Monday, May 19, 2014

Making minds meet

On May 3rd we convened a group of friends on a Saturday to discuss daunting issues related to the sustainability of our ecology, our economy and our health.

We started from the premise that we all accepted the idea that the way the great majority of us currently live is unsustainable, and that continuing on the same course without deep change will leave a world behind for the next generation that is increasingly unhealthy, unhappy, unequal, and unable to sustain a growing human population. 

We have become impatient waiting for scientific or political consensus on the exact degree to which we are in trouble, and believe together we must begin the work of envisioning a more sustainable and joyful way of life at both the individual and societal levels.  
And so we turned to our friends to join in this work. 

With just one day planned for talks, we invited a small group of people across different disciplines to talk about where they and their worlds fit into these issues. With representatives from the fields of research, environment, public health, law, social justice, media and journalism, food and agriculture, landscape architecture, planning, design, art and culture, and politics, we sat together with family and engaged in serious dialogue for eight hours. Each talk was inspiring, imformative and eye-opening, some even revolutionary. (see the speakers and topics below.)

Now that we've met, exchanged ideas, gotten the ball rolling, we have to keep the momentum up. We can't let these ideas fizzle in the summer heat. So we'll start acting and reporting back on some of our progress.

~ ~ ~

Inaugural convening of "Meeting of Minds"
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Abrupt climate change or abrupt societal transformation? Which comes first?
Radley Horton, Research Scientist, Center for Climate Systems Research, Columbia University

Reversing the reversing trend in life expectancy: Corporate and cultural responsibilities in promoting the public’s health
Jocelyn Apicello, Farmer, Longhaul Farm | Educator, William Paterson University and Bard College Prison Initiative

The opportunities and limitations of ethical consumption
Dahni-El Giles, Attorney | Social entrepreneur

The reality of making a living in the sustainable food system
Pablo Elliott, Farmer, Marble House Project

Walking the mundane - towards a productive urban landscape
David Seiter, Principal, Future Green Studio

News organizations today and the shift towards sustainable communications
Ned Rauch, Environment Reporter, The Journal News

Art & social activism: From the farm to Sao Paolo
Cannon Hersey, Artist | Organizer

Undamming the mass movement: Exploring barriers to sustainability progress at the government, community, and individual levels
Jason Angell, Farmer, Longhaul Farm | Advocate

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