Allan Savory, born in Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa (University of Natal, BS in Zoology and Botany), pursued an early career as a research biologist and game ranger in the British Colonial Service of what was then Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia) and later as a farmer and game rancher in Zimbabwe.
In the 1960s he made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems and, as a resource management consultant, worked with numerous managers on four continents to develop sustainable solutions.
He served as a Member of Parliament in the latter days of Zimbabwe’s civil war and became the leader of the opposition to the ruling party headed by Ian Smith. Exiled in 1979 as a result of his opposition, he emigrated to the United States, where he continued to work with land managers through his consulting business. The growth of that business, a desire to assist many more people, and his recognition of the need to further his work led him to turn to the nonprofit world. In 1992 Savory and his wife, Jody Butterfield, formed a non-profit organization in Zimbabwe, the Africa Centre for Holistic Management, donating a ranch that would serve as a learning site for people all over Africa.
In 2009 Savory, Butterfield, and a group of colleagues co-founded the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado, to establish a global network of entrepreneurial innovators and leaders committed to serving their regions with the highest standards of Holistic Management training and implementation support. The Africa Centre became the first of the Savory Institute’s locally led and managed “hubs.”
His book, Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision-Making, describes his effort to find workable solutions ordinary people can implement to overcome many of the problems besetting communities and businesses today.