kevin Rowell

Kevin Rowell

kevin Rowell's picture
Name: kevin Rowell
Organization: The Natural Builders
Title: Director
I have been mentored by others, mentored others and have directly trained over 1000 environmental leaders with tools for following their visions. While leading projects that have been seen by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. From 2002-2004 while living in a rural village in Lao's, I helped three different ethnic groups come together to create a community center. The result is that that community now has the tools to create safe strong buildings using local resources and has gone on to create over 15 other projects. The other result is that the young people there recently expressed to me that as a result of this work was an enhanced value appreciation for each other and their villages strength in it's diversity. There feedback and direct encouragement help me know we can have a positive effect, we can each be change makers. My home in El Cerrito California is a place where food is grown in soil that has been tended for over 30 years, and a live creek flows. Within footsteps I can arrive at the doors of my brothers and sisters and be tackled by the loving arms of my nieces and nephews, who's futures I am working to protect. I want to facilitate international development that can help others around the world have the same fondness for their home. For the past 14 years I have devoted myself to the study of sustainability, working extensively with Kleiwerks international from 2001 -2012 on international development, particularly in Asia and Latin America. In 2005 I co-founded The Natural Builders, a contracting company that works around the world doing cutting-edge projects in green building, technology development, as well as large scale ecological art installations. My passion for natural materials and their use in construction has shown through my work with groups such as the World Monuments Fund in preserving traditional architecture, and the United Nations where I have facilitated dialogues about the use of local materials in construction for the redevelopment of Haiti. My work and articles have been featured in papers such as the New York Times, Home Energy (a building industry magazine), and documentaries that include the full length documentary “Dirt” alongside environmental activists Vandana Shiva, Majora Carter, and Wes Jackson. My lectures at industry conferences and universities, such as U.C. Berkeley, are about engaging the audience to act on behalf of our planet, while providing powerful ways to engage communities locally and globally to create a more sustainable and peaceful world. I was born in Michigan, moved to California in 1997, at 17 to study organic farming. After 4 years of farming I realized the difficult challenges that farmers around the world must face as they attempt to attain development with limited resources. I committed myself to the study of traditional building methods and looking for the integration of traditional technologies with modern practices.

Challenge Entries

Kleiwerks International will host a special conference in Port Au Prince Haiti. The multi-day conference will highlight 15 local urban sustainability presenters. Local community leaders from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds will make up the committee that selects presenters. The visions of Haitian change-makers will be brought to the attention of National and International stakeholders, creating opportunities for collaboration and support.