Meet our team
Dr. Tobias Luthe is specifically interested in the “overlays” and boundaries between systems. In nature, diversity is greatest where systems meet - similarly, he likes to explore the innovation potential between science disciplines, designers, engineers, programmers, practitioners – because complex (sustainability) challenges require timely and evolving “neuronal” approaches.
Tobias is a mountaineering guide and adventurer, loves photography and co-founded Grown, an outdoor creativity lab designing eco skis and offering design thinking mountaineering trips. He is a Professor for systemic design of resilient regenerative systems at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (Norway), senior research scientist and lecturer at the Institute for Spatial Development and Landscape Planning at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich (Switzerland), and visiting professor at Politecnico Torino (IT) and the University of Freiburg (D).
Permaculture and Textile Engineering
Anna is an expert for permaculture, and for sustainability in the sports and textile industry. She temporary left her basecamp in Munich to spend the summer 2017 in Ostana, and help to kick start the MVI permaculture system at 1500m asl.
She is a trained permaculture designer, brings over 25 years of experience in the textile industry, worked for 18 years as a product and quality manager at Gore, and is guest lecturer and senior consultant for system innovation and responsible management in the textile and sporting goods industry. If you can't find her at her mountain office or between the greens, she will most likely be working at the Impact Hub in Munich or Torino.
Eco Design and Water Systems Design
Dario is an Eco-Designer (Ph.D.), and an outdoor enthusiast from Turin, Italy. The aim of his professional and academic career is Environmental Sustainability through the application of Systemic Design in industrial processes as well as the ecodesign approach for products and services. He has more than 10 years of work experience in the field of sustainability consulting and project management in the sustainability field both for private Company and in academic projects at Politecnico di Torino. As eco-designer consultant Dario has become heavily involved in the eco-design process for innovative products, amongst others the Cinelli HoBootleg, and the Giro Silo - helmet. During his Ph.D. he has deepened the Systemic Design methodology applied to innovative water treatment for its domestic purpose. In 2016, Dario started as a co-founder 4th-Phase, Inc. with the aim of developing a membrane-less and free energy water purification technologies based on the Exclusion Zone phenomenon.
He is really passionate about the potential of sustainability through design truly believing that design can change our world.
Landscapes, Architecture and Culture
Raised on a rural farm in Ohio (USA), Haley’s respect and curiosity for the natural world has been lifelong. An architect by training and designer at heart, she is intrigued by the intersections of regenerative cultures, landscapes, and systems-thinking to nurture our relationships with nature. Currently she is exploring these threads as a PhD Candidate at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), using the practice of Systems-Oriented Design to investigate the regenerative potentials of mountain communities through better understanding the complex socio-ecological systems that shape alpine landscapes. At MVI, Haley further channels this energy by actively engaging in research and education, especially in mobilizing the co-production of alpine knowledge across diverse communities, from the Regenerative Design Talks to the newly initiated regional network of local change-makers Here and Now. Outside the “office,” you can find Haley enjoying the mountains’ both peaceful solace and playful energy through outdoor sport, thinking-by-drawing, and learning about the great variety of species that also thrive in alpine homes.
Collaborative Open Source Design, Technology and the Maker's Culture
Based in Paris and originally from Poland, Justyna is a value-driven designer and a trained architect, guided by curiosity. She practices informed design for innovation and systems change and uses technology and science as support to creativeproblem solving, while navigating through positive impact. Justyna initiated POC21, a hardware innovation camp for climate solutions — as side event to the UN’s COP21 Summit in Paris - that brought together 300 + makers, designers, engineers, scientists and geeks to join forces and prototype a fossil free, zero waste society. She was architect and designer at Open Systems Lab and at Ouishare, an international collective of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders who partnered up to research emerging topics, consult on new business models and organisational transformation, contribute to learning and development programmes, support the creation of emergent communities, and organize learning expeditions. Justyna regenerates in strong nature and loves finding the most tasty mushrooms in the woods around the MonViso Institute.
Mindfulness Teacher, Consultant, Networker & Weaver
M.A. European Studies and M.A. Development Cooperation & NGO Management plus 15 years of experience in international consultancy in development cooperation as project manager and consultant for training and evaluation in many countries. For more than 10 years teaching mindfulness-based practice formats internationally, lately with an ecocentric and engagement-focused approach.
A certified teacher in Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Yoga instructor (BDY/EYU, 500 hours). Mirjam is a Trained Teacher with Mark Coleman’s "Awake in the Wild" in contemplative nature practice and loves to weave in elements of the EcoSattva training with OneEarth Sangha and Earth Holding practices from the Plumvillage Community. Trained in the Mindful Schools K12-Curriculum, in Council Practice and various contemplative dialog formats. Still pretty fluent in 5 languages and a lover of the outdoors since being a child.
Currently, Global Engagement Coordinator at the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC), UC San Diego, and Mindfulness Teacher at the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute at UC Irvine, USA, coordination team member of the European Network for Grateful Living „Dankbar leben“ and Ambassador for “Treasure Earth”. Mother of 3 teens.
Francesca is a product and systemic designer graduated from the Polytechnic of Turin. Curious, lover of novelty, dynamic. She seeks inspiration in everything that surrounds her and loves to grasp the value of small details, with sensitivity and a material approach. Born in Milan, she has always been attracted to embarking on new adventures and travels, living in the USA, Spain and Turin to follow her studies. Since from an early age she has always had a strong bond with the natural world and issues concerning sustainability, which have also defined it in the working approach, leading her to connect in a natural way with the Monviso Institute and with its natural elements, such water. With this element she developed her thesis about the sustainable water management in mountain environments. She has a strong propensity towards product design, approaching design in a systemic way, facing complex scenarios with an open vision aimed at innovation and the development of sustainable products and systems.
Claas studied industrial and organizational
psychology in Germany and came to Ostana for a study internship at the MonViso Institute. He used to travel a lot to Italy, speaks Italian and fell in love with the Piedmont. As he wanted to live in the mountains of the Piedmont region, his motivation is to support the MonViso Institute and its
projects to design mountain areas in a more sustainable way. Claas is very interested in the organizational development of the MVI for raising its impact on the environment. He meanwhile is a legal resident of Ostana and works with the local bakery, while supporting MVI with his infectiously positive and socializing character. Claas is in the process of rebuilding his own stone house in Ostana, possibly offering a bed & breakfast in the future.
GIULIA VIRGINIA GERVASINI
We are very happy that Giulia, from Italy, was our first intern in 2017. As part of her Master studies in economics and communication at the University of Lugano, Switzerland, Giulia specializes in tourism and shows a deep interest for community building and engagement. During a university field trip to Ostana, Giulia's interest was further spurred by her work on analyzing the diversity and motives of people moving back to live and work in the mountains. During her internship at the MVI, Giulia helped to finalize this qualitative community analysis, to organize and lead a public event for presenting the results; she supports the Italian language inclusion in our communication materials and helps to identify project funding opportunities.
We are currently inviting further beautiful characters to join our Network
Eric is a ‘social impact data scientist’. Academically trained in ecology, statistics, and network science; practically trained in the use of ‘big data’ (and revealing its abuse), he works with social mission companies, organizations, corporate initiatives, investors, and philanthropists to use data for good. Dr. Eric L. Berlow is an ecologist, complexity scientist and CEO of Vibrant Data Labs – a social impact data science group. He previously co-founded the visual data interface company openmappr.org and was the founding director of the University of California’s first science institute in Yosemite National Park. Eric’s research on ecological complexity – which includes publications in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – has been recognized as being among the top 1% most highly cited papers in the field. He is has been a TED Fellow, TED Senior Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, and a National Science Foundation Fellow; and was listed among the Top 100 Creatives by Origin Magazine.
Benjamin is an entrepreneur, wishing to use his business as “a force for good”. He is the founder and co-director of AIR coop (est. 2010 - Annecy, France), a co-op of 15 entrepreneurs dedicated to guide and support organizations in their sustainability journey. Benjamin is consulting for various types of organizations in Europe, from one-man shows to billion Euros companies mainly in the sports, leisure and textile industry.
Benjamin co-founded a number of environmental oriented NGOs in France. He recently became 1st vice mayor of the city of Annecy.
Over the past 10 years, Benjamin has slowly but steadily built himself a reputation as sustainability leader within the European outdoor sports and textile industry, while remaining engaged with the local community.
About AIR coop
AIR coop was one of the first B Corp certified companies in France (2015) and now very much engaged in spreading the movement. AIR coop is also a member of the 1% for the Planet network since its creation in 2010.
I think I was destined to study the past rather than the future. In my teens I was fascinated by archeology, history and the intricacies of Latin. But for some reason I signed up for an engineering study. There I discovered the power of cutting through clutter and complexity by going back to first principles, materialising these ideas in a physical design, and testing whether it stood up to real world requirements. Soon after I also completed a degree in philosophy, and later I graduated in Human Settlements (ekistics). Unconsciously I had prepared myself for my vocation as a systems practitioner. I spent some time in big organisations, but not too long, and in the mid-1990s I set up a small consultancy studio. 25 years later shiftN (https://shiftn.com/) is still my professional habitat. We provide strategic services 'to change makers for good', relying on a mix of futures and systems techniques. We see it as our core task to help organisations to work through complex strategic issues in a social learning process. Although our work is not tied to any particular sector, we are particularly fascinated by challenges in health care, in the humanitarian sector, in urban development, and in food production and consumption. shiftN works as a fluid network organisation, designed to embody the systemic principles that we use in our work. Being part of the network is a vital part of our system practitionership. Finally, ever since my first visit to the Alps as a kid I have been cultivating a great love for the mountain world. MVI brings together all these passions in a beautiful whole.
Franziska loves to explore far-off as well as close-by places in nature with a clear preference for the mountains as she loves skiing, climbing and mountain biking.
Working for Swiss-based organization myclimate since a decade, Franziska is a climate action veteran supporting private and public players to commit to climate engagement. In a co-leadership she is responsible for climate protection projects around the globe fostering sustainable development from rural access to sustainable energy to nature-based solutions.
Her true passion is to inspire others for nature and the outdoors. She formally did that as Outward Bound instructor, regularly as ski mountaineering guide for the German Alpine Club (DAV) and soon as Silviva environmental educator. She can be found telemarking steep mountains, climbing tiny little rocks with her children, making fire with her boyfriend Simon in the woods or simply typing on her lap-top in the sun.
Franziska is taking her kids deep into forests and up the mountains as well as to the climate strikes and enjoys spending time with them outdoors - being here and now.
And that's what she tries to live - here and now, while working hard for a more sustainable future.
Senior Advisor and co-founder
Reinold's engagement over many years made the launch of MVI possible. His creative energy is deeply engrained in the MVI campus. Reinold was a self-made man with a magnitude of experiences in practical matters and life as such. Originally trained as a locksmith in the coal mines of the Ruhr area, he flipped the coin, studied philosophy and theology and lived in a French monastery. Feeling limited by those worldviews, he soon went back to university where he met his partner, Edith. Together they raised two kids. Reinold became a school director for a total of 20 years. During this time he explored the industry as lead engineer in an aluminum wheels firm, co-started a metal recycling company, together with Edith built three houses and co-built two more. Reinold innovates practical solutions during night time enlightenments and only returns from his workshop when things are done - with great support by his wife. After work he liked to spend time with his family, grown-up kids and grand kids, to dive into quantum physics talks with a friend and enjoys a good red wine. We will always remember our best friend, father, husband, grand father, and MVI co-founder.
Someone very special
In grateful memories for your incubation momentum, giving and being!