I’m in the midst of a three-city tour (Austin, NYC, and Boston), pitching Emerging Women to investors, meeting our community, and connecting with friends, old and new. On trips like this I’m always amazed by how important each encounter is, no matter how seemingly random.
It wasn’t until I became aligned and “on purpose” with my living that I began to see the intentionality and relevant interconnectedness of everything around me.
When we announced Dr. Jane Goodall as a speaker, I talked about the importance of plugging into our natural ecosystem for energy, connection and rejuvenation. Here’s the thing —your business has an ecosystem, too. And at the core of each ecosystem are the most basic cells that hold everything together: PEOPLE.
“At the core of your business ecosystem are the most basic cells that hold everything together: PEOPLE.”
Here’s a story: I met a young entrepreneur in Austin who had a business that piqued my interest. After connecting briefly, I asked for her card and offered her mine. She looked at my card as if it were coated in something not-so-savory and explained that if I was memorable enough, she would be motivated to track me down – that was how she stayed in touch. Needless to say, she did not have a card herself, and so we parted empty-handed.
Admittedly, I may have challenged my brain cells over the years in ways I would guess this perky, barely-25-year-old had not, or perhaps she has mega-memory super powers.
But what struck me the most here was the missed opportunity. She might have been part of my ecosystem, maybe in a way I wouldn’t learn until much later, but I was curious to find out. I might have been able to connect her to somebody that would complete a vital corner of her world. Alas, I can’t remember her business or even her name as I write this…
If you can hang with the view that everything that enters your field has the potential to nourish your ecosystem, you will find yourself leaning into every encounter with eagerness and true curiosity.
Your ecosystem will naturally grow and flourish – because when you approach things from this open vantage point, you tend to accept a wider variety of species into your world. And doesn’t that make for the healthiest of systems?
“Diversity leads to resilience, which leads to proliferation, which leads to the opportunity for evolution.”
As much as I wonder about the paper waste of business cards (which I could wallpaper my office with at this point), I see them as totems helping me treasure each encounter I experience along the way. I can feel the ecosystem that is Emerging Women growing into a vibrant jungle of feminine power.
What makes your ecosystem thrive? Share your insight with the tribe in the comments – who knows who you’ll add to your ecosystem that way!
Founder, Emerging Women
PS – Nothing stimulates ecosystems like 4 days of inspiration, courage and connection at Emerging Women Live. Early Bird tickets to see Dr. Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dr. Tererai Trent, Brené Brown and more are available NOW. Get yours before they’re gone!
What makes your ecosystem flourish? Share your insight with the tribe in the comment section.
In honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day, we’re celebrating 8-extraordinary women who have continuously advocated and rallied for our earth.
These women work endlessly to implement policies and enact change to preserve and protect our environment – from waterways, forests, access to clean air, oceans, mountains, to the precious wildlife that reside within these ecosystems.
The challenges we face today, especially with the onset of climate change, have opened new opportunities in the environmental sector that has long been filled by men. The progress that has been made by these remarkable women is illustrative of just how dynamic the feminine power really is.
1. Dr. Jane Goodall
Dr. Goodall is considered one the world’s foremost experts on chimpanzees and ecology – it is hard to overstate the degree to which she has changed and enriched the field of primatology.
During her 55-year research study, she defied scientific convention by giving the Gombe chimps names instead of numbers, and insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions. She has harnessed the power of the feminine, instilling such into every aspect of her work – from her research studies to her global work through the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots & Shoots program, which aim to raise awareness and action for endangered species and vulnerable habitats.
Dr. Goodall has transformed the epistemological framework of how we study primates, and has exemplified immeasurable ecological integrity. She will forever be a leading voice in the environmental movement worldwide.
In 1997, Julia Butterfly Hill stormed onto the environmental activist scene in Northern California with her courageous 738-day protest living in an old-growth redwood tree, nicknamed Luna. This incredible act of civil disobedience saved the tree from being cut down by the Pacific Lumber Company and resulted in the raised international awareness for sustainable forest management techniques and the importance of establishing safeguards to protect old-growth trees.
Today, Hill continues her work as an activist, motivational speaker, and founder of the Circle of Life Foundation, a non-profit that trains community leaders to enact social change. Her invincible spirit is illustrative of the immense power that the feminine holds, and the tenets of her legacy – love, courage, devotion – are of immense significance and have made the environmental movement undeniably stronger.
“You, yes you, make the difference.” ~ Julia Butterfly Hill
3. Frances Beinecke
As the former president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Frances has worked tirelessly across political spectrums to strategically develop and execute the organization’s program of work; focusing on curbing global warming, protecting our oceans and endangered ecosystems, developing a clean energy future, addressing toxic chemicals, and greening our global economy.
Beinecke has been instrumental in igniting our global discourse on climate change. She was appointed in 2010 to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling by President Obama. She co-authored The World We Create: A Message of Hope for a Planet in Peril. She is the recipient of the Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award, and her environmental stewardship has been honored by numerous other environmental entities. She is an incredible woman and a force to be reckoned with.
4. Winona LaDuke
Winona LaDuke is an environmentalist, social activist, economist, speaker, professor, and writer. She is Indigenous with Ojibwe ancestry. She began her career in education on the White Earth Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota, and soon realized the injustices that many American Indians, especially women, faced, which led her to found the Indigenous Women’s Network.
She is also the founder of White Earth Land Recovery Project, which fights for the retrieval of 837,000 acres of land to their original American Indian owners. Passionate about Native Environmentalism, she leads Honor the Earth, a non-profit that raises awareness and funding for environmental injustices–such as climate change, renewable energy, and sustainable development.
Bold, brazen, and unrelentingly dedicated to our earth, Winona LaDuke is a leading global voice on environmental issues and sustainability for American Indians and Indigenous Peoples and communities everywhere.
5. Dr. Sylvia Earle
A National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, Dr. Sylvia Earle (dubbed “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker, “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine, and an “environmental badass” by us at Emerging Women) is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer.She has extensive experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and nonprofit organizations, and is the former chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In the 1960s she fought to join male-only expeditions, and has since clocked 7,000 hours of diving, several of which were to record breaking depths. In addition to her PhD. from Duke University she has 22 honorary degrees, has penned more than than 190 publications, and speaks all over the world, focusing on preserving oceanic biodiversity in the wake of climate change.
Thanks to Dr. Earle and her fearless curiosity we know more about our oceans today than ever before. Her lifetime of work has enriched us with a deeper understanding of how to live sustainably and symbiotically with marine life, and our oceans are healthier because of her commitment to environmentalism.
“The only thing that men can do down there that women can’t is grow beards.” ~ Dr. Sylvia Earle on gender equality and deep sea diving
6. Lois Gibbs
Environmentalism claimed Gibbs, perhaps before she could claim it. In 1978 Gibbs discovered that her son’s elementary school in Niagara Falls, New York, was built on a toxic waste dump. Investigations revealed that her entire neighborhood, named Love Canal, had been constructed on top of this toxic site. Lois took to her neighborhood and organized a grassroots movement and battled for years against state and federal government.
After years of fighting, nearly 1,000 families were evacuated and a massive cleanup of Love Canal began. Gibbs’ efforts led to the creation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, a superfund within the US Environmental Protection Agency which is utilized to clean up toxic waste sites throughout America.
Lois went on to to form a grassroots environmental crisis center, the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, where she currently serves as Executive Director. Love Canal is considered one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters, and Gibbs’ fearless heart and feminine leadership has transformed the way the US handles toxic waste sites, and for that, our communities are healthier and safer.
7. Peggy Shepard
Peggy Shepard is arguably the most important proponent of environmental justice issues in communities of color in the country. She is founder of WE ACT for Environmental Justice, a non-profit she created in 1988 to improve the environmental health and quality of life for communities of color in New York City.
Shepard also serves as an investigator for Columbia University’s Children’s Environmental Health Center and is working to open partnerships between researchers and clinicians and local community members to increase environmental health education and outreach.
Shepard was the first female chair of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, a position she held from 2001-2003. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Heinz Award for the Environment, the Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Achievement, and the Susan B. Anthony Award from the National Organization of Women. She remains extremely active in the environmental justice field and lectures often at universities nationwide. Her environmental consciousness is one of integrity and is an amazing leader with a passion for fairness and justice for underrepresented communities that is unmatchable.
8. Laurie David
Laurie David burst onto the environmental stage in 2006 with her Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth. The film received international acclaim and is considered to be a catalyst for significantly increasing global awareness of climate change and for reenergizing the environmental movement. She serves as a trustee on the Natural Resources Defense Council, is the founder of the Stop Global Warming Virtual March, and the creator of Earth to America!, a film raising environmental awareness with a comedic stance.
David is heavily involved in public education and advocacy campaigns, and is involved in lobbying the automotive industry and Congress to increase fuel efficiency standards for vehicles with her creation of the Detroit Project. Laurie David is a leading voice in the environmental movement and has utilized her unique position in the entertainment industry to promote and raise awareness of global environmental issues, amplifying participation and the accessibility of environmentalism.
“Everybody has to look at his or her own footprint and do the best they can. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about doing something.” ~ Laurie David
Know a woman who is making a difference for the environment? Let us know in the comments, or tweet at us @emergingw!
Chelsea has over 15 years of experience in administrative and executive support. After her years of working in the legal and oil and gas industry, Chelsea has made it her passion to fill her life with creativity and incorporates that into everything she does. Her position at Emerging Women allows her to expand on that creativity and assist with empowering women around the world. She is a native of Colorado and enjoys spending time with her husband, her son, bonus son, family, and friends. In her free time she loves camping, painting, and all things creative.
Online Business Manager
Michelle studied Marketing and received her degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her passion for marketing, combined with great attention to detail, and over 7 years of experience in the tech-world makes her a valuable asset to the team! In addition to Emerging Women, she is also a solopreneur and works with a number of different clients in the online business realm. She is an experienced Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant who specializes in marketing operations, project management and online course launch management. She is a Colorado native, mother of two dogs, a cat, and a turtle, and step-mother to an amazing little girl. In her spare time she enjoys live music, good food, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.
Power Circle Administrator
Jen comes to Emerging Women with over 25 years of experience in event operations and volunteer management. She has worked various types of events as a Volunteer Manager for Integral Life conferences and as an Event Coordinator for various large arts and sports festivals throughout Colorado. Alongside her passion for creating and producing events, she worked as a hospital administrator for over a decade in one of Denver’s largest hospitals helping make care affordable to hundreds of patients. Jen was born in Lima, Peru but has spent most of her life in Colorado. In 2016, a year sabbatical morphed into a life living abroad. Jen has been living in Cusco, Peru for the past four years and cherishes her life in the Andes mountains. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the world, playing capoeira, and deepening her yoga and meditation practices.
Director of Power Circles
For over 13 years, Nicole has been a producer and connector in the field of personal and professional growth and transformation, creating diverse content, life-changing curriculum, and exquisite live and online experiences. She loves to unite and facilitate people in their work to live more good, true, and beautiful lives. She’s honored to bring this diverse expertise to Emerging Women. For the past two years she has been the lead producer for Emerging Women Live, and now is bringing her extensive production, coaching and facilitation skills to EW’s Power Circles. Nicole works in private practice as a Certified Integral Master Coach™, through her company, Unabashedly You, and has worked with hundreds of women (and men) individually and as a group facilitator. She also creates programs and interviews fascinating teachers and wellness experts in her role as U.S. Content Producer for Conscious Life. She is the co-founder of Core Integral, an educational company offering a comprehensive and accessible approach to learning integral theory. Prior to this work, she owned a large and lively restaurant and brewery in Pennsylvania. She has studied extensively and worked alongside Ken Wilber (Integral Theory), Daniel Brown, PhD (Tibetan Buddhism, Self-Development, Attachment, and Positive Psychology), and Sofia Diaz (Hatha Yoga and Feminine Embodiment). She holds a Masters Degree from Lehigh University. She regularly delights in the sunshine and mountains of Colorado with her two dogs and her partner Clint, and is a new mama to her daughter Truly Golden.
Founder & CEO
Chantal’s mission is to increase women’s leadership across the globe. After earning an MBA from the University of Colorado, Chantal left a career in medical device manufacturing in search of work that would align her dedication to transformative leadership with her passion for living an inspired, impactful life. In September 2012, she founded Emerging Women, a global leadership and media platform that serves over 70,000 women worldwide and has advanced women’s leadership within Fortune 500 companies such as HP, Oracle and more. Chantal’s ultimate vision is to weave feminine leadership and authenticity into businesses, and to create a world where women have a strong voice in the shaping of our future. Prior to Emerging Women, for over a decade, Chantal served on the executive team as the VP of Sales and Marketing for Sounds True, a multimedia publishing company focused on spirituality, personal growth, and holistic living. Chantal is a sought after speaker delivering keynotes at The Grace Hopper Celebration, Wisdom 2.0, and many other stages where women’s leadership is critical to the conversation. When she is not dancing or working to empower women around the world, Chantal enjoys family time with her husband and two sons in Boulder, CO.