Possibility, Vision-Built, Biomimicry, Fellow News,
Daily Leadership, Farming with Horses Workshop

Spring 2014 Newsletter

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Photo by Carla Kimball, Revealed Presence Photography


The sap is flowing in the sugar maple trees and despite unseasonably cold and snowy weather, spring is finally starting to appear here in Vermont. As spring represents regeneration, we are pleased to share some of the creative ways the Fellows are making their visions for systems sustainability manifest around the world.

Wishing all a vibrant spring filled with new possibilities,

Photo by Huma Beg

Presenting Biomimicry in Vermont

At the Vermont State-Wide Environmental Education Programs (SWEEP) Spring Gathering on March 20, Edie Farwell presented on the open source Biomimicry curriculum that SLN developed last year in partnership with The Sharon Academy. The audience was comprised of educators who teach with an environmental sensitivity and focus, all who emphasize getting students outside and interacting with their natural world. Read more, view the curriculum and download Edie’s presentation.

Daily Leadership Practices: An Analysis

In 2013, we completed a project introducing and applying Robert Gass’ Daily Leadership Practices from the Social Transformation Project. 116 of our Fellows and partner Biomimicry Professionals received 240 daily e-mails over the course of 8 months, organized around 12 sets of key personal ecology and leadership practices. Many also attended webinars held for each practice and several exchanged peer coaching with a partner for the duration of the project.
We have since conducted an analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data from pre- and post-project surveys to help determine how the level of individual engagement and different components of the project relate to improvements across the 12 leadership practices. The report features survey quotes on how participants are applying new insights in their work and lives. Read the report here.

Thanks to Hidden Leaf Foundation, Kalliopeia Foundation, Katz Family Philanthropies and the Morgan Family Foundation for support of this project.

Farming with Horses Workshop

For horse farmers in New England: SLN’s Sustainable Agriculture Program Director, Stephen Leslie, will be giving a talk on “The New Horse-Powered Farm: Tools and Systems for the Small-Scale, Sustainable Market Grower” at Shelburne Farms, Vermont on Saturday, April 12. Read more!
Quilt and Photo by Any Sulistyowati

Vision-Built: A Sustainability Center in Indonesia

Inspired, in part, by her time as a Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow at Cobb Hill Ecovillage in Vermont, Any Sulistyowati developed a vision for her own sustainability training center and community in the forests above Bandung, Indonesia (see image of quilt). Using sustainable, mostly second-hand materials, the center is now a reality and will be an example of how people can live a high quality of life while conserving the forest. She and her team at her NGO, Kuncup Padang Ilalang (KAIL), have already started running programs and workshops for children, youth, women and the general public. Click to see pictures of the house being built, workshops, food and surroundings.

News from Fellows

  • Nirmala Nair wrote an article entitled “We must work with nature to beat floods” for the Jakarta Post.
  • Sarah Khan created a book of her photography entitled “West African Hands Create Cultivate Cook.” Sarah writes that the book’s purpose is “to make visible the hands - and therefore the lives and minds of those attached to the hands - that create, cultivate and cook daily, with no fanfare, in a part of the world that media generally represents in a negative light.”
  • The second season of the “Power of Nature” series, in which Trista Patterson is playing a central role, was recently featured on BBC World News. Specifically, Trista was working from the depths of the Brazilian Amazon to help convey the importance and interconnectedness of the rainforest to seemingly distant people and ecosystems. View this 3-minute trailer to get a taste for this inspiring and timely series.
New Beginnings
  • Huma Beg’s Ministry of Change project made the semi-finals (30/196 entries) in the Global Innovation Competition being hosted by Making All Voices Count. Ministry of Change is a unique initiative to bring the power of the people to where it's needed in Pakistan. Through this portal you can participate in the many wonderful projects changing lives of the citizens everywhere. 
  • After successfully leading her first sold-out “Intro to Yoga Therapy Workshop” with 14 participants in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Alex Bauermeister writes: "I can't really put into words what it's like to have a vision and the opportunity to make it reality. Feels like stepping over a threshold, realizing how much really is possible." Learn more about Alex’s yoga teaching, yoga therapy and workshop offerings at Intra Yoga Therapy: Transformation from the Inside Out
  • Marcelo Michelsohn recently established an organization - Conexão Pais e Filhos – that supports adults in their work as parents. With a focus on connection instead of command and control, he has already delivered 4 live webinars to some 70 parents in his native Brazil.

Explore more Fellows' profiles.


Thanks to photographers Carla Kimball, Any Sulistyowati, Huma Beg and Stephen Leslie.

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