I am a systems designer, researcher, and strategist with ten years of combined experience. I bring a unique background in the built environment, product and service design, tech innovation, cross-functional research, geospatial data, housing, land use, public policy, open science, grassroots organizing, and campaigning to effectively decarbonize, regenerate, and repair.
I most recently served as Advancement Director of the Earthshot Institute, a climate tech nonprofit centered on open science for planetary regeneration. I have also been coauthoring a book titled The Organizer’s Guide to Architectural Education (Routledge, 2023), and codirecting a film on labor and architecture supported by a grant to organizations from the Graham Foundation.
Read more about me here: https://www.val-oak.com/about
Put broadly, I am interested in the interaction between humans, nature, and infrastructures. More specifically, I am looking to design systems coordinating the mutual flourishing of humans, nature, and infrastructures (technologies). The emerging framework of social-ecological-technological systems (SETs) powerfully instruments this purpose. It provides an overarching framework engaging the complex relationality of humans, nature, and infrastructure and supports positing various scenarios and strategies.
My focus on social-ecological-technological systems (SETs) is informed by the following research areas:
– Global Just Transition
– Land Use, Sociometabolism, Cities and the Built Environment
– Tangible Computing, Climate Internet, Web3, Distributed Ledger Technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT). Calm Technology
– Geospatial Data, Remote Sensing, (Digitial) Measurement Reporting Verification (d/MRV), Carbon Credit Markets
– Decolonization, Commoning, and the Pluriverse
– Organizing, Critical Pedagogy, and Liberation