Dr. Richard Davidson presenting at the first Loka Initiative.
Dr. Richard Davidson presenting at the first Loka Initiative. Courtesy of University of Wisconsin–Madison

Loka Initiative

University of Wisconsin–Madison
Madison, WI

The Loka Initiative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is an education and outreach platform for faith leaders and religious institutions focusing on environmental issues. Its mission is to support faith-led environmental efforts by helping build the capacity of faith leaders and religious institutions on environmental protection, sustainable development, and global health issue​s, and by creating new opportunities for partnerships, public outreach, and project implementation.

“Loka” (लोकः), an ancient Sanskrit term, usually refers to “our world” as the basis for all life. The world evoked by Loka is a complex and interwoven one, where multiple environments, species, and dimensions interact to constitute a whole. The term Loka can thus mean a “world” as large as a planet, but it can also refer to a single individual who constitutes an equally complex and interdependent “world.” Thus, each Loka or world is in a sense many worlds, overlapping and embedded within each other. Loka also means “vision,” the act of seeing that not only beholds a world but brings it into being.

The first Loka Symposium. Courtesy of University of Wisconsin–Madison