Lisa Gervais spent the first half of her career working for large national and global brands as well as several small start-up companies, focusing on building interactive marketing campaigns and developing online engagement. Annually, she made a point of unplugging from technology and taking an extended hiking trip either in Canada or abroad. She intuitively understood the restorative benefits of spending time in nature and its positive effects on psychological well-being. In 2012, Lisa went to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro. That journey marked a new beginning for her.
Upon her return to Canada, rather than resuming her career in digital marketing, she decided instead to help a family member start a new venture. In the process, she uncovered an emerging field of psychology that studies the strengths that enable individuals, organizations and communities to thrive.
The discipline of Positive Psychology is founded on the belief that individuals want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, cultivate what is best within them and enhance their experiences of love, work and play. Lisa has a favourite saying from the field: “When you appreciate the positive, the positive appreciates.”
It is easy to get consumed in modern, urban, “plugged-in” life, making it difficult to find our way back to nature. Re-connecting individuals to green spaces, and providing instruction on how they can mindfully, proactively and intentionally boost well-being, happiness and affect personal success is ultimately the goal of Redwing Institute and what Lisa thrives on.
The science has demonstrated that, through proven activities, a large percentage of our mental wellness is within our control. That’s a powerful piece of knowledge to share in an age when mental illness is on the rise worldwide.
Redwing Institute was conceived as a result of marrying her background in developing creative online engagement experiences with this scientifically-proven discipline focused on positive human development, and combining it with her awe, admiration and respect for Mother Nature.
Through this new intellectual pursuit, Lisa had the good fortune to meet Tim Kasser, a Professor of Psychology at Knox College, Illinois. Kasser’s academic research on values, goals, quality of life, sustainability, consumer culture and the benefits of spending time in nature scientifically confirmed what Lisa had believed to be true her entire life. Lisa sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association and holds a Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology, a General Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa and an English and Communication degree from York University.
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