Founder, Creative Director
Zev works as a permaculture educator, consultant, and researcher, based at Earthaven Ecovillage outside of Asheville, NC. For 12 years, he has focused on empowering others through transformative education to find the skills and mentorship they need to develop a meaningful role in the process of re-connecting humans to nature in a way that takes good care of both. After growing up in a patch of kudzu in Sylva, North Carolina, Zev earned a B.S. in Human Ecology at UNC Asheville in 2004, completed an apprenticeship in Permaculture education with Patricia Alison in 2009, and now seeks to grow community and multi-generational village culture through his consulting work and land projects, most recently the WNC Mutual Aid Initiative. Please see www.livingsystemsdesign.net for more information.
Community Asset Mapping Facilitator
Matt came to Co-operate WNC in 2019 during a year of pursuing nature connection full time - building a bark-covered home to live in, using materials in the ecosystem to meet many of his needs, learning about animals, plants, and fungi, and teaching. Prior to that year, Matt worked as an organizational development specialist and program coordinator at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC. Disillusioned and frustrated by the inertia, growth-centric madness, and single-minded profit focus that drives dominant North American culture, Matt left a steady job to pursue a path of deep connection and integration into the ecosystem around him. While he continues to learn and teach, he is putting his 15 years of programmatic, facilitation, and scientific research experience to use in developing a mutual aid network in Western NC and inhabiting a village integrated within that network. You can learn more about Matt at mattcolombo.org.
Courtney Brooke was born and raised in Southern Appalachia and lives out her love of place through her work with Earth-based education and Place-based ecological design. After growing up in North Georiga, Courtney earned a B.S. in Ecology at the Odum School of Ecology with a focus on Human Food Systems. For a decade she has traveled the world teaching, learning and facilitating transformative educational experiences for children, teens and adults. She is currently living at Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC and works as Program Director for 2 educational non-profits, Culture's Edge and Earth Path Education.