The past 12 months have been very active and creative for me. I spent much of last year at the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden, working on developing a new international research and development theme on Transformations and Innovations. We are developing a series of case studies of social-ecological communities that have transformed their socioeconomics, environmental, political, educational and development systems towards those that are more holistic and sustainable.
I spent the autumn at Schumacher College, which I know that you share my admiration for, where I am now a Visiting Fellow. Along with one of my heroes, Satishji Kumar, we are developing a new graduate program in Ecological Design. This program will approach design in a much more holistic fashion by defining design is as "giving form to intention" in all of our interactive systems and relationships -- sociocultural, economic, educational, ecological, political, and including, but not limited to, our built and manufactured environments. Ecological design then becomes the practice of using nature's wisdom of sustaining the creativity and harmony of life in the design of our relationships and communities. Satish has asked me to write a series of articles in Resurgence describing this new approach to design and how we can use it to empower the global citizenry to develop a "genuine democracy," as Bill Coperthwaite described. We will also be launching a working conference in the following summer with the prompt, "How Can Design Best Serve the World?" and amassing a collective of creatives and changemakers from diverse geographies, cultures, professions and outlooks.
Recently, I arrived to New Delhi, where I will be a Fulbright-Nehru Environmental Leadership Scholar until this April. The work that we're doing is very exciting, and to repeat a favorite concept, transformative. Through colleagues at Stockholm, Cambridge and Harvard, we're coordinating with academics, social entrepreneurs and foundations in India to develop an international network on how innovation for socioecological change can help alleviate poverty and progress sustainability on a national front. There is a tremendous amount of activity and grassroots energy here, with almost a billion dollars invested, to use access market forces
through traditional and sustainable knowledge and practices. There's still a lot of work to be done on how effective the current activity is and how we can build cross-sector coalitions to share knowledge and other resources, but India can provide an amazing case study of how we can provide a livable quality of life to those that are currently lack accessibility to economic, health, social and governance services while living in harmony with our ecosystems. It's daunting, but incredibly worthwhile!
Lastly -- I promise -- I will be starting a new position in April following my Fulbright Scholarship as a Lead Researcher at Cambridge University's Centre for Industrial Sustainability, as well as an affiliation at their Centre for Science and Policy. I will be continuing my work on innovation in India, Transformations with Stockholm, and Design with Schumacher through this post, as well as coordinating projects linking all these networks. We've also started discussions at Schumacher on how to develop some cross-teaching programs with Center for Whole Communities.