John Ivanko

John Ivanko, with his wife Lisa Kivirist, is the co-author of ECOpreneuring, Rural Renaissance and Edible Earth, innkeeper of the award-winning Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast, national speaker, freelance writer, and copartner in a marketing consulting company.

Find Funding, Make Green Business Connections, and Inspire other Ecopreneurs on

Both for profit and non-profit businesses are led by ecopreneurs who are making the world a better place through their creative, innovative and ground-breaking enterprises. Lisa’s and my book, ECOpreneuring, features numerous “Ecopreneur Profiles” — including David Anderson, the founder and CEO of — along with many other brief summaries. But there are millions of ecopreneurial enterprises prospering throughout the U.S. and around the world. Perhaps you’re one, too. So, we have formed a partnership with, an on-line…

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Diversification and Filling Ecological Niches: Green Businesses Own a Portfolio of Enterprises

The more income-producing and complementary projects my wife and I have in our ecopreneurial business, the more stable and secure we feel, careful to not let work override quality of life considerations. After all, we, like many ecopreneurs we’ve interviewed or met, don’t live to work. Instead, we find our livelihood and the businesses we navigate deeply satisfying as we make the world a better place through the green businesses — for profit and non-profit alike — that we own…

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Are You an Ecopreneur?

A nation of 9-5-ers is giving way to a spirited movement of innovators, searching for ways to make a life filled with purpose and meaning, instead of simply earning a living. And they’re thriving in the place-based “honey bee economy” that restores, preserves and conserves the planet. From an enterprising individual operating a small retail business to an inventor who comes up with a better way to fuel our vehicles, from the founder of a non-profit organization to the organic…

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Stagflation: Green Businesses Preserve more Green when the Going Gets Tough

I, for one, don’t remember the stagflation of the 1970s. It was a time when prices were increasing at the gas pump and grocery store, and when the economy sputtered along with little or no growth. Some neighbors saw their wages flatten — or their jobs disappear altogether. Gold, often seen as a barometer of economic confidence, was at an all time high (adjusted for inflation). I was pre-teen in a comfty Detroit suburb with a father who worked at…

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The Esalen Institute: Illuminating the Nexus of Sustainability Consciousness

Effortlessly perched along the spectacular coastline of Big Sur, California, along the winding Highway 1, rests the Esalen Institute. While waves crash upon the rocky cliffs, up to 250 people per day participate in enriching workshops or research activities, often followed by a soak in the hot mineral baths tucked in a cliffside crevice. Since 1962, the nonprofit educational institute has provided transformational workshops for people eager to explore and realize human potential through experience, education and research. My journeys…

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Take your Business Off-Grid, or Become a Net Producer of Energy: Learn How at the MREA’s Renewable Energy Fair

All businesses have “variable expenses” related to energy, right? Not always. There’s nothing in the IRS tax code preventing businesses from investing in renewable energy systems (and energy conservation/efficiency) that allow these businesses to operate more efficiently, sustainably, and green. In fact, often there are tax credits and other incentives to encourage these kinds of investments. Some businesses, like ours, generate a surplus of energy, essentially wiping out energy costs not to mention cutting carbon emissions (more on this another…

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Ecotourism: The Business of Sustaining the Earth through Travel

After the mighty industrial military complex (the companies behind the missiles and the satellites to guide them), tourism is the world’s largest industry, according to the World Tourism Organization. While tourism is big business, much of the industry can be just as destructive as the other extractive industries (mining, lumber, agriculture), sometimes operating in the same places around the world, places like the spectacular Alaskan Wilderness or rainforests of Indonesia. Oceans containing fish or oil hidden deep below the surface…

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Back to the Ecopreneurial Future with John D. Ivanko

I’m a business school failure — in a positive sort of way. Rather than spend most of my life in a carpeted cubicle, earning-and-spending and, in my case, pimping for the culture of consumption at a large advertising agency in Chicago, my wife, Lisa Kivirist, and I exited corporate America. We resettled on a 5.5 acre small farm in southwestern Wisconsin, endeavoring to learn how to grow our own food, generate our own electricity and in various other ways reclaim…

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