Karryn Olson was born South Dakota and spent summers on her grandparents farm. She minored in Women’s Studies as an undergraduate, and her Masters is in Public Affairs. She has lived and worked in Germany, Ghana and India. Karryn took her first PDC in Northern California in 1995, a tropical PDC in 1997, and has attended many advanced permaculture trainings. In 2003, she and her family moved to Ecovillage at Ithaca to raise their family.
In 2005, she and two colleagues formed the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute (FLPCI), where she serves as Board President and a lead teacher. She teaches sustainability related courses at Ithaca College.
After studying the Natural Step Framework for strategic sustainability planning in 2011, Karryn realized that whole sectors will shift quickly towards greener and more socially just practices if we can “speak their language.” She also realized that until now, permaculture has lacked a clear way to explain the business case for ecological design.
Around that same time, she was also starting her own permaculture design consulting business and realized she understood too little about the business end. Since then, she’s trained in entrepreneurial leadership, and worked through an entrepreneur accelerator program where she studied and worked with the Business Model Generator canvas, and Lean Startup, and she’s continually adding to her regenepreneurial toolbox.
In 2012, Karryn co-organized the first Women in Permaculture Gathering in the Northeast, and has regularly attended these gatherings, and seen firsthand the impact of folks who identify as women having their own spaces to connect bravely, and have space to show up audaciously.
In 2013, she interviewed several women about women’s leadership in permaculture and subsequently wrote “A Pattern Language for Women in Permaculture” and attended the first North American Permaculture convergence to organize women’s tracks, and subsequently compiled “Best Practices for Supporting Women’s Leadership in Permaculture.” She’s stewarding efforts to implement anti-harassment policies in permaculture.
Because she’s seen lots entrepreneurship programs focus “from the neck up,” and knows that women often struggle with “invisible structures”, in 2014 she started group programs where women learn the foundations of entrepreneurship and build our audacious leadership, and launched regenepreneurs.com
If you need inspiration about how women are figuring out their regenerative right livelihoods, join Karryn for the Regenepreneurs Interview Series. It’s not your usual interview, because Karryn focuses specifically on how the guest figured out their niche, pricing, offerings, and marketing, to design their Abundance Model.
Karryn also sends out emails that are more like love letters, writing about why it can be hard to thrive in permaculture, especially as a woman, and emphasizing the tools that help us thrive. She also cultivates our big audacious visions for the regenerative future we want to create.
Karryn has Regenepreneurs page on Facebook, and She’s on Instagram and Twitter. Karryn also hosts the Regenepreneurs Network where you can connect with trainings and a social network of people rocking our regenerative right livelihoods.
More Recent Articles
- Harvesting Abundance: Another Twist on the Third Ethic of Permaculture
- Explore four versions of the third ethic and how they can serve as lenses for designing right livelihoods that can have regenerative impact.
- What’s “Degenerative”? What’s “Regenerative”? Two videos exploring this concept—by learning from the soil.
- How can Our Livelihoods be Regenerative?
- The Power of Regenerative Entrepreneurship (video)