Core Team

Edie Farwell

Photo courtesy of Clemens Kalischer

Edie Farwell, Founder and Director

Edie’s founding vision of the Sustainability Leaders Network (SLN) is that each individual has the opportunity to unfurl their innate talents and passions, and to contribute these gifts in service of global sustainability. She dreams of a respectful, healthy interaction between the Earth and its inhabitants, where most of us are doing all possible to conduct ourselves and our lifestyles to be life-sustaining. Edie strives to increase her capacity to reach this goal, and to encourage and inspire others to join in.

From 2002 to 2010, Edie promoted this message of leadership for sustainability by serving as founding director of the Donella Meadows Leadership Fellows Program of the Sustainability Institute. The Fellows Program offered transformative leadership skills for sustainability professionals in non-governmental organizations, business, military, tribes, philanthropy, and government. Edie co-designed the curriculum’s focus on systems thinking, reflective conversation, the discipline of vision, and creative expression, and served as a leadership coach for four cohorts of the Fellows Program. Through SLN she continues to work with alumni Fellows and key partners to further their impact as strategic sustainability thought leaders, instigators, and actors.

Edie works closely with the Buckminster Fuller Institute and in 2009 served on the jury for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge to award a $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of a solution that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.

Previously Edie was director of the Association for Progressive Communications where she coordinated the early adoption of information and communication technology by an international network of civil society organizations, including several United Nations world conferences in the 1990’s. Edie has an MA in Cultural and Social Anthropology from the California Institute of Integral Studies and a BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College.

She raised her two sons at the Cobb Hill Cohousing experiment in sustainable living that Donella Meadows co-founded in Hartland, Vermont. She now lives with her family in Norwich, Vermont.

Photo courtesy of Clemens Kalischer (c) 2009

Dominic Stucker, Co-Founder and Senior Associate

Dominic is a collaborator and researcher who brings together diverse action teams to address pressing sustainability challenges. Dominic is facile with group processes and able to thrive within different cultures and sectors. He cares deeply about the Earth, the community of life, and future generations, and envisions a world that is just, sustainable, and peaceful.

As Senior Associate, Dominic consults SLN on concrete projects and supports the Donella Meadows Leadership Fellows. Before coming to SLN, he worked in Costa Rica and Sweden with Earth Charter International. Dominic is currently Senior Project Manager at the Collective Leadership Institute.

Dominic earned his MA in Environmental Security and Governance from the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, MA in Teaching from Brown University, and BA in Comparative Literature (English, French, and German) from Stanford University. He lives with his wife and 7-year-old twin boys in Potsdam, Germany.

Jay Mead, Art of Sustainability

Jay leads our efforts in the Art of Sustainability, stimulating exploration and creativity as essential approaches for achieving personal and professional goals, for creative problem solving and for better understanding and working with systems.

Jay has been creating environmental art for over 30 years. He has worked with Bread and Puppet, Cristo, The PuppeTree and was a core member of Wise Fool Puppet Intervention. His work has ranged from large installations to processions and performances. Aside from the USA, he has had projects in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Brazil. During this period of time, he has taught art from kindergarten to the college level.

In addition to performance, community art, and workshops, Jay creates and exhibits sculpture and painting. View images and videos of Jay’s work on his website.

Jay is listed on the Vermont Art Council’s Arts Directory. This means that schools in Vermont can apply for streamlined grants to bring him in for a workshop or residency. Learn more on his website about the teaching he does and the grants offered.

Jay lives in the Cobb Hill Cohousing experiment in sustainable living with his family in Hartland, Vermont.

Stephen Leslie

Photo courtesy of Margaret Fanning (c) 2013

Stephen Leslie, Sustainable Farming

Stephen Leslie owns Cedar Mountain Farm at Cobb Hill Ecovillage. Along with is wife, Kerry Gawalt, and daughter Maeve, he manages a small dairy herd of Jersey cows and a horse-powered community supported agriculture (CSA) market garden. In parallel, Stephen leads our Farm Program.

Stephen is an author, artist, and Ashtanga Yoga teacher. In March 2013, his book titled “The New Horse-Powered Farm: Tools and Systems for the Small-Scale Sustainable Market Grower” was published by Chelsea Green. The New York Times featured an article on Stephen and his book. In addition, you can read several of his publications here.

Stephen plans to develop a Farm Apprenticeship program with a particular emphasis on learning to farm with draft horses. In addition, apprentices will engage with market gardening, dairy production, and community living. Meanwhile, he and Kerry train farm interns annually and host several local school groups throughout the growing season.

Carl Bielenberg, cropped

Carl Bielenberg, Better World Workshop

Carl is the founder of the Better World Workshop, co-located in Cameroon and Vermont, USA. He earned his MSc in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Carl has a unique combination of thirty years’ experience in technology development and dissemination in Africa, focusing on crop processing and energy, and more than twenty years in the design and sale of biomass (woodchip) fueled boiler plants in New England. He has worked on the problem of providing affordable motive power to villages in Africa since 1991, including research and development in vegetable oil substitution for diesel and biomass gasification.


Heather Buckner, Grant writer

Heather has a decade of experience in a several roles developing, funding, and managing programs and initiatives focused on environmental and social justice. Heather earned a BS in Environmental Science and American Studies from Tufts University in 2010, where she began her foray into climate justice work as the campus leader and state media coordinator for Students for a Just and Stable Future.

Following several years of direct project and behind-the-scenes management work for conservation oriented non-profits, Heather co-founded and directed Smoky Mountain Corps, a training center in Burnsville, NC, offering residential leadership, training, and service programs for young adults focused on sustainable agriculture, conservation, leadership, and community connection. She is currently developing a sister program at her homestead in South Royalton, VT, Sugar Mountain Center along with her husband Sean Ogle. Heather also works in experiential education, permaculture design, and gardening, and offers consultations, training, and workshops around ecological gardening, permaculture, and intentional living.




Johanna Bozuwa, 2012 – 2016 Intern

Johanna is a graduate student in the Netherlands at the Universiteit Utrecht studying Sustainable Business and Innovation. She earned her B.A. at Barnard College of Columbia University in Environmental Policy, where she was an Athena Center for Women’s Leadership Studies Scholar. She is studying the application of systems thinking to provide and communicate sustainable solutions for a more economically, socially, and environmentally just and equitable future.

Her high school internship with the Sustainability Leaders Network in 2009 catalyzed her commitment to climate action through system change. She has continued to work alongside SLN in various intern capacities over the course of seven years. In her professional experience, Johanna worked and advocated for effective climate education as the Director of Education at Earth Day Network. She is also currently an Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) and Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network Fellow. On her campus, she is an active member of Fossil Free Utrecht University, a group of students that work to liberate their education from the harmful influence of the fossil fuel industry.

Taylor Knoop, 2013 InternTaylor Knoop Picture, cropped

Taylor Knoop was our summer intern in 2013. She continues to pursue a degree in International Relations and Environmental Science at the College of Wooster in Ohio.

Originally from Rhode Island, she was greatly inspired by her semester abroad in Ladakh, India as a junior in high school. Participating in Vermont Intercultural Semesters (renamed Frontiers Afar) in spring 2011 widened her view of the world and increased her belief in interconnectivity. It shaped the basis for WorldYato, an organization Taylor founded as a fundraising effort for sustainable water projects, and for “Learning in Ladakh,” an educational program for elementary students about open-mindedness to other cultures.