Diane Gilman

Diane A. Gilman
1945 — 1998
Co-Founder of Context Institute

Diane Gilman received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara in Art. She was a professional water color painter and potter up to the time of developing Context Institute with her husband, Robert in 1979. In addition to serving for ten years as Associate Publisher of IN CONTEXT, she coordinated the Institute’s extensive citizen diplomacy work with the USSR, and was cofounder, with Robert Gilman, of the Foundation for Russian/American Economic Cooperation based in Seattle, Washington.

She headed up CI’s Sustainable Community Program, which published a report in 1991 on EcoVillages and Sustainable Communities from around the world including guidelines for the development of these communities as well as case studies. She also:

  • was responsible for much of the Institute’s international networking and liaison, particularly with Europe, Scandinavia and the former Soviet Union.
  • was, from March 1992 to September 1995, the western coordinator for the development of an ecologically sustainable community outside of St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • helped with the initial development and coordination of the Global EcoVillage Network, a support network for model communities that are serving as laboratories for how we can live more sustainably on the planet, including in urban, rural, developed and less developed situations.
  • co-facilitated a major Sustainable Community and Eco-Village Conference held at Findhorn, Scotland, October 1995.
  • was on the advisory board of the Eco-Village Training Center, Summertown, Tennessee as well as other organizations working to provide positive solutions for living in our times.

With her husband, Robert, they designed and hand-built their own solar home in 1975. They lived for three years in Winslow CoHousing, one of the first cohousing projects in the US based on this Danish model for community living. They then lived in Langley, a small pedestrian-oriented town on Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.

Diane left her body on January 21, 1998, after a long illness.

She is survived by Robert and their two children, Ian (b. 1971) and Celeste (b. 1981).

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