Guests

Join us for in-depth discussions with leading authors, scholars, activists, healers, permaculturists, poets, philosopher-mystics, grassroots bioremediators, and others who simply defy categorization. Our guests will include:

 

Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His viral short films and essays online have established him as a genre-defying social philosopher and countercultural intellectual. He is one of the leading voices of the progressive movement and according to Publishers Weekly, he ”will be noted in antiquity as one of the seminal and pioneering storytellers of this new world." Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy. He is the author of Sacred Economics, The Ascent of Humanity, and most recently, A More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible. We ask him some of the unabashedly philosophical questions that keep Earth activists up at night. 

 

Dr. Curt Stager is an ecologist, paleoclimatologist, geologist, radio host and science journalist with a Ph.D. in biology and geology from Duke University (1985).  He has published over three dozen peer-reviewed articles in major journals, and has written extensively for general audiences in periodicals such as National Geographic. Stager brings his diverse background to bear on his books, radio programs, and presentations, blending the long-term perspective of a climate historian and multidisciplinary outlook of a biologist-geologist with the communication skills of a lifelong teacher and writer. He joins us to cast a vision for Earth deep into the future.

 

Dr. Joanna Macy is an eco-philosopher and a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activism. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application. Her wide-ranging work addresses psychological and spiritual issues of the nuclear age, the cultivation of ecological awareness, and the fruitful resonance between Buddhist thought and contemporary science.

 

Martín Prechtel is a leading thinker, writer and teacher whose work, both written and oral, hopes to promote the subtlety, irony and pre-modern vitality hidden in any living language. As a half blood Native American with a Pueblo Indian upbringing, his life took him from New Mexico to the village of Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. There becoming a full village member of the Tzutujil Mayan population, he eventually served as a principal in that body of village leaders responsible for instructing the young people in the meanings of their ancient stories through the rituals of adult rights of passage. Once again residing in his native New Mexico, Martín teaches at his international school Bolad’s Kitchen. Through story, music, ritual and writing, Martín helps people in many lands to retain their diversity while remembering their own sense of place in the daily sacred through the search for the Indigenous Soul.

 

Matthew Fox might well be the most creative, the most comprehensive, surely the most challenging religious-spiritual teacher in America. He has been renewing the ancient mystical tradition of Creation Spirituality, founding the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, which incorporates Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Sufi, Native American, goddess, Hindu traditions as well as ecology, social justice, feminist theory and art. Fox’s effort to reawaken the West to its own mystical tradition has included revivifying awareness of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Thomas Aquinas and the Cosmic Christ tradition, as well as interacting with contemporary scientists who are also mystics.  He has authored two books with British biologist Rupert Sheldrake, and has worked closely with Native American leaders such as Buck Ghosthorse. We discuss deep ecology as a spiritual practice that must be put in action.

 

Toby Hemenway is the author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, which for the last eight years has been the best-selling permaculture book in the world. Toby has been an adjunct professor at Portland State University, Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University, and has taught over sixty permaculture design courses. He has presented lectures and workshops at major sustainability conferences such as Bioneers, SolFest, and EcoFarm, and at Duke University, Tufts University, University of Minnesota, University of Delaware and many other educational venues. We discuss the broader social context of food, the ecological problems of civilization, the joys of nomadism, and permaculture’s place in restoration.

 

Leila Darwish, author of Earth Repair: A Grassroots Guide to Healing Toxic and Damaged Landscapes, is a grassroots activist and teacher, who is tirelessly spreading the good news about nature’s intrinsic self-healing mechanisms, such as oil-eating mushrooms or heavy-metal-slurping flowers. Bioremediation (which she admits is a horrible word) is nonetheless one of the most crucial tools for helping the Earth help herself heal from the tragedy of industrial pollution.

 

Miles Olsen, author of Unlearn, Rewild: Earth Skills, Ideas and Inspiration for the Future Primitive is an eco-philosopher living on Vancouver Island, BC. He deals with the practical and psychological implications of returning to an Earth-based existence. He shares with us his nuanced understanding of rewilding based on his personal insights living with a small group of like-minded friends in the wilderness of British Columbia.  

 

Dr. Susan Murphy Roshi is a writer, radio producer and film director, film professor, as well as the founding teacher of Zen Open Circle in Sydney Australia. She has a special interest in the way Zen and indigenous Australian sense of 'care for country' come together. Susan is the author of the book, Upside Down Zen and her latest book is Minding the Earth, Mending the World: The Offer We Can No Longer Refuse, a Zen response to our slow-burning planetary emergency. 

 

Albert Bates is a permaculturist, inventor, and author of thirteen books, including The Biochar Solution. Bates has played a major role in the ecovillage movement as one of the organizers of the Global Ecovillage Network, and has lived on The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee since 1972. A former environmental lawyer, he challenged the very existence of the nuclear industry, and went before the US Supreme Court. He has been director of the Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology since 1984 and of the Ecovillage Training Center at The Farm. Albert avails us with his colorful life journey, the dynamics of ecovillage living, the miraculous biochar solution, and more sober realms of the climate crisis and nuclear reality. 

 

Linda Tucker, an ecological activist, grew up in South Africa during Apartheid and attended the Universities of Cape Town in South Africa and Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In 2002, she founded the Global White Lion Protection Trust, an organization that works to protect not only the white lions, but also the indigenous communities and knowledge of the Tsonga and Sepedi cultures, which celebrate the white lion as a sacred living heritage. Her spellbinding new book, Saving the White Lions: One Woman’s Battle for Africa’s Most Sacred Animal, chronicles her life’s journey as the chosen torchbearer of the white lion shamanic tradition and her valiant battle to preserve these mythical creatures.

 

Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist since 1982. In a period when many authors and lecturers are merely "arm chair herbalists" who offer theories and opinions based on book learning, and others have turned to the exotic traditions of India or China, he has been an active practitioner of traditional Western herbalism. He has helped tens of thousands of clients over the years, with many difficult health problems. While Matthew believes in the virtue of many other healing modalities, he has always been inspired to learn, preserve, and practice the tradition of herbal medicine descending to us from our European, Anglo-American, and Native American heritage. We talk about the benefits and cultural importance of plant-based medicine in a hostile world of diminishing plant habitat. 

 

Dr. Priscilla Stuckey is a creative non-fiction writer who blends personal stories with insights drawn from history, ecology, natural sciences, and many spiritual traditions. She holds advanced degrees in American religious history and feminist theory, and has taught at Naropa Institute and Prescott College. She is active in local and international movements to recognize the rights of nature, and teaches workshops on spiritual reintegration in nature. We discuss the religious and intellectual roots of separation from nature, the misfortune of human domestication, and the marvels of interspecies communication.

 

Climbing PoeTree is the combined force of two boundary-breaking soul-sisters who have sharpened their art as a tool for popular education, community organizing, and personal transformation. Poets, performance artists, print makers, video and graphic designers, muralists, and new media architects, Alixa and Naima create compelling works at the service of their vision for a more just and livable world. Their award-winning performance is composed of dual-voice spoken word poetry, hip hop, and multi-media theatre that challenges its audiences to remember their humanity, dissolves apathy with hope, exposes injustice, and helps heal our inner trauma so that we may begin to cope with the issues facing our communities. 

 

Peter McCoy co-founded the Radical Mycology project in 2006 with a focus on teaching the simplest and most effective methods of mushroom cultivation for the purposes of food sovereignty, medicine production, community-scale remediation, and resilient living. Peter McCoy began studying mycology and mushroom cultivation over 14 years ago. What began as a self-guided passion in his younger years has since developed into a life-long devotion to the fungal kingdom and educating the world about its ability to heal the bodies, minds, and ecosystems of the planet. Peter has helped design mycoremediation projects in Ecuador, Canada, and US, and is the main author of the upcoming book, Radical Mycology. He takes on a mental voyage to the frontiers of mushroom science, and back.

 

Courtney White is the author of several books, including Grass, Soil, Hope and co-founder of the Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to building bridges between ranchers, conservationists, public land managers, scientists, and others around the idea of land health. Today, his work with Quivira concentrates on building economic and ecological resilience on working landscapes, with a special emphasis on carbon ranching and the new agrarian movement. We dissect the controversial notion that cattle ranching, if properly practiced, can be a powerful tool for rapid carbon sequestration.

 

Mark Shepard runs New Forest Farm, the 106-acre perennial agricultural forest considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the United States. New Forest Farm is a planned conversion of a typical row-crops grain farm into a commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem using oak savanna, successional brushland and eastern woodlands as the ecological models. Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants and fungi are planted in association with one another to produce food (for humans and animals), fuel, medicines, and beauty. Mark, a self-proclaimed permaculture pirate, is rallying the future generation of food producers to rise to the epic task ahead.