Changemaking with Nature

By: Jo Anne V. Coruña

This International Women’s Month, we’re featuring stories from the women changemakers in the Ashoka Philippines Community! This is our former Staff member Jo Anne’s first article in the “Ecology of Changemaking” series.

The Ecology of Changemaking Program asks the question,

How might we make lasting positive change in collaboration with nature?

As a Certified Permaculture Designer & Practitioner, I work with changemakers to design and practice an ecological strategy into their initiatives, guided by the ethics and principles of Permaculture. I strive to equip changemakers with the tools they need to integrate resilience and regenerative living into their work with their communities.

The vision is to have a world where humans not only co-exist but work actively and consciously with nature, to make the world a better place for everyone. A better place means everyone has agency, is empowered to pursue and realize their fullest potential, and is able to partake and share in the earth’s abundance.

For the first year of this program, I am working exclusively with Ashoka and its Fellows and Staff. Ashoka supports social innovators or changemakers around the world, and I have been a volunteer, a staff member, and a constant supporter and believer of their work. Their work — the organization and its Fellows — is rooted in Systems Thinking, which looks at the world and its living and non-living components as intricately intertwined and integrated. Permaculture fits right in.

While I will be consulting with Ashoka Fellows and Staff this year, I would still love to hear from other changemakers about your initiatives, and perhaps I can help envision an ecological component that you can integrate with your own projects and programs. This space will hold what our ecological imagination can conjure together, the questions that come up, as well as the discoveries that await us. As with most natural systems, I’m happy to see this space evolve organically into what is most beneficial and regenerative for all. I will also share reflections and ruminations inspired by nature.

The Ecology of Changemaking program launched in February 2021. Much gratitude to my Patreon community for the seed funding for this initiative. I’ve indefinitely committed half of all the support I get from my patrons to fund this program and the changemakers with whom I’ll be working. If you’d like to be a part of this community and support changemakers (as well as get other patron-only updates, including a monthly video tour of our food forest garden), please do consider being a patron. We’d love to have you join us.

I hope you check this space once in a while for updates. More soon.

About the Author

Jo Anne is a writer, visual artist, and permaculture designer & practitioner. Before art and permaculture, she was a member of the Ashoka Philippines team, searching for social innovators in the Visayas. She is currently growing a food forest garden in Bacolod, Philippines, with her husband and two kids. Jo Anne shares her permaculture field notes and illustrated plant files on amidstthegreen.org.

Featuring impact stories from the Philippine community of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators.

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