iAlumbra founder Christy R. Walton creates and partners with innovative businesses that diversify the economic base of communities while honoring and nurturing the planet.

The wealthy have a vital role investing in projects that are new and unproven, ones that traditional investors shy away from, yet that benefit the whole.

Christy founded many of the iALUMBRA BUSINESSES described on this website. She is also a committed philanthropist, actively participating in land and sea science and conservation, coastal restoration, aquaculture, renewable energy, air and water quality, cultural and architectural projects, youth education, reproductive choice, and healthy foods. Through her works and funding, she supports vibrant communities and different approaches to living.

Passionate about iAlumbra businesses, their purposes and their operational details, Christy is dedicated to pioneering approaches that have a commercial future and that simultaneously restore and strengthen particular communities and particular environments. While she occasionally supports macro level policy initiatives, she wants to see, hear, and feel the results of her efforts. Providing successful models that can be replicated by others is her gift to future generations.

COMBINING PHILANTHROPY AND BUSINESS
TO CREATE HEALTHY SYSTEMS

 
My interest is in investing in systems that bring positive changes in social, environmental, and economic health, which I see as inextricably intertwined.

In business, a level of profitability is a litmus test of viability. When pushing the boundaries of a system into a more vital yet untested realm, a level of wealth is often necessary in order to absorb the failures, and to create opportunities. This investment is often unrecoverable. Once the goal is reached however, a pathway to the future is opened so that others can participate at a reasonable level of investment and change can take place.
— Christy
 

CHRISTY WALTON SUPPORTS MYRIAD GROUPS & INITIATIVES

EDUCATION | CONSERVATION & SCIENCE | FOOD, CULTURE & ARCHITECTURE | COMMUNITY & CIVIL SOCIETY

 
Early on, my husband John and I decided that the main way to improve lives is through education. It is still an important component of what I do.
empowers the world's youth to take an active role in conservation while increasing ecological literacy.

empowers the world's youth to take an active role in conservation while increasing ecological literacy.

inspire curiosity, engagement, and leadership through transformative place-based education.

inspire curiosity, engagement, and leadership through transformative place-based education.

promotes positive social change by empowering vulnerable populations including women, youth and seasonal migrant workers.

promotes positive social change by empowering vulnerable populations including women, youth and seasonal migrant workers.

is a continuing education program that teaches educators how to incorporate environmental science into their own classrooms and curriculum.

is a continuing education program that teaches educators how to incorporate environmental science into their own classrooms and curriculum.

AbraPalabra provides after-school programs for children in their early years and implements activities that encourage reading to become habitual.

AbraPalabra provides after-school programs for children in their early years and implements activities that encourage reading to become habitual.

provides basic support of food and education for children and adolescents from impoverished areas to give them the opportunity to complete their education and improve the quality of their lives.

provides basic support of food and education for children and adolescents from impoverished areas to give them the opportunity to complete their education and improve the quality of their lives.

creates and employs community and urban food gardens to teach healthy lifestyles.

creates and employs community and urban food gardens to teach healthy lifestyles.

specializes in conservation, environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation with an emphasis on amphibians and reptiles.

specializes in conservation, environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation with an emphasis on amphibians and reptiles.

Christy helped with the purchase of Isla Espíritu Santo to ensure its long-term protection by Mexico's National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP).

Christy helped with the purchase of Isla Espíritu Santo to ensure its long-term protection by Mexico's National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP).

works with lawyers and scientists to protect the environment through the development, implementation, and enforcement of national and international law.

works with lawyers and scientists to protect the environment through the development, implementation, and enforcement of national and international law.

features natural history and biodiversity exhibits, hosts environmental education programs, and is engaged in binational scientific research.

features natural history and biodiversity exhibits, hosts environmental education programs, and is engaged in binational scientific research.

researches alternatives to fossil fuels in order to reduce pollution and pollution-related diseases.

researches alternatives to fossil fuels in order to reduce pollution and pollution-related diseases.

is one of the most important centers for ocean, earth and atmospheric science research, education, and public service in the world.

is one of the most important centers for ocean, earth and atmospheric science research, education, and public service in the world.

explores two remarkably different, but inextricably linked worlds — the Sea of Cortez and the Baja California desert. Proceeds from this giant-screen film support further conservation, education, and research.

explores two remarkably different, but inextricably linked worlds — the Sea of Cortez and the Baja California desert. Proceeds from this giant-screen film support further conservation, education, and research.

restores coastal communities by strengthening their collective leadership. The communities in turn restore their environments, which eventually provide sustainable incomes from harvesting and fishing.

restores coastal communities by strengthening their collective leadership. The communities in turn restore their environments, which eventually provide sustainable incomes from harvesting and fishing.

is a top-tier academic medical center that improves health through innovative research, education and patient care.

is a top-tier academic medical center that improves health through innovative research, education and patient care.

delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide.

delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide.

protects the environment and improves the quality of life in Mexico, Latin America and beyond. For decades, much of Christy’s philanthropy has been implemented through ICF.

protects the environment and improves the quality of life in Mexico, Latin America and beyond. For decades, much of Christy’s philanthropy has been implemented through ICF.

 

— the above represents a sample of Christy’s contributions —

AQUACULTURE CHALLENGE PRIZE MONEY DOUBLED

“Finding alternatives to wild-caught fish is essential for the future of aquaculture,” said Christy Walton, founder of Cuna del Mar. “We are excited to be part of this global effort by industry leaders to make fish-free animal feed a reality.”

THE FISH SITE, May 2019

SUPPORTING VIBRANT COMMUNITIES IN BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR

“Christy Walton, a major charitable force in the region since the 1980s… Her efforts have focused primarily on environmental sustainability and cultural heritage.”

MEXICO NEWS DAILY, March 2019

EXPANDING AQUACULTURE OPPORTUNITIES IN NORWAY AND GLOBALLY

“Cuna del Mar, the investment fund of Christy Walton, invests in sustainable businesses that use innovation to produce healthy seafood.”

PRIVATE CAPITAL JOURNAL, January 2019


CANADA’S $950-MILLION “SUPERCLUSTER” OCEAN RESEARCH INITIATIVE

“Cuna del Mar, a U.S.-based family office funded by Christy Walton, of the Walmart Waltons, is contributing $15 million [to this project.]”

FINANCIAL POST, December 2018

WHALE SHARK LOGS LONGEST-RECORDED TRANS-PACIFIC MIGRATION

“[A] multi-year project [that] also tagged 45 additional sharks in Panama with sponsorship from Christy Walton's Candeo Fund at the ICF, along with STRI and Panama's science and technology bureau (SENACYT).”

SCIENCE DAILY, April 2018

BUILDING POCKET COMMUNITIES

“[Christy Walton] is trying to bring community into the designed spaces where we live. [Her] first project called Black Apple was recently built in Bentonville, Arkansas.”

EUROPEAN HOME, September 2016


Bless Me, Ultima — IMAGEN FOUNDATION AWARD

Christy produced the film adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya’s novel Bless Me, Ultima, which premiered at the Plaza Theatre in El Paso, Texas in September 2012. The following year, the film won four Imagen Awards: Best Feature Film, Best Actor, for Luke Ganalon, Best Actress, for Miriam Colon, and the President’s Award, for Christy. Watch the video at right to hear Christy describe what this project meant to her.

Listen to a 2013 National Public Radio conversation about the film with actress Miriam Colon. Hear her voice, as well as Rudolfo Anaya’s, and learn how Miriam’s role was “a gift from heaven”:

 
 
 

Official Film Trailer
PG-13 | 1h 46min | Biography, Drama, History

 

Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center — Cultivating healthy Communities

 

Olivewood Gardens and The Kitchenistas went on to help overcome a health crisis in their community. This story aired on numerous broadcasting stations across the nation in 2016, and the program continues today to inspire people to take charge of their own well-being:

In 2006, Christy donated her National City, California, Victorian home to the International Community Foundation with a stipulation that the organic garden be maintained to teach children and inspire communities to grow their own healthy fruits and vegetables. Watch the video at left to see how Christy’s vision and home became Olivewood Gardens today.

In the 2013 PBS video below, starting at 11m 30s, former Executive Director Healy Vigderson of Olivewood Gardens describes how Christy’s garden was instrumental in saving her son’s life.


 

— visit individual iAlumbra business websites for additional news coverage —