Emerging Leaders Forum 2021-2022

The forum brought together a selected group of emerging leaders, online, for 6 months to undertake a journey of inquiry into
Eco-Centric Perspectives.

The ICA team, along with academics and indigenous thought leaders from India and Australia, guided the group through a learning journey that included experiential group processes, facilitated self-inquiry sessions,  monthly lectures, talks and discussions, and coaching sessions via Zoom calls.  

These sessions helped them to discover how a shift in world-view (towards ecocentrism) could impact their environmental leadership and consequently, the projects they work on.

Participants have been supported through facilitation and coaching from the ICA team, invited mentors, and a moderated peer to peer online forum. 


Freya Mathews

Freya Mathews is an Emeritus Professor of Environmental Philosophy at La trobe University.

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She is the author of several books and over seventy articles in the area of ecological philosophy. Her current special interests are in ecological civilization; indigenous (Australian and Chinese) perspectives on “sustainability” and how these perspectives may be adapted to the context of a contemporary global society; panpsychism and the critique of the metaphysics of modernity; and wildlife ethics in the context of the Anthropocene. In addition to her research activities, she manages a private biodiversity reserve in northern Victoria. She is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Godwin Vasanth Bosco

Godwin Vasanth Bosco is the lead conservation gardener and researcher with Upstream Ecology.

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I am a restoration-rewilding ecologist based in the Nilgiri Highlands in India.  For close to 10 years, I have been studying this incredible landscape and have also started one of the first grassland nurseries in Southern India. I grow nearly 100 native species of grasses, shrubs, herbs and trees to work on holistic regeneration ecosystems. Using various approaches and by working along with several stakeholders in this landscape, through my setup Upstream Ecology. I work towards improving the ecological security of the Nilgiri Biosphere Region (nearly 5000 sq km). 
Throughout these 10 years, I have also been conducting interdisciplinary research of this mountainous landscape, born of life-long awe and fascination of the incredible complexity and history of this landscape. I came out with a book titled Voice of a Sentient Highland where I look at the colossal story of this region.
One of the focuses of the book is in presenting my findings about intelligence and signs of sentience in these mountains – at the geological level, and how this evidence here can help science globally accept that lands indeed to possess intelligence.
I feel that much of the world’s crisis is rooted in the way lands are treated and extracted from, and I am hoping this understanding can help in a significant way to change this dominant global perspective, upside-down.

I have also started a new start-up called Iyaraka, where I am working on plant-baed solutions. This regenerative enterprise is for creating holistic economically viable solutions for deteriorating agricultural and plantations sectors, with falling income rates, while restoring ecology.

  Other than this I am also a singer and have recently launched my first song  ‘Wanna Hear You Sing’, which is about wanting to hear the lost song of an old forest that once stood, and a call for change.

Ashish Kothari

Ashish Kothari is is one of founders of Kalpavriksh, a Non-Profit Organisation in India which deals with environmental and development issues

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Member, many people’s movements. Taught, Indian Institute of Public Administration; coordinated India’s National Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan, served on boards of Greenpeace International & India, ICCA Consortium; judge on International Tribunal on Rights of Nature. Helps coordinate Vikalp Sangam, Global Tapestry of Alternatives, & Radical Ecological Democracy. Co-author/co-editor, Churning the Earth, Alternative Futures, and Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary

Danielle Celermajer

Danielle Celermajer is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney, and Deputy Director – Academic of the Sydney Environment Institute.

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Danielle Celermajer is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney, Deputy Director of the Sydney Environment Institute and lead of the Multispecies Justice project. Integral to her academic work is the intentional multispecies community in which she lives. Her publications include Sins of the Nation and the Ritual of Apology (Cambridge University Press 2009) and The Prevention of Torture: An Ecological Approach (Cambridge University Press, 2018) The Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age (Bloomsbury 2019), The Subject of Human Rights (Stanford 2020), and “Justice Through a Multispecies Lens.”

Through the experience of living through the black summer bushfires with a multispecies community, she began writing about a new crime of our age, Omnicide. Her latest book, Summertime (Penguin Random House, 2021) was written in recognition of the critical urgency of conveying the complex conceptual recognition of the multispecies harms of the climate catastrophe in ways that can provoke affect and hence action.

Shrishtee Bajpai

Shrishtee Bajpai is an explorer, researcher, and chronicler of stories narrating alternative worldviews, challenging the status quo and whispering the sounds of resistance-reconstruction and hope

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She helps in coordinating the Vikalp Sangam process in India that intends to weave systemic alternatives and networks for collaborations, cross-learning, and co-envisioning the futures.
She is a core team member of Global Tapestry of Alternatives, a process that is documenting radical alternative networks across the world and weaving strategic alliances among them.
She is one of the founding members of the Rights of Rivers South Asia Alliance and is on the executive committee of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. She loves birding, walking, writing, reading, and discovering music.


Lakshmi Venugopal

Lakshmi is the founder and vision holder of ICA. 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. She is the main facilitator of the forum.

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Lakshmi 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).

Julia C. Pullen

Connection was always at the centre of my reality. I felt deeply connected to all beings, to earth and animals as well as humans. Since I started on my own healing journey while following the spiritual path my sensitivity increased…”

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To feel the earth and her pains as well as her incredible gifts added another layer to this connection.
My path lead me to leave my home in Berlin, Germany where I was living for about 13 years. I worked with individuals and groups/teams as an Organisational Psychologist by facilitating development and transformation as well as training skills and creating programs for professionals in the fields of facilitation, coaching and leadership.
At present I’m continuing my learning journey in South India by being a part of Auroville which is a living experiment aiming to different ways of living together that lead to unity in diversity. My biggest curiosity is to follow inner movements that lead to outer expressions and how we can reconnect with our inner source of wisdom and with each other through our hearts.

Inner Climate Academy (ICA)

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

We rely entirely on funding from grants and other donations to fulfill our vision, mission & purpose.


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