Why "Cascade"?

The Cascade Institute draws its name and vision from two inspirations: the Cascadia bioregion where the Institute is located, and the concept of cascading system change in the field of complexity science.

The Cascadia bioregion lies in coastal northwestern North America, from the “Copper River in Southern Alaska to Cape Mendocino in northern California, and east as far as the Yellowstone Caldera and continental divide.” It extends across a host of national and sub-national boundaries, thus linking diverse economic, social, and cultural systems with the region’s extraordinary physical geography, climate, watersheds, plants, and animals. Culturally, the people who call the region home possess a strong, conscious relationship with the natural world in which they live—making Cascadia a valuable testbed for innovation and experimentation around sustainable development. Although the Cascade Institute resides within the human and natural systems on Vancouver Island, its researchers extend their studies across local, regional, and global scales to derive creative solutions to humanity’s common problems.