Anna Cowen
FLOW Project Lead
Meshfield Cofounder
Architect
Urbanist
Facilitator

Experience
Anna is a social change practitioner, architect and urbanist with more than twenty years of experience in regenerative and participatory design, strategy and development. She advocates an abundance based bio-regional, whole systems design approach that focuses on crafting symbiotic relationships between the built environment, local eco-systems and cultures and their requisite provisioning systems integrating Permaculture, Bio-mimicry and cradle-to-cradle thinking. She seeks to fundamentally “change the way we make things”, supporting a shift towards globally connected yet localised, circular economies, with a strong focus on growing the commons. Her approach to fostering localisation includes participatory mapping and storytelling processes that are informed by developmental psychology, integral, resilience and complexity theory. She is a co-founder and is currently working as a project lead of the FLOW project.

Anna works with her creative partner, John Ziniades, to design and facilitate cross-sectoral, multi-stakeholder large scale systems change processes that integrate system dynamics modeling with participatory, interactive methods that engage personal growth, cultural dynamics and behaviour change at multiple scales. Recent work includes co-leading a strategic process for the World Green Building Council to identify the leverage points that could unlock rapid change towards the global proliferation of a regenerative, life-enhancing built environment (2014), as well as co-designing and co-facilitating the Bergrivier region based African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) Climate Knowledge Network’s (CKN) U Process through 2012/2013. She was also part of the core team that prepared a 30 year Integrated Sustainable Development Plan (ISDP) for the towns of Kokstad and Franklin in KwaZuluNatal, South Africa, and she conceptualized and led the implementation of the ISDP linked Green Ambassadors Programme, an innovative youth leadership programme that combined participatory planning, asset mapping, citizen video journalism and sustainability awareness (2012).

Anna graduated from the University of Cape Town (UCT) with a BArch in 1994 and founded her own architectural practice in 1995, at times working either in partnership or association. Her work has been commended with a number of national and international awards and prizes. She taught architectural design at UCT for an eight-year period and completed an MPhil in Sustainable Settlement in 2003, focusing on public participation processes and the production of public space. She is also a trained Holacracy facilitator.


John Ziniades
FLOW Project Lead
Meshfield Cofounder
Engineer
Entrepreneur
Innovator

John is a social change practitioner and tech entrepreneur focusing on the redesign of our global money system as a key leverage point for planetary thriving and social justice. He designs, develops and implements complementary and digital/crypto-currencies, examining the underpinning agreements that shape the many ways humans exchange value, and advocates Ecosynomics as a way to shift our economic systems from being underpinned by assumptions of scarcity to those of abundance. He is a co-founder and is currently working as a project lead of the FLOW project.

He is an experienced Holacracy facilitator, exploring and developing emergent, agile and distributed organizational forms and practices that are better suited to meet the growing complexities of a globalised, networked world pushing up against environmental limits. He also has twenty years of experience as a successful Internet entrepreneur and innovator, having co-founded 5 companies in the high-tech, Internet and mobile telecommunications space. His current entrepreneurial focus is in the social and green enterprise development space, incorporating Open Manufacturing, Peer to Peer (P2P) production, growing the knowledge commons and lean start-up methodologies.

He works with his creative partner, Anna Cowen, to design and facilitate cross-sectoral, multi-stakeholder large scale systems change processes that integrate system dynamics modeling with participatory, interactive methods that engage personal growth, cultural dynamics and behaviour change at multiple scales. Recent work includes co-leading a strategic process for the World Green Building Council to identify the leverage points that could unlock rapid change towards the global proliferation of a regenerative, life-enhancing built environment (2014), as well as co-designing and co-facilitating the Bergrivier region based African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) - University of Cape Town, South Africa - Climate Knowledge Network’s (CKN) Theory U Process through 2012/2013.

John graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) with a BSc Eng (Elec) in 1991, worked for a few years at the CSIR, South Africa’s leading research institute where he first experienced the Internet, and then went on to co-found 5 Internet-related tech companies, the first of which - EC-Hold Limited - listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1998. He resigned as CEO of Consology (his most recent tech start-up) in 2009, to focus his full attention on fostering social change for planetary well-being.