Second Nature was founded in Boston in 1993 by a small group of forward-thinking leaders that included Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA), Teresa Heinz Kerry, Bruce Droste, and others. This group sought to establish an organization dedicated to bringing about the change in society that is vital to the success and livelihood of every current and future living being: a change for a just and sustainable future.

We began with a multimillion dollar outreach and advocacy effort to catalyze such transformative change -- change that would have universities produce students prepared for character and citizenship as well as commerce and career in the 21st century.

Our work since 1993 has helped bring to life the elegant concept of Education for Sustainability (EFS), and we have succeeded in helping expand EFS into a national movement. Among many other things, this work brought forth vital networks of energized individuals and institutions to capitalize on the knowledge and projects already taking place around EFS. These networks would not have begun without the catalyst of the Second Nature team and the collaborations and work of like-minded organizations and individuals. We also provided some of the first methods for thinking of the university as a fully integrated community.

In August 2012, David Hales became the second president of Second Nature, contributing to the organization with his academic, government, and NGO leadership experience.


In October 2014, Timothy Carter became the next president of Second Nature. Coming from the Butler University Center for Urban Ecology, he brings with him expertise in urban ecology, environmental policy, and non-profit management.