Ecology of Leadership

Reconnect with your heart and the natural world, become a more grounded and effective leader, and transform your "inner ecology" to cultivate positive changes in your life and community.

The Ecology of Leadership

A transformational pathway to thrive and serve in a changing world


The Ecology of Leadership

For detailed program information on The Ecology of Leadership, including our curriculum, our facilitation team bios, our commitment to social justice & inclusion, and more photos and video, please visit our new website at:

We live in a time of tremendous global change. And, many of us are feeling significant shifts in our personal lives and the communities in which we live and work. As unsustainable eco-social paradigms and systems collapse, we are called to seed and cultivate new visions for our future.

But how do we do that effectively?

Imagine sitting in a powerful circle of fellow change-makers, speaking your truth and remembering your nature...reconnecting with the living world, your passions and service path, and a feeling of village...cultivating a set of practices to nurture your emerging visions...moving beyond calcified constructs, beliefs, and patterns of the past and into a new era of healing, creativity, peace, joy, wholeness, reverence, love, and collaborative service...for yourself, for your community, and for a thriving planet. 


Since 2006, Ecology of Leadership (EOL) programs have served hundreds of non-profit leaders, community activists, eco-social entrepreneurs, and other conscious change-makers in deepening their paths of service by manifesting their gifts, visions, and passions in their lives, their organizations, their communities, and the world.

Through experiential, nature and community-based leadership development practices, the Ecology of Leadership program blends inquiry and skill development, self-awareness, and deepened nature connection with principles of systems thinking and permaculture. With the support of a powerful and dynamic circle, you will explore leadership from the inside out, envisioning and stepping into the possibilities you hold for your life and your service path.

The process of cultivating our leadership capacity is an adventure, full of opportunity, challenge and possibility. The Ecology of Leadership gives you the tools to navigate this adventure and bring your leadership forward in the world, supported by a powerful alliance with the natural world and a community of other leaders.

Ecology of Leadership programs are offered in a variety of formats, including evening workshops, introductions, intensives and our flagship core immersion six-month series.


You will come out of EOL with a unique "Leadership Tool Bag": a collection of concrete skills, habits, mindsets and approaches to improve your well-being and effectiveness as a leader. Topics include visioning, effective communication, project development and stewardship, the ability to create and honor commitments, effective use of time and energy, and coaching skills.  We also cover often-neglected aspects of inner leadership, such as cultivating gratitude, balance, ‘inner resilience’, and practices to root and ground our leadership in the heart, in nature, and in collaboration with a community of other leaders.

For many, ecological leadership becomes a new way of thinking and being. Through EOL, you will experience what is naturally yours – an intimate relationship with the natural world. You will learn to source your leadership from this connection and stay attuned to the patterns in your own life, creating a new level of effectiveness and awareness in your leadership.

On your leadership development journey, you will be supported to:

  • Discover your true gifts, passions and the visions you hold for your work in the world, as well as other important aspects of your life
  • Develop new skills and behaviors that are aligned with this vision
  • Create a way of living and leading that moves you toward your dreams for yourself and the world
  • Explore your patterns of belief, behavior and thought and determine which ones serve and which can be released and ‘composted’
  • Receive structured coaching and support from peers and facilitators between workshops
  • Adopt stress-reducing routines that connect you with nature
  • Take on practice assignments that will help cultivate your leadership skills and integrate the skills, mindset, and routines of the course into your daily life
  • Nurture a regional leadership circle that will continue to serve and support you on your leadership journey after the formal component of the program ends


As EOL unfolds, you will learn to integrate nature awareness, ‘inner gardening’, and leadership skills into your daily life and service path. You will begin to experience leadership as a dynamic process that translates your awareness and insights into effective action toward your goals and making a difference in the world.

Many EOL alumni have taken remarkable strides toward living into their vision.

Read what they have to say about their experience

As part of their journey, each leader is invited to identify a project through which to actualize the tools of the program. Here are just a few accomplishments of previous EOL graduates:

  • Starting an organic farm
  • Launching new social change organizations
  • Helping African women have access to education and employment by learning to ride bicycles
  • Taking a long-envisioned walk-about around the world
  • Overcoming the belief that having a family and doing powerful social change work are mutually exclusive
  • Leading efforts for Berkeley to become a Fair-Trade Town
  • Providing medical relief work in conflict and disaster areas
  • Overcoming long-standing fears of public speaking
  • Writing a book

Your project may also focus on more personal or “inner” forms of transformation.  Growth is the work of a lifetime and each person's path is different. Your transformation and project will reflect your own aspirations and callings.


Participants in our programs at Commonweal Garden are asked to bring camping gear and stay overnight during consecutive meeting dates. Please note that each Ecology of Leadership weekend starts at 9am the first day (see dates under each program offering) and ends at 5pm on the last day. Participants are asked to stay on site at Commonweal Garden for the entire duration, as we have late evening and early morning programming.  

We are happy to support anyone who has questions or concerns around camping logistics. Our What To Know page has information on things you will need to know for your visit to Commonweal Garden, including directions, transportation options, site accommodations and what to bring. Please read through this information, which will answer many of your questions.  When you register for one of our programs, you will also receive a detailed email with further logistics information.  If you have any further questions in the meantime, please contact us.





The Ecology of Leadership - 2018 programs to be announced in new year

Our core immersion series is the flagship Ecology of Leadership program. If you want an opportunity to cultivate your leadership through deep remembrance and connection with the natural world, with an experience of community or village, and with your own true nature and purpose, this journey is for you.

Weaving practical tools and frameworks together with alchemical experiences of connection and transformation, the EOL immersion journey will give you an opportunity to discover how to bring authentic, heart-centered leadership to every area of your life - including not only your work in the world, but also your health and personal well-being, your relationships, your home and family, and your community.  With new tools and practices - and backed by a strong circle of peers - you will bring these together to connect to a comprehensive vision for your life, and the support to steward this vision.  We will dance together between the inner and outer realms, exploring the roots and soil that inform who we are being, and their relationship to what we are doing and what we want to create in the world.  Over the months, each individual will go on their own journey of both healing and "inner permaculture" while moving towards the outer manifestation of their dreams and life purpose.  

The course is designed as a modular spiral, which deepens each month.  We meet one weekend per month at the permaculture design site of Commonweal Garden in Bolinas, where each weekend participants are introduced to new content, while sharing in an experience of village life and of deep connection with the natural world.  We camp together by the ocean, awaken to birdsong, begin with gratitude and setting collective intentions, spend our days in various configurations of small and big groups learning together in the yurt and playing in the natural world, and end by sharing food and gathering around the fire.  The learning and support continues between the weekends, with small group coaching meetings, buddy calls, and application of the materials. The rhythm of moving between the deep-dive weekends and then having time to integrate and apply the content between the months makes the curriculum come alive and becomes a new way of living, being, and engaging the world.  Countless graduates have spoken to how this iterative process has led to lasting change and transformation in every area of their lives see Testimonials.

The time commitment for your participation will vary by individual. We request that participants attend ALL of the weekends as unity is essential to building unity and trust for our collective experience and deepening. If previous commitments mean having to miss more than one or two days of the program, please consider reapplying at another date.  Outside of the weekend workshops, you can expect to spend approximately 10-15 hours per month in peer coaching and engaging in program assignments on your own time. The assignments are designed to integrate into and empower the life that you choose to lead and the work that you do in the world. Please consider your capacity to participate fully before applying to the program.  For specific dates, please view the program information below. Apply Now

Schedule for EOL programs in 2018 to be announced in the new year.

Please note that each weekend starts at 9am on Friday and ends at 5pm on Sunday, inclusive. Participants are asked to stay on site at Commonweal Garden for the entire duration, as we have late evening and early morning programming.


To apply for the Fall Core Immersion, please follow this link

Standard tuition:
Applicable to: Registration after September 15th
Early Registration:
Discount: $300
Applicable to: Those who pay in full by September 15th

RDI Alumni:
Discount: $600
Applicable to: Graduates of one of RDI's major programs, including the 4 Seasons Permaculture Course, the 2 week Permaculture Course, the Ecology of Awakening, or the Art of Vitality, not 1-day or 1-weekend courses

Payment Plan Option:
$1995 Deposit
Total cost: $4145 (Includes $150 additional administrative fee)
Applicable to: Those who prefer to stretch their payments out across the course of the program. Additional $150 administrative fee. Initial deposit of $1995 (~50%) down required upon registration, followed by 6 automatic payments, taken on November 15th, December 15th, January 15th, February 15th, and March 15th.

Social Justice/POC Scholarship Option:
Discount: $1000 off full tuition
Applicable to: As part of our commitment to social justice and equity, we have partial scholarships available for people of color who are also in need of financial assistance.  If you qualify for this, please contact us before proceeding to receive a discount code for your registration. 

REFUND POLICY: If your application is not accepted, the full application fee will be refunded. Once accepted, $500 of the registration fee becomes a non-refundable deposit. Cancellations up to October 26, 2017 (14 days before the program starts) will be refunded, less the $500 non-refundable deposit. On and after October 26, 2017, no refunds are given. If you choose to withdraw from the program for any reason whatsoever less than 14 days before the first day of the program, or should you miss any individual class sessions, you will be held responsible for payment of the full tuition. If you choose a payment plan and have not yet paid in full, you will remain legally responsible for the entire outstanding balance of your unpaid tuition. No exceptions will be made.


The Ecology of Leadership team is committed to inclusivity, diversity and social justice. We are committed to creating a courageous, authentic space that welcomes a diverse group of participants, across lines of race, class, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.  

In alignment with this commitment, we have a social justice scholarship available for people of color who are also experiencing financial challenges.  If you feel this applies to you, here is a 25% discount available.  Please contact us to receive a discount code for your registration.

We also encourage participants to reach out to their communities for financial support.  Past participants have had great success with creating community-sourced fundraising campaigns and also with finding private donors to support their participation.

If you would like to discuss any of this further, please contact us.


For more detailed information on the Fall 2017-Spring 2018 Core Immersion Program click HERE



Alumni of our Ecology of Leadership courses may return to our Core Immersion program in one of three capacities - reviewing, the Advanced Track (EOL in Action), and by joining our facilitation team.  

We also offer specialized programming for alumni, such as our Mojave Desert immersion program, and weekend programs such as the EOL women's retreat. For information on the Mojave Desert program click HERE.

Please visit the Ecology of Leadership website for detailed descriptions of these options.


  • "It feels so right – nature as guide/teacher/elder. I have also learned effective processes for decomposing stories that no longer serve me. I am speaking with more power. I am more open and coming from my heart rather than my head. As I change, everything else in my life shifts as well."