Your NameGina LaMotte
Cohort AssignmentCohort C (Americas, In-Person Intensive)
1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

I have been working in the space of K-12 sustainability education, climate resilience and green schools for 15 years. The organization I founded has grown significantly and my role has evolved from start-up founder and executive director to Chief Innovation Officer, where my domain has shifted to leading edge projects and strategic partnerships. Over the last fews years, I have delved into trainings and projects focused on systems change, impact networks and biomimicry for social innovation.

At this stage in my life, I can feel that a new chapter of my career is unfolding. It is still centered in sustainability and climate resilience, but heavy inspired by the field, practice and community of biomimicry and systems change.

In both domains (where I have been and where I am going), I would describe my "primary work" as
- helping teams and communities "see the Whole" and their place within the ecosystem, encouraging a systems approach to social interventions
- heralding nature's intelligence and the deep patterns of the natural world as models, mentors and standards to strive towards
- cultivating spaces and relationships of trust and allyship that paint new visions of what's possible

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

I have begun to understand myself as a "pioneer species". I like to imagine, rally and build in emergent spaces...where things haven't been proven, it's a little messy and most folks think you're a little too ambitious and idealistic.

At my organization (EcoRise), my role is to push boundaries and thinking on our team and with our partners, to expand our aperture and stir courage and vision in our community.

In my biomimicry work (at Biomimicry for Social Innovation [BSI]), I'm building our our systems, strategies and foundation to scale our message and impact.

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

At EcoRise, I am leading a massive project focused on conducting a systems diagnosis of K-12 climate resilience, equity and environmental education in the US. Our goal is to have built out our directories, dashboards and GIS maps for all 50 states by October 2023 - and activate a series of "campfire sessions" to discuss the insights as a community. All aspects of this project have been built with biomimetic principles.

At BSI, my goal to build out the organizational growth strategy and infrastructure to scale.

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

1) Allowing the molting process to unfold with EcoRise (as I reduce my hours and proximity), and moving through fears, grief, uncertainty.

2) Continually tapping into the insights, intelligence, magic and kinship with the more-than-human world.

3) Practicing joy and optimism for the future; finding and choosing individuals and communities who sustain that positivity and for whom I can join forces to build fun, beautiful projects

5. And for professional growth?

1) Integrating the teachings of so much PD (I've invested in a lot of trainings over the last few years... namely systems change, impact networks and biomimicry)

2) Honing my communication and facilitation skills as it pertains to living systems/biomimicry.

3) Expanding my ecosystem and community

4) Exploring the intersection of biomimicry/living systems and traditional ecological knowledge/indigenous worldviews and practices

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

Everything. My entire adulthood has been committed to social change. I have poured my being into EcoRise for years. More recently, I have very literally invested in a lot of time and money into trainings in the topics I've mentioned. I have also invested in a network of relationships and communities.

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

- Biomimicry = Janine Benyus,Dayna Baumeister, Toby Herzlich
- Popular education = Paulo Friere, John Dewey
- Systems thinking, design-thinking
- Theology, cosmology, religious studies = particularly Buddhism, Ifa, shamanism, and liberation theology
-.... and lots, lots more

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

Yes I can, but I prefer not to share in great depth or in this format. I will say that I believe humans are not separate the natural world and one of our purposes in this lifetime is to dissolve the illusion of separateness. I also believe we have a duty/invitation (as a pioneer species that's done a lot of damage) practice kinship, reciprocity and gratitude for the bounty and beings around us.

Date CreatedJanuary 25, 2023