LEARNSCAPES
Communication products
 Writing and production services
 



Mark Butz
 

WHO WE WORK WITH AND WHERE
  • From individual writers and presenters to teams, groups and organisations
  • Across government, community, education, research and industry sectors  
  • From urban settings to rural and regional Australia
  • Wherever people need to understand and communicate effectively about their environmental,
      social and technical situations - past, present and future  
  • In a range of media from print and Web to personal presentation and group facilitation

WHAT WE DO

Writing | Editing | Design | Publication
Scientific | Technical | Historical | Biographical | Environmental | Geographical | Educational
  • Research, writing and design/publication assistance for social and environmental history - background
  • Assistance with design and production of manuals, guides, fact sheets, brochures, Web, presentations, reports, books  and event proceedings
  • Document finishing, editorial assistance (substantive/style) and proofreading 
  • Research and writing, co-writing/ghost writing  
  • Interpretation, education and extension strategies and products
  • Training and capacity building in communication and group facilitation skills

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SKILL AND CAPACITY BUILDING

Effective communication lies at the heart of performance for individuals, groups and organisations,
enhancing many facets of everyday life and working life, including:

  • Written communication
  •  Powerful presentations
  • Persuasion and influence
  • Creative conversations and problem solving
  • Productive meetings
  • Conflict resolution, negotiation and mediation
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Team effectiveness
  • Giving/receiving constructive feedback
  • Client/customer relations
  • Stakeholder communication and engagement
  • Reputation management 
Perhaps it is because of the vital role played by communication that we can identify so many barriers to its effectiveness. 
 
We can assist our clients to address all of these barriers:
  • Language inappropriate to the audience
  • Ambiguity or imprecision or inconsistency
  • Poor research, inaccuracy
  • Perceptual biases
  • Cultural differences
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Poor structure, flow and style
  • Dull or unimaginative presentation
  • Poor finish and editing
  • Mistrust and 'bad experiences'
  • Assumptions which remain unaddressed






BACKGROUND TO  LEARNSCAPES

Mark Butz has offered research, writing and publishing services under the banner of Learnscapes since 1992. 
He adopted  ‘–scape’ as a suffix to indicate a wide scene or view of a place or a process, in this case creating a combined form of ‘learning from/in/about/for landscapes’.  In the 1990s this work included the multi‑award-winning School Community Environment Program at Aranda Primary School in Canberra (1991-98).   

Mark trained as an environmental scientist, and has held a lifelong interest in earth sciences, archaeology and history, and over the past four decades in human/social ecology, exploring our relationship with the environment - how it affects us as people, and how we affect it in turn.

In recent years he has re-focused his Learnscapes offerings to specialise in works which cast a different light on the world we live in, seeking to:

  • build ‘environmental literacy’ by helping readers to appreciate the symbolic language of the environment as an integrated whole and as a web of dynamic connections and flows  
  • heighten the value placed on the environment as both natural and cultural landscape by generating new understanding and meaning; and
  • encourage readers to accept their role in creating the future and their responsibility to make choices which benefit the environment and society.

The Learnscapes approach embodies:

Learning and Creative responsibility
Our products interweave natural and cultural heritage in the processes of discovery, learning and responsible decision-making. 
Discovering and learning from the past (what has been) can enhance our understanding of the present (what is) and inspire us to create a better future (what could be).   

Discovery includes presentation of previously unknown or forgotten stories, and of known stories in new frames of meaning or connection, to create new perceptions or insights or values.  

 

Landscape and People
We use unfolding story to decode or interpret layers of meaning in a landscape which is inextricable from the people. 
A holistic approach to landscape encompasses all elements with which people interact (living and non-living, tangible and intangible). 

By contrast, some approaches emphasise a setting for human activity rather than an interactive environment. 
This may inadvertently generate distance between the physical landscape and the people who inhabit(ed) it, as if the landscape is something apart, a stage to be viewed by an audience. 

Valuing and Connection
We see all elements in the landscape as significant and inter-related. 
S
ignificance here is akin to gravitational pull – it is about resonance, relevance and ‘meaningfulness’ (breadth, depth, moment) of inter-relationships between people and the landscape, expressed in mutual connection and creation.  

This contrasts with the use of significance to portray certain elements in the landscape as good or highly valued, and other elements as poor or minimally valued, against supposedly objective criteria. 
Our approach acknowledges that not all values can be related to ‘usefulness’ and not all can be readily objectified, quantified or ranked. 

Continuity and Change
Where people and landscapes interact, both are changed to some extent, and at the same time there is a degree of continuity. 

Neither the remains of past activity and use nor the broader landscape can be understood without reference to the other. 
Both need to be acknowledged and managed to maintain the integrity, meaning, and significance of the landscape. 
The loss of one reduces the significance of the other.

We present a living, dynamic landscape which is never a finished product or a mere relic of the past, because people constantly create new layers of elements, themes, meanings and values.

 



Learnscapes logo

The spiral form represents movement, bringing change and progression.
In nature it may be the onward and outward growth pattern of shells such as nautilus or ammonites.
In the human world it may be an upward or downward perspective of a spiral staircase. 

Contrasting lines and text represent dynamic equilibrium between different elements and attributes. 
Red is for energy, passion, will and spirit. 
Black is for depth, the unknown and strength. 

This echoes the dualism of the tai-chi symbol, in complementary, interconnected and interdependent opposites,
which give rise to each other and create wholeness in nature and in all aspects of life. 

 Red is for yang (upward/outer/mountain/day/sun/fire/summer/movement/active/solid/logic). 
 Black is for yin (downward/inner/river/night/moon/water/winter/stillness/receptive/yielding/intuition).  
 Each of these does not exist in isolation from its apparent opposite.

    






CONTACTS
   Postal:

   Mobile:
   Phone:
   Email  
PO Box 128   
JAMISON CENTRE  ACT  2614  AUSTRALIA
+61-418-417-635
+61-2-6251-2923

  

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http://www.learnscapes.com
© 2005-2017  Mark Butz

Last update 26 July 2017 
  
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