Gino Dante Borges, Ph.D., Founder


Raised on a California dairy farm, Gino was the first in his family to go to college…where he had to prove himself after drifting a bit in high school. He thought college was the answer because he didn’t know what else to do…he studied finance hoping it would be as much fun as making money trading baseball cards.

Gino enjoyed college…enough to go for a Ph.D in Communication Studies at Purdue University. He began graduate school with an interest in money, he finished with an interest in humanity. Gino was the only graduate in his class who found professorship too heady, so he went out on his own and wrote a book about headiness: Binge Thinking: a collaborative college vocabulary.

Then Gino met the backcountry, studying and practicing outdoor survival in the Great Basin and Northern Arizona…and his sense of the world opened up.

At the same time, Gino’s family needed somebody to operate business affairs, so Gino dove back into numbers and dollars while managing commercial real estate investments and farm properties. While based in San Francisco, Gino’s craving to create and express led him to filmmaking, where he co-wrote, co-produced and directed a full-length feature called Mismo. Many days in dark editing rooms had him longing for more light and life. So back to the land he went… wanting to connect his creativity with nature. Gino started to host retreats and lead quests, developing “the wild self” as a platform for feeling alive and well.

As Gino moved from San Francisco to the nearby town of Fairfax, he became interested in community resilience… what it means and how to foster it. He helped co-design a complimentary currency called the Fairbuck, for which he became Merchant Outreach Director and Board Member. In conjunction with community, Gino began to see land, food and wellness as centerpieces to quality living. Soon this interest turned into reality.

After his father passed away, Gino moved back to his family’s ranch in Northern Nevada out of duty and necessity…and to add value to the place that had provided him with so much. As Director of The Borges Ranch Project, Gino began connecting with the ecology of his surroundings…learning to grow organic food from seed…tending to the wild…and creating a land-based hub inspiring people to connect with place, practice conservation, embrace local food, witness wildlife, and build community.  As Founder of Citizens for Smart Geothermal Growth, he led an effort to protect rural life faced with unregulated energy development.

Combining his interest in finance and quality of life, Gino currently helps mission-driven businesses and asset managers implement investment practices that account for the welfare of people and natural systems, as well as stakeholders, thus achieving full potential for positive impact.

Animate Edu and The Ecology of Leadership Program emerged from Gino’s quest to feel light and right…inspiring him to share his insights with you.


‘when surrounded by immense chatter, listening to my breath turns out to be my preferred company’ – gino dante borges