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Healing Ecosystems — Denise M. Stilley's Activist Journey to Discover Our Shared Humanity and a Sustainable Way Forward

In this Inspirational People interview on the Share Life podcast, I'm speaking with Denise Marie Stilley! 

This is a unique interview because Denise and I met in high school in a TV tech class, where we produced a daily news show for the school called Eagle Eye News. Since then, we have not stayed in touch, but recently, I shared some footage from our class all those years ago, and we reconnected. After looking through Denise's social media profiles, I was impressed with the places she's been and the journey she trekked, so I invited her to share her story with us.

Enjoy the conversation below!

Discussion Highlights

  • How storytelling and communications found Denise early in her life
  • Denise's early trek into humanitarian work in Mexico, and the challenges she faced in the region
  • Building trust with indigenous communities
  • The cost and risk of a life of poverty
  • Telling the story that should be told versus a story that is monetized and exploitative
  • Purpose-driven creative work and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves
  • The connection between humanity and civilization in nature - and how Denise almost lost her life in the Amazon rainforest
  • Extractivist and exploitative industries
  • How our stewardship of the environment speaks to the character of the humanity that lives in it
  • Facing and overcoming the dark underbelly of society - getting caught up in the message and losing the horror feeling
  • Learning to survive the tragic reality of life and having a community of shared values
  • The challenges of censorship in China
  • The contrast between filming in a highly controlled environment versus filming in nature
  • How the environmental conservation movement is riddled with archaic and unhelpful approaches
  • When does activism go too far?
  • Donors enabling worldwide corruption
  • Grievance and whistleblower mechanisms
  • How the exposure of corruption in the conservation mission helped Denise pivot her approach and future into a more sustainable way forward
  • Ways we can tell authentic stories without harming those involved
  • How foundational systems undergird the types of things we want to see in society
  • Awareness of our limitations and enforcing boundaries
  • How taking breaks helps us do better work and prevents self-exploitation
  • Mutual exploration in the hiring process
  • Sheep and wolves - learning lessons from touching the hot stove
  • Taking ownership of the change we seek
  • What Denise would tell her 17-year-old self
  • Test and hold onto what is good

Connect With Denise M. Stilley

Listen To This Discussion

Click here to listen in on Anchor directly, or click play below to immediately begin streaming.

You can also find this discussion on Pocket CastsStitcherItunesSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and wherever you listen to podcasts under the name, Share Life: Systems and Stories to Live Better & Work Smarter or Jason Scott Montoya.

Watch This Conversation

Click here to watch this discussion on Youtube directly, or click play on the embedded video below to begin streaming the interview.

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Click here to find this video on Rumble.

Podcast - Inspirational People

  • Created on .
  • Last updated on .