Featured Keynote Speakers:

Nicole Foss 

Click here for a descrpition of Nicole's keynote

Click here for a description of the Energy Democracy Panel

 

Nicole Foss is Senior Editor of The Automatic Earth, a big-picture website. Since January 2008, she and her writing partner have been chronicling and interpreting the on-going global credit crunch as the most pressing aspect of our current multi-faceted predicament. The site integrates finance, energy, environment, psychology, population and geopolitics in order to explain why we find ourselves in a state of crisis and what we can do about it. 

Nicole is also an international speaker on energy and global finance. She has lectured in hundreds of locations across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and has made many media appearances in a variety of countries. In addition, she has been involved in teaching permaculture design certificate courses in Central America, Europe and Australia. 

Prior to the establishment of The Automatic Earth, Nicole was Editor of The Oil Drum Canada, where she wrote on peak oil and financial crisis. She also ran the Agri-Energy Producers' Association of Ontario, where she focused on farm-based biogas projects, grid connections for renewable energy and Feed-In Tariff policy development. While living in the UK she was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where she specialised in nuclear safety in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, and conducted research into electricity policy at the EU level. She also has significant previous experience practicing as an environmental consultant.

Her academic qualifications include a BSc in Biology from Carleton University in Canada (where she focused primarily on neuroscience and psychology), a post-graduate diploma in air and water pollution control, the common professional examination in law and a Masters degree in international law in development from the University of Warwick in the UK.

To visit Nicole’s website, the Automatic Earth, please click here

To watch a video about Nicole and her work click here

Jim Merkel

Click here for a description of Jim's keynote

Click here for a description of the Limits of Growth Panel

 

Jim Merkel became dedicated to world peace and sustainable living after an ethical hemorrhage while designing and marketing top-secret military electronics.  Following the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, Jim quit work to begin an experiment in simplicity, limiting his earning, spending and impact. He traveled to Kerala. India in 1993 to study their sustainability achievements and returned to found the Global Living Project where five teams of researchers attempted life as global citizens. Jim has traveled, often by bicycle, searching for sustainable societies and documented his findings in Radical Simplicity – Small Footprints on a Finite Earth.

In an exciting new collaboration, Jim is joining forces to create a film with The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions who will serve as producer with Susan Jennings and Eric Johnson contributing to the film’s production. Award-winning filmmakers Deborah Shaffer and Robert Maraist of Fulcrum Films are contributing their creativity and skilled cinematography work to create the documentary film, The One-Hundred-Year Plan.

To visit Jim’s website, the Global Living Project, please click here

To learn about Jim’s current cinematic collaboration with Community Solutions please click here

To watch a video about Jim and his work click here

Featured Speakers:

Megan Quinn Bachman

Click here for a description of the Limits to Growth Panel

 

Megan Quinn Bachman is a journalist and environmental educator in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She is an award-winning reporter, columnist and photographer for the weekly Yellow Springs News, a columnist for the environmental news service website EcoWatch.com and adjunct instructor at Antioch University Midwest, where she teaches courses on ecology, environmental policy, sustainable agriculture and conservation.

To watch a video about Megan and her work click here

Peter Bane

Click here for a description of the Regenerative Land Use Panel

 

Peter Bane is the author of The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country, and a frequent contributor toPermaculture Design magazine (formerly Permaculture Activist). In 1994, he helped to found Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina where he built an off-grid home of natural materials. A solar energy pioneer, home remodeler, and microfarmer, Peter has provided consulting advice and design to landowners, municipalities, and universities for over 25 years. After moving to Bloomington, Indiana in 2006, he and his partner rebuilt an older home to achieve energy use reductions of 60% measured against the per capita U.S. residential average, based chiefly on the deployment of conventional building materials, passive solar design, grid-intertied photovoltaics, and changes in household practice that include rainwater collection, wastewater re-use, sustained yield harvest of wood fuel, sheet mulching with organic wastes, edible landscaping, and home food production and storage. He went on to advise the city of Bloomington on prospects for an Energy Descent future through his service on its 2008-09 Peak Oil Task Force. His teaching career has taken him from Canada to Patagonia, and among its highlights are launching permaculture education in the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago and helping to inaugurate permaculture design at the Ecovillage Training Center in Tennessee, at Indiana University, and at Paul Smiths College, New York. In 2005 his work in Media, Education, Trusteeship, and Community Development was recognized with the Diploma of Permaculture Design by the Permaculture Academy of Britain. He currently serves on the board of the Permaculture Institute of North America and on the board of the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, and is at work on a book about biological approaches to climate cooling.

To visit Peter’s website, Permaculture Activist, please click here

To watch a video about Peter and his work click here

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Kristen Barker

Click here for a description of the Community Economics Panel

 

Kristen Barker is a social entrepreneur and the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Cincinnati Union Co-op Initiative (CUCI). CUCI creates jobs that are accountable to workers and our communities by developing worker owned businesses based on the Mondragon-United Steelworkers union co-op model. CUCI has launched three co-ops, one non-profit and has three projects in various stages of feasibility/business planning. Prior to working full-time for the union co-op movement with Mondragon North America/MAPA, she spent 12 years at the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center fostering faith, labor & community partnerships. She is the mother of a resilient daughter with special needs. She is a lifelong Cincinnati resident (except 2 years in El Salvador) and a Xavier graduate.

For more information about Kristen Barker and her work, visit the CUCI website by clicking here

To watch a video about Kristen and her work click here

David Brandt

Click here for a description of David's workshop

Click here for a description of the Regenerative Land Use Panel

 

David Brandt farms 1,150 acres in central Ohio's Fairfield County. He began no-till farming in 1971 and has been using cover crops since 1978. David has participated in yield plots for corn, soybeans and wheat into various covers. This information has been used by seed growers as well as county agents and universities to encourage other farmers to adapt no-till practices in their farming operations. He has also been planting various blends of cover crops to find out what benefits they provide to improve soil. At present David is working with Ohio State University's Randall Reeder and Rafiq Islam on reducing input costs of fertilizers and herbicides using various cover crops, which improve soil health. He is also working with the regional Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soils lab in Greensboro, N.C., on the benefits of cover crops to improve soil health. David has received numerous awards for conservation practices, including the Ohio Conservation Educator Award from the Ohio No-Till Council, Ohio State University South Center's Supporter of the Year, Ohio Agriculture's Man of the Year, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, and Ohio NRCS Soil Conservationist Partnership and State Volunteer Awards.

To read an article about David and his work click here

To watch a video about David and his work click here

Bob Brecha 

Click here for a description of the Energy Democracy Panel

 

Dr. Robert Brecha was born and raised in Ohio and attended Wilmington High School and then Wright State University, graduatingwith a B.S. in physics in 1983. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990. From October 1990 until November 1992 he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Munich, Germany. Upon returning to the US, he took a position at the University of Dayton, where he has been since August 1993. He is now a Professor of Physics and teaches in the Renewable and Clean EnergyGraduate Program and coordinates the Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (SEE) Minor and other SEE initiatives.  Since 2006 he has been working periodically as a visiting scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

To watch a video about Bob and his work click here

Tom Clevenger

Click here for a description of Tom's workshop

 

Tom Clevenger is currently the Assistant Director for Administration and Finance at the Glen Helen Ecology Institute. In 2014, He helped start the grassroots run Zero Waste Yellow Springs initiative which seeks to curtail waste and address the issues waste and consumption create for the villagers and institutions of Yellow Springs. Tom's work background includes Solid Waste/Recycling Management, Outdoor Environmental Education, and Non Profit Administration and Finance. He holds a M.A. in Management and Leading Change from Antioch University Midwest.

For information about the Zero Waste Yellow Springs click here

Clay Dixon

Click here for a description of Clay's workshop

 

Richard Clay Dixon is an American politician of the Ohio Democratic party. He served as a city commissioner of Dayton, Ohio, and as the city's mayor. He was the second African-American person to serve as mayor of Dayton. He currently works with the Miami Valley Organizing Collaborative.

Miami Valley Organizing Collaborative is a grassroots action organization committed to improving the quality of life for workers and families in our communities across the Miami Valley. They strive to create positive change in our neighborhoods and communities through collective action. They aim to engage local leaders to be active in the political process on the local, state and regional level. They recognize that collaboration is critical to making our communities stronger. They will work to bring diverse organizations together to communicate, mobilize and organize around important issues and support partner organizations. They recognize and respect each organization in this coalition, and that each operates under their own set of values, beliefs, regulations and policies.

MaryEllen Etienne

Click here for a description of MaryEllen's workshop

 

MaryEllen Etienne provides ongoing input into the industry’s development, and helps businesses, municipalities and others incorporate robust reuse policies and strategies into their sustainability efforts. She regularly speaks about reuse and its triple bottom line benefits, and recently helped develop a national standard for sustainable resource management training programs as well as the first certification for zero waste facilities and professionals. MaryEllen is the CEO of Reuse Institute and the creator and producer of ReuseConex. She is also the founder of Reuse Alliance and co-founder of Creative Reuse Association and REUSE.International. She has worked with several other notable reuse and recycling organizations. She received her degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz, is on the board of directors of Association of Ohio Recyclers, Reuse Institute and SCRAP USA, and the advisory boards of National Recycling Coalition and US Zero Waste Business Council. She is the program director for the Solid Waste Disposal Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO.org).

To visit the Reuse Institute website, please click here

To visit the website of the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, please click here

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Tina Fields

Click here for a description of Tina's workshop

Click here for a description of Tina's pre-conference workshop

 

Tina R. Fields, Ph.D., has taught about the cultural, psychological, & spiritual sides of environmental issues since 1999, including five years living and guiding outdoors with the field-based Audubon Expedition Institute at Lesley University, and four years training sustainability activists at the M.A. level with New College. She is a dynamic speaker (and singer) who has served as keynote for such organizations as the European Ecopsychology Society, Napa-Solano Audubon Society, and the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness.

At Naropa, Dr. Fields teaches courses in Ecopsychology, Psychology of Wilderness Experience (8 days outdoors, including a fasting solo), three intensive residential courses in Transpersonal Psychology and in Ecopsychology, Ecopsychology in Context, and Transpersonal Service Learning.  

Her current work ties together ecopsychology, spiritual beliefs and practices, applied bioregional understanding, reskilling, and storytelling (including the history of thought, family ecological identity, and myths) to help environmental behavior change shift from a perceived burden to a chosen joy.  Tina is listed in numerous editions of Who’s Who. She is an ACISTE certified Spiritual Guidance Counselor specializing in non-clinical ecotherapy and spiritual emergence, a scholar/practitioner of shamanism and Druidry (pre-Christian Celtic earth-based spirituality), interfaith celebrant, and an accomplished visual and performance artist whose creative work helps build community and remind industrialized people of our animistic connection to the living world.

To watch a video about Tina and her work click here

Rev. Ann Fox

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The Reverend Ann C. Fox, a former native of the UK, is Minister Emerita of Unitarian Memorial Church, Fairhaven, MA. She holds a Master of English Education from the City University of New York and a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology. She has two adult children in California and the Netherlands and two grandchildren. She lives with her husband in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. 

Dr. Michael Gaines

Click here for a description of the Community Activism Panel

Click here for a description of Michael's workshop

 

Dr. Michael Gaines is a fanatic about service and supporting the community.  His passion has led him to active roles in the community and to seek positions that would allow the maximum amount of interaction with people.

As a servant leader, he has over 20 years in positions serving the community.  Michael joined Central State University as the new Director of the Dayton location (formerly CSU-West) in 2015.   Prior to this, he held various positions in the Dayton and Cincinnati area. These positions include a stint at Sinclair Community College as Senior Director of the School and Community Partnerships Division. As the Director of Youth and Young Adult Services for The Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency he lead the development of The Blueprint for Success construction program. While working with Cincinnati Public Schools he managed the Adult Education, Charter Schools and Homeschool initiatives. He brings with him a passion for education and for the community and has a proven track record of developing programming for youth, young adults, and adults.

Michael has over 25 years of experience in public speaking, having presented at national conferences, and at churches and non-profit organizations throughout the Midwest.  He is an aspiring author with his first book, Fail Into Success, scheduled for release in 2016.  He has served on a number of Dayton community boards including Parity Inc., Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and Mound Street Academy.  His awards are varied including the Dayton Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award and Parity’s Top 10 African American Male award.

He holds a Bachelors of Arts from Morehead State University, a Masters of Arts in Adult and Higher Education from Morehead State University, and his Doctorate in Urban Education and Leadership from the University of Cincinnati.

Richard Heinberg

Click here for a description of the Energy Democracy Panel

 

Richard will be appearing via Skype to participate in the Energy Democracy Panel

Richard Heinberg is a journalist and educator who has written extensively on energy, economic, and ecological issues, including oil depletion. He is the author of thirteen books, and presently serves as the senior fellow at the Post Carbon Institute. He is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost advocates for a shift away from our current reliance on fossil fuels. He has written for Nature, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Christian Science Monitor among other publications, and has delivered hundreds of lectures on energy and climate issues to audiences around the world.

He is the author of thirteen books including:

Richard Heinberg is the author of thirteen books including:

  • Our Renewable Future (June 2016)
  • Afterburn (2015)
  • Snake Oil (2013)
  • The End of Growth ( 2011)
  • Peak Everything (2007) 
  • The Party's Over (2005)

For Richard Heinberg’s website please click here

For our conference sponsor and sister organization’s website, post carbon institute click here

To watch a video about Richard and his work click here

Eric Johnson

Click here for a description of Eric's tour

 

Eric Johnson has been involved in energy issues since the mid-seventies.  As an editor for Community Solutions over the last ten years, Eric has edited their two documentaries on peak oil and passive house construction.  Recently, he began the Yellow Springs Energy YouTube Channel with Community Solutions, which seeks to document the many local efforts of citizens to reduce their carbon footprint and save energy.  He will be giving a tour of his 100 year old home which he has been retrofitting for 15 years, dramatically reducing his energy consumption.

Jonna Johnson

Click here for a description of Jonna's workshop

Click here for a description of the Community Activism Panel

 

Jonna earned her Master’s degree with Northern Arizona University’s interdisciplinary, scholar-activist Sustainable Communities program.  Her academic concentration and professional expertise is in community empowerment and holistic sustainability education.  Her passion for authentic relationships with young people, all earthlings, and the earth as a whole has guided her to work with community-based nonprofits, social justice organizations, national parks, peace cooperatives, higher education, residential outdoor education, and youth empowerment summer camps.  Jonna specializes in advanced analysis of Dr. Seuss, and gourmet peanut butter and banana combinations.

Erik Lindberg

Click here for a description of the Limits of Growth Panel

 

Erik Lindberg earned his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature in 1998, began his career as a carpenter, and now owns and runs a company called Community Building and Restoration, which specializes in historic restoration. In 2008 he installed a rooftop farm on the building that housed his shop and warehouse, and within a year was operating what may have been the world’s first rooftop CSA.  This project launched him into a world of sustainability activism about which he had been previously unaware.  In 2009 he helped start The Victory Garden Initiative and serve as board president, and was part of the inaugural steering committee of Transition Milwaukee. He has been a frequent contributor to "Resilience." In 2011 his wife gave birth to their twin sons, Evjen and Isak; his writing and activism has, since then, become less frequent but all the more meaningful.

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Nadia Malarkey

Click here for a description of Nadia's tour

 

Nadia Malarkey is a garden and landscape design professional who began her practice in 1996. She specializes in providing a comprehensive and personalized landscape design service throughout the Midwest and beyond. Her work is synonymous with creating spaces that are architecturally dynamic, aesthetically pleasing and ecologically regenerative. In developing each design Nadia considers the possibilities and limitations of each site, the architecture of the home, and the particular wishes of the client. She then develops a design where harmony, rhythm, and aesthetic integrity combine to create a unique and appealing sense of place.

Nadia's projects incorporate environmentally friendly practices to produce landscapes that enhance biodiversity and biomass while enriching our experience of the changing seasons. Many of her gardens exemplify how regenerative design, while addressing habitat fragmentation and climate change, can be elegant, uplifting and ever-evolving in surprising ways.

Nadia is a Pre-Registered Member of The Society of Garden Designers (SGD), UK; a Member of the Ecological Landscape Alliance, USA, the Yellow Springs Environmental Commission,  and the Yellow Springs Resilience Network. Nadia spearheaded the three part Environmentally Friendly Landscaping Series in Yellow Springs in collaboration with John DeWine and Michele Burns of Flying Mouse Farms, Doug and Kat Christen of Smaller Footprint Farm and ISA certified arborist, Bob Moore. She is also the founding member of the Yellow Springs Pollinator Regeneration Project.

Nadia continues to attend conferences and pursue study on the history and innovations in garden design, spatial design, ecological landscaping, soil health, environment and climate change.

In 2015, Nadia’s project entitled “Regenerating Suburbia” was selected as a Finalist in the annual SGD Awards for the category ‘Planting Design.’

To visit Nadia’s website please click here

Nicole Manieri

Click here for a description of Nicole's workshop

 

Nicole is a student of Herbalism, a singer/songwriter, and dedicates her life to community-based healing work in various forms. She has spent the last nine years  in attentive practice in the art and science of building compassionate, accountable relationship with herself, her family, her community circles, and her local habitat - believing that personal transformation, and how it plays out in relationship,  is the root of cultural transformation.  With her husband and son, she lives a life close to the earth with the intention to reclaim the dignity and restorative wisdom of the Wild in our inner and outer landscapes.

Rhine McLin

Click here for a description of Rhine's workshop

 

Rhine Lana McLin is an American Democratic politician from Ohio. McLin received her Bachelor of Arts in sociology and secondary education from Parsons College and her Master of Education in guidance counseling from Xavier University. She also holds an associate's degree in mortuary science granted by the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.

McLin was elected mayor of Dayton in 2001, defeating incumbent Republican Michael R. Turner and began serving her term in 2002. She was re-elected in 2005, defeating opponent David R. Bohardt. McLin was an Ohio delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention. In 2009, she finished her term as mayor.

Rhine McLin's political career has been full of firsts. In 1994, McLin became the first African-American woman elected to the Ohio State Senate. She was the first African-American woman to serve as Ohio Senate minority leader. Upon leaving the Senate, she became the first woman to serve as mayor of Dayton. She is the third African-American mayor of Dayton. Finally, in late 2005 she was the first African-American woman to serve as head of the Ohio Democratic Party.

Eric Smith

Click here for a description of the Community Activism Panel

 

Since 2010, Eric Smith has been serving with Think Tank Inc. and the Springfield Promise Neighborhood initiative to pilot and scale promising practices related to the achievement gap that exists between poor youth in low-income neighborhoods and their better off peers. Prior to Think Tank, Eric served in Africa with an international development organization, and on a workforce development program with a local community action agency.

Eric received his BA from Taylor University with a double-major in History and International Studies. He will complete in 2015 his MA in Community Development from North Dakota State University. Eric holds professional certifications in such areas as Asset Based Community Development. Currently, Eric teaches a Building Leaders to Build Communities class through Clark State Community College.

Eric’s experience and education have helped to strengthen his natural interests, abilities, and skills in everything from community, program, and organizational development to workshop facilitation and curriculum writing. For sixteen years Eric has been using his skill set in one way or another to build communities where ALL people can thrive regardless of socioeconomic background.

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Matt Stannard

Click here for a description of Matt's workshop

Click here for a description of the Community Economics Panel

 

Matt Stannard is policy director for Commonomics USA and a longtime economic justice advocate, on the board of directors of the Public Banking Institute, and has provided economic and legal advocacy support for victims of violence and economic insecurity in the U.S. and abroad. He has spoken and written on worker-owned cooperatives, basic income, public banks, and the intersection of economic oppression and interpersonal violence. His education includes a JD from the University of Wyoming's College of Law. 

To read an article by Matt Standard please click here

To visit Matt’s website, commonomicsusa, please click here

Sellus Wilder

Click here for a description of Sellus's screening

Click here for a description of the Energy Democracy Panel

Click here for a description of Sellus's pre-conference workshop

 

Sellus Wilder is a former City Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem of Frankfort, KY, where he lives with his wife and children. When not producing film and video projects, Sellus can be found farming on the banks of the Kentucky River.

To watch a video about Sellus and his work click here

 

Linda Wigington

Click here for a description of Linda's workshop

Click here for a description of Linda's tour

 

Linda Wigington was the 2002 recipient of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy's Champion of Energy Efficiency Award. Linda Wigington is a residential energy consultant and founder of the Affordable Comfort conference. Through ACI, she worked under contract to PG&E to support projects that aimed to achieve deep energy reductions (70% or more) as part of the Thousand Home Challenge. She has direct knowledge of many residential energy projects that are delving beyond business as usual to achieve 70% and greater reductions in site energy use.

Visit Linda's website here