2014 Where We Go From Here Conference | Omega

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2014 Where We Go From Here Conference

Building the Collaborative Commons

Available Until: 12/31/2017
Vandana Shiva, Van Jones, Jeremy Rifkin, Bill McKibben... See More

Enjoy select presentations from the Omega Center for Sustainable Living conference Where We Go From Here: Building the Collaborative Commons.

From its beginnings as Water of Life, to Design by Nature, and now the Where We Go From Her conferences, the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) conference series is inspiring, informative, and reliably offers a rich diversity of speakers, performers, and engaged participants.

In October 2014, the Omega Center for Sustainable Living brought together some of the world’s leading thinkers, writers, activists, and practitioners in the fields of sustainability, economics, and social justice to discuss the commons. It was the first major conference on the commons in North America.

The conference discussed how we can take back and renew the heritage of the commons—in many ways the foundation of our society. The central question asked was how can the commons be used to help build a resilient and regenerative society, one based on ecological sustainability as well as economic and social justice?

More than 15 speakers spoke on topics as diverse as climate change, agriculture and seed saving, energy supply, 3D printing, the sharing economy, green jobs, and computer coding, all from the perspective of the commons.

Watch select keynote talks from these amazing teachers and then join the conversation!

  • Robert "Skip" Backus
  • David Bollier
  • Vandana Shiva
  • Leslie Booker
  • Devita Davison
  • Jason Stern
  • Ethan Roland Solaviev
  • Winona LaDuke
  • 2015 OCSL Award: Groundwork Hudson Valley
  • Van Jones
  • Jeremy Rifkin
  • Panel: Jeremy Rifkin, David Bollier, and Vandana Shiva
  • Michael Gayk
  • Osprey Orielle Lake
  • Panel: Carla Goldstein, Osprey Orielle Lake, Winona LaDuke, and Vandana Shiva
  • Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
  • Bob Berkebile
  • New York Harbor School Students
  • David W. Orr
  • Bill McKibben
Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva, PhD, is a world-renowned environmental leader, eco-feminist, author, and thinker. Director of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology, and Ecology, she isa leader in the International Forum on Globalization, along with Ralph Nader and Jeremy Rifkin. Recipient of many awards, she also has served as an adviser to governments and NGOs. navdanya.org

Van Jones, a former advisor to President Obama, is author of The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream. He is a political contributor to CNN and president of Dream Corps, a social justice accelerator. In 2009, Time magazine called him “one of the 100 most influential people in the world.” vanjones.net

Jeremy Rifkin

Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, is an authority on economic sustainability. His books include The Third Industrial Revolution and The Empathic Civilization. foet.org

bill mckibben photo

Over the past three decades, Bill McKibben has shaped public perception—and public action—on climate change, alternative energy, and the need for localized economies. An environmental activist, bestselling author, and "the planet's best green journalist" (TIME), McKibben is the founder of 350.org, the massive grassroots climate change initiative.

winona laduke photo

Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) is an internationally acclaimed author, orator and activist. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities with advanced degrees in rural economic development, LaDuke has devoted her life to protecting the lands and life ways of Native communities. HonorTheEarth.org

David Bollier is an influential American activist, writer, and policy strategist who focuses on democratic culture, promoting citizen action and reclaiming the Commons. He is cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group and the author of Think Like a CommonerGreen Governance, and The Wealth of the Commons, among other books. bollier.org

David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and special assistant to the president of Oberlin College. He is founder of the Oberlin project and a founding editor of the journal Solutions. oberlinproject.org

Bob  Berkebile

Bob Berkebile is an influential sustainable design architect and community planner, a founding principal of BNIM Architects, and a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the Nature Conservancy, and the Center for Global Community. bnim.com

Devita Davison is the Co-Director of FoodLab Detroit, a non-profit organization that represents a diverse community of food businesses and allies working to make good food a sustainable reality for all Detroiters. FoodLab provides support to over 100+ food businesses through high-quality workshops, field-trips and networking opportunities --- all with the goal of cultivating good food businesses.  A native Detroiter, Davison moved back home after running a specialty food retail shop in Brooklyn, New York and now plays in a leading role in the region’s emerging food scene.

Osprey Orielle Lake

Osprey Orielle Lake is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN). She works nationally and internationally with grassroots and business leaders, policy-makers and scientists to promote resilient communities, foster a post-carbon energy future, while also addressing societal transformation. 

Robert "Skip" Backus

Robert "Skip" Backus, is chief executive officer of Omega and the visionary behind the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), the first green building in America to receive both LEED® Platinum and Living Building Challenge™ certification. For more than 20 years, he has played a leadership role at Omega as operations director and campus manager, maintaining all of Omega’s buildings. In this capacity, he helped Omega lay the foundation for its environmental initiatives. He frequently speaks about sustainability at a variety of venues. eOmega.org/ocsl

Leslie Booker, a cofounder of the Yoga Service Council and director of trainings for Lineage Project, brings her heart, wisdom, and compassion to the intersection of social justice, yoga, and mindfulness.

Carla Goldstein, JD, is Omega Institute’s chief external affairs officer and cofounder of the Omega Women's Leadership Center. An attorney with 25 years of experience in public interest advocacy, she has contributed to more than 100 city, state, and federal laws, and has worked extensively on issues related to women’s rights, poverty, public health, and social justice. eOmega.org/owlc

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is the 16 year old indigenous environmental activist and youth director of Earth Guardians, a non-profit environmental organization committed to protecting the water, air, earth, and atmosphere. He has organized many rallies, actions, demonstrations and events, giving his first speech at a climate change rally when he was six years old. His work on climate change has led him to become a youth plaintiff against the state of Colorado, and a federal plaintiff against the United States, filing law suits for not protecting the atmosphere.

Ethan Roland Solaviev, core developer of Eight Forms of Capital framework and coauthor of Regenerative Enterprise, is an international expert on permaculture, entrepreneurship, and regenerative investing. terra-genesis.com

Jason Stern has been a student and teacher of G. I. Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way for 25 years. He has extensive experience in the several Fourth Way lineages, including PD Ouspensky, JG Bennett, and the Gurdjieff Foundation. He is founder of Chronogram magazine, and author of Learning to Be Human. aieioiuoa.com

michael gayk

Michael Gayk earned an MFA in Jewelry and Metals from the University of Washington and an BFA in Metals Design from the College for Creative Studies. Michael’s current work is emblematic of tension within muscular structures and pivot points within the human body.