Pin It
Favorite

Ghandi Meets Adam Smith 

by Paul K. Haeder & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & O & lt;/span & ne Moscow, Idaho, entrepreneur is looking to precipitate a huge paradigm shift in how businesses develop ecosystems management strategies to heal the Earth.


"In my mind, the question is 'What is a green company?' Ecostructure is working with leading ecological scientists to create a goal-oriented ecological business strategy," says Mark Winstein, founder of Ecostructure Financial.


For Winstein, any company's "ecological outcome" must mesh with its business strategy to fit into what his management company's private investment fund invests in.


Winstein's roots go back to what he calls a hodge-podge war to save the environment. "Hundreds of grassroots organizations in the U.S. were fighting the same set of laws. And then one day they woke up and realized the forests they lived by were gone."


His own background includes living in St. Louis, Tucson, and Washington, D.C. He remembers the day back in 1978 when he saw this big logging truck that was on a road show across the United States carrying a huge tree cut from public lands. Like many innovators, Winstein went west at a young age to hike and be in the wilderness, specifically in the Willamette National Forest. "It was pitiful," he says, "to see just a small percentage left of what was once this incredible forest." As a result of that trip, he was asked to work for a congressman on environmental issues.


In 1990, he co-founded Save America's Forests. "The problem was at the national scale to get major groups together for a coalition," Winstein says. What his group did, he emphasizes, was look at how the environmental movement talked about forest policy.


"It felt like I had participated in a war," he said of his 10 years battling in Washington.


He says that around 1996, a spiritual light went off after pondering the battle lines during six years of policy fights at the Capitol. Winstein harkens back to the moment he found Gandhi's autobiography in a basement. He read it through, recalling a simple affirmation: "I recognize no person on the face of the planet as my enemy."


Winstein then felt there had to be a cultural change in how environmental policy came about. "I wondered about the idea of what if everybody in politics learned one thing about the environment." He saw that political battles are about who has the most money, about not allowing effective leadership to "percolate up" and about not creating lasting solutions.


"With Ecostructure, we are looking at a for-profit mode. We have something to sell," Winstein says. "Large corporations have an ability to shift our culture. There's no reason a profit system can't effect environmental change."


Winstein made the move to the Pacific Northwest several years ago with his novelist and activist wife, Jyotsna Sreenivasan, and Ecostructure was born. "We're building something new that hasn't been done yet in this field," he says, "which is a systematic organization of ecological entrepreneurs around a set of ecological scientific goals for the health of the biosphere. Entrepreneurs, whether ecologically minded or otherwise, all want simplified access to capital and good advice."


Since June 2005, Winstein has been providing no-cost business development coaching to ecological pioneers, and he points out two "eco-preneurs" making "ecological restoration" their mission: Biohabitats out of Maryland and TerraGraphics, right in Moscow.


"I think everyone who wants to be a leader in this field should be able to get the training, technical assistance and financial resources necessary to succeed," Winstein says. "Ecostructure recognizes that there is a development curve for people, especially leaders, and that's why we want to help everyone who is attracted to ecological leadership, not just the frontrunners."





For more information, go to www.ecostructure.us or to www.cleantech.com, which has single-paragraph summaries of more than 600 green businesses.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Class Act
  • Class Act

    Seeing through money differences can build relationships focused on fairness
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Don's Ultimate Con
  • Don's Ultimate Con

    Trail Mix: Trump's birther problems and Johnson's polls
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • Transparent Motives
  • Transparent Motives

    One candidate's an open book; the other is shrouded in secrecy. Guess which one isn't transparent enough
    • Sep 22, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion

Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Paul K. Haeder

  • Work In Progress
  • Work In Progress

    It made sense to me two weeks ago to write an impassioned column on Earth Day. Hell, four months back, when I was first tasked with the challenge of co-organizing a killer of a celebration around Earth Day 2010, I envisioned huge media fanfare, tens...
    • Apr 28, 2010
  • Gutting Classrooms
  • Gutting Classrooms

    Higher education is a great leveler and — especially in these times — a safety net we can’t afford to tear apart
    • Mar 11, 2010
  • Color Spokane's U-District Green
  • Color Spokane's U-District Green

    The U-District could become a model of sustainable growth in the city. Just ask the Dutchman who runs Portland State.
    • Feb 11, 2010
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Murrow's Nightmare

    Debate moderators need to be much more than an onstage prop to make our democracy work
    • Sep 15, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

election 2016


trail mix


BRIEFS


green zone


marijuana


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • 'I Do Not Trust Muzlims'
  • 'I Do Not Trust Muzlims'

    Comments by the wife of Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell have raised questions about his office's impartiality
    • Feb 25, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation