Past Ventures

The Learnalism Project (2010)

Sean’s most recent social venture is a journalism and education project he co-founded in 2009 called The Learnalism Project, which seeks to provide an in-depth exploration of the inspiring steps humans are taking towards a just and healthy world.   The project is a celebration of the individuals and communities all over North America that are creating and practicing holistically sustainable ways of living on the planet.

By sharing these stories, the project hoped to create a framework of possibility that supports its audience feeling inspired, capable, and empowered to be the change they wish to see in the world.

In the Spring of 2010, the project sent a two person journalism team (Sophie Theriault and Sean Ritchey) to visit, document and share projects that they saw as shining examples of the kind of change our world is calling for.  They continue to work on producing and publishing the material they gathering on their journey.  For more info, see

Vida Samiha: The Week (2009)

Vida Samiha: The Week was an event (part conference, part retreat) for young adults who were working on making meaningful impacts in their communities – whether it be through social organizing, entrepreneurship or intentional living.  Participants spent the week exploring how to apply holistic design tools to social ventures, and examined (and practiced) how to build a foundation for deeply impactful social transformation.  Sean co-organized and co-facilitated the event with Sophie Theriault (with key guest facilitation by Rafter Sass, who lead a two-day workshop on applying Permaculture principles to social organizing).  For a more detailed look at what was covered during the week, see the event wrap up report.

Deep Green Building (2007-2010)

Until early 2010, Sean was a managing partner of a green home design and general contracting company that he co-founded in early 2007.  The firm primarily did deep energy retrofits of existing building in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley region, including (but not limited to):

• An envelope renovation of a single family home where we cut energy use by 70%.   The renovation upgraded the entire building’s insulation and air barrier envelope, dramatically increasing R-values and almost entirely eliminating thermal bridging (R-Values: Walls = R-40, Roof = R-65).  We also installed triple pane windows throughout and installed a full house HRV system (Heat Recovery Ventilator).
• A renovation of a historic two unit building we’re we did a gut remodel of the first floor and cut the building’s heating/cooling loads by 60%, while preserving the original aesthetic appearance and feel.