DJ (formerly Jason) Hilder PhD
At my core I care deeply for regenerative communities based around food growing and planetary care.
Originally coming from a small crop farming family I studied Rural Management with a hankering for horticulture that lead me to work in the Landscape industry. Dismayed with the focus upon industrialisation and chemical reliance, I left that career and my family traveled to Europe with the intention to explore and ended up working for multinational organisations. This corporate rite-of-passage showed me how the economic world functions (and is at its core dysfunctional and unsustainable). With the coming of a new member of our family I was deeply reflecting on the future world I wanted to see for my children. That deep inquiry led me to visit Findhorn Foundation in Scotland… which was a life and mind changer. After the birth of our daughter Gabriella and we returned to Australia to where I again studied, this time the interplay of urban design and urban forestry with a realisation of the urban of forests dying under hard surfaces of housing sprawl throughout much of Australian cities and towns.
The light-bulb sparked… we needed to plan our cities, towns and villages to support food production and the regeneration of forests wherever was possible. Water is vital for this. I wasn’t the only one with this thought, yet the mainstay of urban planning and industry seemed to be stuck on something else – economic return.
My experience at Findhorn showed me that when people pool their resources and make collective efforts much is possible and, it feels good too.
Return to Study
There seemed to be one aspect that was unclear to me… how people worked together with respect and inclusive practices. So, again, engaged in studies at the University of Queensland School of Earth and Environmental Sciences I completed a PhD researching Intentional Community Living Arrangements in Australia and Europe. I am grateful for the University systems and support to study something that I am passionate about and I believe have many, many opportunities for solutions.
For the last three years I have also been involved in the Australian Chapter of the Global Ecovillage Network that aims to catalyze communities for a regenerative world and am an Ambassador to the organisation. In 2021 I joined the Australian Collaborative Housing Research Network that shares latest research and advocates for collaborative living across the housing landscape.
As I passionately believe that knowledge needs to be shared and also put into practice I founded the Co-Creating Community organisation to facilitate the development of regenerative communities and be part of living well in community.
For more information about my background and qualifications please check out my LinkedIn profile.
As a scientist I signed the Pro-Truth pledge : please hold me accountable.
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