Omega's Annual Environmental Conference Brings Noted Filmmakers, Authors, & Activists To New York's Hudson Valley | Omega

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Chrissa J. Santoro
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Omega's Annual Environmental Conference Brings Noted Filmmakers, Authors, & Activists To New York's Hudson Valley


Erin Brockovich, Josh Fox, Frances Moore Lappé, Laurie David & Other Leading Voices Join Omega's Design By Nature Conference

RHINEBECK, NY – Today, Omega Institute, a leading environmental steward in New York's Hudson Valley, announced its annual environmental conference Design By Nature: Preserving Life's Essentials: Bread, Water & Shelter, will be held on its Rhinebeck, New York campus, from August 19–21, 2011, and will feature inspiring stories from visionaries who brought sustainable solutions to their communities and beyond.

"At Omega we know the decisions we make every day, as individuals and as organizations, have a monumental effect on the environment. We are proud to offer programs that help people examine their role in preserving precious resources, and that remind us we are all part of a larger whole," said Robert "Skip" Backus, chief executive officer at Omega.

The weekend opens on Friday, August 19 at 8:00 p.m., with a keynote talk about how individuals can make a difference, from Erin Brockovich, the woman responsible for winning the largest medical settlement in history against a company poisoning the water of an entire town.

Saturday, conference participants will hear from Laurie David, producer of An Inconvenient Truth and author of The Family Dinner, about how to cut through the fog of modern living to recreate community. Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and You Have the Power will discuss how to choose courage in a culture of fear, and Bob Berkebile, founding principal of BNIM Architects, will demonstrate how architecture can foster holistic, integrated communities. Saturday evening the film Gasland will be shown and Josh Fox, filmmaker and director of the film, will speak about the importance of taking a stand to protect our precious resources.

The conference ends Sunday, August 21 at noon, after two closing keynote talks. The first talk will be from Omega's chief executive officer, Robert "Skip" Backus, who was the driving force behind the creation of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), the first green building in America to achieve both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certifications—the highest environmental performance standards available today. The final keynote talk will be from Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, who will show how environmental justice and green-collar jobs can transform our communities.

This conference is open to anyone interested in learning how everyday choices—from supporting local agriculture to protecting natural resources—can change the world.

Full and partial scholarships are available. For detailed information, including presenter biographies, or to register, please visit or call 800.944.1001.

A limited number of media passes are available. Photography restrictions may apply. To apply for a media pass, visit

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 195 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.

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