To you, what is an Ecosystem Builder?

An Ecosystem Builder is a creative who sees a gap in the diversity of a potentially vibrant, regenerative community. They are the natural connectors because they see the strengths in a community down to the smallest contributions and unique qualities each person and organization offers. They build from a place of purpose and accountability well beyond their own individual gain.

What motivates you as an ecosystem builder?

I am motivated by the unlimited potential that is created by people working from a place of pure passion and purpose. With that said, I fully understand that full potential cannot be reached if basic needs are not met. Providing resources and reinforcements through a sustainable and inclusive community to ensure foundational/basic needs are met is the primary need to launch and continue to build and maintain a successful ecosystem. Once this is established, the possibilities are endless and THIS motivates me like nothing else! The magic of human potential and purposeful collaboration is inspiring.

What is the most successful/impactful program/event/thing you do/have done in your ecosystem?

Creating, Founding and Co-Owning the first-ever coworking space in the “innovation corridor” and “fastest-growing counties” in central Texas is hands down the most impactful thing I have done in alignment to our ecosystem.

Splash’s intentional efforts in the community have given opportunity and inspiration to many – resulting in new start-ups, innovative technology solutions for local non-profits, solved long-standing community challenges, broken barriers, and bridged relationships that would have never formed otherwise. With over 200 current members and thousands of people joining the Splash community each year,  we have created a ripple effect that affords our community a safe, inclusive, and inspiring foundation filled with hope, support, and motivation to succeed.

What is your biggest challenge as an ecosystem builder?

The biggest challenge we see is burn-out. We live in an instant gratification society which can challenge vision. We strive to educate our community that success takes commitment, strategy, discipline, and patience to sustain the journey and see long-term growth. The success of small/local business is incredibly vital for a sustainable economy. Helping start-ups and new business owners to have and hold a long term vision is important and we’re constantly working to address this message in our programming.

What is your biggest frustration as an ecosystem builder?

Having to deal with the culture entrenched with the decision-makers and having to dissolve the old way of thinking in order to utilize best practices of the past and integrate these practices into forward-thinking methodologies.

What ecosystem building skill/knowledge do you want to gain?

I would like to learn more about community foundations and how to leverage or develop a localized currency.

What are the most important things that need to happen to advance the field of ecosystem building?

Having a universal system that opens up the opportunity for multiple forms and channels of capital that can be measured and valued – not only monetary capital but also social, human, and knowledge capital so transactions can naturally happen in an ecosystem without being constrained by monetary capital.

How can we support you in your work?

My efforts can be supported by having a space and platform to share the successes or accomplishments within our ecosystem including those within our community. This validates our efforts and reinforces the importance of ecosystem building.

What others say about Carina

Carina has built an ecosystem that is not only legendary but one that can be duplicated and customized to the needs of other communities throughout the world. The foundation and innovation she has deliberately invested in her hometown not only honors the past five generations her family has in the area but the next seven generations of the future.  Carina has rolled up her sleeves and made the community of San Marcos and the region believe in themselves by witnessing her brainchild, Splash. She has done it with grace, integrity and humility.

Carina has lead the charge to foster a dynamic and engaging ecosystem in San Marco, TX not only for those who work for themselves or work remotely but also for those who care about their town. Through tireless volunteerism, struggling to get a small business off the ground, supporting local officials and advocating for those unable to do so for themselves, Carina is the definition of an ecosystem builder.

Carina is part of a long line of change makers in her home community of San Marcos, Texas. She has a unique ability to connect people across generations and cultures for the purpose of creating access to a far-ranging set of opportunities to re-imagine a larger future for themselves and their communities.

Carina Boston Pinales founded a coworking space as a foundation for collaboration among a distinct ecosystem community. Its membership is asked to partake in supporting all goals. The space is tastefully furnished with recycled donations. Daily, all food and packaging used in the facility is recycled and even washable towels are used in lieu of paper. As a living example of a Ecosystem Builder, the space shares knowledge and encourages community engagement such as river cleanup.

Learn more about Carina and her work at Splash.

Anika Horn

Anika Horn is an ecosystem builder for social change, social enterprise advisor and storyteller. She is on a mission to equip ecosystem builders with the insights, resources and community to lead fulfilling lives and purpose-driven careers. Learn more about her work at and