil to humanity itself—with reverence, respect, and care.

Pathways Advisory Council

The Pathways Advisory Council brings together a group of leaders from academia, business, government, and NGOs with global and regional perspectives who guide and advise the Pathways initiative.

Alexa Sutton Lawrence
Alexa Sutton Lawrence, PhD, is Senior Advisor for Climate with Peace Corps, and Executive Director of the Landberry Foundation, which provides support for individuals and families working to retain and sustain their family or ancestral lands, with a specific focus on historically marginalized and vulnerable American communities. Alexa previously served as Vice President of Conservation, Justice & Equity at Ocean Conservancy and as Senior Regional Director for the Southeast at The Wilderness Society. She brings a focus on working with and within Indigenous, African-American, and Afro-Indigenous communities.
Gus Speth
Gus Speth, JD, is a Fellow at the Tellus Institute, The Democracy Collaborative (where he is Co-Chair of the Next System Project), and the Vermont Law School. He previously served as Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University; Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group; Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Founder and President of the World Resources Institute; and Co-Founder and Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Jonathan F.P. Rose
Jonathan F.P. Rose, MRP in Regional Planning, is Co-Founder and Board Chair for The Garrison Institute, and Founder and President of Jonathan Rose Companies, a multidisciplinary real estate development and investment firm that addresses the challenges of declining ecologies and poor distribution of opportunity through the development of green affordable and mixed-income housing. Mr. Rose advises global cities on planning, affordable housing, environmental, and social issues. He founded the Pathways to Planetary Health initiative.
Melanie Goodchild
Melanie Goodchild, PhD, is Academic Director of Makwa Waakaa’igan with Algoma University in Baawaating. She is an Anishinaabe (Ojibway) systems thinking & complexity scholar, a self-declared geek. Dr. Goodchild is moose clan from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation in Robinson-Superior Treaty territory, Ketegaunseebee (Garden River First Nation) in Robinson-Huron Treaty territory, Couchiching First Nation in Treaty 3 and Aroland First Nation in Treaty 9. Her doctoral dissertation in Social & Ecological Sustainability was nominated for the prestigious Alumni Gold Medal award and is titled, "Niigani Miinigowiziiwin (we give these gifts to the future)."
Peter Senge
Peter Senge, PhD, is Co-Founder of the Center for Systems Awareness and Senior Lecturer in Leadership & Sustainability at MIT. Peter has been at the forefront of organizational learning since publishing his classic text, The Fifth Discipline, which provided theories and methods to foster aspiration, develop reflective conversation, and understand complexity in service of shaping learning-oriented organization cultures. Throughout his career, Peter asks “how do we create the conditions for people to work together at their best, cultivating the innate systems intelligence that is our birthright but is all but lost in modern culture?”
Mary Evelyn Tucker
Mary Evelyn Tucker, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar at Yale University with appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Divinity School, and the Department of Religious Studies. She teaches in the joint MA program in religion and ecology and directs the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale with her husband, John Grim. A pioneer in the field of religion and ecology and an expert in world religions, she has published hundreds of articles, co-authored and edited over 20 books, and co-executive produced the award-winning film, Journey of the Universe.

Contact Us

To explore partnership opportunities or learn about ways to support our work, please contact Stephen Posner, Director of Pathways to Planetary Health, at