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The Institute for Ecosystem Based Living 

Exploring How Humans Can Become a Keystone Species on Planet Earth

The Institute for Ecosystem Based Living explores the natural world through art, science, food and social practice with the goal of humans becoming keystone species on planet earth. By changing our systems, we can improve habitats for all other creatures. But first, we must change ourselves and find our way back to our role as earthlings.  We are fractals of planet earth, part and parcel of this spinning orb and we can contribute to the health and well-being of all life on earth. We just need to adjust our systems to create their own self-generating, healthy habitats.

Earth shows us how to do it through biomimicry, but our unique humanness can craft a new future as well.  Art engages our creativity, science ignites our sense of wonder, food is pleasure and a visceral connection with the earth, and community provides us safety and sociability and the increased capability for impact. Rapidly advancing technologies like robotics and AI can accelerate change for the better or for the worse – depending on the future we imagine for ourselves. We are faced with only two options – change or destroy our home. As frightening as  change can be, it’s the only reasonable choice, and it can be a process filled with beauty, awe, pleasure and wonder. 

2024: The Year of Not Knowing

Nature invites us to enter uncertainty and to expand our capacity for navigating it, along with greeting and exploring fear and wonder as they appear in our lives. We have limited knowledge on how ecosystems work, let alone intersect to create the biosphere, so how can we know the unintended consequences when we manipulate systems that we don’t understand?


In 2024, as a starting point for systemic change, we’ll explore what we don’t know, starting with dark matter and energy, which makes up more than 95% of the universe; and yet we have less knowledge about the ocean than space, but robotics have enabled us to explore depths of the sea. Artificial intelligence is empowering us to map genomes of microscopic sea creatures in real time, Through this series, we’ll learn about the galaxies that exist in the soil and the ecosystems of microbiome of our bodies and how geography creates our weather systems by watching hawks ride the upwells of the Marin Headlands. So join us in these adventures of not knowing.

  • Voyages: AI & The Ocean
    Voyages: AI & The Ocean
    Sat, Jun 22
    Spaulding Marine Works
    Jun 22, 2024, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    Spaulding Marine Works, 600 Gate 5 Rd, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
    We know less about the ocean than we do about outer space. Artificial Intelligence is changing that. Come learn what some of the smallest and largest creatures in the ocean have to teach us. Dinner from new cookbook Forage. Gather. Feast. by Maria Finn
  • Love, Grief, and Octopuses in the Monterey Bay
    Love, Grief, and Octopuses in the Monterey Bay
    Sat, Aug 10
    Venue TBD
    Aug 10, 2024, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    Venue TBD , Monterey/Santa Cruz
    In this event we’ll explore the depths of the Monterey Bay Canyon and all that we don't know about our own minds and capacity for learning. With neuroscientist

The Participants


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