Richard Kuhnel

Richard Kuhnel has an extensive background in software systems design and implementation, business consulting and event organizing. He applies these skills in his work for sustainability oriented organizations and businesses. Richard has been involved in myriad regenerative activities, from designing composting toilets to developing curricula about water and the role it plays in ecosystems and society, to building straw bale shelters and gardening. His studies in the fields of psychology and indigenous traditions in combination with his focus on his own personal development and inner practice have led Richard to a deep appreciation of the connection between inner and outer ecologies. Through his business, Gentle Harvest, Richard offers ecological design, creative group process facilitation, life choice coaching, social enterprise development and a variety of other workshops.

In 2008 Richard co-founded the Sandpoint Transition Initiative (STI) with the vision to create a sustainable, resilient and vibrant community in Sandpoint, Idaho based on the Transition Towns model. Sandpoint, Idaho was the first Transition Town "unleashed" in the United States. He is the current president of STI Inc., contributes to STI's Energy Working Group, and teaches official Training for Transition workshops in both North America and Europe.
Richard's focus in his MSc in Integrative Ecosocial Design at Gaia University was the development of a plan to retrofit his home and transform it into a model of sustainable urban living. Doing so within the fabric of his local community became an inspiration to many and was the first step in developing a core group for the Transition Town project.

When I found out about Gaia University, it felt to me like a dream come true. Finally – a model of learning and exploring that offers the utmost freedom and challenge to chart my own path, and at the same time, the opportunity to call upon and receive advice and feedback on all aspects of this action learning approach from experts.

It has been such a deeply enriching experience to integrate the mental, physical, emotional, practical and personal – in short, all aspects of my life – and make them essential parts of my inquiry.