I’m Durukan

Regenerative agriculture, social enterprise, initiator, horizon hunter

I don’t enjoy writing my own biography much. Mentioning what I’ve done, for instance, is seemingly requisite yet not really enough. “Just sum it up” I tell myself in the end, “let the question of what kind of person you are be the subject for another day”. Born in 1985, in Istanbul, I’ve been contemplating, and much more importantly for me, experimenting with new visions for rural life (and thus civilization and humanity) since I was 16.

With the vision of breaking ground on the Ormanevi (Foresthouse) Collective we devised in 2005, I began these experiments in 2012 as I migrated out of the city.

I am one of the founders of the Yeşil Gazete (the Green Gazette). After completing my degree at the International Relations Department of Galatasaray University I did my master’s in “Rural Development” and “Environmental Communication and Management” at SLU in Sweden. I wrote my master’s theses on the local economic movements in Sweden’s Jamtland region and the collective use of pastureland within the framework of Holistic Management. It was at this time, as I was beginning to work with youth movements in Turkey and Europe to combat the climate crisis (2008-2010) that I was also introduced to Holistic Management. And so, as the concept of “regenerative agriculture” and its applications were just beginning to gain ground on a global scale, I became an active member of this global community.

image of durukan dudu

After returning to Turkey, working as coordinator and initiator for various NGOs, and then moving to the countryside, I became cofounder of Anadolu Meraları (Anatolian Pastures). I enjoy the Blues and nature sports, and take part in them to the extent that my abilities allow. I’ve worked in many different fields, started various different initiatives and developed many projects since my 20s.

I’ve been working as a regenerative agriculture consultant both in Turkey and abroad since 2017 on the projects of various international organizations, among them the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as well as for the private sector/farmers. To date I have worked as an international consultant outside of Turkey on projects in Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and Afghanistan. In addition, I have consulted for the private sector on projects in Sweden, the United States and Egypt. In terms of leading social initiatives in regenerative agriculture, I like developing tools and food models that “bring out the beauty in people and allow them to express it.” Such things don’t feel like work to me.

In 2017 I was chosen to be an Ashoka Fellow. In 2020 I began to invest personally in regenerative initiatives. 

I received my first training in Holistic Management from Allen Savory in the US in Colorado during the June 2013 Hub Leaders Bootcamp organized by the Savory Institute. In April of 2014, after completing a private training held in Spain, I became a certified Savory Institute Professional Educator. Since 2016 I have been accredited as a Savory Institute Field Professional. Since 2019 I have been a part of the Savory Institute Advisory Board. I participate in the Savory Institute’s international projects and trainings as an educator and facilitator.

During the last quarter of 2020 I began spending part of the year in Sweden’s Nordic Hub in an effort to set up a joint project between it and Anadolu Meraları.

In Turkey my work continues as cofounder and leader (as well as educator) of Anadolu Meraları, cofounder of SafiMera, and consultant for new social initiatives in the food-ecology-agriculture pyramid, occasionally offering my services free of charge to local NGOs.

I am not bad at mobilizing teams; creating spaces; and getting innovative, progressive ideas and initiatives with few resources off the ground. I’m learning the art of retreating from the spaces I’ve created. I’m the hunter of the tribe, and I thoroughly enjoy the experience of not spending too much time wandering around the kitchen. By learning the skill of “letting things happen” I am working to blend it with my urge and skill at “making things happen,” and thereby attain to the art of “powerful action.”