Julie Ristau is the Co-director of On The Commons and part of the organization’s leadership team that works to apply commons-based approaches to real-world problems.
She has a strong background in agriculture, publishing and strengthening civic society. She helped launch Utne Reader magazine and acted as Publisher and Co-Chair. She served as Executive Director of the National League of Rural Voters and co-founded and directed Regeneration Partnership, an initiative that worked to reinvigorate civic institutions and process around the country. She held the endowed chair in Agricultural Systems at the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) where she taught, conducted field research and did enterprise development aimed at building social capital in communities.
Ristau is currently Co-chair of Homegrown Minneapolis, an initiative launched by the mayor of Minneapolis to expand local food and sustainable agriculture in the region and is a board member of MISA.