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Below is a list of all of the 10 (Editor's note, now 9, as Christopher has withdrawn) candidates who are standing to be "selected". Click on each name to view their extended bio, and/or my comments.

For all the nominator feedback (140 bits of community feedback apparently!) and the shorter bios from Bencom, click here:


The page you are on will be updated as any further candidate information comes in. 

If I don't get resumes I will put in my own thoughts on each and why I think they are brilliant - as a placeholder. I don't know everyone on the list so well so it's a bit variable and I only got longer bios from some.


My long-winded one is at the bottom if you are interested.

Tessa Brock

With nearly 7.5 years of service and residence in the Findhorn Ecovillage, I have been deeply engaged in sustainable living and community development. My educational journey has included achieving a Bachelor's in Business Administration, earning a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy, and currently pursuing a diploma in Integrated Counselling at UHI/Moray College.

My journey with the Findhorn community began in 2016 with an Experience Week, followed by a Spiritual Practice Week and a two-month service exchange in Cullerne Garden. Since then, I have continued to volunteer intermittently and have previously worked at the Phoenix Café. I also had the honour of serving on the NFA council for two years, underscoring my commitment to community engagement and development.

I have played a significant role in the Moray Ecovillage Development Project, through GEN, leading training initiatives for 20 communities throughout Moray and providing one-year mentorship to community groups of Rothes, Cullen, and Keith, assisting them in their community projects, whilst in collaboration with other local organisations like tsiMORAY. My involvement with the Global Ecovillage Network for over three years allowed me to travel to ecovillages across Europe and Africa, gaining valuable insights, participating in training, and contributing to the network's conferences.

Born in post-apartheid South Africa, I possess a profound understanding of collective trauma, and community dynamics, which has been further enhanced through my formal training in this field. In addition to my private practice as a qualified and licensed hypnotherapist, I have actively supported our community's youth group, seeking practical ways to translate their ideas into meaningful actions. I also have the privilege of co-running the Women's Red Tent, a bi-weekly gathering that provides crucial support for the women of our community. My commitment to community engagement, personal development, and collective healing is a driving force in my journey within the Findhorn Ecovillage.

I believe I can offer valuable skills in community and business strategy, development, and networking with local organizations and international communities through the GEN network. My ability to provide a youth voice and take meaningful action, along with my expertise in modern business practices and marketing, positions me as a bridge between generations, fostering collaboration, communication and continuity between the younger and older community members.


Moreover, I have a unique capacity to integrate business knowledge, sustainability, and holistic health awareness to empower our community with freshness, vitality and efficacy, whilst in keeping with the heart, soul, legacy and ethos of our community. I am quite dynamic and adaptable and willing to learn new things. As a therapist and counsellor in training, I’m good at active listening, holding space, communicating, and doing things with empathy and authenticity.


As I reflected on this role, it resonated as the right fit for me, and I'm excited to contribute to our vision and enrich
our community with fresh ideas, a lot of love, and practical steps to build our strong future.

Tessa is great - under 35, maybe even under 30, with a combination of a business mind and understanding of marketing and communications (especially digital) to her GEN style younger demographic, who are so key to our next 60 years. She is also trained in renewables and now training in counselling, so she balances empathy, eco and business. In my view our community needs to do as much as possible to get new younger people here and one of the ways to start doing that is to have them represented in leadership and listen to their unique insights on their own group, to start to create projects and a culture that is more dynamic and attractive to the young, whether that is a build school for cool eco-innovative tiny homes or a festival or food production or an attractive community centre built as a village "barn -raise" (as we used to) that creates some of the vibrancy that Angsbacka's community cafe does, as the hub of their thriving young culture. When I spoke to Tessa recently I felt very aligned with what she feels our community needs to revitalise and attract the next generation. Whether it is now, or co-opted on soon, I believe youth (under 35s) need a voice and leadership role in our community's governance. Longer term I believe youth should get together and themselves elect their representative, but Tessa is a great first one, in my view.

Ian Chorlton

I am from Manchester, England, where I lived until my early twenties, I spent a few years in London and various other parts of the UK, including Wales, before settling in Salisbury for 22 years.


I am married with two daughters who are based in Brighton and Bristol respectively. I did a degree in Civil Engineering in Nottingham graduating 1990.

I have worked on the contracting side of the construction industry in civils and building in various site and office-based management roles, working on both large infrastructure projects and smaller projects including hospital fitouts, hotels, schools, and housings.

In management I enjoyed working with many different people and particularly excelled at team building and problem solving.

I have experience as a site-based manager organising subcontractors, liaising with clients and designers, and managing health and safety.


I have also been involved in recruitment and staff appraisals and conflict resolution. I have experience in bid management and presenting tenders. I have also carried out presentations in schools.

In 2021, after 31 years in main contracting I decided to take a break from construction and reconsider how I fit into the world and how I could contribute more to the everchanging landscape and looming crises that the world now faces.

We spent a few weeks travelling round Scotland and revisited Findhorn to see if the energy aligned with ours and if it was the right time to make the move we had been considering for many years.

I first came to Findhorn in 1995 to do experience week which was like nothing I had ever done before and changed my perspective on many things, particularly how people can work together to achieve a cohesive and enlightened vision. How we can live simply with nature and learn from many different cultures and life experiences.

I have always been aware that there are challenges in any community and arrived here with my eyes open knowing that all the recent difficulties during Covid meant it was a very different place from my time here in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

When we left Findhorn again after a few weeks stay in mid-August 2021, we were still drawn to returning so we sold up in Salisbury and waited for the right opportunity to arise.

I remember receiving a phone call on a Sunday whilst out on a Wiltshire walk from the person who was living in the house we now own. Eight weeks later we had arrived, 30th November, right at the beginning of dark nights and winter, but with the lure of snow and northern lights.

I had a very gentle start; I did a 120 hr TEFL course online then began teaching business English online through Preply. I also had some health issues which took until June 2022 to resolve.


In July 2022 I took a role with the FDT (Finderne Development Trust) a charity organisation to manage an affordable housing project in Rafford. This was a different role for me working in the charity third sector world but one that excited me. I was keen to be involved in both The Community I lived in and the surrounding Community near Forres. I was now employed by eight volunteer directors funded by the local wind farm working on very local community projects.

The role includes fund-raising, working with Communities Housing Trust, Scottish land Fund and Rural Housing Burden. I have also been involved in rural broadband, community transport, local employment, and several local micro-projects.

My main project was managing the development of 12 affordable homes in Rafford. Working with the community and the  design team to deliver sustainable but reasonably priced accommodation to keep families and communities together.

I have attended Development trust conferences, energy conferences, worked collaboratively with Moray wide Development Trusts, and visited local businesses. I have also been involved with Transition Town Forres.

Within the park I have volunteered in the hinterland and woodland garden, I hold a regular writing group, I have hosted open mic nights and performed poetry. Although I am most recognisable when walking around the park with my Chocolate Lab, Molly.

I very much want to be part of the positive change that the community desires working collaboratively, harnessing nature, rebuilding, and recreating. Change is inevitable but it’s vital that we work together for cohesive change that benefits the community now and in the future.


Ian for me is a brilliant candidate for this next phase of Bencom because he is deploying lots of money for community development in our local area from a large windfarm, working specifically on a 12 house affordable passive house (very high eco, very low energy bills) project. The project is based on Scottish Land Fund money and Rural Housing Burden money, and the right relationships with Moray Council, which our Land Fund Adviser, Paul Harrington, told us 2 or 3 months ago we need, even for Stage 1 funding.

I have talked about him a fair bit on my FB group because talent like Ian can get overlooked in the process we just had, it was complete coincidence that I ended up on one of Spencer's walks with Ian and Linda and discovered the spot on skills he has for what we need!

Ian is a Civil Engineer who has led large development project contracting for one of the huge firms. If we had had that sort of expertise on our side when Duneland chose to take on Kier, we would have saved shareholders, and ultimately the community somewhere between £100-200K in my estimate. We need such professional skills here.


He is also a keen organiser of open mics, very creative with his writing and rapping, music loving and a bundle of high energy, get things done kind of guy (unlike his dog) and just very nice and easy to get along with and work with.

His wife Linda just had (I am guessing the really hard) task of working for FF HR letting everyone go including herself, so I am sure she has a ton of empathy for the laid off co-workers, who basically built this place historically, and ended up very poor at the end of it, with no financial security. We need empathy, we need to help the ex-co-workers (as Terry has also mentioned).


Creating affordable housing is one very tangible way to do that and the more free money we get the more we can create. Ian gives us a real boost on our Scottish Land Fund chances, I think.

Christopher Raymont

I have been drawn to the idea of serving the Bencom since I first heard about it because I have long had an intense desire for our community to become genuinely intentional in its own right, rather than simply existing in the ambience of the Foundation.


The NFA has already done a huge amount to build that sense of community and now, moving towards owning its own land in a genuinely democratic body, feels like the next crucial step in that progress.


I would particularly hope to contribute to building co-operative ways of working together with the NFA and other fantastic community organisations like PET, Ekopia, THA etc. I hope that these will maximise kind communication and facilitate simplicity and clarity. I think this will require much creativity and nerve.

I am concerned that I am short of available time and know very little about development and capital finance, though I have a good understanding of accounts! I notice that I would probably stand aside if it would enable a team, which already covers my particular interests well, to form.


Brief CV: Degree in Environmental Studies, University of London – 14 years organic farming – 13 years Cullerne Garden (focaliser for 12) – 10 years gardening and then co-managing Newbold House – 6 years book-keeping for charities and social enteprises (ongoing).

RUPERT'S THOUGHTS AS PLACEHOLDER - In my view Christopher is a really safe pair of hands, who has had plenty of focalising positions here over the years, but perhaps doesn't have some of the political bagage that other long-termers do that so far, in my (well-informed) opinion, has got in the way of good negotiations with the FF Trustees.

He impressed me on our recent "nominees zoom" meeting when he summed up precisely what the skills are that we need for the next 6 months.

I could see him being an excellent chair or co-chair, he is highly collaborative, calm, easy to get along with, non-controlling, and has the best interests of the community at heart.

He could also be the Treasurer which we really need (that skill is in short supply here - just ask overworked underpaid Fasil - the heroic volunteer on multiple boards!) because he has an accounts practice.

He is very strong on organic farming and that is important for our future here, not least because younger people love to come work in food production and are happy to live in basic, quirky accommodation while they do so. Cullerne has always been a hub for under 30s, slightly anarchistic, culture here and Christopher is part of a leadership team aiming to take care of Cullerne while FF decide what to do with it down the line.

In the future, he might well be a cross-org unity candidate as he may be sitting on another Board doing brilliant things for Cullerne, I believe (not to jinx his potential appointment - sorry Christopher!). Bencom needs to have cross-org collaboration to do maximum good for the community so I am keen on candidates who have such cross-over.

Last but not least - his son Tom is an excellent, Mayor of London award-winning, eco-architect who grew up in our dunes, and gets young people's needs here, and is very open to the voice of nature and innovative, community based design, has a genuine Buddhist spiritual practice, and would love to help. Perhaps Christopher could negotiate "mates rates" from Tom ;)! (full disclosure, Tom is a good friend of mine!). His daughter Ellie is also someone who has done lots of arts funding and produced events and shows so would be a long term talent to plug into the Universal Hall and help any big community arts events or festivals we might want to do to attract young people or create an income stream.

So, as well as his mature, calm, well-liked by the "major players", chairing and treasurer skills he may be able to rope his kids in, and use his organic farming/Cullerne stewarding skills to help us with next generation succession, and younger people attraction to our community.

Mari Hollander

I feel strongly nudged to be available to the BenCom project in whatever way serves best. Thanking those who nominated me.

I can visualise the BenCom as an opportunity to strengthen community coherence, build a collaborative responsiblity for the Park ecovillage as our Community hub, and play a significant part in co-creating the ‘next 60 years’.

Recently, I  retired from the Foundation where I had a short term contract to support the leadership team; and before that in 2022, a role in education admin support. 

I was the course coordinator for Findhorn College (2007-2020); Findhorn College Board director for Findhorn College (2015-2021) and am the board chair for Findhorn WindPark ( 2005-current).

Previously a Trustee of the Findhorn Foundation for 10 years, I resigned in May 2018; I was the  management team chair for the Findhorn Foundation 1999-2006.

As  founding parent in 1985, I became a teacher (1990-1998)  of ‘then’ Moray Steiner School; and served many years on the School Council as chair.

I worked in the Ecovillage department 1987-1990; Spent a year in “Personnel” and was an Isle of Erraid resident 1979-1985. I joined The Findhorn Foundation in 1977 to learn about group consciousness and deepen my appreciation of subtle realms beings.


I imagine I have 3-6 hours - most weeks - for this project as a volunteer board member.


Initially, I anticipate Board time will be needed to refine details of how the BenCom can work and serve

and how the board would work towards those aims.


There is a big project to discover what the 'community' of members who signed up to the prospect of a 'BenCom buyout' are actually envisioning and what, as a collective, 'we' are able and willing to resource ?


Exploring those points seem crucial first steps to me 


What can i bring to the table ?


Ample familiarity with the Park ecovillage background, history, context of how we got to where we are.


A deep hopefulness that the BenCom becomes the  vehicle that enables us to become a genuine intentionally eco spiritual community. A collaborative cohesive coherent ... community - it feels close 


SmatTerings of experience with boards, with chairing, with community meetings, with eco education, with spirit lead atunements, and with budgeting ( time, money, opportunities) , with asset development and renewables, with getting to 'yes'. 


And an enjoyment in learning new stuff.

RUPERT'S THOUGHTS - I have known Mari since she was Chair of Management (CEO) in 2006 (actually from before that as a young person myself here in the nineties terrifying the parents) and her ex-partner Loren since I did a Men's group with him (I love that warm hearted man) and Craig in 1993 or thereabouts. Mari worked at that time ('06) with Geoffrey Colwill (CFO) and they were a strong competent team.

Later she became a FF Trustee for ten years. So she really understands the FF Trustee experience from the inside. 

Mari has done all sorts of leadership things here, and humble things, worked with the college and the American and eco-type students a lot, and is razor sharp (in a good way).

She is an elder with lineage but she has seemed really positive towards youth on the EDE courses and many other courses over the years, enthusiastically supporting their innovative eco-development and food growing build designs from memory.

Mari sits on the NFA Council so would be a cross-org candidate.

Bencom should at least have one NFA person on its Board, I think, not least for the voice of the wider community, beyond Park residents. (Another one might be Anni Broadhead who I don't know personally but am told is excellent).

Without in any way pre-determining what she might want because that's up to her, I could see Mari as e.g, bringing benefit to FF Trustee negotiations because she was one of them for years; leading an education and conference revenue stream, especially youth and eco-directed; or as a chair or co-chair, or simply an NFA cross-over, collaborative, elder lineage holder - basically part of a high functioning, high intelligence, diverse team, in multiple meanings of that term. In other words, she brings a lot in multiple dimensions.

I love the idea of having a very smart Board, combined with Findhorn values and lineage, so long as it doesn't stay inward and insular and what I call "Findhorn arrogant", only rating known players, or hyper-controlling, which sometimes has happened with long-termers / elders.

But that's why I like Mari's outward looking, education, young people welcoming sensibility.

Mari helped transition Terry in, I believe, so hopefully has a good relationship there as well, which obviously would be helpful!

I think we need a balanced Board in terms of age, long-termer vs new faces, and women and men. I think it is important to have really seasoned long termers with connection to the founding impulse. In my view you may have to choose which of the elders with long-term lineage and relationships we want on the Board unless we decide to go for a bigger Board (which is also an option and may be more resilient - all hands on deck, all wisdom captured!). Otherwise I don't see how we can get that balance and diversity. Mari for me is a very strong candidate to be that elder if we can have only one on the Board. But a biiger Board could also solve that.

Somehow I hope this Board seat limited to five thing doesn't get in the way of harnessing all the brilliance that is here, the spiritual depth, the long term lineage connections, the wisdom keepers -  so I would hope for self-organised groups around each Board holder or as an advisory council - elder lineage; youth group;  young families; development skilled; Spirit; Nature or whichever "role" or "representative role" it is.

Ross Jenkins


I feel excited about the director role but apprehensive about the role growing into something that I simply can't do justice to. My capacity to read the large amount of text surrounding this role is low and lagging behind and my availability to write an intelligent response is also continually challenged by a busy working life, alongside a committed family schedule. 


These factors have led me to write a brief clear statement about my level of engagement with the opportunity, should I be chosen for it. I think it's essential that my expectations and limitations be crystal clear to enable anyone to vote for me.


I will be available for around 6 hours a month for scheduled board meetings and reading preparation beforehand. I have no time for this to grow into a larger role including the preparation of background material writing updates, etc. Please do not vote for me if this is the expectation that you hold.


If you value my decision making and fair representation, please be aware that I will be pushing hard for increased opportunity for families and young people as this is what I believe the Park needs to survive. I'll encourage and search out high impact innovation around the issues of housing, work and property ownership. I'll bring the question of "how does this impact families and youth?" to each item we debate on the board



Ross is my neighbour - across the way from me with his partner, dog and young family. He is under 40 and knows what the young family experience, and the young family housing and financial issues are, of being here. This is very important direct knowledge.

He is a relatively "new" face, like Ian, and we really need these new faces, and younger generations, to create balanced boards, succession, and fresh leadership here in my view.

Ross has impressed me with his collaborative approach to the differences between Collective Architecture's (CA) Local Place Plan and the Alternative Call for Ideas group of 20-30 or so that Viv Wylde led so well and passionately. He has teased out the similarities and differences, in his role as THA committee member, and engaged with the community to listen, and I imagine in the future help work through the key hot button issues he identified.


This is really helpful and needed work to get to Common Vision here and I know the Nature Group think well of him.

As we, via THA, paid quite a bit into getting that CA work, I think it was good that THA really took on board that more community listening was needed, and Ross as I understand that, has done that with high integrity.

Ross also has some really innovative ideas about things like stackable housing that you can deconstruct easily and ways to have affordable housing in perpetuity especially for youth, etc. I haven't really got to the bottom of his ideas yet but I like the direction of travel I have heard so far.

As a THA committee person he also start to bring that cross-org unity we need, so that Bencom creates maximum coherence, unity and benefit here.


He has in addition very practical building skills (like Benja who was also nominated but I think self-recused). A build school, doing innovative stackable housing for example, is just the sort of way you could imagine young people getting attracted by our community, creating cool modest energy efficient eco-housing for themselves, and "barn-raising" type team work projects, gaining skills, and making a practical difference in the world. This could actually help local youth too, not just GEN-ers from afar.

John Fulton

RUPERT'S THOUGHTS AS PLACEHOLDER - JR is a highly experienced architect who has been part of significant amounts of student housing builds for the University of Washington. What this means is he understands how to build modest type housing suitable for young people on a budget and timeline. I think he told me they did 2000 units at the university, that is serious real world experience!


JR has been working extremely hard on all things to do with Park development, from the Collective Architecture local place plan process to the initial planning for the Bencom. In other words, he is an incredibly loyal servant to the community. He was here in the 1970s so gets that early high vision time of our community, when Peter and Eileen, with Dorothy, were running things. He has been part of the Cullerne House buy out project.


His wife Cally has real estate sales experience and sits on the Duneland Board so he's a two for one type candidate! JR prefers to stick to the 200 word bio so his resume won't be coming here but I encourage all of you to go to talk to him to find out what you think.


In my book JR, Ian Chorlton and Ross Jenkins would all be fantastic in one way or another with anything to do with development. Each has diffferent strenghts and sits at different ends of the process - Ian is very good for the strategic Scottish Land Fund and Rural Housing stuff we need right now, JR is architect and master planning, Ross is very practical build end but also involved, in a real collaborative way with community planning.

So my hope is one of these gets on the Board and then forms a small team around themselves with all the development talent so we don't lose any of it. To that you could add Michael Bailey, Marcus Linder, Ian Rippon, etc - i.e. people with very solid development, building experience and who are quantitative and deal with major investment in Michael's case. I beleive JR is already lining up that kind of grouping.

Jonathan Caddy

Well Jonathan needs no introduction! He is the longest term resident of the proposed candidates, son of the founders, brought up as a child here in the earliest days of the community, and many more things over the last 60 years (!), including the wonderful work at Hinterland. He captured this well on the longer bio he circulated to Bencom so all you need to know you can find there (scroll down as the link has all 10). If you want a direct lineage, direct founder connection, longest of long termer candidate then he's your man! Jonathan's big thing is recreating unity and simplicity and I agree with him, and I suspect most candidates share that view too.

Hugo Klip

Hugo didn't want to add a resume when I asked and was content to follow Bencom's 200 word bio type process as he considers that more respectful to the interim Directors so I won't say more here except that I find him a high integrity guy and have enjoyed his input to governance. It feels a bit odd to write long things about some people but not others but I respect everyone has different approaches to these things. Here is a link to the Bencom bios including Hugo's (once you have clicked the link you'll need to scroll down to get to his as the link goes to all 10 in alphabetical order)!

Anni Broadhead

I don't know Anni personally but I keep hearing about her from others I trust who all say she is an excellent, professional, well organised, calm candidate with a legal background and used to dealing with small charity boards or being on one. I hoped to get to know her further before writing about her but she is on Linked In so you can research her and her mainstream professional work at charities a bit more there. Anni sits on NFA council and the PET board I believe and was formerly helping THA so as well as the excellent references from others on her all around professionalism she could be a cross-organisation unity type candidate. She is also a relatively new face here, probably under 50, and of course the candidate options out of the 10 are a bit male-dominated, so she brings a lot in various kinds of diversity as well as fundamental good Board type skills. Sorry not to have more to say on Anni.

Rupert Davis

BIOGRAPHY (c400 words). Resume below that.

I’m standing because I think we, collectively, have a huge opportunity to re-engage and revitalise our community, and be inspiring again to the world, including future generations, via community ownership - with community selected leaders focused on a Common Vision.

As the NFA's Community Buy Out co-ordinator, and 'off my own bat', I’ve been working hard on the buy-out for six months, engaging and informing the community, helping get 330 or so of you signed up with the help of brilliant Eveline, explaining why a buy out can help us, and spending time building trust with the FF Trustees who have to decide to sell us the assets in the first place.


I was part of the initial Scottish Land Fund meetings, have a relationship with their representative Paul Harrington, and understand the process.

I have been recruiting amongst the talent in the community and the nominees, not just for the Board but to make sure we can plug as much of our talent in as possible, in this new organisation and the community in general. I believe in all of our talent here, not just a few people's.

I started my own spiritual practice in ’86. I came to Findhorn in ’91 and did as many of Eileen’s workshops as possible along with LCG, Seva, YP assistant, etc. I feel strongly connected to Eileen specifically.


Along with 7 years of training in facilitating groups and counselling I have a training in finance from JP Morgan (so I balance soft listening and hard business skills).


In the past, I have raised significant amounts of money for eco, spiritual and social positive impact start-ups, based on business plans I wrote, and then built teams and made them happen.

In my current business (, which is focused on recruiting senior leaders to drive eco-transformations across large businesses and investor portfolios, I have negotiated contracts in the £2M type size with some very hard-nosed lawyers from large firms on the other side. I built that business up to a $10M valuation at its peak, along with Barney Walker, Alex’s son. I have sourced £2M in potential back-up money if the SLF funds don’t come through.

I have had success with timely, to budget, affordable, small-scale development here on the Park. I first proposed a terrace (high profit used to subsidise affordables) model as a way to get to affordable, high quality eco-housing for FF staff, retirees and young people here, and bring FF two million of new assets,17 years ago.

I appreciate very much all of your lovely feedback and nominations.

I strongly believe in a community-led model, run simply and effectively, for the benefit of all.

Thanks for considering me.

Rupert (3rd Nov 2023)


  • It would feel good to me to create more eco-affordable, modest housing for youngers/elders, truly integrated into nature, as one part of revitalising community. (As a young person I experienced first hand the difficulty of not having secure housing here. It made a huge difference to my productivity, mental health and flourishing to finally have a secure place to call home)

  • For the rest of the revitalisation, I believe we need to listen well on all levels (spiritual, nature, psychological, interpersonal and financial), draw forth a Common Vision from our members, work out / integrate some of the shadow issues in the culture, and then look forward to the thriving, dynamic and fun community that comes from a participatory, member-engaged, community-led approach :)

  • It seems blindingly obvious the new CC should be very high on the list of what we get on with

  • I would like to see this community flourish again and make the biggest difference in the world it can

  • I would happily stand aside if there is a Board constellation that is stronger without me in it




1985 - 1989 | Between School and University

  • Focused on helping create a fairer, peaceful, loving and ecologically sustainable world.

  • Eco and social activist at high school - part of Anti-Apartheid movement; CND; the Green Party

  • Direct action (‘86-’87) in Australia against climate change and biodiversity loss in a rainforest

  • Trained in micro-renewables, soil building, permaculture, organic food production

  • Discovered Eastern spirituality via the Bhagavad Gita, lived in an Ashram


1989-1993 | Ashram to Academia

  • Returned from 3 years “out” in Australia to study under Don Cupitt and Mary Warnock

  • BA/MA Hons - Religion, Philosophy, Natural Sciences (1st Class, Top)

  • University of Cambridge Bronowski Prize; Girton Senior Scholar (’92)

  • JP Morgan Finance Program (’92-’93)




1993 - 2000 | Groups Can Save the World!

  • Seven years training in group facilitation, counselling, psychotherapy and NVC

  • ‘94-’95: Post-grad Diploma in Group Facilitation, Institute of Development of Human Potential

  • ‘95-’97: MA in Psychotherapy & Counselling, Regent's College, London, (distinction)

  • ‘93-’98: Many retreats in psychodrama, gestalt, Buddhist compassion/mindfulness (FWBO), Celtic shamanism, men’s work, gender reconciliation, conscious/ethical relationships, etc.

  • ‘98-’01: PhD studies (ABD) as Fulbright scholar at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Initial focus: creating altruism through groups and group work. Later focus: altruistic business to make a better world.

  • First project - creating centres in cities

  • Nine-month training in Non-Violent Communication; also, Byron Katie work, Voice Dialogue with Shakti Gawain, Process Oriented Psychology with Lane Arye and others


1999 - 2001 | In San Francisco

  • Student Leader, Board Trustee, California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)

  • Elected to the Board by the students as their representative

  • Worked closely with 1000 students, the Chair of the Board, other Trustees, and CEO, to achieve an engaged student body, empowered to manifest their own vision

  • We changed the culture from “no you can’t” to “yes you can” in less than 3 months

  • Using a servant leader approach, a small team of us drew out the common vision, encouraged student participation, and facilitated the creation of self-organising groups to manifest that vision (which was to build community across the graduate school)

  • Raised awareness of the $60K budget via high visibility, collaborative, “barn-raising” projects

  • From that successful awareness platform, then encouraged as many students as possible to create as many community building projects, of multiple kinds, of their own, as possible

  • Revolution from previous v.small student gov body which had spent the money on themselves

  • Required standing up to old order, some transitional power struggles & conflict but the net result was a much happier, empowered, thriving community culture that went from strength to strength, with a massive growth in student participation in self-governance


2000- 2006 | Ethical Business to Create a Better World

  • ‘00-’05: Founded, wrote the business plan, and raised $750,000 for “BodhGaia”: a startup that emerged out of my studies at CIIS, focused on ecological, spiritual and community impact, with the ambition to become a co-operative once we reached critical scale.

  • My financial training at JP Morgan after university proved extremely helpful to the fundraising

  • Our purpose was to create centres in large global cities - where community building, spiritual teaching, social regeneration, and ecological awareness was deeply needed

  • Our first centre was in the San Francisco Bay Area: we ran spiritual programs with a Tibetan Buddhist Rinpoche; encouraged cross-cultural exchange, diversity and planet love with arts, music, dance, exhibitions & films from around the world; ran conflict resolution trainings in NVC, and other growth courses; and promoted ecological approaches to the future

  • Jane Macduff’s son, Sam (a former Findhorn youth!) worked with us

  • Reached operating profitability (financial success) in two months (albeit based on lots of volunteers...sound familiar!)

  • We had large community backing: a 5000+ email list, and many volunteers, because people loved what we were trying to do and the way it felt to be in our team. They “felt the love”

  • ‘05-’06: set up "Full Spectrum", a centre for alternative medicine in San Francisco, working for the millionaire founder as the COO, including hiring staff, creating an advisory board, driving communications, and establishing strong expert supervision from Stanford, Yale, etc.


2006 - 2008, 2012 - 2014 | Eco-development

Part 1 (2006 - 2008)

  • In ‘06, I returned to Findhorn from San Francisco. The Foundation needed money and I wanted to serve so I applied my entrepreneurial brain to help

  • I noticed that about £5M of profit had been created in the Field of Dreams, but had landed in private owners’ hands rather than the community’s

  • I proposed to Foundation leadership that we develop a terrace for FF profit and use the proceeds to subsidise creating eco-affordable, quality housing for staff, community and guests

  • This would have generated about £2M in asset value for FF and affordable high-quality accommodation for 20 residents. My idea / business plan was not taken up.

  • I returned to San Francisco to work for the Obama Campaign and later started Sustainable Means


Part 2 (2012 - 2014)

  • ‘12-’13: A few years later, I took my “big idea” for the Foundation and used it on a micro-scale to create secure long term affordable housing, for myself and my friend (and ex-FF co-worker) Helen Martin, by building two very simple flats on the last plot on the Field

  • I made sure we had a good contract and kept to a tight timeline and budget, using simple and cost-effective design and management, financial and legal skills

  • Flats were sourced from a Swedish co-operative, built to Graham Meltzer’s eco-design in their factory. They were up and weathertight in two days, with no waste!

  • Project cost was £1350 per square metre vs. the standard £1500-2000 psm, at that time

  • Initial contracting and negotiation skills meant we won a big insurance claim (£60K) when the sound proofing and heating system were done badly

  • Such legal conflicts can be an expensive challenge in Park developments, but we won ours


2007 - 2008 | Progressive Politics

  • Volunteered for the Obama campaign, serving in California & cities and towns in Texas

  • I learnt, then led, empowerment and engagement of diverse communities (mainly African American and Latino) - enrolling and supporting people to become local leaders

  • The campaign ended up with 2 million volunteers (like me – i.e., I was small fry) in different states through this empowerment approach, taking people from passive supporters to active local leaders - “Yes We Did”


2009 - 2022 | Recruiting Leaders

  • ‘09: founded the start-up Sustainability Action Inc (see for more)

  • Our purpose was to accelerate the transformation to a sustainable, just and regenerative one planet economy, by recruiting climate and eco-focused leaders and then putting them into some of the world’s biggest firms and investment firms, at the most senior levels we could

  • ENGIE, the top 10 global utility, is a good example - we set up ENGIE Impact across 15 countries to support cities, universities, communities and companies to get to zero carbon, via renewables, circular economy and more

  • One of our leaders now reports to ENGIE’s Group CEO directly, as Chief Strategy Officer, with a focus on green transformation across the entire $65B, 160K people firm

  • We also worked with some of the world's biggest investors who share planet positive values

  • Our contracts ranged up to $2.5M - i.e., I am used to working with "big" money

  • I personally negotiated large contracts and won concessions against legal teams from some of the world’s toughest negotiators, including Goldman Sachs!

  • I’m used to building small purpose driven organisations, and their start up teams, from nothing, creating good work cultures, sharing success and a sense of making a difference

  • I have hired many Findhornian youth over the years - Alex Walker’s son, Barney, was my brilliant right-hand man for many years; Alice Fryer worked for me for years; I helped Liza Hollingshead’s son Michael, settle in San Francisco, and go from us, to working for Google

  • My startups have helped friends build their own financial, housing and family security whilst doing meaningful work helping better the world, living freely in the countries of their choice.


1986 - Present | Spiritual & Ethical Path

  • ‘86: I was introduced to bhakti and karma yoga via the Bhagavad Gita

  • ‘87-’88: my wife and I followed a "Mother" guru whilst living in an Ashram doing meditations, pujas and “work as love in action”

  • ‘89-’90: studied Religion & Theology at Cambridge (then Philosophy, then Natural Sciences)

  • ‘91: experienced that ecumenical, non-sectarian blend of inner listening, prayer, meditation, nature immersion and ethical service that is uniquely Findhorn, when doing FX

  • ‘93-’98: followed a Sufi mystical school briefly, then the Western Buddhist Order in London

  • ‘98-’05: continued with Buddhism (Thich Nhat Hanh and Spirit Rock, San Francisco Bay Area).

  • These days I have an eclectic mix of Eileen style prayer and Buddhist practices and ethics


1991 - Present | Coming Home?

  • ‘91: Experience Week (FX), just before my final year at university. I remember the feeling of coming home, arriving in Cluny

  • ‘91-‘06: FX through long-term guest programmes such as LCG, Seva assisting with the Youth Project, volunteering in Cullerne. I took as many workshops with Eileen as I could

  • Like many of us, I helped, in my tiny way, build the fabric of our community as a guest and volunteer, so have that sense of contribution and ownership: (e.g., Universal Hall steps; sweet pea delivery (!); stone seats in the Original Garden with Craig & Loren etc., etc.)

  • 1000s have similar stories - not least the decades-long serving members who gave up all financial security to loyally serve, with no hope of housing security or pension in old age, which is why I hope FF will give the land back to the community at a very reasonable price!

  • I still feel a deep connection and love for Eileen who was 50 years and a day older than me - my biggest claim to fame is that she took me backstage to see Mike Scott!

  • ‘13-Present: I moved back once I had created secure long term eco-accommodation

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