Thomas Legrand is a wisdom’s seeker, living in France next to Plum Village, the monastery of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Holding a PhD in economics, he works in the field of sustainability for UN agencies, NGOs and companies.
Holding a Ph.D. in (Ecological) Economics and having studied international development, political science, and management, Thomas Legrand works in the field of sustainability for UN agencies, private companies, and NGOs. His focus is on forest conservation, climate change, sustainable finance, and organizational transformation.
His spiritual journey began at the age of 23 with an encounter with native spirituality in Mexico, before embracing the wisdom of a wide range of traditions and practices, including meditation, energetic healing and Tai-chi-chuan. He lives with his wife and their two young daughters near Plum Village, the monastery of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in the South West of France, his country.
His spiritual search, his thought as a social scientist and his professional experience have gradually converged on the importance of spiritual wisdom in humanity’s ongoing transition. Searching for a way to mainstream this understanding in the political and sustainability conversation, he has dedicated much of the last 10 years to researching and reflecting how we can radically rethink our model of development. The result is this book.
“What do we have except the possibility to walk a path with heart?”
You can find more on Thomas’ journey in the book, in particular at the end of the introduction. It is part of the excerpt you can receive by clicking here. You can also read the following blogposts on his spiritual, scientific, and professional journeys.
Helping humans reaching their human potential. With this calling in life I serve, cooperate and co-create to proesses of inner change and systems change towards sustainability transformations.
Chimère Diaw is the Director General of the African Model Forest Network (AMFN) and a member of the International Networking Committee of the IMFN (International Model Forest Network). He is one of the Coordinating Lead Authors of the ongoing Africa Regional Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for IPBES, the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. A member of the Board of Directors of Ecoagriculture Partners, and of the LDC Independent Expert Group (IEG) on the UN Post-2015 agenda, he also is the convener in Cameroon of the Forest Governance Learning Group (FGLG), a network coordinated by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and active in 11 countries.
Chimère holds a PhD in Economic anthropology from Laval University, an MA in Rural Sociology from Michigan State University and a Master in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Dakar. He has been a researcher and programs manager for 35 years, 20 of which as international scientist with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), and the AMFN. Chimère has led or contributed to several international programs on Adaptive Collaborative Management, Governance, Verification, Environmental Services and Rural Livelihoods, Alternative to Slash and Burn, Environmental Decentralizations and Criteria and Indicators of sustainable forest management. His research interests and publications include African history, migrations, and modeling of the share system in fisheries, tenure regimes and property rights, climate change mitigation and REDD, governance of biodiversity and multi-stakeholder landscapes, Model Forests, participatory action research and interactive social methodologies. Chimère has lived and worked in Senegal, the United States, Canada, Indonesia and Cameroon.
The International Model Forest Network (IMFN) is a voluntary global community of practice whose members and supporters work toward the sustainable management of forest‐based landscapes and natural resources through the Model Forest approach.
Lanying is currently the Executive Deputy Dean, Institute of Rural Reconstruction of China in Southwest University at Chongqing. Here she has developed and implemented projects, training/workshops and study programs in the area of sustainable agriculture, environmental education, health education and participatory development approach for poverty reduction. Her own field of interests includes participation for better governance, rural education for individual development and collectivism as well as sustainable development for the poor and marginalized people to be out of poverty and inequality.
The Sustainability Institute (SI) was established in Lynedoch Ecovillage in 1999 to provide a space for people to explore an approach to creating a more equitable society.
At the core of the SI’s work has been finding ways of living that sustain rather than destroy the eco-system within which all society is embedded. Our focus on children led to the founding of the Creche, now called the Lynedoch Childrens House, and AfterCare programmes. Our partnership with the School of Public Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch built up our Masters and PhD programmes in Sustainable Development.
Today, the SI is an international living and learning centre providing learning experiences in ecology, community and spirit.
Our learning programmes start in the Lynedoch Childrens House, are extending through our partnership with SPARK Schools in Lynedoch, are practically oriented in our Learning for Sustainability FET College and promote both research and practice through our University of Stellenbosch degrees. Our research and practice maintains a strong focus on sustainable African futures, through our student and faculty research and our growing research consulting programme.
We are looking to build our understanding and learning in core areas we recognise as critical in supporting the transition to equitable, just and thriving futures.
Our focus on flourishing food systems, social innovation, optimal resource flows and transformative learning from birth, supported by meaningful partnerships, will continue through embedded and relevant research, teaching and practice.
Samdhana, in Sanskrit, means a peaceful coming together, a giving back.
The Samdhana Institute’s vision is for a region where natural, cultural and spiritual diversity are valued and environmental conflicts are resolved peacefully, with justice and equity for all parties.
Achieving this requires that communities who directly manage their local natural resources, local and indigenous peoples have clear rights, have ready recourse to justice, have strong and skilled leadership, as well as stable financial resources and access to appropriate technical support.
Samdhana is a community of fellows who after learning with farmers and indigenous peoples, are committed to inter-generational and universal values of nurturing people, nature and culture. It was formed in 2003 by a small group of rights, environment and development practitioners who share a commitment to ‘giving back’ what they have learned to the next generation with their knowledge, experiences, and extensive local and global networks.
The Samdhana Institute offers an institutional home and living community for those who wish to devote more of their time and energy to the work they are most passionate about.
Seeding the co-evolution of Earth and her inhabitants
The Institute for Mindful Agriculture (IMA) will help re-shape agricultural theory and practice to create a world where individuals are once again strongly connected to the source of their sustenance and where food is grown in active dialogue with nature and distributed in a socially just manner.
To meet its responsibilities in the future, this new agriculture will require us to consciously develop mindful life practices. Only then will it be able to support the co-evolution of Planet Earth and her inhabitants.
The Biodynamic Association awakens and enlivens co-creative relationships between humans and the earth, transforming the practice and culture of agriculture to renew the vitality of the earth, the integrity of our food, and the health and wholeness of our communities.
The research at LUCSUS focuses on sustainability challenges such as water conflicts, food security, land use changes and urban transformation – and is often conducted in international cooperation. We have a strong international research profile through the centre’s involvement in the Earth System Governance Project and by the appointment as a Right Livelihood College. We also coordinate the Linnaeus program LUCID (Lund University Centre of Excellence for Integration of Social and Natural Dimensions of Sustainability).