Thursday, July 17, 2014

Climate Change Action - Catalyzing Community Engagement: We Can with the WE-CAN Program

Inspired by the idea that our communities are already well-resourced with brilliance, determination, and creativity, the Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies is innovating a certificate program to catalyze community-based climate resilience. The first cohort, targeted for a Fall 2015 start, will bring together a dozen women, including queer women, in an activist, experiential learning cohort to engage in mentored projects for climate change, climate action, and climate justice. The program is envisioned as a cross-collaboration of arts-based activists, ecopreneurs, and permaculture - regenerative designers. 

The program in Women Empowering Climate Action Network (or WE-CAN) will feature research-based and culturally responsive vibrant practices for learning and collaboration, including regenerative creativity inspired by biomimicry and fractal patterns from nature and bioculture as well as sustainability education, complex living systems, and ecoliteracy combined with approaches for environmental justice. Cohort members will also study and practice agile project management and collaborative leadership. The project hopes to nurture each learner with a project mentor, internships, and accelerator-style resources and micro-investments in project start-up. The Pacific Northwest women's community will be an amazing hothouse of support and social incubation for these practical visionaries.

We are currently soliciting project mentors, potential partners, internship sites, investors, and supporters, as well as prospective cohort participants. This program has already been honored with a training fellowship in community climate change action from the Cornell University Civic Ecology Lab, EE Capacity, the North American Association of Environmental Education, and the EPA.

The Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies is a learning organization for Gaian thriving at the intersection of creativity, ecological restoration, and the living wisdom traditions in the Pacific Cascadia bioregion. The living Earth system is our first teacher.

We look forward to collaborating with you to bring this and other amazing projects to life here in the heart of Cascadia.