Joining us today are Josh Bernstein and Brett Howell, two founders with a passion for nature, problem-solving, and wild spaces. Josh is an explorer, educator, and storyteller, and the chair and founder of First Light Group, a collection of for-profit and nonprofit entities that elevate programming and content. Brett is the founder and executive director of Howell Conservation Fund, a company driving breakthrough solutions at the intersection of business, nonprofit work, and philanthropy. In today’s conversation, we learn about the journeys that led these two out-of-the-box thinkers to their shared belief in combating the world’s most pressing issues from a place of engagement, innovation, and solutions rather than a fear-based focus on problems. We delve into the profound impact of getting outside and spending time in the wild before learning how these two avid world travelers stay centered amidst the chaos of perpetual motion, and what they do to cultivate a curiosity-driven approach to collaboration across cultures. They also provide insight on how they managed to transcend traditional categories in their front-country work to create hybrid platforms that utilize diverse models of problem-solving, reflecting their deeply held beliefs on collaboration, innovation, and openness.


In this episode, Josh and Brett talk about: 

  • Josh and Brett’s work and their shared focus on solutions, not problems [03:01]
  • Contrasting time around the campfire with modern-day screens and content [12:15]
  • Our need for wildness and wild spaces as human beings [19:44]
  • How our cultural production has outpaced our evolutionary presence [27:32]
  • Josh and Brett’s personal strategies for staying centered while being in motion [32:15]
  • Traveling with an attitude of humility and openness to other cultures [37:15]
  • Striking the tricky balance of managing modern business demands with working in wilderness spaces that don’t have those same time pressures [42:01]
  • How Josh and Brett established their hybrid platforms to transcend traditional secular boxes [47:04]

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