Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Nora Ephron, and Arianna Huffington Urge Conference-Goers to Rise Above Their Fears

Speakers headlined Omega Institute's annual "Being Fearless" conference

RHINEBECK, NY - Former Vice President and Oscar award winner Al Gore and famed primatologist Jane Goodall addressed a sold out conference hosted by the Omega Institute over the weekend in New York. Their message? Hope and personal courage are the antidotes to anxiety brought on by war, terrorism, economic disruption and global climate change.

Best-selling author and screenwriter Nora Ephron, nationally syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington, and a host of other speakers also addressed the fourth annual "Being Fearless" conference that was held at the Sheraton New York Hotel.

"This 'Being Fearless' conference was our best yet. We are living in such a period of uncertainty and people are hungry for leaders to help us through," said Skip Backus, Executive Director of the Omega Institute, a nonprofit educational center that specializes in wellness and personal growth. "Four years ago we hosted a 'Being Fearless' conference to help New Yorkers who found themselves struggling in the post-9/11 world. The response was so overwhelming that we've been hosting it ever since," he said.

"I was honored to be a part of this wonderful gathering," said former Vice President Al Gore. "As a country, and as a world, we face many serious challenges, but we cannot afford to let those challenges paralyze us with fear. Rather, we need to be bold and courageous and confront the challenges of our time with optimism and hope. It was my pleasure this weekend to join the Omega Institute in examining the fears in our lives, and finding tools to overcome those fears. I was grateful to be a part of such an important and powerful conference," said Gore.

The Omega Institute was founded 30 years ago and has grown into the nation's most respected source for wellness and personal growth. Every year, more than 20,000 people attend workshops, seminars, conferences and learning vacations. Most come to Omega's campus, which is situated on 195 acres in Rhinebeck, NY, but Omega also hosts events in New York City and in various places throughout the world. This year, there are retreats in Costa Rica and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Omega is also building a year-round community through live streaming and downloads.

"Through all of our conferences and workshops, we seek to create a space where meaningful dialogue can take place. It's not just personal growth that people want, but broader social change. This conference also reflects our desire to play a bigger role in facilitating a larger dialogue," Backus said.

About Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is the nation's most trusted source for wellness and personal growth. As a nonprofit organization, Omega offers diverse and innovative educational experiences that inspire an integrated approach to personal and social change. Located on 250 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega welcomes more than 23,000 people to its workshops, conferences, and retreats in Rhinebeck, New York, and at exceptional locations around the world.

Press Contact

Chrissa J. Santoro, External Communications Director
150 Lake Drive Rhinebeck, NY 12572
845.266.4444, ext. 404