Interview with Halyna Zalucky, Founding Member of The Roots Collaborative
Halyna Zalucky is a passionate advocate for the balance between environment, social, economic, and personal wellbeing. Halyna met Andrew Simpson through her work with The Roots Collaborative, as they helped shape the genesis of the organization to what it is today, and provide leadership and guidance for communities and businesses to incorporate new and innovative business models.
Why is sustainability so important to you?
I believe that sustainability is a way of being and living more mindfully. I feel that I have been on a journey through my life in order to figure out what that looks like. But I would say the inspiration came from my studies in Migration Theory in Belgium, where the three pillars of environment, society, economy became more apparent to me. My interests then shifted to enforced displacement, and research into environmental degradation due to climate change. It was when I returned home that I found the Centre
for Social Innovation (CSI), and began my journey with the Roots Collaborative.
What is The Roots Collaborative?
Essentially it is a not for profit cooperative where a group of sustainability professionals come together to work on projects that promote well-being—in the environmental sphere, social sphere, and economic well-being. We also have a fourth pillar, which is our own personal well-being. This includes our mental, emotional, and physical health. It was very organic how the organization unfolded, and felt like the next logical step in
the evolution of how we understand sustainability.
How has Andrew, and his knowledge of business, impacted the organization?
Andrew has been with the organization since the very beginning. He really helped design, develop, and co-create our organization in a very unique way. I truly value his input and approach. He is a very reflective person. He will sit back in a meeting, take in what’s going on, and then has a tempered and insightful response to what’s being debated or proposed, which elevates the discussion.
As CEO of Ecotone, Andrew gravitated towards more the business development
piece, as head of our business development working group. He took the lead in designing our strategy and process around working as a team and making sure we provide a quality service, whether we are serving the community or a business. He has always been a proponent of tapping into our shared wisdom, in order to create systems & processes that inspire innovation.
As a B Corp, Andrew also possesses a specific knowledge set, how companies can move from being more profit oriented to more open and aware of how they impact the environment and society, and striving toward improving that impact.
Through Ecotone, he is expanding his work around sustainability reporting, which as an organization, we very much value, because it’s such a huge piece of the puzzle to give companies the tools to reflect on their own internal policies and practices and be able to report on those.
He also brings a broader understanding of new and innovative business models, which I think there is currently a huge trend towards. So, not the status quo of hierarchical organizations but much more collaborative and inclusive.
What projects has your organization initiated?
We’ve run several seminars on the theme of the business case for sustainability, showing how this line of thinking is a wise business decision.
We’ve also worked on community projects, such as the Home Energy Savings Initiative, around building infrastructure, energy efficiency and conservation. That project focused on homes, educating homeowners and renters on how they can reduce their energy through simple means.
Currently, we are focusing on the notion of resilience, and fusing this with sustainability. This is becoming increasingly relevant. This encompasses resilient finance, infrastructure, human resources, business models, and supply chains.
I know that Andrew’s business, Ecotone, is all about moving forward in a way that is inclusive and caring towards society and towards the environment, so that it is a shared space. Andrew has always recognized that what we do now, in that shared space, has an impact on our future.
We always need to recognize that our actions have an impact, so that we can sustain ourselves as organizations, as people, and as a society.
More About The Roots Collaborative
Our group consists of a diverse membership of social entrepreneurs who are working collaboratively to share their expertise in the areas of governance, social and environmental impact, and personal wellbeing. We engage with communities, companies and not for profit organizations. Our mission is to tap into our collective wisdom to create systems and processes that inspire innovation.
Our Three Cs
We take a holistic approach to our work. To us, sustainability involves not only
economic, social and environmental stability, but is dependent on our personal
wellbeing. All are connected.
We collaborate with our clients and partners to tackle complex problems and
find lasting solutions.
We are a Co-operative and thus both practice and preach the value of democracy. We work to co-create solutions with our clients and ensure all voices within an organization are heard and valued.
For more info:
Ecotone’s 2019 Integrated Annual Report is here: