Conference Presenters | Omega

Conference Presenters

vandana shivaVandana Shiva, PhD is a world-renowned environmental leader, eco-feminist, author, and thinker. Director of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology, and Ecology, she is a 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  
Winona LaDuke 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. LaDuke is founder and Co-Director of Honor the Earth.
Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is a board member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. canadians.org
Ralph Nader has been honored by Time magazine as "One of the 100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century." Nader helped create the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Will Allenfarmer, founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., is recognized as a preeminent practitioner of urban agriculture in America and throughout the world. growingpower.org
Natasha Bowens is an author, beginning farmer and community activist who focuses on building empowerment and community with food and storytelling. The Foreword Review calls her book The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming “a trailblazing look at the past and present of North American farming” through the eyes of farmers of color. thecoloroffood.com
Ken Greene founded the Hudson Valley Seed Library. He is a tireless advocate for seed sovereignty and the important role of art in celebrating our agricultural and horticultural heritage. seedlibrary.org
Jalal Sabur is a farmer, organizer, and educator. He is the co-founder of the Freedom Food Alliance, a collective of small rural and urban farmers, activists, artists, community folks, and political prisoners who use food as an organizing tool.
spiritchild, a freedom singer from the South Bronx by way of Brooklyn, uses the arts to cultivate a cultural revolution throughout the world. His eclectic and experimental fusion of true school hip-hop, funk, electronica, and jazz continues to break boundaries. xspiritmental.com
Decora is a hip hop artist, DJ, emcee, producer, and performance poet based in the Hudson Valley of New York. Decora is a multifaceted artist, whose interdisciplinary utopian vision unites a folk music ethos with hip hop and social change through community action, making an entirely new creative experience for audiences that is both formally innovative and consciously progressive.
Bette Arrastia-Nowak is in the ninth-grade and lives in upstate New York with her father Mark Nowak, a writer, and her mother Lisa Arrastia, who teaches at SUNY Albany. "Illuminating the Blackness of Invisibility" is Betye’s first public poem; it’s inspired by Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man and the most recent murders of African Americans in the U.S. 
John Todd, PhD, is cofounder and president of Ocean Arks International, and founder and chairman of John Todd Ecological Design, Inc., an international design, engineering, and natural resource planning firm. Author of more than 200 articles and seven books, he is the inventor of Eco Machines for the treatment of wastes, production of foods, generation of fuels, and restoration of damaged aquatic environments. toddecological.com
Robert “Skip” Backus is chief executive officer of Omega and the visionary behind the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL). He helped lay the foundation for Omega’s environmental and conservation initiatives, including campus recycling and composting, sustainable purchasing and support of local agriculture, water conservation, and 100% sourcing of campus electricity from wind and solar technology.