Keynotes & Workshops
Saturday • 9AM - 10AM • Keynote: TIMOTHY YOUNG
Timothy Fitzgerald Young is founder, President and Chef of Food For Thought, Inc., an organic and wild-harvested gourmet specialty foods company with the mission of creating and raising awareness around just and sustainable food systems and to serve as a model to counter the global industrial food system. In addition to creating exciting products from the farms and forest of northern Michigan, Young has a long history of humanitarian activism on a range of issues. Timothy was a founding board member of the Domestic Fair Trade Association. He is currently President of the Benzie County Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Northwestern Michigan College Foundation and On The Ground. Food For Thought is located on an organic farm in northern Michigan and housed in a green building built by Timothy in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, where he lives with his wife, Kathy, 9 year-old daughter Stella and 5 year-old son Connor.
Sunday • 9AM - 10AM • Keynote: JACKIE VICTOR
Jackie Victor is the co-founder of Avalon International Breads, a socially responsible artisan bakery in Detroit founded in 1997. She moved to Detroit after graduating from University of Michigan in 1988 to be part of the economic, cultural and spiritual revival of Detroit. Jackie’s three decades of activism and co-creation have been inspired by a wide range of individuals and movements, including the Neahtawanta Center on Old Mission Peninsula and the Boggs Center on the east side of Detroit. Jackie raises her children, Rafi (12) and Ari (7) in the Lafayette Park neighborhood of Detroit. She is on the boards of Greening of Detroit, the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, and SheTroit.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS • 2:00PM to 3:30PM
Take An Observational Walk
The public rights of way are the most obvious, daily expression of the commons. We will visit Munson Ave and reflect on how the design of the built environment reflects cultural values - or doesn’t - down to the smallest details. Julie Clark, Executive Director of TART Trails, and Gary Howe, geography instructor, photojournalist and owner of MyWheelsareTurning.com, will lead the discussion of how design influences behavior and vice versa.
Tune In . . . and Become Aware
Fast paced, hectic and stressful are words that too often describe our daily lives. 'Awareness' is the doorway to deep connection with nature, self and community. In this experiential workshop, participants - through breathing, movement, meditation, and group discussion - will to tune in to their 'being' and form a deep relationship with the wilderness that is both within and outside of the self. Led by Lena Maude Wilson, yoga instructor and Matt Miller, Kriya Townsend and John Michael Musselman, who run the Human Nature School.
SATURDAY MORNING WORKSHOPS • 10:15 AM to 11:45AM
A Council of All Beings: High School Students
A Council of All Beings is a powerful teaching ritual to create empathy, compassion and the desire for action. Mary Ellen Newport PhD, teacher and administrator, Jenna Scheub MA, botanist and Interlochen instructor and Gulshirin Dubash MFA, Interlochen theater instructor will present powerful work done with high school students coming to grips with the anthropocene extinctions through research, mask-making and prepared monologues.
ALAP: Connecting Money and Entrepreneurs In Our Own Backyard
The As Local As Possible (ALAP) Investing Group went “live” following last year’s Bioneers conference and we have much to share! In this interactive workshop join the ALAP organizers, Zach Liggett, Co-founder of Goldeneye Asset Management, LLC, and Bruce Odom, Owner of Odom RE-USE Co., to discuss bringing together triple-bottom-line-focused businesses with local investors and how this group might get better and have even more impact.
Ayurveda, the Science of Life and Self-Healing
Ayurveda principles are universally applicable to each individual's search for physical well-being, harmony, and longevity. When we heal, the earth heals. Participants will learn their particular body/mind type, the chemistry of food as both sustenance and medicine and many common sense principles for preventing and halting illness and disease. Libby and Michael Robold have been teaching yoga for decades, Libby is a trained Ayurveda Yoga therapist.
We are connecting to an ancient ally. Practicing with our honey bee teacher is an earth based model that reveres the honeybee and all of her gifts as sacred & magical, healing & nutritious while grounded in practical technique. This is an introductory workshop for anyone interested in learning more about ‘natural BeeKeeping’ and how honeybees promote biodiversity. Beekeeping predates the Greeks and hives hold biomimicry metaphors. Sharon Jones, Bee Misstress for over 30 years, and Meg Louwsma, Wise Woman Herbalist, will help you listen to the bees and learn honeycomb technique.
Better Buildings for Michigan - Residential Energy Efficiency as Clean Energy Source
Have you ever thought of your home as a source of clean, cheap, and renewable energy? Energy efficiency offers huge untapped energy resources clean like wind and solar but less expensive and easier to access. Ann Erhardt, Programs Manager, and Anne Hertle, Energy Optimization Coordinator for Western Michigan Environmental Action Council will offer the environmental, economic, and social case for home energy efficiency. Leave the workshop with connections to the resources you need to make your home more comfortable and affordable.
A Commons Lab: Co-Creative Community Solutions
We will look at why reclaiming the commons invites a different understanding of what ‘belongs’ to us, who else shares in it, why we value it and how we can take care of it. People everywhere are discovering the excitement, creativity and sense of power that comes with reclaiming and reinventing their commons. From urban land reclamation and food sovereignty work to public space, seeds and our Great Lakes, people are experimenting with ways of claiming shared resources. Join Alexa Bradley, Program Director, and Julie Ristau, Co-director at On The Commons for this interactive, strategy-building workshop for revitalizing the commons in our communities.
Lessons Learned Connecting the Local and Global
Join Chris Treter, owner of Higher Grounds Trading Company and founder of the linked nonprofit organization called On the Ground (OTG), to gain a global perspective on going local. Learn about OTG’s work in Ethiopia, Palestine and Mexico and the farmers that they partner with. See the tangible connections one community can form with another community, even when they are thousands of miles apart.
Health and Well-Being: Back to the Basics
Join Flora Biancalana MD, Laura Franseen MD, and Anne Hughes FNP to explore the Precautionary Principle and get rooted in self-reliance, our communities, and Earth. We’ll holistically explore health literacy, nutrition, movement, first aid, natural medicines, emotional well-being and how our relationships influence our health.
Preserving the harvest is a great way to eat locally all year round. How do you figure out how much and what to put by? If your power were cut off for a winter week, what should you have on hand to be prepared? Amanda Kik, co-founder of ISLAND and co-chair of the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference will use Sharon Astyk's book Independence Days as a guide to help you leave the workshop with a plan that will fulfill your family's unique tastes and needs.
Organic Gardening for Any Scale
Building soil organic matter, increasing biodiversity, using rain water, cycling nutrients from yard and kitchen residue by composting, growing vegetables and herbs are all good steps on the path to cultivating a healthy community -- and can be done in your backyard! Vickie Morrone, with the Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance, will explain a variety of organic techniques appropriate for any scale.
Shifting Mosaics: Permaculture with or without Livestock
The May Farm, owned by Paul and Sharron May, will explain in story and song how they went from raising food for their family to raising food for a community using permaculture ethics and principles. The Mays will explain the value of perennial grasses and grazing animals in restoring marginal land and how a complimentary blend of permaculture techniques both with and without livestock provides fertility, labor, recycling of nutrients and wastes and closes the loop on farm activities.
The Laughing Qigong Sisters Present Healing with Fun
Instigating positive change begins at "Zone 00", your inner world. Qigong translates as ‘life energy cultivation’ and helps align your breath with gentle movement, sound and visualization for self-healing. Experience the Inner Smile Meditation, the Six Healing Sounds and more. Learn easy ways to feel refreshed, resilient and ready for whatever changes the world may bring. No previous experience necessary! Presented by Joan D'Argo, owner of TC Shiatsu and Qigong and Nance Belton, owner of Bleu Haven Healing Arts Center.
Water, Food, Energy - The Global Nexus
A recent Mckinsey & Co study found that the collective human demand for water will exceed supply by about 40% within the next 20 years. In a presentation including on-the-ground reports from around the world, this workshop will explore the water-food-energy nexus and provide a window into how peoples, cultures, governments and businesses are responding to this global challenge. J. Carl Ganter is director and co-founder of Circle of Blue, the leading news and science organization that reports on freshwater issues globally.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS • 2:00PM to 3:30PM
Body Ecology: Getting Grounded
What does it mean to be ‘grounded' and feel the Earth as support? Participants will slow down, drop into their senses and discover new ways to be embodied. Join Kima Kraimer, a Rolf Structural Integration Practitioner and Somatic Movement Educator, in a discovery of our body architecture and inner eco-systems by using sound and micro/macro movement. Walk away with techniques that can be integrated into daily life.
Cold Frames and Compost Bins!
In this DIY (do-it-yourself) workshop, Ken and Franny Bluhm, an architect and an educator, will demonstrate how to build a cold frame so that you can grow food year round out your back door. Dave Warren, a retired builder and organic gardener, will demonstrate how to build a compost bin from repurposed pallets and discuss various composting methods, including worms. This workshop will be outdoors, weather permitting.
Reuse Art with SCRAP TC
This workshop will inspire and motivate you to look differently at creativity. Create your own art from items diverted from the waste stream with Kristin Anton and Liz Lancashire who operate SCRAP TC, a non-profit dedicated to promoting sustainable behavior and creative reuse based on the SCRAP Portland model.
- General PowerPoint presentation - 30-45 minutes
- Creative Craft Challenge in small groups- 30-45 minutes
- Reuse craft project 1.5-2 hrs
SUNDAY MORNING WORKSHOPS • 10:15 AM to 11:45AM
Build Your Shelter, Rebuild Your Life
Bring together your ideals, your health and the health of the earth in creating your own handmade shelter. This class will walk you through the steps and considerations and help you find a path around the obstacles to right-sizing your shelter, your life, and living more lightly on the earth. Rolf and Mari von Walthausen live debt free in a 242 square foot, non-toxic cabin they built by hand (no power tools!) and have a 240 square foot guest house as well. This has changed their life and their relationship to work.
Climate Change 2012: Becoming a Climate Activist
For the last four years Peter Sinclair has been accumulating data from the world's leading climate scientists, and translating it into words that the average person can understand. In this workshop, Peter will clarify the information (and disinformation) about climate change and how it is changing the planet and our lives. Participants will also hear from climate activists, and learn what efforts are underway, on a local, state and national level, to solve the climate crisis, and how you can get involved. This workshop is for anyone who wants a better understanding of the most important environmental and policy issue of this century. Joined by Maura Brennan.
Creating Sacred Ceremony
Many people desire to have a method to expand their spiritual life within the framework of their own values, beliefs and traditions. Karen Cline, a social worker and shamanic healer, will provide steps for designing spiritual ceremonies that reflect your unique symbology and traditions that you can practice in solitude or with others. Please feel free to bring a drum, rattle or other musical instrument and objects of personal meaning.
Manifesting Energy Solutions
Help the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council plan a participatory November summit to define a path toward a sustainable regional energy supply. This workshop will be a dress rehearsal to solicit input and “work out the kinks”. Presented by Kate Madigan, Ken Smith and other members of the NMEAC Board.
Envisioning the Future of Food in Michigan
Do you envision a future where you know all the people who grow your food? Where everyone has access to food that nourishes and sustains? There is a lot of great work going on around food and a compelling vision of the future helps guide action today. Sherwood Smith, President of Avenue ISR and former Oryana board member, and Chris Dilley, General Manager of People's Food Co-op of Kalamazoo and founding board member of Fair Food Matters, will facilitate a look into the future of food in Michigan and the Good Food Charter. Participants will leave with a clear 20-year vision and a 12-month action plan.
Guilds, Groups and Granges: Mutual Support for Skill Building
Beekeepers, fruit tree growers, tech geeks, canners, fungiphiles and more: learn about guilds, clubs, groups, associations, granges, unions, transition towns and other systems for mutual support. This workshop will cover the history and the basics of organizing a guild in your community. Explore building guilds that work in the Great Lakes bioregion with Brad Kik and Yvonne Stephens of ISLAND, the Institute for Sustainable Living, Art and Natural Design.
Looking Beyond the Landscape: How our Landscapes Impact Birds, Butterflies, and Other Wild Creatures
Learn how landscapes interact with ecosystems, with special emphasis on indicator bird and butterfly populations. Matthew Bertrand, with the Grand Traverse Conservation District and Coordinator of the Invasive Species Network, will guide an exploration of historical plant communities and current regional best practices - natural shorelines, low-impact design (for stormwater management, for non-point source pollution mitigation, for habitat expansion), habitat corridors, home-scale habitats and permaculture.
The Nature of Children’s Literature
Depictions of animals and nature are declining in children's books. Children also spend far less time playing outdoors and far more time plugged in to electronic media. These trends only continue -- and intensify -- in adulthood. What does this mean for our collective connection to the natural world? Come share stories, grapple with hard questions, and get inspired to take action in your family and community. Kate Hofmann is a writer/editor for the National Wildlife Federation and has been writing for the children’s wildlife magazine Ranger Rick for over six years.
Seasonal Health with Chinese Medicine
This workshop will explore how to maintain and improve health using the principles of chinese medicine. We will discuss how organs like the lungs and kidneys are impacted by each season. Learn Qi Gong practices for each season as well as seasonally appropriate dietary suggestions and recipes. Elon Cameron MSTOM Dipl. OM, is nationally board certified (NCCAOM) in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Oriental Medicine.
Modern Media for Environmental Education and Advocacy
This workshop has everything you need to know about modern media but were afraid to ask. This interactive class, hosted by West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) Communications Director, Daniel Schoonmaker, and Activism Director, Nicholas Occhipinti, will demonstrate proven and emerging tactics that drive grassroots awareness. Learn about low-cost tools and strategies for partnering with existing media, increasing public engagement and using a variety of online social media for your cause or campaign.
What Each of Us Must Do to Save the Great Lakes
Flow for Water is a non-profit coalition whose mission is to save the great lakes forever. Attorney, Jim Olson who brings extensive experience in public trusts, environmental and water law, will empower attendees with your water rights and review the associated responsibilities. Though threats such as pollution, water diversion and climate change are growing, each one of us can help save the Great Lakes for future generations.