Source of Leonardo Academy’s Name Print
 leonardo academy nameLeonardo Academy was named after the Leonardo da Vinci Academy, an earlier nonprofit founded by Gunnar Johansen.

Gunnar Johansen was born in Copenhagen, Demark in 1906 and lived in the United States from the late 1920s until his death in 1991. He was a pianist, composer, teacher and the first musical Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin.

During his lifetime, Johansen was concerned that the fragmentation of human knowledge into separate disciplines was becoming a barrier to solving the world’s problems. To promote interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving, Johansen established the Leonardo da Vinci Academy, a nonprofit organization devoted to the integration of the arts and sciences and the development of interdisciplinary solutions.

Gunnar and Lorraine Johansen during visit by composer Alexander KaloianThe Leonardo da Vinci Academy held symposiums on many issues, primarily concerning energy and the environment. Noteworthy participants in these symposiums included Edward Teller, inventor of the American hydrogen bomb, and Buckminster Fuller, inventor of the geodesic dome.  

The Leonardo da Vinci Academy was shut down before Johanson passed away in 1991.

In 1997, Michael Arny founded a new nonprofit to address energy, environmental and sustainability issues. The need for interdisciplinary solutions to the world’s problems remained as pressing as it had in the 1970’s, and Arny named the new organization Leonardo Academy to honor the work of Johanson and his organization.