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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ecosa Institute

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Education, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Secondary & High Schools, Vocational & Technical Schools

Mission: The mission of the Ecosa Institute is to restore health to the natural environment, and thus the human environment, through education in design. Our vision is of a world that blends the ethical and ecological values critical to the health of the environment with the vitality and dynamism of the design arts.

Results: More than 300 students of all ages and backgrounds have received a Certificate in Regenerative Ecological (RE-) Design since Ecosa's inception in 2000. Nationally-noted guest speakers have enlightened students in the areas of ecology, environmental impacts, alternative energy and whole systems, architecture and alternative building systems, and city, urban, interior, communication, and product design- all with the message of designing sustainable and regenerative solutions to the issues of today. Field trips to Arizona's natural and architectural wonders teach students about the effects of climate change on ancient cultures, the honored place water holds in the Hopi culture, future urban design ideas, and rainwater harvesting in the desert, as well as aboriginal living skills and a sense of tribe.

Target demographics: educate future change agents

Direct beneficiaries per year: Coalition for Compassion and Justice homeless shelters

Geographic areas served: ecological design

Programs: a Certificate in Regenerative Ecological (RE-) Design earned through experiential and hands-on learning of design and designing with nature to provide sustainable and regenerative solutions to problems of the 21st century.

Community Stories

32 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ecosa Institute sets the desperately needed paradigm shift in motion! Holistic. Integrated. immersive. Inspiring. An invaluable learning experience.

Alejandra G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

“Ecosa Institute influenced my life by giving me the opportunity to explore my creativity in making designs and arts while thinking and analyzing how to make a better place in a sustainable manner. The world is full of surprises, and I’m starting to see every detail and how we can truly make a better world by creating sustainable designs. Thanks to Ecosa Institute I firmly believe that anybody can be successful by working towards one world, one humanity, and one family, so that together we can be the change we want to see in the world!”

-Alejandra Gaytán Téllez-

Donor

Rating: 5

I attended TedXVail that Ecosa had a presence with Tony Brown giving the talk. I hope more people learn about this important organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Ecosa Institute is one of the most intensive and integrated educational experiences of collaborative design and engaged community based learning and problem solving for the future of the planet available for undergraduates and beyond. This is an irreplacable and much needed education non-profit program that needs critical support to sustain and extend the impact of their decades of proven leadership and innovation in the field of ecological design which encompases critical implementable knowledge of working with nature to create a future worth being a part of.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ecosa was one of those experiences that you don’t fully realize everything you got out of it until you’ve packed your bags and headed out on your next adventure. Everyday in the program was filled with new learnings, discussed or debated amongst your fellow cohort, guest speakers, and teachers. Whether knowingly or not, everyday outside the program you apply bits and pieces of those those discussions...and those bits and pieces add up!

When I reflect on my time at Ecosa I feel beyond satisfied knowing it was time well spent discovering a better approach to thinking and gaining memories that will last a lifetime.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am deeply thankful that I had the opportunity to addend the Ecosa Institute. The intensive ecological design curriculum challenged me and my cohort to work together and look at current world challenges as solvable design problems both at the macro and micro scale while first starting within our personal social and environmental relationships. How do we work together towards the betterment for all creatures living and non living in support of hyper complex interworking systems? Ecosa aims to point one in that direction of understanding with a full semester of motivating presentations with Ecosa faculty who have been and are doing beautifully impactful work in their fields of expertise. This one of a kind opportunity to collaborate with so many motivational humans in an intimate educational setting while in the classroom and on the field offered me a dynamic range of eye opening experiences provoking a profound package of learning that I will continue to unravel and integrate and be thankful for.

Jill A.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I use my Ecosa education daily as a consultant to Foundations and non-profits. As an older student, Ecosa helped me to narrow my professional focus while expanding my world view.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ecological design at its finest. The principles taught at Ecosa can be applied to any field; I currently work as an electrical engineer and I use the skills and ideas I learned at Ecosa daily in my engineering work. The program asks you to take your own life and examine it under the lens of nature. I think my semester at Ecosa was the singly most impacting and lasting educational experience I have had so far in my life. I am grateful to Tony, all the staff and guest lecturers, and my peer group for teaching me things about the world, myself, our communities and our place in it.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Ecosa Institute is a special place where small groups of students come together for a very intensive semester of multi-faceted learning. The time is condensed, but the lesons resonate. Ecosa partners with instructors from around the country to contribute to their students' depth and breadth of knowledge. I am deeply grateful to Ecosa for increasing my awareness in design and teaching me so many more lessons.

Levi M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've always been impressed with the creative work that goes on at Ecosa! The students are amazing and the design concepts they create are always inspiring. Keep up the good work!

Review from Guidestar

Patrick R.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Fantastic institution - they really have a refined, mature sense of ecological design and sustainable architecture, while keeping their eyes directed towards the future of eco design and green building practices.

Review from Guidestar

Cait G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The ECOSA Institute is an exceptional Non-Profit, offering leading edge training to people of all backgrounds in Sustainable and Regenerative Design. This program has inspired students from around the U.S. and the world to look hard at our future and make the best decisions possible for our built and non-built environments. Bringing in some of the top experts in architecture, urban planning, and sustainable design from around Arizona and beyond, the Total Immersion program is the finest intensive Sustainable design course of its kind.

Estacia H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I totaly recommend Ecosa if you are interested in sustainability and building resilliant communities. I attended the summer Permaculture course and Fall semester 2009 at Ecosa.

At Ecosa I got an education on a variety of methodologies, practical solutions and design principles related to ecological design which I have been using in every project I have worked on since. Furthermore, I had interesting community experiences, site visits and practical experience opportunities with professionals and peers. The desert environment and location is also a great benefit to the program. Part of the success of the program is the immersion in the community and the functional solutions you are exposed to. You will learn a broad spectrum of information-solar, building materials, LEED info, Permaculture, design, beg. drafting, model making, ecology, biomimicry, biophilia etc. I can't stress enough that the amount of information you get in the integrated curriculum through field trips, experiences, and professional exposure. Not to mention going on a wilderness survival excursion with Cody Lundin! Party On.

The design problems are interesting and I especially enjoyed working for clients. We designed a Kenyan village complete with agriculture, economic development opportunities and fish farms , and a re-design of a Waldorf Charter school in AZ. There was not an architect in the bunch, but we had enough information and a strong collaborative effort in making the projects successful. You can see current projects on the website. It was nice being able to experiment with radical sustainability with a receptive clientele. My inspiration and systemic approach to sustainability are from Ecosa.

Another benefit is the people you meet (and the Alumni network, which is growing!). I have dear friends that I met and have kept in contact with through Ecosa. We also met "eco" professionals in all stages of their careers who are willing to engage.

This is an interdisciplinary program. You will get what you put in. There are no grades etc.

Overall Ecosa offered a wonderful platform to help inform my decision making process and on how to focus my career in sustainability. After Ecosa I am on the path to becoming a community & regional planner. I now have a deep context in which to build my career.

1 Joel6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ecosa is a wealth of experience and wisdom, new techology and ancient solutions. It is a hub for people to connect and learn and share.The ever changing tribe is slowly reaching across the planet sharing its wealth and mission and passion for the planet. Join the Ecosan tribe, become an active citizen of spaceship earth, realize our true human destiny. Long Live ECOSA

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ecosa Institute gave me an education I could never have had anywhere else. The semester was multidisciplinary, interactive, and always engaging me with new ideas and concepts. Ecosa gave me personal access to professionals that are leading the field of regenerative design and took us to exemplary ecological projects across Arizona. The semester program pushed me to my comfort zone just enough to ignite epiphanies in my environmental studies, and the lessons learned here have changed my practices in work, school, and at home. This was the most transformative experience I've had in my collegiate studies.

Sharon25

Client Served

Rating: 5

Escoa are training the future generation in Sustainable Design on how we need to use less resourses and harness creativity in developing products and buildings that bring balance and commiunty together in a wholelistic way.

Ecosa I.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the Ecosa Institute Staff as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in 2011. I continue to volunteer at the Institute and enjoy the work we do. Ecosa brings creative people together to work on design solutions to ecological issues effecting local communities, regions and the planet. It is always a pleasure to see the good work that Ecosa produces!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Ecosa Institute was an amazing experience. I cannot recommend the program enough. It was a powerful catalyst in my life. I learned so much in a short amount of time, and worked with projects that have made a difference in the world already. I continue to maintain relationships gained through the experience and am considering returning for the Ecosa Plus Program sometime in the future.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

My son was a student at Ecosa and I want to say that his hands on experience gave him a better understanding of what direction her wants to pursue in life. The experience was excellent and very worthwhile.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with Ecosa offered a glimpse of what is important in design and society and how the two must be united to pull our course back on track. The influence of the staff, invited speakers and the experiences I had during my time there are deeply ingrained in my outlook on the world. Thank you.