Center for Ecological Culture 
Collaborating with Nature's Wisdom
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                                                               Who are we?

                      The Center for Ecological Culture, Inc. is an Ohio non-profit corporation.  

We work with groups large and small to generate social, technological and ecological conditions that promote quality of life, build social and ecological capital, and enable strategic innovation.  Our clients are public, private, non-profit and community organizations.  We serve as facilitators of organizational learning with a particular focus on transforming and strengthening organizational and community culture, and on building capacity for effective collaboration at all levels.  As design consultants, we guide client-initiated change processes that allow organizations and networks to master complexity, the inevitable context of business in the 21st century.  Our clients become active participants in the conscious evolution of self, organization, community, and society, as inspired by the patterns and processes of healthy natural ecosystems.  In this way, we gain access to shared human potentials and contribute to the emergence of a sustainable society.  Our design, consulting, and educational services are informed by current social science research and centered on the attainment of goals as defined by our clients and community stakeholders. 

An Affirmation of CEC’s Organizational Culture

·    We want our work to make a difference, to change peoples’ lives, to improve the world, and to leave a legacy of human and ecological flourishing realized through societal transformation guided by an affirmative commitment to the global ideal of “unity in our diversity”;

·    We seek to realize our individual and collective potentials as an evolutionary learning community, working within a shared conceptual milieu to advance scientific knowledge and integral understanding, and to disseminate corresponding practical competencies, in fulfilling our service-oriented mission;

·   We strive to embody the formative and functional characteristics of a living socio-ecological system, continuously transforming energy, material and information through the purposeful and appreciative exercise of human agency;

·   We engage in work that we each view as important and meaningful , and we understand further that spirituality is a necessary component of meaningfulness ;

·   We bring passion to our work: nurturing and sharing an emotional energy that enables us to sustain a positive state of mind, and to engage our whole selves with utmost confidence that what we do makes a difference in the world;

·  We mutually affirm the importance of creativity, vision and purpose; values which we uphold by encouraging safe, nurturing and emancipatory work environments and activities that are fun, exciting and joyful;

·   We create a climate in which critical thinking, including surfacing and respectfully examining unspoken assumptions, is the norm;

·  We embrace the sharing paradigm* as a multidimensional framework for cultural transformation, embodied in all aspects of our organizational life and work, and enacted through the sharing of things, services, activities and experiences.  

    *(McLaren D. & Agyeman, J. (2015). Sharing cities: A case for truly smart and sustainable cities. Boston: MIT Press)

Brett R. Joseph, LL.M., Ph.D., founder and Managing Director of the Center for Ecological Culture, Inc., serves his native northeast Ohio communities as a multi-talented social systems design consultant, community action researcher, environmental educator, conversation leader, and attorney. Brett also currently serves as Sustainable Agriculture Program Coordinator and permaculture instructor at the Lorain County Community College. He is a current board member of the Ohio Wetland Association and former chair of the Ashtabula County Metropolitan Park District.  An active proponent and co-leader of local initiatives for community empowerment and progressive social change, Brett serves on the steering committees of Slow Money Ohio, Cleveland Vital Neighborhoods, sustainable business and local food work groups, the Lorain County community collaborative, and the recently formed Northeast Ohio Urban Farmer’s Cooperative. 

Brett’s professional background reflects a life-long commitment to fostering sustainable economics and decolonization, participatory democracy, community resilience, public health, and conscious societal evolution by harmonizing the relationship between human and natural systems.  For 15 years, he served as an environmental and international attorney with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, based in Washington D.C. and Seattle.  Before leaving government service, he returned to school to earn a master’s degree in humanistic psychology with a certificate in socially engaged spirituality.  Since moving back to northeast Ohio in 2005, he has engaged in private law practice, held administrative roles in several non-profit organizations, managed a 26-acre farm, and advised several local schools on ecoliteracy curriculum development. Brett holds accredited certificates in civil mediation, permaculture design and teaching, environmental education, caring economics, and green building. Brett lives with his wife (Martha) and two daughters in Concord, Lake County, Ohio. 

Martha Joseph, M.S., J.D., Director, has served for over 22 years as a policy advisor on conservation programs implemented by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Martha earned her B.A. and MA. in Geography from Kent State University, and her J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland, and has been admitted to the bar in both Maryland and Ohio.  Martha has written and taught on matters related to soil conservation, ecological restoration, and the use of conservation easements as a land protection tool on private lands.  Martha has happily just recently returned to the KSU Geography Department to pursue doctoral research.  She is interested in exploring the resilience of contemporary and ancient agricultural landscapes, investigating societal adaptive responses to incremental variations in resource conditions, and creating conservation strategies to integrate ecologically sustainable values into human-dominated environments. 

Ian Mungall, worked for a Fortune 500 company in the field of marketing communications, and served as a TV & radio communications specialist & graphic design assistant for the PBS/NPR program Ideastream. Since earning a BA in Communications with a minor in English from John Carroll University, Ian worked as an English language teacher in Korea, and with an international team for the largest higher education collaboration in Southwest China.  While overseas, he enjoyed learning & exploring through travel, farm volunteering, and participation in natural health & meditation programs.  Upon returning to the U.S., he worked with a Cleveland based solar installation company, and developed a self-sustaining urban agricultural system while earning his permaculture design certificate (PDC).  Ian is passionate about helping & empowering others, education, natural health & sustainability.  

Derrek O'Hara,[bio to be added]