Plants are aware and intelligent beings as demonstrated by recent scientific findings. Yet, plants typically continue to be treated as mere objects for use. In response, The Plant Initiative was started to encourage respectful treatment of plants and to support development of an effective movement toward this goal.
The Plant Initiative works to increase respectful treatment of plants and to advance an effective plant advocacy movement through encouraging policy, law, and activism on behalf of plants.
The Plant Initiative works with others to build partnerships and strengthen networks on behalf of plants through financial assistance, fostering information exchange, and encouraging interdisciplinary and cross-movement collaboration.
The Plant Initiative works to increase appreciation of plants and their special qualities through providing widely accessible educational programs and materials, including building understanding of plant intelligence, plant sentience, and plant consciousness.
Giovanni Aloi is an author, educator, and curator specializing in the representation of nature and the environment in art. He has made substantial contributions to the academic fields of animal and plant studies through his own books as well as Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture which he has founded in 2007. Aloi teaches modern and contemporary art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Sue has been intuitively connecting with the beings we share the planet with since she was a child. She has a B.S. in Biology and has worked for state agencies and non-profits for many years. Sue loves facilitating the connection between people and other beings through intuitive communication. She feels that humans are on the brink of shifting our paradigm about connection and is excited to be part of it.
Walter Furness is an associate professor of geography at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. He completed his Ph.D. in geography at Texas State University with a dissertation on political, philosophical, and ethical dimensions of synthetic yeast. His research interests include science and technology studies, multispecies geographies, and social aspects of food and fermentation. He also enjoys nurturing plants and microbes at home, cohabitating with succulents, herbs, sourdough, kombucha, and other ferments.
Mya Hummel is a graphic designer, illustrator, and nature advocate. Traditionally trained as a scientific illustrator, she has a rich history in science and art education. Her passion is rooted in conservation awareness, and she works to create visually compelling illustrations to share the importance of the natural world. She feels most herself when romping through the woods and you will likely find her painting among the wildflowers.
My connection with plants has been a lifelong pursuit and includes both outdoor gardening and a houseful of potted plants which spend their summers outside and their winters inside (because I live in Minnesota). As a successful gardener, it's important to listen and carefully observe plants' happiness. I believe all living things deserve respect, compassion, and equal rights.
Paul has degrees in biology, agronomy, and marketing and has most recently been studying in the Department of Geography, Environment & Society at the University of Minnesota. He has served as executive director of Cottonwood Foundation since 1992. Paul has a strong commitment to increasing respectful treatment of plants and is interested in plant ethics, plant rights and plant liberation.
Laura Pustarfi, Ph.D., is adjunct faculty in Philosophy and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a scholar and writer focusing on trees in the Western philosophical tradition. Laura is currently working on a volume co-edited with Dr. David Macauley tentatively titled The Wisdom of Trees: Thinking Through Arboreality expected to be published in 2024. She works as the Director for the Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research Certificate Program at CIIS.
August Stolba coined the term Design Ecology to describe his interdisciplinary study of the anthropogenic factors that affect climate change at The Evergreen State College. Since returning to his home state of Iowa, he has dedicated himself to ecological education, sustainable food systems and native landscape restoration. August currently works as Land Care and Holistic Ecology Coordinator at Prairiewoods Ecospirituality Center in Hiawatha, Iowa but will be enrolling in the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Environment in July 2023.