The instinct of most politicians is to hack problems to pieces and then tackle them bit by bit with targeted legislation or departments or high-level envoys. But in an interconnected world, that's not enough.

— Joshua Ramo

How We Work

Sourced By Place

What is sustainable depends on where and when. Every place is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

In locations as diverse as Mexico City and Paonia, a small town in Colorado, we use Story of Place™ to discover core patterns that predate humans, that still exist, and offer rich clues to healthy interrelationships. Through “kitchen table” conversations, in scientific and historical data, in Indian legends and even novels, we find clues to the underlying patterns of a place, and its people. In lifting up those patterns, we honor the distinctive character of the land and the community. People see what activities and aspirations are appropriate for the place, so that the community can recreate itself systemically and sustainably. The challenge comes in discerning the inherent patterns that reveal the essence of a place — we have a talent for that.

With an authentic and compelling story as a meta-framework, we use our understanding of how living systems work to help communities find the critical leverage points where small interventions ripple out into large transformations. Then we help create and employ strategies and solutions that are integrative and holistic: combining policies, programs, and design solutions to bring about multiple objectives.