We are honoured to introduce and welcome three exceptional individuals who have recently joined Hollyhock’s Board of Directors. Each of them brings a unique set of experiences, perspectives, and a deep commitment to fostering positive change in the world.
Meet the New Board Members
I am a son of Mexican immigrants who came to the United States in search of better opportunities, and I have dedicated my life to community and public service so that I can open opportunities for others. I was raised in the farming town of Watsonville, CA to a loving, tenacious mother and an ambitious farming entrepreneur of a father. It was through my parents where I learned the importance of humility, to value and always remember my roots and stay true to my word. My father became my first mentor. Growing up working alongside him, I understood that giving individuals and families the opportunity to work with dignity, agency and be financially stable can and will undoubtedly improve families and entire communities. My mom and dad ingrained in me the small-town family values of working hard and staying humble. These values allowed me to truly understand why I do the work that I do, and, thus, why I value building community and creating spaces and networks where everyone can be their authentic self so that they are able to thrive in life.
“People bring their whole selves to Hollyhock, which then allows for building strong, authentic relationships that I believe are the key ingredients to driving positive change in our world. I am excited to dig deeper into how Hollyhock can continue to be the place where people from around the world can dig into their own personal transformation in order to spread hope, possibility and human-centred change in the world.”José Corona
Leah Bae specializes in the intersection of tech and social impact. She currently works at Higher Ground Labs, a venture fund and ecosystem builder investing in technology for political progress. She founded the digital consultancy Cause Digital as well as the mental wellbeing organization The Burnout Project. For her work in the US, UK, and Canada, she was recognized as a CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow, World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and RADIUS Social Innovation Fellow. She first stepped foot at Hollyhock in 2018 at the inaugural Activate: Digital Leadership gathering. She served on its Advisory Committee for 3 years then as its Producer in 2022. She is now proud to serve on the Hollyhock Board of Directors, advancing our theory of outer impact through inner change.
“I’m passionate about Hollyhock’s theory of change. We can effect societal impact through inner change. I’m excited about creating spaces for justice-oriented healing for generations to come.”Leah Bae
I have a lifelong commitment to social change, and grew up in a family of educators and progressive political activists, going back to my great uncle Arnold Webster, who was the leader of the CCF party in BC in the 1950s. My early activist focus was protection of BC’s old growth rainforests. I learned to engage with conflict, and how to transform myself and relationships across different sectors in society, as we worked to shift political and economic systems. I have training as a systems facilitator, Buddhist, deep ecologist and overall student of the human condition. The desire to work transformationally led me to an M.A in Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies, at which time I also become involved with Hollyhock Leadership Institute in roles including Program Director, co-facilitating ten years of the flagship Environmental Leadership Initiative, designing the Social Change Institute, and convening and training hundreds of diverse changemakers between 1998 – 2008. This is when I got to know and hear stories from many of the founders of Hollyhock. I moved on to raise my two young children and complete a Ph.D. in Social and Ecological Sustainability/Social Innovation, which focused on learnings from the Great Bear Rainforest and related global forest campaigns, about how to catalyze innovation across scales, and the complex human dynamics involved. The last ten years, I’ve worked in philanthropy with McConnell Foundation and MakeWay, and I am a founder and current board chair of Social Innovation Canada. My current work advances Indigenous peoples’ efforts to finance land stewardship, reclaim territories and Nationhood, and protect culture, language and biodiversity, working with the start-up Indigenous-led RAD Network. I also support Kwiakah Nation who are transforming the resource extraction paradigm that dominates their lands and waters by advancing regenerative forestry and other innovative solutions.
“It’s a time of uncertainty, risk and overshoot, where the systems humans have created are fraying the fabric of life. I believe people need ways to connect to our deepest wisdom, and spaces to build commitment to creating change together across differences, so we can move positively through this time of transformation. I have experienced the profound influence of gathering at Hollyhock, and the Centre’s ability to grow relational networks of changemakers who have the vision, diversity, and tenacity to evolve our failing systems. The world changes in mysterious ways. We all need time to rest, heal and connect with forests and ocean, give thanks to ancestors and all beings, to learn and explore, and answer the deepest call of our spirits. The learning programs at Hollyhock support myriad pathways to transformation.”Darcy Riddell
José, Leah, and Darcy each bring distinct aspirations to the board. José hopes to build on the board’s existing work, increasing visibility and impact. Leah to enhance access to Hollyhock’s programs for diverse communities. Darcy, drawing from her expansive background, intends to deepen Hollyhock’s impact on the world by building on relationships new and old, and supporting transformative initiatives. What unites these new board members is their shared excitement about Hollyhock’s vision—a vision that sees the potential for societal impact through inner change. Hollyhock, with its unique ability to bring people together, offers a space for authentic relationships that drive positive change locally and globally.
We are grateful for the dedication and passion these new board members bring to Hollyhock’s leadership and vision. Together, we look forward to Hollyhock’s impact reaching new heights.
Stay tuned for more updates on the incredible work happening at Hollyhock!