• A Festival of Ideas
  • May 2 - 5, 2024
  • Guelph

Nora Bateson

Nora Bateson is an award-winning filmmaker, research designer, writer and educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute based in Sweden. Her work asks the question “How we can improve our perception of the complexity we live within, so we may improve our interaction with the world?” Nora wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning documentary An Ecology of Mind, a portrait of her father, Gregory Bateson. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, and information technology together into a study of the patterns in ecology of living systems. Her book, Small Arcs of Larger Circles (2016) released by Triarchy Press, UK, is a revolutionary personal approach to the study of systems and complexity, and the core text of the Harvard University LILA program 2017-18. Her new book, Combining, was published in November 2023 by Triarchy Press. Nora was the recipient of the 2019 Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity.

As an educator she has developed curricula for schools in Northern California, and produced and directed award winning multimedia projects on intercultural and ecological understanding. Her work, which has been presented at the world’s top universities, is described as “offering audiences a lens through which to see the world that effects not only the way we see, but also the way we think.” Nora’s work in facilitating cross-disciplinary discussions is part of her research into what she calls, “the ecology of the conversation.” Her speaking engagements include keynote addresses and lectures at international conferences and universities on a wide range of topics that span the fields of anti-fascism, ecology, education, the arts, family therapy, leadership and many more aspects of advocacy for living systems; she travels between conversations in different fields bringing multiple perspectives into view to reveal larger patterns.