Guiding principles for bringing about the change we seek

Picture of Stacey Sobell

Stacey Sobell

Director of People and Culture

Photo credit: Heldáy de la Cruz

Our core values drive our decision-making, inform our strategy and more.

What are the guiding principles at the center of how we want to bring about the change we seek? What are the touchstones we look back on when we need to course-correct? In 2017, along with our strategic re-focusing on equity, climate change, and regenerative economies, we took a deep dive into our core values.

The following list of values was generated collaboratively, with participation and input from our entire staff. While some of the values are already a true fit, we recognize that others are aspirational. The task now before us is to take these values from paper to action as a foundation for our culture and operations. Moving forward, these values will drive our decision-making, inform our strategy, set expectations for how we work together and with others, and guide our employment practices.

In my new role as Director of Talent and Culture at Ecotrust, my job is one of service to our staff: to keep them engaged and thriving. One important part of that work is ensuring that our core values are integrated across the organization — that we live our values and that they both define and differentiate us. As we work to transform our culture, these values will serve as our guidepost to drive the change we seek — not just in our region writ large, but internally in our own organization.

Drive radical, practical change

We believe that radical, practical change is both possible and necessary.

We act on this belief by questioning the status quo and relentlessly pushing fresh thinking that drives social, economic, and environmental change. We pursue systemic versus singular impacts, and we seek to inspire others to be a part of the change that we all want to create in the world.

Collaborate with humility

We believe that change is most durable when it is driven by humble, respectful collaboration.

We know that our work rests on the relationship we build and the communities we work within. How we show up in partnerships matters: We listen, we are open to others’ needs, and we seek to play a role that is both effective and appropriate. Collaboration begins here with our team, we respect the time, talents, and contributions each of us brings, knowing that open and honest feedback is essential to our success.

Place matters

We believe that place matters, and that change starts here at home.

Understanding the unique characteristics of the places we live, work, and play is critical to progress. While we pursue place-based solutions specific to our region, we believe that our work here will inspire change in other regions and beyond.

Put equity at the center

We believe that equity must be central to our work.

We honor other ways of being and thinking, we recognize that we are on land that is not our own, and we respect the fundamental sovereignty of American Indian Tribes, First Nations, and Alaskan Natives. We work to shift power, resources, and privilege to disenfranchised communities, which is fundamental to the change we seek. We are committed to examining the roles of race and class in defining opportunities, and we place a priority on dismantling systems of oppression. We are committed to building cultural awareness and facility through discussion, education, and accountability to the diverse communities in which we work.

Enable others

We enable others to create the change they want in their communities.

We value our role as capacity builders, and we work to support informed decision-making with knowledge, technology, convening power, and creative capital. We share our point of view, but we do not create an agenda or show up with one-size-fits all solutions for others.

Build business as a force for good

We know that business can be a powerful force–one that has too often retained power for the few at the expense of the many.

Rather than adopting a for-profit or nonprofit mindset, we see building responsible, for-purpose businesses as core to our work. We help build both supply of and demand for goods and services with social and environmental value through research, consulting, and investment.




Ecotrust Events’ Community Grants program offers nonprofits the opportunity to use an event space, free of cost.

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