Back in the 1990s, I founded Environmental and Cultural Organization Systems (ECOS) as a way to meld my biology and political science academic backgrounds through a cultural anthropological approach to the world. I did quite a bit of social justice work, empowering entrepreneurs in Mexico, tobacco use prevention and the like.
I tend to look at life as a web of interconnected systems. Saving the world isn’t like it used to be. Things are so fast moving and complicated these days.
ECOS melds human society as an interactive part of ecosystems at many levels by creating new creative and sustainable (low input – high output) communities in context of the human environment.
Lately, I’ve become very interested in working with cohousing communities. People have to live somewhere and housing is housing, but what differentiates cohousing from other configurations is the “secret sauce.” This work is a labor of love for me. I do it because I believe intentional communities, by definition, help bridge cultural divides. I do like to make a little money providing my expertise, but it isn’t my main motivation. Here’s what I have to offer:
Community Development – I have quite a bit of experience helping create partnerships and collaborations that clear a path of least resistance. I can help you write a story to target in on the market you want.
A current project being developed is an urban mixed use intentional community development in Boulder, Colorado at Pearl and 30th streets. It is envisioned to be suited to those who don’t drive cars in favor of bicycles, the bus and walking. The mix includes affordable cohousing, and co-operative (co-op) apartments.
Over the years, I’ve developed a diverse background in economic and community development having worked with local, state, national and tribal governments on a wide variety of issues from assisting with boom and bust cycles, with business startups, planning and zoning issues, developing affordable housing in Wyoming and Colorado.
Grant Writing and Fund Raising – I would say the one thing that I’m good at is grant writing. My success rate is pretty close to 100 percent. I’ve always been a writer having written for newspapers and written movie scripts. I’m a pretty good storyteller and can translate your project stories not into ones that are eligible for funding, but ones that get funded. Whether it’s $30 million for a water pipeline project or $500 for a community garden, years of experience has given me knowledge to help you tell your stories better and increase the chances for funding from public and private sectors.
Cultural Competency and Diversity Training – There’s no denying that the United States is experiencing unprecedented cultural and social upheaval. I can help you and your group better understand yourselves in the context of acceptance of others who may be different than you.
Having been through a lot in life, I can help you be better managers of change. The American culture is at a crossroads. The digital socio-political landscape is changing faster than the analog culture. The fast pace of life has resulted in the proliferation of subcultures and micro-cultures.
Cultural competence is a developmental process that evolves over an extended period. At any given moment, depending on past histories and experiences individuals, groups, communities are at various levels of cultural awareness, knowledge and competency skills. I can lead you through this process.
Cultural Brokerage – Hand in hand with cultural competency is reaching out of personal and organizational comfort zones. During these times of intercultural conflict, businesses and organizations are seeking ways to become more inclusive without being paternalistic. I can help you understand your organizational needs and how to reach out to diverse communities and facilitate mutually beneficial outcomes.
If you’re interested in ECOS services, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-910-5782