Rizoma, or Rhizome (in English), is a “a continuously growing horizontal underground stem that puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals” (1). In the Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, a rhizome is “non-hierarchical, heterogeneous, multiplicitous, and acentered” (2).

The Rizoma Foundation is a place that seeks to put forward ideas about a future that is not only sustainable, but regenerative. A place to consider resilient paths toward the future. The central principle guiding our work is how to make the human and natural world healthier and more diverse, which includes social equality, freedom and tolerance.

We consider both the challenges we face in the social, ecological, economic and political realms, and then we consider a diverse set of solutions to those presented problems. We draw from ancient ideas and practices through modern inventions. No idea is off limits for discussion and debate in order to reach the ultimate goal of making and re-making a sustainable future.

Working from the idea that the development of solutions must take place in context, Rizoma Foundation seeks accelerate ethically-driven, grounded initiatives in order to facilitate meaningful long-term changes in thinking and behaviors for the world. The ultimate goal is that projects supported by Rizoma Foundation can help to provide a foundational toolkit with which they can navigate the development of further solutions.

Rhizomes form a network through which to share resources (3). At Rizoma Foundation, we hope to enhance a network of individuals and organizations who can hack, subvert, create, resist and share strategies across contexts. Join us in envisioning and creating a world that can be continually better for all its inhabitants.

How we work

The work of Rizoma Foundation is three parts: research, teaching, and activism.


In our research, for example in Executive Director Dr. Ashley Colby’s book, we ask questions about sustainable technologies, adoption, and social structures. We seek to publish this research in accessible language so that others might learn and adopt sustainable livelihoods. We practice what we learn through our own living: we use low technologies like clotheslines, solar water heating, passive solar construction, greywater gardens and a composting toilet, we self-produce food through permaculture and regenerative animal agriculture, and we try to live a low-consumption life. We want to be a living example of living sustainably while not sacrificing quality of life. We then share these experiences horizontally through a network of practitioners to learn best practices.


In our teaching at Rizoma Field School, we build curricula incorporating experiential learning. We test these pedagogical methods here in Uruguay and with partner organizations around the world, where students spend time doing hands-on work with members of local communities who practice sustainable livelihoods, and we then discuss what students are seeing through the lens of scientific research. We are currently partnering with award-winning teaching organization Forum Visionaries in Action (ViA) to develop a field curriculum the can be used in high schools and universities around the world. We have also recently launched a Homestead Incubator program (, meant to help individuals and communities pursue a more land-based, sustainable and resilient existence.


Our vision for activism is cooperating with various institutions, individuals and organizations around the world to share knowledge and support action. The Rizoma Foundation has close ties to our fiscal sponsorship organization, the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB) at Stanford University, which is itself a hub for a network of organizations focused on sustainability and regeneration. We also partner in transformative learning with award-winning nonprofit Forum Visionaries in Action (ViA).

We have been active in the Game B space, including sharing our vision for social change on the Jim Rutt Show. We are working on collaborating in Doughnut Economics, have an active role in the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Network (SCORAI), have open collaborations with Degrow US, the Slow Food movement, the Savory Institute, Soil4Climate, and have been recognized by the UN Environment Program.