Our Mission

Mission Statement

EcoCiv propels scholars, activists, and policy experts toward realizing an ecological civilization ― a fully sustainable human society in harmony with surrounding ecosystems and communities of life. We provide momentum for integrating work across sectors that leads to concrete action, including grassroots innovations, policy reform, and laying the foundations for a sustainable future.

Core Belief

We believe that the rapidly growing environmental movement requires an orientation that is neither too short-term and specific, nor too long-term and abstract to offer concrete guidance. Formulating the minimum demands for a sustainable human existence on this planet ― an ecological civilization ― provides the necessary roadmap and grounds the hope that we can and will succeed.


It is our vision to help formulate a new paradigm for human existence on this planet. Activists and scholars around the world are weaving together their visions and their actions into a radically new story.

Working together with our partners, we aspire to

  • cultivate an emerging ecological civilization
  • illuminate the path toward a sustainable society
  • shift the story toward a hopeful, sustainable and just world, one step at a time
  • bring about relationships of harmony among humans, animals, ecosystems, and the planet as a whole.

The Four Steps to HOPE

Holistic Thinking: We create community across the sectors of society to cultivate an emerging ecological civilization.

Outreach: We highlight and share the stories of our partners to help shift the narrative to a more sustainable future.

Partnerships: We gather policy makers, visionary thinkers, and other key actors who can act as guides to illuminate the path to a sustainable society.

Education: We host gatherings around the world to encourage hopeful, imaginative responses to the challenge of climate change.

Working at the intersection of theory and praxis, we amplify narratives of hope that motivate, guide, and direct. As humanity works its way from the current environmental threat to reaching a sustainable society, only the transformation to a radically new story will suffice. Where hopelessness arises, we call others to join us in walking toward ecological civilization, one step at a time.

– Turning Ideas into Action for Civilizational Change


EcoCiv works nationally to link grassroots innovations with policy experts, helping to focus research and activism on the final goal of an ecological civilization.

Toward Ecological Civilization (EcoCiv) is a think and action tank, working with experts and practitioners to develop a comprehensive roadmap toward sustainability. Together, we seek to identify how social, political, and economic life needs to be organized if humanity is to achieve a sustainable, ecological society over the long-term.

An affiliate kindergarten program in China that focuses on ecology and the common good.

EcoCiv conducts core research into the requirements of ecological civilization, works with policy makers to formulate sustainable policies, and supports the first major steps toward societal change. Leaders in business, government, and the nonprofit sector recognize that much rhetoric in the environmental movement lacks a theory of change. Some voices offer dire warnings and statistics without solutions. Some inspire with emotions and big ideas but offer only unworkable or idealistic “solutions.” And many offer plans and products that claim to be sustainable or green but that leave the fundamentals unchanged.

EcoCiv advocates for fundamental changes in human thought and action that are necessary for humans to live in a just and sustainable manner. We believe the time has come to encourage and cultivate ecological worldviews which emphasize the deep interconnectedness of the whole of life and invite us, amid our respective efforts to help heal the world, to recognize the interconnectedness of our efforts to reform our destructive systems. These emerging worldviews are based on an awareness that we are a part of a larger web of life.

Under this affirmation—the deep interconnectedness of the whole of life—currently fragmented sustainability movements (groups working on saving species and healing the oceans on the one hand and groups seeking justice for the exploited and peace among nations on the other), can be united in shared values and deeper commitments that would enable us to support one another without giving up our special foci.

Because environmental conditions are deeply tied to economic, political, agricultural, educational, and other practices, achieving a sustainable civilization will involve a shift in awareness and values and a significant rethinking of current structures and practice in a more systemic fashion than has been true in the past. This is what we mean by “ecological civilization”–the convergence of sustainable practices within and across all significant sectors of society.

EcoCiv carries out its mission in multiple venues. It promotes academic research which takes ‘ecological civilization’ as a subject of research, bridging the gap between theory and practice. It promotes public education through courses, conferences, and social media. It highlights and helps amplify the voices of people who are providing indispensable information and inspiring social change: scientists, economists, business leaders, religious leaders, and artists, for example. And it helps locate and support projects that implement the principles of an ecological civilization in concrete, local settings. The latter is especially important, since ecological civilizations do not exist in the abstract. They exist only where big ideas come down to earth: that is, in local communities that are creative, compassionate, multicultural, participatory, ecologically wise, and spiritually satisfying, with no one left behind.

Download EcoCiv Brochure (PDF)

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