So - why Starfish?

My story

It was February 2012, and I was packing and saying goodbye to friends and family. My work in organic agriculture development in Africa resulted in an offer to share my skills on the global stage. This was a logical culmination of  7 years working in Southern, East and West Africa with farmers, consumers, traders and politicians: arguing, cajoling, and connecting. Gathering information from experts and inspiration from mentors. Using my skills as teacher, performer, entrepreneur and crafter to support the development of organic agriculture across the fascinating continent.

I realised a fundamental truth about the world and my place in it – I needed to connect as widely as possible, with a diversity of committed people who want to change things by not following the conventional approach to growth, development and influence.

As the cliché goes: It can no longer be business as usual. We need to change the way we grow, distribute and consume. And everyone who could, should get involved in this endeavour. As sad as it was to leave my home, I was looking forward to support a global groundswell of organic-minded people, looking to inspire fundamental and sustainable change.

Face to face with farmers - Bordi Beach, India 2012
Discussing regenerative agriculture systems with young leaders, Somerset, England 2019

A Star(fish) is born

As I was packing, I was also reading The Starfish and the Spider. (Read it, if you have the time – you will understand a lot more about what makes me tick!)

In March 2012, I joined the fledgling Academy at IFOAM-Organics International. A month later, I was in India, conducting the first of more than 20 Organic Leadership Courses I facilitated on behalf of IFOAM. In every one of them, I told the story of the Starfish and the Spider. It became synonymous with me and my work in the sector.

In 2020, in the middle of COVID, I decided to catch a better wave, and launch my own training and consultancy company. After 8 great years of building the Organic Academy, the name for my new venture was obvious: Starfish Organic.

In action at Biofach Nürnberg

Leaderless leadership

Starfish seem simple. That apparent simplicity is the key to its resilience, and its ability to regenerate – cut off a tentacle, and it grows another one, and the detached tentacle could even grow into another little starfish. This is how small, leaderless and unconventional startups are able to disrupt systems that were developed by much larger corporations and organisations. 

As an independent, flexible, adaptive training and consultancy initiative, I am able to share insights in my own way, disseminating the knowledge and experience gained globally to facilitate change locally.

With over 15 years’ experience in the organic sector, I am now well-suited to be your partner not only in training and education, but also in wide-ranging consultancy. I am experienced and skilled in topics such as policy, standards and regulation, local market structures and organisational development. I am a highly skilled facilitator and presenter, both in-person as well as virtually. My new independence also gives me the space for collaborative co-creation of content with a global diversity of partners.

Together, we can offer: