Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy
About the Institute
Founded in 2000, the Leadership Institute is a 501©3 public charity based in Sonoma County and dedicated to ensuring a sustainable future for California’s North Coast. Our mission is to train people to be more effective leaders, and to educate community leaders and the public to understand that the future of our economy and quality of life are dependent on each other. The Institute is active throughout the year, providing education, training, and networking opportunities for community leaders. We have four main program areas:
• Policy-Maker Outreach
• Community Education
• Leadership Networking
Sustainability recognizes that the planet’s resources are finite, and that if we want to be responsible stewards of the earth, we have to use those resources wisely, so they last indefinitely. To act responsibly in this regard, we must look beyond our day to day lives. We must examine the impact of our actions in a broader context. We must demonstrate leadership to our friends and neighbors, and embrace ecological sustainability as a continual process of improvement.
A Focus on Policy Makers
Existing laws, regulations, and economic policy make it costly and difficult to live a sustainable lifestyle. There is a growing consensus that government must make it easier to protect our natural environment, foster social equity, and support a prosperous local economy. Most elected and appointed officials want to do the right thing—they need encouragement, education, and support. The political will to change will come from a grassroots movement, not from city hall.
Leadership Training for a Sustainable Future
Our core program educates community leaders to be more effective in shaping public policy. Participants meet for a full day a month, from September through May. Class members work with key political and civic leaders, attend workshops on sustainability, take field trips, and engage in leadership training exercises. The class emphasizes the links between economic viability, ecological sustainability, and social equity. The issues range from global to local, the topics are relevant, and the discussions are lively and informative. Graduates of the program have held elected or appointed office in every community in Sonoma County.
We educate and inform elected and appointed officials with non-partisan analysis, research, and studies that help them make the right decisions for sustainable communities. Graduates of the Leadership Training for a Sustainable Future regularly act in advocacy roles in their communities, influencing public policy and building healthy communities.
A key part of our mission is to raise public awareness about the linkages between economics, sustainability, and social justice. We sponsor public workshops and forums, often working cooperatively with other organizations. Our website, www.ecoleader.org, is a powerful tool to link individuals and organizations with resources and information.
There are now more than 200 graduates of the Leadership Training for a Sustainable Future. These Fellows of the Institute are a dynamic, highly-motivated group of individuals who want to make a difference in their communities. The Fellows have vastly different economic, social, cultural, and political backgrounds, yet they share an interest in a just and sustainable future. We offer regular networking opportunities for the Fellows, many of whom are also involved in the ongoing work of the Institute.
Learn more: http://ecoleader.org/