Our Team

Lakshmi Venugopal – Founder & Vision Holder

With ICA, Lakshmi Venugopal brings her diverse international experience in the environment field spanning two decades, from activist to project manager to researcher to facilitator. She believes that the ecological and climate emergency that we face at this moment in history, is an opportunity for human beings, as a species, to transform ourselves into an ecological civilisation that honours the Earth and all living beings (including fellow humans).

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She is an experienced facilitator of Deep Ecology and the Work That Reconnects. Her sessions help people rediscover their profound connection to themselves, each other and the Earth. Her research on the concept of eco-civilisation, following the work of Freya Mathews, and her deep inquiry into multispecies learning and coexistence, forms a fertile ground from which the vision for ICA flows.
In her words ”Old civilisations of the world, whose philosophies of engagement with the living Universe were developed far before industrialisation may still hold clues to principles of biomimetic engagement with the universe. These principles, when recovered, could be used to lay the foundational philosophy for an Eco-Civilisation. This requires an inter-civilisational dialogue – to remember and renovate old ideas in new forms that will contribute to a re-awakening of human civilisations through a re-engagement with the living Universe, each through their own unique narratives, yet together in their goal of Eco-Civilisation.”

Sophie Baptiste – Project Coordination

Have you ever read  ‘Deep Adaptation : A map to navigate climate tragedy’ by Professor Jem Bendell ?

When I did, I finally realized that I was not alone in feeling such a loss and grief over what we, humans, have done to Nature, to Earth. I also realized that I was not alone in wondering ‘what do I do about it ?’ without having any answer.

Read more I came to Auroville for the first time in 2017 and discovered Deep Adaptation, Deep Ecology, The Work That Reconnects and a few other things. I discovered people trying to make a difference, to invent new ways of living.

Even though I still do not really know if I can fix anything, or change anything, or even make a difference, I’ll try. Joining the Inner Climate Academy project is a way to not feel as lost and depressed by what is happening around me. A way of working through the grief and sadness and hopefully reconnect with people, with nature, with the Earth

Amy Lucksted- Office Coordination

Amy is a yoga and meditation teacher who came to live in Auroville in 2019 seeking a simpler, more ecologically grounded way of living. In the UK, she worked for over a decade in the field of community drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.

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She says ‘A large part of the urge to move to Auroville was the drive to live in more unity with the Earth, and find a way of living that is different from the incredibly disconnected lifestyle and mindset that exists in the West. I think that the themes explored by ICA are important at this time of climate and societal crisis – how can we shift our perspective away from where it sits at the moment, prioritising the accumulation of wealth over the degradation of the Earth? How can we learn to cope with what we have lost, and what we will continue to lose in the future? What can we learn from ‘the way women do things’ and can that learning benefit the wider community?’

” Our interdependence with all life on Earth has profound implications for our attitudes and actions.
We under-estimate ourselves, when we identify self with narrow competitive ego.
With sufficient all-sided maturity, we not only move on from ego to a social self and a metaphysical self, but an ecological self as well.
Through widening circles of identification, we vastly extend the boundaries of our self-interest, and enhance our joy and meaning in life”
– Joanna Macy and Molly Brown, Coming To Back To Life, 1998

ICA is a project of Social Entrepreneurship Association, a unit of the Auroville Foundation.
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