CAPE – Custom Academic Programs in Ecovillages – was founded in 2016 with the mission of “bringing sustainable education to life through custom programs based in ecovillages.” Incorporated in Vermont in 2016 as a Benefit Corporation, “a type of for-profit corporate entity, authorized by 33 U.S. states (and DC) that includes positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals,” CAPE is required to deliver to each shareholder an Annual Benefit Report and make it available to the public. In this report, you will find:
- A statement of ultimate goals and outcomes,
- Actions taken to attain the identified goals or outcomes
- Challenges in past year
- Current and next steps in attaining its goals and outcomes
- Assessment of social and environmental performance by a third-party standard
- Names of Directors (including compensation and ownership)
- Ultimate goals and outcomes
CAPE Consulting’s mission is to bring sustainable education to life through custom programs based in ecovillages – communities integrating the ecological, economic, social and cultural dimensions of sustainability.
Ecovillages – intentional communities that integrate ecological, economic, social, and cultural sustainability – are ideal campuses for experientially learning about human-scale solutions to our global ecological and social crises. From indigenous communities to high-tech cohousing developments, ecovillages are experimenting with ways to live both well and lightly.
After deeply connecting with people devoted to creating a sustainable future, students return asking: “How can I make a positive difference in my own life, in my own community, and in the world?”
- Actions taken in 2017 to attain the identified goals or outcomes include:
- Creation of branding materials including logo, website, brochure, video, business cards, table drape, etc.
- Engagement with showcase ecovillages to create ~20+ profiles on website
- Soliciting and reaching out to academic contacts from showcase ecovillages
- Reaching out to over 100 personal contacts within higher education
- Sharing updates on social media (especially Facebook, LinkedIn and Post Growth Alliance)
- Sharing on relevant listserves such as SECUSS-L and GreenSchools
- Re-engaging Sustainability in Study Abroad group on LinkedIn (now over 330 members)
- Presenting at numerous conferences such as AASHE, NAFSA, and Bioneers (Great Lakes)
- Keynoting at the CCIS Conference on Sustainability in Study Abroad in Costa Rica
- Creating Partnership Agreements with the Global Ecovillage Network and Gaia Education
- Current engagement with several institutions re: CAPE Programming
- A 2019 May term program at Cloughjorden in Ireland
- A Gap Year program in an ecovillage in upstate New York
- New Gap Year programs in Auroville, India
- … and others…
- Challenges in the past year:
While CAPE received positive interest from many potential partner institutions, ecovillages are still “off the map” to many program providers and it will take time for them to appreciate the value of creating custom academic programs in these communities for their students.
Also, due to unforeseen family circumstances starting in May of 2017, CAPE’s Founder and Executive Director, Daniel Greenberg, needed to take on other work, which led to a significant reduction in time available for CAPE. He still extensively promoted CAPE during those months, but was able to accomplish less than he would have had he been able to devote all his time and energy to CAPE.
- Goals and actions for 2018 include:
- Goal: Market CAPE to 500+ professionals
- Offered a webinar in partnership with GEN that had ~200 registrants and ~80 viewers
- Offer additional webinars based on the success of the initial one in March
- Continue sharing of updates on social media (especially Facebook and LinkedIn)
- Continue sharing on relevant listserves such as SECUSS-L and GreenSchools
- Continue engagement of Sustainability in Study Abroad group on LinkedIn
- Present at AASHE, NAFSA, and possibly other conferences/venues
- Goal: Develop partnerships with five organizations
- Explore closer collaboration with GEN Education and/or Gaia Education
- Explore collaborations with other custom program providers
- Goal: Develop three programs
- Continue dialogue and program development with interested institutions
- Third-party assessment of CAPE’s social and environmental performance
Over time, CAPE intends to become certified as a B Corp (not to be confused with a Benefit Corporation) by B Lab in order to meet rigorous third-party standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Daniel completed B Lab’s online assessment, but most of the questions pertained to longstanding organizations with multiple employees, so, while it provides a good roadmap to pursue, it was not relevant for current conditions. The Quick Impact Assessment Snapshot Report provides details.
- Board Members
|Ethan Hirsch-Tauber||Benefits Director||$0||0.0%|
|Kosha Joubert (GEN)||Director||$0||GEN: 2.5%|
|Giovanni Ciarlo (GE)||Director||$0||GE: 2.5%|
CAPE continues to have immense potential and is moving forward, albeit more slowly than first anticipated. It is hoped that current connections will evolve into programming in 2019 and CAPE will be able to expand rapidly from there.