Ecosa Institute alumni are having an impact on our world and we applaud their ongoing accomplishments. We want to tell others how a semester at Ecosa Institute “changed my world outlook,” in the words of alum Sarah Derheim. Watch our blog space for more news about the exciting things our alumni are involved in – you’ll be impressed! And be sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest news and images from Ecosa Institute.

Ecosa Institute Alumni Make a Difference

Many Ecosa Institute alumni are part of changes, inroads and initiatives in design with nature principles. They are pursuing their interests in architecture, ecology, permaculture, environmental issues and education. They are making a difference in our world as an interior designer, landscape designer, trail restorer, community planner, rainwater harvester or sustainability consultant. Others are electrical engineers, teachers, web designers, physicians, graphic artists, historical researchers, construction project managers, social service case managers and teachers.

Design Your Future at Ecosa Institute

A semester at Ecosa Institute can be the “most challenging, inspirational and life-changing semester” of your life, according to alum Shana Payne Skelton. Another alum said, “Ecosa’s strong liberal way of teaching is exactly what makes it one-of-a-kind and so effective for creative and curious types of students.” 

An interest in design, the environment and sustainability, coupled with a commitment to learn, are all you need to attend the Ecosa Institute Ecological Design program. The certificate you earn, portfolio you create and relationships you form are valuable tools when looking for your job or career. And the ways of thinking learned at Ecosa Institute will serve you long after your semester is over. One alumni said that “Ecosa gave me the foundation of understanding to engage with projects and organizations that I wanted to get involved with . . . that paved the way for me to get where I am today.”

And as alum Andrew Gansenberg said, “This program had such a formative impact on how I view the world and approach all challenges. I suggest it to all regardless of profession or major!”

ECOSA INSTITUTE ALUMNI PROFILE

NICHOLAS ASTER

in his own words

NickAster

“I’ve been fortunate to combine a long, mostly self-taught, background in online media (web design, publishing), an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School and my impactful semester at Ecosa Institute into the launch of TriplePundit.com. While in grad school I focused on communicating sustainability to a business audience and then worked for a time for TreeHugger.com and Mother Jones magazine. I saw TriplePundit.com as a way to try to bridge the gap between activism and business. The name is a reference to the ‘triple bottom line’- seeking a balance between economic, social and environmental priorities. This is very much the kind of systemic thinking I learned at Ecosa.

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The reason I chose to go to Ecosa was twofold. First, I really wanted to learn more about sustainable design. I wasn’t certain that I wanted a career in it but I knew instinctively that it was a valuable way of thinking that would help me regardless of my ultimate path. The second reason I went is that I hoped Ecosa would help me decide whether I wanted to continue my education in one way or another. I considered it a “grad school light” opportunity that would be an affordable way to take 6 months to really figure out my path. And that’s exactly what happened. At Ecosa I was introduced to Hunter Lovins who had recently helped launch the Presidio MBA program. Ultimately I enrolled at Presidio with the goal to develop a company that would help introduce systemic design-thinking to businesses large and small with the ultimate goal of building a sustainable world.

Ecosa was, to me, a crash course in the world of systems thinking and sustainability. It gave me the vocabulary and grounding in the world to be able to effectively launch TriplePundit and to credibly communicate with the business world.”

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