PROUT Institute provides people and communities with empowering resources to envision and enact sustainable and equitable solutions to social, economic, and ecological challenges.
All people should have equitable opportunities to develop and express their physical, mental, and spiritual potentialities, while maintaining dynamic balance among individual quality of life, collective well-being, and ecological integrity.
The PROUT Institute identifies four essential conditions for making a transition to a sustainable and equitable future:
- Hope: a rational and grounded sense of hope for humanity’s future
- Vision: a robust vision to guide enduring social transformation
- Empowerment: personal and community vitalization and empowering ideas
- Solutions: a theory-based, solution-oriented approach to social renewal
The Institute’s approach to social engagement is based on developing theory-based solutions to socioeconomic problems. PROUT offers a system of practical design principles intended to bring balanced progress and vitality to the human society. Its method for undertaking a solution-oriented approach has three facets:
- Know your region: obtain an informed understanding of local people and of local problems and potentials
- Create your plan: create local and regional development plans to foster well-being, equity, and balanced abundance
- Serve the community: collaborate with others to engage in constructive social change
The Institute takes a balanced and holistic approach to its engagement in social transformation, with a program of activities in the following areas:
- Theory: popularizing a coherent theory of development to replace the current paradigm
- Policy: proposing policies to guide social reforms
- Practice: developing model projects to demonstrate and test the viability of new approaches
- Education: offering a variety of educational programs to share the understandings the Institute develops through its engagement in theory, policy and practice.
- Community: nurturing a collaborative community of healthy, spirited harbingers of change to provide a supportive base for creating a new society
PROUT was first put forward by Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, a philosopher, social reformer, and spiritual teacher dedicated to the task of planetary transformation. Through his actions and teachings he inspired many people to develop their potentialities and take on active responsibility for humanity’s welfare.
Ronald Logan is the Executive Director of the PROUT Institute, where he is engaged in the Institute’s training programs and in implementing its local development projects. He is the principal author of PROUT: A New Paradigm of Development and is a frequent contributor to the PROUT Journal. In 1993, he co-authored the Plan for the Economic Development of Khabarovsk Krai on the Basis of PROUT, a project undertaken at the invitation of the Vice-Governor of Khabarovsk Krai in Far East Russia. He has helped draft several policy papers for the Global PROUT Policy Parliament and is responsible for coordinating the Institute’s Community Transformations Training program. His new book, Revolution, is scheduled for publication in 2016. He is also the founder and program director of the spiritual center Dharmalaya, which has as its mission “to promote dharma holistically in personal, social and ecological spheres of life.”
Program Coordinator & Community Outreach
Michele Renée uses skill and expertise gained from over two decades of high school social studies teaching and 13 years of running programs at Dharmalaya to inform her work at the PROUT Institute. Together with Ronald Logan, Michele developed the Community Transformations Program. She is responsible for the community communications, social networking, and program coordination. Her inspiration comes from mentoring and learning from the young people that participate in Institute programs, and connecting the points of light while weaving the web of a new society. Her background includes a B.A. in geography and anthropology, as well as archaeology, and aerial photography work in the Caribbean and North Africa. She also manages the Dharmalaya Center.
Jason Schreiner serves as President of PROUT Institute, is Instructor of Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon, and is a Faculty Consultant with the UO Teaching Effectiveness Program. The PROUT Institute’s chief public speaker, Jason brings a passion and deep understanding of social and political theory, liberation philosophy, and PROUT to inspire the students in training at the Institute. Jason’s contributions are informed by his background in farming (conventional and organic) and working in community organizations, having served as Director of Development for the Kansas Rural Center, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture and local food security, and as Outreach and Communications Director for Goal One Coalition, an Oregon-based nonprofit organization that engaged citizens to participate in land use decisions in order to create livable communities and sustainable economies.
Strategic Development & Learning
Clare Strawn puts her PhD in Urban Studies and Master’s in Education to work using collaborative action research to empower communities to learn from their practices. She has decades of community development and activism from early feminism to community control of housing, solidarity with liberation movements, women’s literacy in South Africa, and educational equity regionally and internationally. “I am a bridge builder; creativity and innovation live at the edges, where different worlds meet. Spanning resources, building capacity through partnerships, and healing social divides through connection bridge the road of my diverse life and academic experiences.”
Daniel is a Renaissance man, futurist, mathematician and software developer whose goal is to understand as much about the entirety of science and technology as is possible for one human. One of the main researchers into tetration and the mathematics of what lies beyond exponentiation as well as the unification of discreet and continuous dynamical systems. Creator of tetration.org, one of the oldest, largest and widely used web sites on tetration.
Guy Prouty is an archaeologist and filmmaker and he dedicates his life and talents to understanding the development and the evolution of the human story throughout prehistory and today, as well as making spiritually uplifting documentary and family historical films.
Nick has started a slew of non-monetized, community-focused, horticultural initiatives (details here) since he co-founded the Food Not Lawns avant-gardening collective in Eugene, OR, in late 90’s. Currently, he plays a primary role stewarding the annual Lane County Spring Propagation Fair, now the largest organics-focused propagation fair in the country, which freely distributes hundreds of varieties of fruit and vegetable crops to local gardeners, and manages the Upstart Nursery, a for-the-neighborhood-by-the-neighborhood vegetable and fruit tree nursery in the River Road area of Eugene. Here’s a brief bio Nick penned for the UK Guardian newspaper’s Sunday magazine blog back in ’07 which describes the context around his trajectory, and a more colorful ‘home page’ from around that time which also describes his previous lives in, yes, high finance and high tech. ‘Ultimately,’ Nick insists, ‘The inner and outer journeys are one.’ Here’s a 2009 portrait describing his experience of home-gardening as a root mantra of the Peacemakers path. He is active on Facebook. Nick is caretaking the Vistara gardens this year.
In Memory and Gratitude
The PROUT Institute would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of vision, time, work, and materials made by Daniel Swantek in the formative stages of our work. His legacy continues to provide inspiration to the many young people that participate in our programs. His family has also contributed generously to the development of Institute projects. Daniel also contributed significantly to the arts and was instrumental in helping establish and promote the Green Lane Sustainable Business Network, which awards an annual prize in his honor to a GreenLane non-profit member that provides sustainable opportunities or sustainability education in our local community.