Rachel Economy is a poet-performer, ecological educator, design-thinking strategist, and gardener. She is the owner of Index For The Next World, an online hub of story-publication, skills-education, and human-centered design consulting for those seeking to build a world that thrives. Rachel holds a master’s degree in Social Innovation and Sustainability from Goddard Graduate Institute (GGI), with a concentration in Transformative Language Arts and a master’s thesis exploring narrative re-design as a part of social change and ecological justice. She teaches gardening, needs-based design, systems thinking, writing & performance, permaculture, group facilitation, maker & homesteader crafts, and embodied nature connection skills to all ages, in rural and urban settings.
We talked to Rachel about early moments in gardening, and her participatory relationship with the land and plants. Rachel’s way of doing design thinking and systems thinking includes thinking about a whole ecology, whether she’s working with organizations or gardens: whose land are we on and what repair needs to be made with the original inhabitants; and asking and receiving permission from plants and people. She says, “Goddard let me pay attention to story and ecological systems at the same time.”
Rachel’s poetry chapbook, “The Origins of Streams,” was published by Finishing Line Press in January 2021. On poetry Rachel says, “Poetry is an inherently sensory form, and therefore an ecological form.” You can find that chapbook, the Index for the Next World issues, and more of Rachel’s writing and work at www.indexforthenextworld.com.
Books and Authors:
Donella Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer
Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
Queer Nature: https://www.queernature.org/