Ignacio Krell

MAPLE Microdevelopment

Other Affiliations

Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA)


Degree of Sociologist from the University of Chile
Masters in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon

Honors and Awards

2011-2012 -University of Oregon Teaching Assistant Scholarships.
2011- Summer Research Grant Fund of the Center for Latin American Studies
from the University of Oregon.
2009- CONICYT Bicentennial Scholarship for the formation of advanced human capital

Research Interests

My work and studies with Mapuche communities began in 1999 in collaboration with Mapuche communities combining research and practice in different contexts: from activism against the flooding of ancestral lands by mega-dams in the Biobío, to community-based ecotourism, to community-led design of financial and environmental self-management tools. Jointly with my partner Alison Guzman, we co-founded in 2013 the MAPLE Microdevelopment Chile Program, in which I am Co-Director. Since 2012, I have been conducting most of my research and practice through Maple Microdevelopment Chile, a collective dedicated to co-designing tools for indigenous economic autonomy and resilience with a geographic focus on Mapuche-Lafkenche communities of Lake Budi, on the Pacific coast of Northern Patagonia. Working from this platform, we have been able to establish enduring collaboration with families and leaders of Lake Budi under the principles of relationship-building, experience-based mutual learning, strengthening local management capacities and teams, and expansive validation of indigenous protocols, authorities, values and economic practices. Since 2019, we are systematizing the learning processes involved in the indigenous-led codesign of Apoyo Mutuo, an innovative and uniquely Mapuche community finance tool in practice since 2014, initially through a Multidimensional Impact Assessment; and currently through designing a guiding toolkit for adaptive replication of methods, protocols and processes by other community practitioners. We have also been involved in creating a community-led strategy for regenerating native landscapes and wetlands through community-run tree nurseries, biocultural corridors and youth engagement in intergenerational knowledge revitalization, in collaboration with our sister organization, the recently created Budi Anumka Environmental Association.

My current research focuses on agroecological transition/scaling-up as a social praxis, institutional syncretism and co-design as a decolonizing methodology, tourism entrepreneurship in biocultural territories, community/alternative finances and commoning, and indigenous environmental history and knowledge, and more generally, environmental sociology, political ecology, agroecology, indigenous peoples,  and critical development studies.

Contact Information