New global initiative seeks to scale solutions for social change
Astrid J. Scholz announced today that she will be resigning from her role as president of Ecotrust to support the Resilience Exchange, a global initiative to accelerate the pace of social change.
Initiated by Scholz in 2011, the Resilience Exchange was formally established by a consortium of ten social change organizations in 2013 with the shared goal of addressing common challenges around the world. The consortium includes Ecotrust, Oxfam America, Mercy Corps, Forest Trends, The Rockefeller Foundation, Grameen Foundation, Island Institute, Context Partners, Development Alternatives, and Blue Solutions.
With financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation and others, the group has been piloting a new approach to social innovation that allows practitioners worldwide to share their best solutions with a growing network of like-minded innovators. The Exchange is set to release the first version of a new technology platform later this fall and has tapped Scholz to work full-time to support development of this new phase of the initiative.
“The question motivating the Resilience Exchange is how do we achieve not the economics, but rather the communities of scale to address the urgent challenges facing us in the 21st century? It is time to roll up my sleeves and put the rich lessons from my time at Ecotrust to work in this new capacity, ” Scholz said of her next adventure.
An ecological economist by training, Scholz has been with Ecotrust for thirteen years, pioneering the organization’s work in developing award-winning tools and approaches to improve social, economic, and environmental decision-making. She served as Ecotrust’s executive vice president in 2012 and was previously vice president for Knowledge Systems, managing a variety of initiatives involving Ecotrust’s analytical capacities.
For the past two years, Scholz has served as president, leading the organization into its third decade bringing social, ecological, and economic solutions to the region and beyond. Under her leadership, the organization has had significant accomplishments on the global stage — pioneering new approaches such as the Resilience Exchange for the sharing of regional solutions with others around the world, and the creation of Point 97, an Ecotrust company that delivers award-winning technology solutions for better ocean planning to international clients.
During her tenure as president, Scholz fostered the development of a strong management committee to provide leadership for the organization as Ecotrust’s founder Spencer B. Beebe stepped into the role of full-time paid Chairman and out of day-to-day management in 2013. That leadership team, including Adam Lane, Amanda Oborne, and Carolyn Holland, are well-positioned to serve as managing directors of the organization reporting to Beebe as Executive Chairman upon Scholz’s departure.
“Astrid is a powerful woman of the world who will make enormous contributions to the fields of conservation and development for a long time to come,” Beebe said. “We are all excited about the opportunities she has created, grateful to her for her leadership over the years at Ecotrust, and enthusiastic about the potential of the Resilience Exchange as a global platform for social change in which Ecotrust can both learn and share ideas emerging from our experience in the rainforests of home.”