autopoiesis, llc Principals Dr. Stuart Cowan and Kathryn Langstaff have been supporting integrated large landscape scale territorial planning and development since the publication of Ecological Design in 1996 and the design of the Reliable Prosperity framework for bioregional regeneration at Ecotrust from 1999-2002. Starting in 2018, Stuart has participated in national scale regenerative roadmapping processes for Costa Rica Regenerativa, Australia, and Colombia, and with the Common Earth Alliance. Services include territorial planning at watershed to national scales integrating regenerative goals, just transition pathways, biophysical planning, systems mapping, sectoral economic development planning, social processes supporting regeneration, governance, cultural narratives, and evaluation.
autopoiesis, llc Principal Stuart Cowan is the co-author of Ecological Design (Island Press 1996, 10th Anniversary Edition 2007), a visionary integration of ecology, complex systems, and design thinking. The book has been translated into Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin and widely used as a sustainable design textbook.
Reliable Prosperity: Bioregional Regeneration
From 1999 to 2002, autopoiesis llc Principals Stuart Cowan and Kathryn Langstaff worked on the Conservation Economy framework for the ecological megaregion scale regeneration of the coastal temperate rainforest of North America stretching from northern California to Alaska. This took the form of an interactive, online pattern language with 57 patterns addressing social, ecological, and economic transformation across multiple scales, later renamed Reliable Prosperity. The pattern language was later rendered as an experimental "confederated wiki" by colleague Ward Cunningham, who invented wiki technology.
Common Earth Alliance
In his role as Founding Convener for the Regenerative Communities Network, Stuart Cowan is a Co-Founder of and serves on the Core Team of the Common Earth Alliance. This Alliance was formed to support Common Earth as the designated implementation partner for regenerative development for the Commonwealth of Nations. One of its key work streams is supporting regenerative roadmaps for the 54 nations of the Commonwealth.
Costa Rica Regenerativa
Since 2017, Stuart Cowan has been supporting the Costa Rica Regenerativa initiative under the leadership of Dr. Eduard Müller, Founder of the University for International Cooperation. This initiative is now working with the Common Earth Alliance to develop shared protocols for national-scale regenerative roadmaps alongside other nations including New Zealand, Australia, and Colombia.
Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative
Stuart Cowan serves on the Financial Mechanisms and Bioregional Plan de Vida Task Forces for the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative. The Amazon River is vital to all of humanity and one of its birthplaces is under threat from expansion of oil drilling, mining, and new roads that will change it forever. This region spans 74 million acres; is among the most biodiverse places on Earth; and is home to nearly half a million Indigenous people from 20 different nationalities in Ecuador and Peru.
Pine Ride Reservation - Culturally Rooted Buildings & Energy
From 1993 to 2011, Kathryn Langstaff and Stuart Cowan worked extensively on Pine Ridge Reservation with the Ta S'ina Tokaheya tribal non-profit, O'yate O'Tipi Tawapi ("homes for the people" project), and the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, and taught at Sinte Gleska University. Kathryn served as a project manager for William McDonough Architects on a long-term ecovillage development project utilizing natural building, renewable energy, biodynamic agriculture, GIS mapping, and other community economic development opportunities. This project included a prototype of an affordable hydraulic pressed block adobe house with a renewable energy system. With O'yate O'Tipi Tawapi, Kathryn led the design and construction of the first exo-skeleton framed strawbale home on the reservation. Stuart supported the creation of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Renewable Energy Development Authority with significant seed funding from HUD. The Authority was chartered as a tribal corporation to ensure the greatest possible tribal benefits for wind, solar, biomass, micro hydro, and other trail renewable energy development.
Warm Springs Biomass Project
During 2008 and 2009, autopoiesis llc worked on the development and financing of a major biomass project for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. This territorial-scale project would have complemented the FSC certification for most tribal forest lands with power production from restoration thinning and other forest operations.
With support from a USDA Forest Service Resource Advisory Committee grant, in 2007-8 autopoiesis, llc worked with the Klamath Siskiyou Arts Center, the Karuk Tribe, and the Six Rivers National Forest on a regional approach to reduce standing trees in the forest through harvesting 14" DBH roundwood to restore the forest to Karuk basket weaver standards. Kathryn Langstaff created a bioregional building system using "leichtlehmbau" that is fire resistant, which proved to be a visionary building system for fire protection in California. In 2009, autopoiesis, llc worked with the Klamath Tribe on the application of New Markets Tax Credits to large-scale forest restoration.