Your NameErik Sanders
Cohort AssignmentAmericas with In-Person Intensive in Santa Fe, Summer 2023
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

What I see as my primary work at this stage is in a state of drastic transformation. I have worked in many of the realms of civil engineering designing singular entities for the last ~ten years. I have worked in pure civil engineering designing building sites that include site grading plans, sanitary and storm sewer networks and utility plans. I have worked in water resources engineering looking into drainage systems, protection of structures from 500year flooding events and studying watersheds. I have worked as a structural engineer designing individual structures. The main reason I entered school as a civil engineer was I saw the disconnected way we design our world and I wanted to try and play a part in changing the way we design, build. As an engineer I see the drastic way engineers, builders, architects, and urban planners have transformed our world over the last 500years. Specifically over the last two years I have stopped wishing things would change or waiting for things to change and I am trying to take active steps myself into driving these changes and learning the skills that will give me the confidence to make these changes in the world we see. I see my work at this stage as shifting from being an engineer into something maybe different, maybe something where I can have a more broad impact. I am not quite sure at this moment but I want to help transform the way things are designed and built at its current stage.

2. What role do you see as yours to play?

I see my role as something maybe as a city planner, architect, engineer, gardener, community member, friend, nature lover. I want to help foster the next era of human civilization that can bring back humans understanding of being a part of nature. I want to play a role in phasing out the destructive ways humans have came to understand our place in the world to ushering (back) in the regenerative, and restorative nature of humans to the world.

3. What goals or aims do you have in regard to the above?

The goals I have currently are first to learn more about the regenerative way to design and live in our world. Once I have a grasp on that these concepts I would like to start using this knowledge to influence things that I can within my community and help others to see the world in this light as well. For me over the last year learning about regenerative design has been a huge sense of hope and inspiration. But I want to turn the inspiration into action and bring it to real life projects and watch them evolve from there.

4. Where do you feel your next arenas for personal growth are?

I think much of my next arenas for me to develop more confidence in myself and the beneficial impact that I can have. I don't have the greatest sense of confidence in what I know or in how to talk to people and I think it detracts from my ability to take action and make change.

5. And for professional growth?

For professional growth I think it my next area for growth are to possibly evolve from my career as an engineer. As an engineer so much is singularly focused on one design element, a single building, etc. I feel like in order for me to make the impact I want I would like to expand to a more regenerative role where I can use my knowledge to orchestrate bigger changes and possibilities for communities and all of life. I dont really know what this role would be or even is at this time but I know that I love learning and I will always continue to learn and want to grow and expand.

6. What have you invested in to get you where you are?

I have invested quite a bit and I feel like I am just beginning on the journey that I originally set out for when I went to college. Before entering college in 2007 as an engineer I wrote in my college application letter that I wanted to help design, build and create a more sustainable world where all life can flourish. I have worked over ten years changing jobs and switching roles. I have obtained my professional engineering license, last year I took what I considered as a step towards learning and growing and took the LEED BD+C exam and passed which lead me to discover regenerative design. I then took a Green Building Education Service course this March in Regenerative Design. Which lead me to find out about Regenisis Institute and now I am taking this course to continue to develop possibilities moving forward. Over the last three years my wife and I have become increasingly interested in permaculture and gardening and we converted our turf grass backyard into a permaculture type food garden/forest. It has been fun to see all of the plants and other life that has come along with it. We have also seen neighbors and friends take an interest in gardening and have planted their own gardens. This has been a small thing that we have done that has made impacts elsewhere and it is cool to see this in action on a small scale.

7. What fields of learning and which thinkers have been important in your life?

Fields of Learning:
Engineering, Mathematics, Geology, Soils, Fluid dynamics, Watersheds and River Systems, psychology, Cosmology, Physics, Spirituality, Yoga, Meditation, Buddhism, Movement, Physiology, Spending time in Nature, Exploration, Travel and Experiencing other cultures, Navigation, permaculture, regenerative design, sustainability, climate change, exploring physical and mental limits, architecture, computer programing and computer software. Not sure if this is what your looking for but these are some of the things I've delved into.

Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, Thomas Edison, Lao Tzu, Michael Green, Suzanne Simard, David Suzuki, Bill Mollison, I am missing many but a short list

8. Can you frame your philosophy or cosmology of life? What role(s) do humans play in it?

My philosophy of life is that humans are nature. Humans have a great role in this world, we can act as a destructive force, but too often forgotten in our modern world, we can also act as a beneficial force. Humans have the unique characteristic of being able to observe, and to orchestrate different systems to come into alignment for the better of all. I believe that life is a gift and very special thing that we are here, when we die our energy doesn't leave but continues on in the universe, going on to create more life and other systems.

Date CreatedJuly 3, 2023