James Stark, M.A., F.E.S., is the co-director of the Regenerative Design Institute at Commonweal (RDI). He co-founded and currently co-directs the Ecology of Leadership and the Ecology of Awakening programs which prepare community leaders for the “Great Turning” of our era.
James has committed his life to exploring how we—ourselves, our communities, and our species—might move into harmony with who we are and the natural world. He considers the programs and the garden at RDI to be a nursery for growing visions of the new era, and providing skills and tools to bring those visions to life.
For decades, James dedicated himself to community visioning and organizing in Marin County— during which he co-founded the following organizations, among others:
- West Marin Growers Group (WMGG), which was created to ensure food security in Marin County. WMGG grew into the 5013c, Marin Organic, which introduced the Marin Organic Food Label.
- Waste Free Now, which is committed to West Marin becoming waste free and hosts the innovative annual Recycle Circus including a “Stuff Exchange” for people to redistribute community resources.
- KWMR “Watershed Radio,” which is a licensed 501c3 community radio station in the tenth year of providing a voice for West Marin residences and heard around the world live through web casting.
- CLAM — Community Land Trust Association of Marin, an affordable ecological housing land trust (5013c) created to provide affordable housing in the face of increasing gentrification.
James’ years working with visioning and community development service led him to an interest in exploring how a healthy inner ecology can impact one’s work in the world. As part of that inquiry, he earned a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Like the natural systems and patterns that guide permaculture, his work now is focused on helping others to lead from the inside out and source their lives from deep nature connection. He believes that creating a loving, peaceful inner world provides the soil for the seeds of our visions to grow in the world.