Joanne Poyourow is an author, an educator, a gardener, and a community builder. Joanne brought the ideas of the international Transition Movement to Los Angeles. She is one of the founding members of the Transition Los Angeles city hub which is preparing local communities for the changes coming with global warming, peak oil, and economic contraction.
Transition Los Angeles supports action groups in many local communities within the greater Los Angeles area. It is perhaps the largest metropolitan area in the world that is working with Transition ideas.
Joanne is the co-founder of the Environmental Change-Makers community organzation in the Westchester area of Los Angeles. Since their first meeting in 2005, the Change-Makers have focused on What We Can Do about our environmental issues, supporting grassroots activism and the shift to powerdown lifestyles via public meetings.
With Joanne at the lead, the Change-Makers have created a variety of local events including Seed Swaps, local food potlucks, solar cooking craft events, the Ballona LETS (community-based finances), the Harvest Westchester local food distribution network, and the "Life After Oil" conference which resulted in the creation of Transition Los Angeles in 2008.
The Change-Makers have created an ongoing series of reskilling classes -- classes which teach the skills of everyday life which we have forgotten over the past 50 or so years of energy surplus. These classes have included an Organic Vegetable Gardening series, breadbaking, and more.
Joanne's love for gardening has extended far beyond her home edible landscape. In spring 2008, Joanne designed the Community Garden in Westchester, a teaching garden which grows food for the needy, and broadcasts the beauty of front-yard vegetables. There, Joanne and others offer classes in food cultivation to the general public.
She continues to volunteer at the garden, managing its plantings for year-round productivity. As part of a team of local volunteers, Joanne champions the creation of other local community gardens and has assisted in several designs.
Joanne currently writes a blog at Transition U.S. which is carried at Energy Bulletin and other sites. In her blog, Joanne covers diverse issues --from Transition in the Big City, to simple living, to in-depth economic forecasts, to the challenges and joy of city chickens.
In 2008, Joanne -- together with Environmental Change-Makers co-founder the Reverend Peter H. Rood, Jr. -- released Environmental Change-Making: How to Cultivate Lasting Change In Your Local Community (Cathedral Center Press). The book tells the story of the Change-Makers' first three years, how the group is run, why this work is so vitally important, and how other communities can create similar gatherings.
In 2005, Joanne released her first book, Legacy: A Story of Hope for a Time of Environmental Crisis (VBW Publishers). Set in Los Angeles, the novel examines the environmental possibilities before us over the next 30 years as our society journeys toward a greener future. Rather than leaping directly into that imagined future, Legacy is a tale about the journey -- what it will take for us to get there, how we can do it, and the likely triumphs and pitfalls along the way.
Joanne speaks frequently for audiences around Southern California. Her audiences have included environmental groups, city groups, business networks, faith communities, and groups of children.
Joanne holds a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and was a C.P.A. in public practice for 13 years. She is a founder of the Culver-Westchester Homeschool Network. With regards to her environmental education, integrated understanding, and broad-based knowledge of environmental solutions, she is proudly autodidactic.
The mother of two teens, Joanne hopes that Sustainability will be the environmental legacy we leave to future generations.