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2012: TIME FOR CHANGE presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. As conscious agents of evolution, we can redesign post-industrial society on ecological principles to make a world that works for all.  CHOOSE AN OPTION ABOVE TO WATCH AND GIFT THE FULL FILM!



2012: TIME FOR CHANGE presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom.  Directed by Emmy Award nominee João Amorim, the film follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, on a quest for a new paradigm that integrates the archaic wisdom of tribal cultures with the scientific method.


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RUSSELL BRAND talks about why he thinks you should watch 2012: TIME FOR CHANGE. The iconic comedian is fascinated with DANIEL PINCHBECK and his work on how consciousness expansion is an integral ingrediant for the sustainability of our planet. CHOOSE AND OPTION ABOVE TO WATCH AND GIFT 2012: TIME FOR CHANGE.


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Sting's interview on the BBC about "2012: TFC". Choose an option to the right to watch & gift the full film.


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Watch prolific author, futurist and Chairperson & Co-Founder of The Foundation for Conscious Evolution, BARBARA MARX HUBBARD's extended interview from 2012:TIME FOR CHANGE as she expounds on what, exactly, Conscious Evolution is and what it means to humans and humanity. Learn more about her at CHOOSE AN OPTION ABOVE TO WATCH & GIFT THE FULL FILM.


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From 2012: TIME FOR CHANGE, watch iconic filmmaker and Transcendental Meditation master DAVID LYNCH's extended interview. CHOOSE AN OPTION ABOVE TO WATCH & GIFT THE FULL FILM.


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Watch Tiokasin Ghosthorse's extended interview from "2012: TFC." Choose an option to the right to watch or gift the full film!


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Watch Penny Livingston-Stark's extended interview from "2012: TFC." Choose an option to the right to watch & gift the full film.


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Learn from visionary mycologist PAUL STAMETS as he discusses our evolutionary successes and failures in his extended interview from 2012: TIME FOR CHANGE. To learn more about his work, go to CHOOSE AN OPTION ABOVE TO WATCH & GIFT THE FULL FILM.


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João Amorim is an Emmy-nominated Brazilian director, he, speaks five languages and worked internationally for years as an industrial designer, animator & animation supervisor.  João directed many short films including Ferrrets For Freedom and the award winning Don't Get Charged Up (on the recycling of batteries) before his feature film debut, 2012: Time For Change, Joao meditates everyday, paints, practices yoga and has a permaculture sustainability project in Brazil through his NGO, Ciclo Sustainable.



2012: TIME FOR CHANGE presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom.  Directed by Emmy Award nominee João Amorim, the film follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, on a quest for a new paradigm that integrates the archaic wisdom of tribal cultures with the scientific method.


The Official Trailer
2012: Time For Change
Russell Brand on 2012: Time For Change
Sting talks 2012 with the BBC
Barbara Marx Hubbard Interview
David Lynch on Meditation
Tiokasin Ghosthorse Interview
Penny Livingston-Stark Interview
Paul Stamets on Mycilium
Director João Amorim Interview
2012: Time For Change

  Don't let the date fool you. This documentary is more relevant than ever! Exploring the issues facing the planet today. TIME FOR CHANGE presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom.  Directed by Emmy Award nominee João Amorim, the film follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, on a quest for a new paradigm that integrates the archaic wisdom of tribal cultures with the scientific method. As conscious agents of evolution, we can redesign post-industrial society on ecological principles to make a world that works for all. Rather than breakdown and barbarism, Time for a Change heralds the birth of a regenerative planetary culture where collaboration replaces competition, where exploration of psyche and spirit becomes the new cutting edge, replacing the sterile materialism that has pushed our world to the brink.  


Co-Founder, Rainforest Foundation ---

Composer, singer, actor, and activist; Sting has won universal acclaim in all these roles, but he defies easy labeling. He's best described as an adventurer and risk-taker. As he himself has said, "I love to put myself in new situations. I'm not afraid to be a beginner." Husband and father of six, masterful guitarist and bassist, and devoted Yoga practitioner, he's made a career, in fact, of new beginnings.

A milkman's son from Newcastle, England, Sting was a teacher, soccer coach and ditch digger before turning to music. His eclectic tastes, equally inspired by jazz and the Beatles, would eventually prove prophetic. In 1977, Sting met Stewart Copeland and they, along with guitarist Andy Summers, formed the Police. The band quickly became a success both in the UK and US scoring several No. 1 hits including "Roxanne," "Every Breath You Take," "King of Pain," and "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." They earned five Grammy Awards and two Brits, and in 2003 the band was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The trio's live work forecasts the astonishing inventiveness and range of influences that Sting would fully realize in his solo career.

With the release of Dream or the Blue Turtles in 1985, followed by Bring On The Night, Nothing Like The Sun, The Soul Cages, Ten Summoner's Tales, Mercury Falling, Brand New Day, All This Time, Sacred Love, Songs From the Labyrinth, and If On a Winter's Night, Sting has evolved into one of the world's most distinctive and highly respected performers. As a solo artist, he has collected an additional 11 Grammys, two Brits, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, three Oscar nominations, Billboard Magazine's Century Award, and MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year.

He has appeared in 15 films, Executive Produced the critically acclaimed "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints," and in 1989 starred in "Threepenny Opera" on Broadway.

Also an accomplished author, Sting published a memoir entitled Broken Music in 2003, which spent 13 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list. He most recently released Lyrics, a comprehensive collection of lyrics and personal commentary, also featuring photographs from throughout his career.

In 2007, The Police reformed and embarked on a world tour. The much heralded tour played to over 3.7 million people on five continents and ranked as the third highest grossing tour of all time. The tour also garnered numerous accolades including "Major Tour of the Year" from Pollstar, "Top Selling" and "Top Tour of the Year" from Billboard, along with the People's Choice award for "Favorite Reunion Tour of 2007."

Never afraid to blaze the path of new musical territory, Sting's foray into the classical realm began with the crossover success of his #1 album "Songs from the Labyrinth," a lute-based interpretation of the music of 16th century composer John Dowland, released in 2006 on Deutsche Grammophon.

Sting continued to pursue his passion for uniting musical genres with his most recent release "If On A Winter's Night" which debuted at #1 on Billboard's classical chart and remains there. Deutsch Grammophon also released a live concert performance on DVD entitled, "Sting: A Winter's Night - Live from Durham Cathedral." Filmed at the magnificent Durham Cathedral near Sting's hometown, he was joined by 35 musicians and conducted by producer Robert Sadin. The DVD also includes a behind-the-scenes look from the concert's conception leading up to final rehearsals. Along the way, Sting revisits places from his childhood and reunites with old friends and band mates, swapping stories and reminiscing.

Sting's acclaimed ventures into the classical realm were further complemented by an invitation to perform with the legendary Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2008. After reworking selections from his expansive catalog, he and several members of his longtime band joined the orchestra in a performance that left an indelible mark on Sting. Eager to explore the possibilities of further symphonic collaboration, Sting was thrilled when the Philadelphia Orchestra asked him to join them in commemoration of the 153rd anniversary of the Academy of Music earlier this year.

Consequently, Sting, accompanied by the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, will embark on a world tour this summer. The tour will find Sting performing his most celebrated songs re-imagined for symphonic arrangement. The 45-piece orchestra will be conducted by Maestro Steven Mercurio (Pavarotti, Bocelli).

Sting's support for human rights organizations like the Rainforest Foundation, Amnesty International and Live Aid mirrors his art in its universal outreach. Along with wife Trudie Styler, Sting founded the Rainforest Foundation in 1989 to protect both the world's rainforests and the indigenous people living there. Together they have held 16 benefit concerts to raise funds and awareness of our planet's endangered resources. Since its inception, the Rainforest Foundation has expanded to a network of interconnected organizations working in 18 countries over 3 continents.

David Lynch
David Lynch

David Lynch:

American filmmaker, writer, musician and visual artist.

Over a lengthy career, Lynch has employed a distinctive and unorthodox approach to narrative filmmaker (dubbed Lynchian, which has become instantly recognizable to many audiences and critics worldwide. Lynch's films are known for dreamlike images and meticulously crafted sound design. 

Lynch has received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director, for his film The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), and Mulholland Dr. (2001), and has also received a screenplay Academy Award nomination for The Elephant Man. Lynch has twice won France's Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film, as well as the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement at the Venice Film Festival. 

The French government awarded him with the Legion of Honor, the country's top civilian honor, as Chevalier in 2002 and then Officier in 2007, whilst that same year, The Gaurdian described David Lynch as "the most important director of this era."

Ellen Page
Ellen Page

Ellen Page:
IMDB profile
Ellen Page has firmly established herself as one of the most talented young actresses in Hollywood today. In 2008 she received Best Actress nominations from the Oscar's, BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG and won an Independent Spirit Award for her role in "Juno."

Ellen recently completed production on "Super," a comedy in which she stars opposite Rainn Wilson and Liv Tyler. The film directed by James Gunn centers on a world of superheroes with Ellen playing the side-kick to Rainn Wilson's character.

Ellen will next be seen in Christopher Nolan's psychological thriller "Inception" opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordan-Levitt and Marion Cotillard. The Warner Bros. film is slated for release in July 2010. Also in 2010, Ellen will star with Susan Sarandon in "Peacok," an independent film written and directed by David Lander.

Most recently Ellen starred in Fox Searchlight's "Whip It," which was Drew Barrymore's directorial debut. Along with Ellen and Drew, the film had an all star cast including Kristin Wiig, Marcia Gay Harden, Alia Shawkat, Juliette Lewis, Jimmy Fallon, Luke Wilson, Eve and Landon Pigg.

Ellen is the heart of Jason Reitman's hit comedy "Juno" written by Diablo Cody. The film is about an offbeat teenager (Page) who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant and makes a surprising decision regarding her unborn child. The film also stars Olivia Thirlby, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, J.K. Simmons, Michael Cera and Allison Janney. Cody won the Oscar for Best Screenplay for the film.

In 2006, Ellen appeared as Kitty Pryde in the third installation of the X-Men franchise: "X-Men: The Last Stand," which grossed more than $230 million dollars worldwide. Ellen recently starred in the title role of Bruce McDonald's "The Tracey Fragments." She starred opposite Catherine Keener in "An American Crime," written and directed by Tommy O'Haver. The film is based on the horrifying and true events surrounding a disturbed mother and her children in 1960's Indiana. Other recent credits include the Canadian ensemble piece, "The Stone Angel" featuring Ellen Burstyn and directed by Kari Skogland; Alison Murray's "Mouth to Mouth"; Daniel MacIvor's ensemble piece "Wilby Wonderful" and "Smart People," opposite Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church.

As the lead in Lionsgate's 2005 independent feature, "Hard Candy," directed by David Slade, Ellen won great praise for her tour de force performance as a fourteen year old girl who meets a thirty year old photographer on the Internet and then looks to expose him as pedophile. The film costarring Patrick Wilson and Sandra Oh premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Ellen has long been a fixture in Canadian television and cinema. She began her career at the age of 10 on the award-winning television movie "Pit Pony" and received a Gemini nomination for Best Performance in a Children's Program and a Young Artist Awards nomination for Best Performance in a TV Drama Series. Two films later, Page appeared as Joanie in "Marion Bridge," winner of the "Best Canadian First Feature" at the Toronto International Film Festival. The part won Page an ACTRA Maritimes Award for "Outstanding Female Performance." She also appeared in the cult hit TV series "Trailer Park Boys." Page won a Gemini award for her role of Lilith in the first season of "ReGenesis," a one-hour drama for TMN/Movie Central. She also starred in "Mrs. Ashboro's Cat," a cable feature for The Movie Network for which she also won a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series.

Paul Stamets
Paul Stamets

Paul Stamets:
Author and Mycologist

Paul Stamets has been a dedicated mycologist for over thirty years. Over this time, he has discovered and coauthored four new species of mushrooms, and pioneered countless techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. He received the 1998 "Bioneers Award" from The Collective Heritage Institute, and the 1999 "Founder of a New Northwest Award" from the Pacific Rim Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils. In 2008, Paul received the National Geographic Adventure Magazine's Green-Novator and the Argosy Foundation's E-chievement Awards. He was named one of Utne Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" in their November/December 2008 issue. In February 2010, Paul received the President's Award from the Society for Ecological Restoration: Northwest Chapter, in recognition of his contributions to Ecological Restoration

He has written numerous books on mushroom cultivation, use and identification; Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms and The Mushroom Cultivator (coauthor) have long been hailed as the definitive texts of mushroom cultivation. His latest book is called, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World.

Paul sees the ancient Old Growth forests of the Pacific Northwest as a resource of incalculable value, especially in terms of its fungal genome. A dedicated hiker and explorer, his passion is to preserve, protect, and clone as many ancestral strains of mushrooms as possible from this pristine woodlands. Much of the financial resources generated from sales of goods from Fungi Perfecti are returned to sponsor such research.

Gilberto Gil
Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil:
Former Brazilian Minister of Culture

A leader of the tropicalia movement in Brazil in 1967 and 1968, along with artists like Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil and other musicians mixed native styles with rock and folk instruments. Because Gil fused samba, salsa, and bossa nova with rock and folk music, he's recognized today as one of the pioneers in world music.

A multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, Gil joined his first group, the Desafinados, in the mid-1950s and by the beginning of the 1960s was earning a living as a jingle composer. Although known mostly as a guitarist, he also holds his own with drums, trumpet, and accordion. He began playing the accordion when he was eight, and he listened to street singers in the marketplace around Salvador. By the end of the 1950s, Gil was studying business administration at Salvador's Federal University and playing with a group called Os Desafinados. At this time he heard singer and guitarist João Gilberto on the radio and was so impressed that he immediately bought a guitar and learned to play and sing the bossa nova. He spent the early '60s composing songs for TV ads, and in 1964, he was in Nos Por Exemplo, a show of bossa nova and traditional Brazilian songs directed by Caetano Veloso. In 1965, he moved to São Paulo, and after singing and playing in various shows, he had his first hit when singer Elis Regina recorded his song "Louvacao." He began to establish himself as a singer of protest songs, and he became very popular with Brazilians involved in the Tropicalia movement, which opened up native Brazilian folk music to other kinds of influences. 

The success of the single "Louvacao" inspired Gil to record an album of his own material with the same title. Gil made his first self-titled recording in 1966, but his first hit single didn't come about until 1969, with "Aquele Abraco." His musical fusion of bossa nova, samba, and other styles was so revolutionary it frightened the country's military dictatorship into arresting him, and that's when he headed to Great Britain. (He and Caetano Veloso were placed in solitary confinement while authorities figured out what they wanted to do with the pair.) After three years in England, where he had the chance to work with groups like Pink Floyd, Yes, the Incredible String Band, and Rod Stewart's band in London clubs, he returned to Brazil in 1972. He recorded Expresso 2222, which spurred two hit singles in Brazil, "Back in Bahia" and "Oriente." 
After playing at the Midem Festival in France in 1973, Gil recorded Ao Vivo in 1974. A year later, he recorded with Jorge Ben for the album "Gil and Jorge." In 1976, he toured with Veloso, Gal Costa, and Maria Bethânia and released the Doces Báraros album. For most of the rest of the 1970s, he recorded for a variety of Brazilian record companies until signing an international deal with the WEA group of labels in 1977. He toured U.S. colleges in 1978 and firmly established his place in the international jazz world with his albums Nightingale (1978) and Realce (1979) . He also released a double live album in 1978, Gilberto Gil ao Vivo em Montreux, recorded during his performances at the jazz and blues festival in Switzerland. In 1980, Gil teamed up with reggae musician Jimmy Cliff. The pair toured Brazil, and Gil's cover of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" climbed to number one, selling 700,000 copies. Gil followed up in 1981 with Luar (A Gente Precisa Ver o Luar), one of his most acclaimed recordings. In 1982, he performed again at the Montreux festival, but this time with Jimmy Cliff. He followed up with Um Banda Um (1982), Extra (1983), and Raça Humana (1984), the last recorded with Bob Marley's Wailers. 

In the late '70s, Gil became a prominent spokesman for the black consciousness movement then taking place in Brazil. In 1982, he had huge crossover success with "Palco," which became popular in dance clubs and led to stadium tours of Europe. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., he would play mid-sized jazz clubs in New York City and Los Angeles. Gil celebrated his then two-decade career in 1985 with the album "Dia Dorim Noite Neon" (released in the U.S.), and released Gilberto Gil "em Concerto," recorded live in Rio, in 1987. The early '90s saw Gil continuing his involvement in social and political causes in his native country, finding widespread support for his political stances, and he was elected to office in the port city of Salvador (aka the Black Rome), his hometown. In 2003, Gil began serving as Brazil's Minister of Culture, and two years later, he received Sweden's "Polar Music Prize" and a "Légion d'Honneur" from the French government. Gil continued to maintain a recording career throughout the 1990s and 2000s, including the 2008 release "Banda Larga Cordel."

Shiva Rea
Shiva Rea

Shiva Rea:
Yoga Instructor

Shiva Rea, M.A. is a yogini firekeeper, sacred activist, and leading innovator in the evolution of vinyasa flow yoga integrating the tantric bhakti roots of yoga, Krishnamacharya’s teachings and a universal, quantum approach to the body since she began teaching twenty years ago. She leads retreats and pilgrimages worldwide and has served as a creative catalyst to bring community together including Yoga Trance Dance for Life, Moving Activism for 1,008,000 Trees, Yogini Conferences and the worldwide Global Mala Project.

Tiokasin Ghosthorse
Tiokasin Ghosthorse

Tiokasin Ghosthorse:
Host and Producer, First Voices Indigenous Radio

Tiokasin Ghosthorse - B.L.A., M.A., is from the Cheyenne River Lakota (Sioux) Nation of South Dakota. He is the host of First Voices Indigenous Radio on WBAI NY - Pacifica Radio. ( or

Tiokasin has been described as "a spiritual agitator, natural rights organizer, Indigenous thinking process educator and a community activator." One reviewer called him "a cultural resonator in the key of life."

Politics for the Lakota is spiritual and is not separate from the rest of life. Indigenous peoples are after an inclusive politics, an inclusive world.

Tiokasin has had a long history in Indigenous rights activism and advocacy. He spoke, as a teenager, at the United Nations Conference on Human Rights International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. He has supported or participated in many of the major occupations including Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1973, as well as Lyle Point, Washington, Western Shoshone, Nevada, and Big Mountain, Arizona. Ever since his UN work, he has been actively educating people who live on Turtle Island (North America) and overseas about the importance of living with each other and with the earth.

He is a survivor of the "Reign of Terror" from 1972 to 1976 on the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation, and the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs Boarding and Church Missionary School systems designed to "kill the Indian and save the man."

Tiokasin Ghosthorse is also a master musician and one of the great exponents of the ancient red cedar Lakota flute, and plays traditional and contemporary music, using both Indigenous and European instruments. He has been a major figure in preserving and reviving the cedar wood flute tradition and has combined "spoken word" and music in performances since childhood. Tiokasin performs worldwide and has been featured at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the United Nations as well as at numerous universities and concert venue.

Michael Dorsey
Michael Dorsey

Michael Dorsey:
Dartmouth College – Environment Studies

Dr. Michael K. Dorsey is Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College (USA). He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment (B.S. & Ph.D.); Yale’s Forestry School (M.F.S) & the Anthropology Department at The Johns Hopkins University (M.A.). Dorsey’s researches international and domestic environmental (in)justice; with a sub-focus on resource management conflicts. Currently he is writing a volume examining bio-commerce in Ecuador’s Upper Amazon basin. Dorsey teaches courses on the above as well as on international environmental policy issues. Dorsey has been lecturer at: the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (Netherlands); Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (Sweden); and University of Witswaterstrand (South Africa). In 1992 he was a member of the US State Department Delegation to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, “The Earth Summit.” His recent publications on climate change include “Green Market Hustlers,” in Foreign Policy In Focus (June 2007, Washington, DC) as well as “ Tales of Skeptic Tanks, Weather Gods and Sagas for Climate (in)Justice” in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism (A Taylor & Francis Journal) Vol. 18, No. 2, (June 2007). He is also a co-contributor to the recently released volume, Climate Change, Carbon Trading And Civil Society: Negative Returns On South African Investments (Rozenberg Press, The Netherlands & University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, South Africa, 2007). Dr. Dorsey continues to provide advice to governments, foundations, and others, on a variety of global environmental governance matters, including climate change and biodiversity policy, to better engage ongoing multilateral negotiations and processes.

Ganga White
Ganga White

Ganga White:
Author and Yoga Instructor

Ganga White is the founder of the White Lotus Foundation and is recognized as an outstanding teacher and exponent of Yoga. He has been called one of the “architects of American yoga” and a “pioneer of yoga” by the Yoga Journal. Since 1967 he has made many valuable and enduring contributions to his field. He has decades of practice and research in entheogens and Amazonian shamanism. Ganga is one of the early developers of Flow Yoga, creator of Partner Yoga in the 1970’s, and with his wife Tracey Rich, released the #1 international best selling Total Yoga videos--with sales over 1.8 million. His website is: Ganga White founded the nationally renowned Center for Yoga in 1967 and has extensive background in health, science and philosophy with teaching experience spanning over forty years. He has trained thousands of Yoga teachers, studied and lived in India visiting remote monasteries and learning centers, and teaches internationally. He founded Yoga centers in major U.S. cities and for five years served as vice-president of the Sivananda Yoga organization. He has received the teaching title, Yoga Acharya, three times from the Sivananda Ashram, the Yoga Vedanta Forest University, Rishikesh, Himalayas, and the Yoga Niketan in India. He had years of personal study with many great teachers including Swami Venkatesananda, J. Krishnamurti and BKS Iyengar, Joel Kramer, and K. Pattabhi Jois. In addition, his work and achievements have earned him the rare, honored title Yogiraj, "king of yogis." Ganga’s text, DOUBLE YOGA, introducing partner yoga was published in 1979 by Viking-Penguin. Though he has been honored with the sacred title, Yogiraj, and has a Sanskrit name, Ganga is a free thinker who questions authority, outmoded beliefs, and dogmatic systems. His teaching empowers the individual while retaining the essential truths of Yoga. Ganga has stated, "I am very concerned with awakening the mind as well as the body. Yoga is far more than simply a healthful exercise system. The most important purpose of Yoga is to bring about a deep transformation of the individual - an awakening of intelligence that is free of dependencies and romantic beliefs and ready to meet the accelerating challenges of the 21st century."

Barbara Marx Hubbard
Barbara Marx Hubbard

Barbara Marx Hubbard:
Author and Futurist

Barbara Marx Hubbard has been a leading voice for innovative change in the world for the last 45 years. She posits that evolutionary forces characterized by intensified social and technological creativity, deepening spirituality and environmental systems awareness are now coming together to create global change of a magnitude even greater than that of the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. Many people regard her as an heir apparent to Buckminster Fuller. She is the producer and narrator of the award-winning documentary series entitled Humanity Ascending: A New Way through Together. Part One: Our Story, is now translated into seven languages, and in Part Two: Visions of a Universal Humanity, she brings together some of the finest minds of our time, presenting us with positive, future scenarios for humanity based on the latest scientific, social and spiritual realities. She co-founded the Foundation for Conscious Evolution through which she developed the Gateway to Conscious Evolution, a global educational curriculum enrolling participants in the developmental path toward the next stage of human evolution. She first came to national attention when her name was placed in nomination for the US vice presidency of the Democratic Party in 1984. She ran on the platform of creating a Peace Room to be as sophisticated as our War Rooms to scan for, map, connect and communicate what is working in America and the world. She co-founded The Committee for the Future in Washington D.C., which developed the New Worlds Educational and Training Center based on her work. She co-produced 25 SYNCON conferences to bring together people from every field and function to seek common goals and match needs and resources in the light of the growing edge potentials of humanity. She was one of the original directors of the Center for Soviet American Dialogue and served as a citizen diplomat during the late 1980's. She has been instrumental in the founding of many important organizations and initiatives including the World Future Society, New Dimensions Radio, Global Family, Women of Vision and Action, The Foundation for the Future, and the Association for Global New Thought. She was awarded the first Doctorate in Conscious Evolution by Emerson Institute" *Barbara’s books include: The Hunger of Eve: One Woman’s Odyssey toward the Future; The Evolutionary Journey: Your Guide to a Positive Future; Revelation: Our Crisis is a Birth –An Evolutionary Interpretation of the New Testament; Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of our Social Potential and Emergence: The Shift from Ego to Essence.

Bernard Lietaer
Bernard Lietaer

Bernard Lietaer:
Economist and Author, "The Future of Money"

Bernard Lietaer, author of the forthcoming “Of Human Wealth” (Citerra Press, 2010) and “The Future of Money” (London: Random House, 2001), has been active in the domain of money systems for a period of 25 years in an unusual variety of functions. While at the Central Bank in Belgium he co-designed and implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to the single European currency system. During that period, he also served as President of Belgium’s Electronic Payment System. His consultant experience in monetary aspects on four continents ranges from multinational corporations to developing countries. He co-founded one of the largest and most successful currency funds becoming its General Manager and Currency Trader. He was Visiting Professor of International Finance at the University of Louvain and Naropa University. He is currently Research Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California at Berkeley, Member of the Club of Rome; Fellow at the World Academy of Arts and Sciences; of the World Business Academy; and of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Terence McKenna
Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna:
Writer and Ethnobotanist

Terence McKenna received a B.S. in Ecology and Conservation from the Tussman Experimental College, a short-lived outgrowth of UC Berkeley, in 1969. He spent the months after his graduation traveling through India and other Asian countries, alternately smuggling hashish and collecting butterflies for biological supply companies. In 1971 Terence McKenna, his brother Dennis, and three others traveled to the Colombian Amazon in search of oo-koo-hé, a plant preparation containing DMT. At La Chorrera, at the urging of his brother, he allowed himself to be the subject of a psychedelic experiment which he claimed put him in contact with The Logos: an informative, hallucinatory voice nearly universal to the visionary experience. The revelations of this voice prompted him to undertake his investigations into the structure of the I Ching, which eventually led him to his Novelty Theory. For most of the 1970s McKenna maintained a low profile, living in a nondescript suburban home, supporting his lifestyle with the royalties from the Magic Mushroom Growers Guide, and the cultivation and sale of psilocybin mushrooms. He said that he was frightened out of this line of work, and into public speaking by the harsh penalties the war on drugs exacted from his colleagues. He himself was once wanted by Interpol for drug trafficking. McKenna also co-founded Botanical Dimensions with Kathleen Harrison (his collegue and wife of 17 years), a non-profit ethnobotanical preserve on the Island of Hawaii, where he lived for several years prior to his death. Before moving to Hawaii full time, McKenna split his time between Hawaii and a town called Occidental, located in the redwood studded hills of western Sonoma County, California (a town unique for its high concentration of visionaries and famous artists, including Tom Waits and Mickey Hart). He died of glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain cancer. He was 53 years old. He is survived by his brother Dennis, his son Finn, and his daughter Klea.

Michael Coe
Michael Coe

Michael Coe:
Archaeologist and Anthropologist, Mayan Scholar

Yale Profile
In the 1960s, archaeologist Michael Coe was one of the pioneering investigators of the Olmec Civilization. He later made major contributions to Maya epigraphy and iconography. 

In more recent years he has studied the Khmer civilization of Cambodia. He is the Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus at Yale University, and Curator Emeritus of the Anthropology collection of Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History. He is the author of "Breaking the Maya Code" and numerous other books including "The Maya Scribe and His World," "The Maya," and "Angkor and the Khmer Civilization."

Curt Collier
Curt Collier

Curt Collier:
Director, Groundworks

Curt Collier is the Deputy Director of Groundwork USA, an independent organization founded by the National Park Service and the EPA that promotes habitat restoration and local stewardship through community building and empowerment. In his capacity at Groundwork, Mr. Collier travels around the country helping local communities develop environmental organizations, and works to create programs that engage youth in the process. He is also the program director for The Science Barge, a floating self-contained "farm" on the Hudson River (at Yonkers) powered by solar panels and wind turbines that demonstrates the feasibility of urban agriculture.

Finally, Mr. Collier is one of three Leaders (ministers) of the New York Society for Ethical Culture. At the Society, Mr. Collier frequently speaks on the environment, runs a CSA, organizes an environmental theatre team, and engages the congregation in urban agriculture and environmental activities. He is originally from Texas, growing up on a piece of land his family homesteaded, and is an avid canoeist.

Maude Barlow
Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow:
UN - Senior Advisor on Water Issues

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is also an executive member of the San Francisco-based International Forum on Globalization and a counselor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

Maude is the recipient of eight honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the "Alternative Nobel"), the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, and the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award. 

In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. She is also the best selling author or co-author of 16 books, including the international best seller "Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water."

Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez
Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez

Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez:
Mayan Author
Professor Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez is a Maya-Q'anjob'al novelist, poet, painter, and literary critic. He is a graduate of the Universidad Mariano Galvez in Guatemala City where he currently teaches Mayan literature and oral tradition. He is a member of the Academy of Mayan Languages . He has served as an official of the Ministry of Culture of Guatemala . In addition, Gonzalez founded and serves as president of Sb'eyb'al, a leading Mayan cultural organization, which organized the First and Second Congresses of Indigenous Literature of the Americas in Guatemala City in 1998 and 1999. He has published several trilingual literary works (Maya-Q'anjob'al, Spanish and English). His book entitled Kotz'ib', nuestra literaturas maya (1997) is an important text that provides cultural and literary parameters in our interpretation of Indigenous cultural productions. His second novel, El retorno de los mayas/The Return of the Maya (2000) deals with the return of a group of Mayan refugees to Guatemala . His other works published include La Otra Cara, A Mayan Life (1995), The Dry Season; Q'anjob'al Maya Poems (2001), 13 B'aktun: Mayan Visions of 2012 and Beyond (2010). Gonzalez's two novels, collection of poetry and his text on Maya literature are widely used in university classrooms.

Andre Soares and Lucy Legan
Andre Soares and Lucy Legan

Andre Soares and Lucy Legan:
Founders, Ecocentro IPEC

Andre Soares is a trilingual teacher, natural builder and permaculture designer. In Australia he founded the Permaculture Institute of Central Queensland and NAG Community Radio. In 1997 Andre returned to Brazil to coordinate the UNDP permaculture program. As a teacher he educated over 5000 designers through out the country. In 1998 he co founded Ecocentro IPEC in central Brazil and in 2002 started the Mollison School for Sustainable Studies (Ecoversity). As a designer of sustainable systems and social entrepeneur Andre has started a number of organizations and encouraged thousands of people to demonstrate how sustainable living is a viable proposition.
Lucy Legan has worked in community development for more than 20 years with Indigenous communities, womens groups, young people and farmers. Since arriving in Brazil she has co founded both the Ecocentro IPEC and the Mollison School for Sustainable Studies where she remains as director. She has authored a nationally selected prize winning environmental education guide that has been introduced into state schools.

Nassim Haramein
Nassim Haramein

Nassim Haramein:
Quantum Physicist

Nassim Haramein was born in Geneva, Switzerland in 1962. As early as 9 years old, Nassim was already developing the basis for a unified hyperdimensional theory of matter and energy, which he eventually called the "Holofractographic Universe." Nassim has spent most of his life researching the fundamental geometry of hyperspace, studying a variety of fields from theoretical physics, cosmology, quantum mechanics, biology and chemistry to anthropology and ancient civilizations. Combining this knowledge with a keen observation of the behavior of nature, he discovered a specific geometric array that he found to be fundamental to creation, and the foundation for his Unified Field Theory emerged. This unification theory, known as the Haramein-Rauscher metric (a new solution to Einstein's Field Equations that incorporates torque and Coriolis effects) and his most recent paper The Schwarzschild Proton, lays down the foundation of what could be a fundamental change in our current understandings of physics and consciousness. This groundbreaking theory has now been delivered to the scientific community through peer-reviewed papers and presentations at international physics conferences. Further, The Schwarzschild Proton paper has recently received the prestigious "Best Paper Award" in the field of physics, quantum mechanics, relativity, field theory, and gravitation at the University of Liège, Belgium during the 9th International Conference CASYS'09. Fluent in both French and English, Mr. Haramein has been giving lectures and seminars on his unification theory for over 10 years. His lectures are multimedia presentations that lead his audiences through the validity of his theories with observational and theoretical data. He has presented at such institutions as the Department of Physics at Georgia Tech, the Department of Physics at University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Fellows of the Department of Education at the University of Montreal, and his unification model has now been delivered to the American Physical Society. In addition to his scientific papers, Mr. Haramein imparts this theory in a layman's paper, a 4 DVD set entitled "Crossing the Event Horizon: Rise to the Equation," and his international speaking tours. In the past 20 years, Mr. Haramein has directed research teams of physicists, electrical engineers, mathematicians and other scientists. He has founded a non-profit organization, the Resonance Project Foundation, where, as the Director of Research, he continues exploring unification principles and their implications in our world today. The foundation is actively developing a research park on the island of Hawai'i where science, sustainability, and green technology come together.

Mitch Horowitz
Mitch Horowitz

Mitch Horowitz:
Editor, “2012: Return of Quetzalcoatl

Mitch Horowitz is a writer and publisher of many years' experience with a lifelong interest in man’s search for meaning. The editor-in-chief of Tarcher/Penguin in New York, he is the author of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation (Bantam, September 2009). A frequent writer and speaker on metaphysical themes, he has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, The History Channel, The Montel Williams Show, All Things Considered, Air America Radio, and Coast to Coast AM. He has written for U.S. News and World Report, Parabola, Science of Mind, the Religion News Service, and the popular weblog BoingBoing. His website is:

Michael Jantzen
Michael Jantzen

Michael Jantzen:

Michael Jantzen, who considers himself to be an artist and a designer, was born in Centralia Illinois on May 3rd 1948. He grew up with his parents and eight brothers and sisters on a summer resort near Carlyle Illinois. It was there that his early experimentations with structure design led him to Southern Illinois University, at Edwardsville and their Dean’s List Program. After graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree, Michael went on to receive his Masters of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis Missouri. Over the next twenty years he designed and built many experimental art projects, and architectural structures. Many of the architectural structures explored new ways of re-inventing the house. Michael moved to the Los Angeles area in 1990 to continue his leading edge experimental work in the crossover fields of art and architecture. Michael’s work has been featured in hundreds of articles in books, magazines, and newspapers from around the world. His designs have also been featured on various TV programs, exhibited in many galleries, at the National Building Museum in Washington DC, at the Harvard School of Design and Architecture, at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal, and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Michael is married to Ellen Jantzen who is also an internationally known artist.

Ken Jordan
Ken Jordan

Ken Jordan:
Co-founder ---

Ken Jordan is publisher and executive producer of Reality Sandwich and Ken has been an online pioneer since leading the 1995 launch of the award-winning, the web's first multimedia music zine and digital music store, which later became a property of MTV. SonicNet was named best website of 1995 by Entertainment Weekly and won the first Webby award for music site before becoming a property of MTV. He later was Creative Director of Icon New Media, which published the popular, award-winning webzines and In 1999 he co-founded the public interest media issues portal, in partnership with Globalvision and the international civil society network As a consultant for the human rights organization WITNESS, he conceived their highly regarded online video "Hub." He has consulted with NGOs, foundations and start-ups, including Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, Evolver, netomat, Leveraging Investments in Creativity,, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the Democrats in Congress. With his Reality Sandwich partner, Daniel Pinchbeck, Ken co-edited the anthology Towards 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age (Tarcher/Penguin, 2008, Nautilus Silver Award winner). He is co-author of the influential white paper "The Augmented Social Network: Building Identity and Trust into the Next-Generation Internet" (First Monday, August 2003), and editor of Planetwork Journal. He collaborated with the legendary playwright and director Richard Foreman on Unbalancing Acts: Foundations for a Theater (Pantheon, 1992), and is co-editor of the anthology Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality (W.W. Norton, 2001), an anthology of seminal articles that trace the development of the computer as an expressive, interactive medium. The book is widely taught at colleges and universities and has been translated into Korean and Chinese. Ken has written for Wired, Index, and Paris Review, among other publications.

Kathi Von Koerber
Kathi Von Koerber

Kathi von Koerber:
Healer, Dancer and Filmmaker

Kathi von Koerber is a dancer/healer and filmmaker from Germany/South Africa. She has spent time and working on projects with elders from Bushmen tribes in southern Africa, the Tuareg in the Sahara, Gabonese Eboga priestess Bernadette Riebenot, Lakota, Navajo and Cherokee in the United States, Xawante and Fulnio in Brazil, and the Camsra and Kogi in Colombia. Kathi teaches and performs Improvisational Butoh dance internationally for the last 15 years, and has designated her life to the preservation of indigenous wisdom and advocating rituals as a key element in human evolution and initiation into adulthood. Kathi founded the company Kiahkeya ( in 2004, with the aim to inform and disseminate art, creativity and spirituality for the purpose of cross cultural and environmental equality and tolerance. Various projects include films on the Bushmen tribe of Southern Africa, the film “Footsteps in Africa” ( on the music and dance and survival skills of the Tamashek Nomads of the Sahara, an environmental Butoh dance film shot on the Alaskan ice caps called "Ridden by Nature", which she is currently editing, and now currently producing a film on the mystical powers of water called “Moving waters”. Kiahkeya also produces Intercultural workshops, including dance, plant medicine healing modalities, earth prayers of different traditions, leadership wilderness training and sustainable living and farming. All Kiahkeya projects are efforts to support the environment and its inhabitants, in this modern day and age. Kathi honors the voice of the grandmother and supports the prayer of the woman and her ancient voices, through the tools and means of praying with the elements, the earth, its food, the fire and its transformation, the water and its purifying power, and the air through which we walk our dance of life.

Joel Kovel
Joel Kovel

Joel Kovel:
Politician and Author, The Enemy of Nature

Joel Kovel was born in 1936, in Brooklyn, NY, and spent his early years there and on Long Island. He attended Yale College and then studied medicine at Columbia University (MD, 1961) and psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, eventually becoming Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Residency Training at that institution. He also holds a diploma in psychoanalysis from the Downstate Medical Center Institute. After practicing psychiatry and psychoanalysis for twenty four years, he left these professions in the mid-1980s, in part because of dissatisfaction with the health care system. Since 1988 he has been Professor of Social Studies at Bard College, Annandale, NY. Joel Kovel is both a scholar and an activist. In the former capacity he has published nine books and over a hundred articles and reviews. His books include White Racism, which was nominated for a National Book Award in 1972; A Complete Guide to Therapy; The Age of Desire (in which his work in the psychiatric-psychoanalytic system is detailed); Against the State of Nuclear Terror; In Nicaragua; The Radical Spirit; History and Spirit(1991); Red Hunting in the Promised Land (1994), a study of anticommunist repression in America; and The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or The End of the World (Zed, 2002). Since 2003 he has been Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly journal, Capitalism Nature Socialism. As an activist, Joel Kovel has been engaged in struggles for peace and justice since the Vietnam War era. He has worked within the antiwar and antinuclear movements, the solidarity movements in Central America and the Caribbean, the movements for democratic media, and, increasingly, for ecological transformation. He lived in Nicaragua for a period in 1986, and accompanied Pastors for Peace as they broke the US blockade on Cuba in their 1994 Friendshipment. He has acted in films, worked frequently with the Bread and Puppet theatre, and lectured on four continents. Kovel joined the Green Party since 1990. In 1998, he was the Green Party candidate for US Senator from New York, and in 2000 sought their Presidential nomination. Kovel is married, has three children, three stepchildren and five grandchildren. He lives in Willow, a rural district of Woodstock, in Ulster County.

Dennis McKenna
Dennis McKenna

Dennis McKenna:
Ethnopharmacologist and Co-Author, "Invisible Landscape"

Dennis McKenna is the editor and author of two publications: The Natural Dietary Supplements Pocket Reference (INPR, 2002) and Botanical Medicines: The Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements (Haworth Herbal Press, 2002). He is co-author, with his brother Terence, of The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens and the I Ching (Seabury Press). He serves on the Advisory Board of the American Botanical Council and the Editorial Board of Phytomedicine, the International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology. he is the author or co-author of more than 40 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

Donald McPherson
Donald McPherson

Donald McPherson:
Founder Bay Glass Inc

I received a BGS in Mathematics and Art from Ohio University, a Master’s in Ceramic Engineering and a PhD in Glass Science, both from Alfred University. I have used this unique educational background to solve problems in resource sustainability and medicine. In 1996 I started a company using my technology to make recycled glass solid surfaces as an alternative to granite and marble. In 2006 the business transformed into Vetrazzo, where I am V.P. of R&D. I receive most of my funding from the National Institute of Health, applying glass and ceramic technology to solve medical problems in such areas as mammography, laser surgery and color blindness. I am drawn to solve problems that are interdisciplinary and whose solutions hold some deeper societal benefit. I have authored 12 scientific papers and hold 6 patents in the area of glass-based products in the sustainability, laser and medical fields. Currently I am starting two new businesses. The first business will diagnose and correct color-deficient vision as well as screen for tetrachromatic women, and the second business will manufacture synthetic-rock garden planters created by combining post-agricultural and post-industrial waste. I have a laboratory in Berkeley, CA and live in Oakland, CA.

Dean Radin
Dean Radin

Dean Radin:
Senior Scientist, Institute of Noetic Sciences

Dean Radin, PhD, is Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, CA). His early career as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a masters degree in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. For a decade he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories; for over two decades he has been engaged in consciousness research. Before joining the research staff at IONS, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, and three Silicon Valley think-tanks, including SRI International, where he worked on a classified program investigating psychic phenomena for the US government. He is author or coauthor of over 200 technical and popular articles, a dozen book chapters, and several books including the bestselling The Conscious Universe (HarperOne, 1997) and Entangled Minds (Simon & Schuster, 2006). His technical articles have appeared in journals ranging from Foundations of Physics and Psychological Bulletin to Journal of Consciousness Studies. He has appeared on television shows ranging from the BBC’s Horizon and PBS's Closer to Truth to Oprah and Larry King Live, and he has presented over a hundred invited lectures in venues including Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford and Princeton Universities, Google headquarters, DARPA, and the US Navy.

John Perry Barlow
John Perry Barlow

John Perry Barlow:
Co-Founder, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Author, "The Economy of Ideas"

Facebook Profile

John Perry Barlow is a former Wyoming rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist. He graduated in 1969 with High Honors in comparative religion from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. 

More recently, he co-founded and still co-chairs the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He was the first to apply the term Cyberspace to the "place" it presently describes. He has written for a variety of publications, including Communications of the ACM, Mondo 2000, The New York Times, and Time. He has been on the masthead of Wired Magazine since it was founded. His piece on the future of copyright, "The Economy of Ideas" is taught in many law schools and his "Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace" is posted on thousands of web sites. 

In 1997, he was a Fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics and has been, since 1998, as a Berkman Fellow at the Harvard Law School. He works actively with several consulting groups, including Diamond Technology Partners, Vanguard, and Global Business Network. In June 1999, FutureBanker Magazine named him "One of the 25 Most Influential People in Financial Services." 

He writes, speaks, and consults on a broad variety of subjects, particularly digital economy. He lives in Wyoming, New York, San Francisco,oOn the road, and in Cyberspace. He has three teenaged daughters and aspires to be a good ancestor.

Richard Register
Richard Register

Richard Register:
Theorist and Author in Ecological City Design

Richard Register is one of the world's great theorists and authors in ecological city design and planning.
He is also a practitioner with three decades of experience activating local projects, pushing establishment buttons and working with environmentalists and developers to get a better city built and running.
Presently, he is exploring transfer of development rights (TDRs) for reshaping cities and proposing an ecocity redesign of downtown Berkeley thorough an effort called the "the Heart of the City Project" funded partially by the State of California Coastal Conservancy and (pledged) City of Berkeley.

Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan:

Fear Factor” host Joe Rogan will be the first to admit that he only does television for the money. His true love is stand-up comedy. Prior to “Fear Factor,” which is in its fourth season on NBC, Rogan charmed viewers with his role on the hit comedy series “NewsRadio,” as Joe Garelli, the resident electrician at WNYX Radio. This season Rogan will be working double duty as he takes on hosting duties of the “The Man Show” on Comedy Central. “The best thing about ‘Fear Factor,’ says Rogan, “is that the contestants have no idea if their fear – be it snakes, heights or whatever – will come in to play until the moment they have to perform the stunt. In addition, they have no idea what the stunt is, so there’s no way to prepare for it. Everyone is on even ground.” Reality television was never in Joe’s original career plan, nor was television or comedy of any kind. So how did this accidental performer wind up with a role on a successful sitcom, a groundbreaking debut comedy album on Warner Bros. Records titled “I’m Gonna Be Dead Someday,” and hosting “Fear Factor” and “The Man Show”? The answer is simple: Tae Kwan Do. Joe began practicing martial arts at the age of 13. Within two years, the Boston native earned a black belt and soon became the Massachusetts full contact Tae Kwon Do champion four consecutive years. By the age of 19, Rogan won the US Open Tae Kwon Do Championship, and in true Joe Rogan fashion, the lightweight champion went on to beat both the middle and heavyweight title-holders to obtain the Grand Championship. Joe credits Tae Kwon Do for his discipline and focus, two characteristics which have enabled him to accomplish many things. It was not only Joe’s performance and abilities on the mat that wowed his buddies; it was his humor. Joe thought that they only laughed at his humor and constantly badgered him to perform stand-up because they were his friends. Joe failed to truly believe his material could reach a broader audience. Luckily, Joe’s friends persuaded him into trying out his “act”- such as it was- during an open mic night in a local club. Just as his friends suspected, the audience was as smitten with Joe as he was with stand-up, and he knew it was meant to be. In addition to “Fear Factor” and “The Man Show,” Joe continues to provide color commentary for the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). He resides in Los Angeles and performs stand-up locally as well as across the country.

Douglas Rushkoff
Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas Rushkoff:
Author and Teacher, New School University

Winner of the first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other’s values. He teaches media studies at the New School University, serves as technology columnist for The Daily Beast, and lectures around the world. He has just released his most important book to date: an analysis of the corporate spectacle called Life Inc. for RandomHouse, as well as a series of short films called Life Inc Dispatches. His ten best-selling books on new media and popular culture have been translated to over thirty languages. They include Cyberia, Media Virus, Playing the Future, Nothing Sacred: The Truth about Judaism, Get Back in the Box: Innovation from the Inside Out and Coercion, winner of the Marshall Mcluhan Award for best media book. Rushkoff also wrote the acclaimed novels Ecstasy Club and Exit Strategy and graphic novel, Club Zero-G. He wrote a series of graphic novels for Vertigo called Testament, and is currently working on another book for Vertigo as well as a new series of graphic novels for Smoking Gun Interactive. He has written and hosted two award-winning Frontline documentaries – The Merchants of Cool looked at the influence of corporations on youth culture, and The Persuaders, about the cluttered landscape of marketing, and new efforts to overcome consumer resistance. Rushkoff writes a column for the music and culture magazine, Arthur. His commentaries have aired on CBS Sunday Morning and NPR’s All Things Considered, and have appeared in publications from The New York Times to Time magazine. He wrote the first syndicated column on cyberculture for The New York Times and Guardian of London, as well as regular columns for Discover Magazine and The Feature. Rushkoff is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University’s New Media Program. He has taught regularly for the MaybeLogic Academy, NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, and the Esalen Institute. He also lectures about media, art, society, and change at conferences and universities around the world. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Media Ecology Association, The Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, and as a founding member of Technorealism, as well as the Advisory Board of The National Association for Media Literacy Education, and HyperWords . He has been awarded Senior Fellowships by the Markle Foundation, the Center for Global Communications, and the International University of Japan. He served as an Adviser to the United Nations Commission on World Culture and regularly appears on TV shows from NBC Nightly News to Larry King and Bill Maher. He developed the Electronic Oracle software series for HarperCollins Interactive. Rushkoff is on the board of several new media non-profits and companies, and regularly consults on new media arts and ethics to museums, governments, synagogues, churches, and universities, as well as Sony, TCI, advertising agencies, and other Fortune 500 companies. Rushkoff graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, received an MFA in Directing from California Institute of the Arts, a post-graduate fellowship (MFA) from The American Film Institute, and a Director’s Grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He’s finishing his dissertation on media literacy and gaming for University Utrecht. He has worked as a certified stage fight choreographer, an SAT tutor, and as keyboardist for the industrial band PsychicTV

DJ Spooky
DJ Spooky

DJ Spooky:
Musician and Activist

Paul D. Miller aka DJ SPOOKY That Subliminal Kid is a composer, multimedia artist and writer. His written work has appeared in The Village Voice, The Source, Artforum and Rapgun amongst other publications. Miller's work as a media artist has appeared in a wide variety of contexts such as the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture (2000); the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and many other museums and galleries. His work New York Is Now has been exhibited in the Africa Pavilion of the 52 Venice Biennial 2007, and the Miami/Art Basel fair of 2007. Miller's first collection of essays, entitled Rhythm Science came out on MIT Press 2004. His book Sound Unbound, an anthology of writings on electronic music and digital media is a best selling title for MIT Press. Miller's deep interest in reggae and dub has resulted in a series of compilations, remixes and collections of material from the vaults of the legendary Jamaican label, Trojan Records. Other releases include Optometry (2002), a jazz project featuring some of the best players in the downtown NYC jazz scene, and Dubtometry (2003) featuring Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Mad Professor. Another of Miller's collaborations, Drums of Death, features Dave Lombardo of Slayer and Chuck D of Public Enemy among others. He also produced material on Yoko Ono's recent album Yes, I'm a Witch. DJ Spooky's Rebirth of a Nation was commissioned in 2004 by the Lincoln Center Festival; Spoleto Festival USA; Weiner Festwochen; and the Festival d'Automne a Paris. It was the artist's first large-scale multimedia performance piece, and has been performed in venues around the world, from the Sydney Festival to the Herod Atticus Amphitheater, more than fifty times. The DVD version of Rebirth of a Nation was released by Anchor Bay Films/Starz Media in 2008. DJ Spooky's multimedia performance piece Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica was commissioned by BAM for the 2009 Next Wave Festival; The Hopkins Center/Dartmouth College; UCSB Arts & Lectures; Melbourne International Arts Festival; and the Festival dei 2 Mondi in Spoleto, Italy. With video projections and a score composed by DJ Spooky, performed by a piano quartet, Terra Nova: Sinfornia Antarctica is a portrait of a rapidly transforming continent. In August 2009, DJ Spooky visited the Republic of Nauru in the Micronesian South Pacific to do research and gather material for The Nauru Elegies, a collaboration with artist/architect Annie Kwon, first presented at Experimenta in Melbourne, Australia in February 2010. In January 2010. Miller was commissioned by German radio to write the composition “Terra Nullius”. DJ Spooky's CD The Secret Song was released in October, 2009 on Thirsty Ear Records. With guest appearances by Thurston Moore, The Coup, Mike G. of the Jungle Brothers, Rob Swift of the X-Ecutioners, Mike Ladd, Vijay Iyer, and many others, The Secret Song is a manifesto about our overloaded digital culture. “The Secret Song is the welcome return to recording by one of its most mercurially intelligent musicmakers. It may also be the only concept recording of the 21st century that can be considered crucial listening.” – All Music Guide, Oct. 7, 2009

Penny Livingston-Stark
Penny Livingston-Stark

Penny Livingston-Stark:
Permaculture Designer

Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer and speaker. Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses and diverse yield perennial farms. With her husband James Stark, and in collaboration with Commonweal - a cancer health research and retreat center - Penny co-manages a 17-acre certified organic and certified salmon-safe farm in Bolinas, California, called the Commonweal Garden. In addition, Penny and James are stewarding and working to restore 200 acres of land in Trinity County, California. Penny co-created the Ecological Design Program and its curriculum at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture, and she co-founded the West Marin Grower’s Group, the West Marin Farmer’s Market and the Community Land Trust Association of Marin. Penny has also worked with the Marin County Community Development Agency and Planning Department to develop recommendations on sustainability for updating the Community Plan. Penny is a founding member of the Natural Building Colloquium, a national consortium of professional natural builders, creating innovations in straw bale, cob, timberframe, light clay, natural non-toxic interior finishes and other methods using natural and bio-regionally appropriate materials for construction.

John Todd
John Todd

Dr. John Todd:
Biologist and Ecological Designer

Education and Current Positions
Dr. Todd is one of the pioneers in the emerging field of ecological design and engineering. He has degrees in agriculture (McGill University), parasitology & tropical medicine (McGill University) and a doctorate in fisheries and ethology from the University of Michigan. He has received two honorary doctorates in science and engineering respectively.

Dr. Todd is a Research Professor in the School of Natural Resources and a Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Vermont. He is a Fellow of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at UVM. He is the Founder and President of Ocean Arks International, a non-profit research and education organization established in 1981, and the Founder and Chairman of John Todd Ecological Design, Inc., an international design, engineering and natural resource planning firm based in Woods Hole on Cape Cod.
In 2009 he became a founding partner in The Ecological Investment Company of Vermont. a company that finances community based natural resource, agricultural and renewable energy based enterprises.
At the University of Vermont John Todd teaches ecological design and oversees an ecological design studio at UVM. The course, as well as the design studio, explores the theory and practice of employing ecological knowledge to address urgent human and environmental problems.
Recognition and Awards Dr. Todd is the author of over two hundred scientific, technical and popular articles. He is the author of seven books, the latest with his wife Nancy Jack Todd, entitled “ From Eco-cities to Living Machines: Ecology as the Basis for Design. He is the inventor of Eco-Machines for the treatment of wastes, production of foods, generation of fuels and the restoration of damaged aquatic environments. He holds four patents, and was named one of the 20th Century’s top thirty-five inventors by the Lemelson-MIT Program for Invention and Innovation, in their 2002 book entitled “Inventing Modern America: from the Microwave to the Mouse”(MIT Press). He is also featured in the December, 2004, “The Genius Issue” of Esquire Magazine. In 2007 he, along with his wife Nancy Jack Todd, was named visionaries of the 20th Century in a book entitled “Visionaries of the 20th Century” by the UK based Resurgence Group. The list of visionaries includes Gandhi, Rachel Carson, the Dali Lama, Aldo Leopold, Jane Goodall, Martin Luther King, Bob Dylan, Frank Lloyd Write and Carl Gustav Jung.
John Todd’s many awards include Global Visionary Award from the City of Chicago (2006). Bioneers Lifetime Achievement Award (1998), the Charles and Ann Morrow Lindbergh Award for technological innovation on behalf of the environment (1998), Environmental Merit Award from the US EPA (1996), Daimler/Chrysler award for design (1994), the Discovery Award for technological innovation (1991), The Teddy Roosevelt Award for Conservation (1990), the United Nations (FUNEP) Award for contributions to the global environment (1990). The U.S. EPA Chico Mendes Memorial Award for Environmental Restoration (1989), and the Swiss Threshold Award for his Contributions to Human Knowledge (1980). He was named a “Hero of the Earth” by Time magazine in 1999.
In 2008 Dr. Todd won the first International Buckminster Fuller Challenge, a one hundred thousand dollar prize for the best idea to help save humanity and the planet. The entry was entitled Design for a Carbon Neutral World: The Challenge of Appalachia
Selected Publications
He has just completed a book of short stories entitled Man Overboard: Natural and Unnatural Histories from the Edge of the Sea. In the fall of 2003 he published “Ecological Design Applied” a technical paper in Ecological Engineering 20: 421-440. He has a recent book chapter entitled “Living Technologies: Wedding Human Ingenuity to the Wisdom of the Wild” in a book entitled “Nature’s Operating Instructions: The True Biotechnologies” edited by Kenny Ausubel (Sierra Club Books), 2005. Recently he completed “Living Technologies in an Age of Limits: The Promise of Ecological Design”, due out in 2009 as a chapter in a book edited by David Orr. On April 22, 2008 he completed a white paper on Appalachia for the Lewis Foundation entitled A New Shared Economy For Appalachia: An Economy Built Upon Environmental Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, Renewable Energy and Ecological Design ( Most recently with Samir Doshi and Anthony McInnis he has completed Beyond Coal: A Resilient New Economy for Appalachia, currently in press.

Ryan Wartena
Ryan Wartena

Dr. Ryan Wartena:
Chemical Engineer, MIT

Dr. Ryan Wartena is the founder of Growing Energy Labs, Inc., a design and development company that offers balanced renewable energy networks. Dr. Wartena holds degrees in Chemical Engineering from UC San Diego and the Georgia Institute of Technology and performed post-doctoral work in the Naval Research Laboratory and MIT. In his work as a chemical engineer, he has developed micro- and nano-batteries, cell manufacturing techniques, growth of carbon nanotube structures, and the world's first self-assembled battery. His current projects include the creation and integration of full-cycle, web-enabled distributed energy systems for all scales of integrated applications. Ryan's vision of the healthy and harmonious integration of communication-energy technology into everyday life has informed his development of energy awareness technologies to enable the Internet of Energy. Artistic endeavors have included large-scale LED light projects, commissioned murals and biodiesel generators. Ryan is a California native growing up in the family machine shop on the ranch in the Sierra-Nevada Foothills and in the production room of Chuck E. Cheeses

Craig Westcott
Craig Westcott

Craig Westcott:
Director of the Samson Environmental Center

Craig is the Curriculum Coordinator, Director of the Samson Environmental Center, Director of Hands-to-Work, and Language Department Chair at Darrow School in New Lebanon, NY. Craig graduated from Ithaca College, earning a B.A. in Politics, Environmental Studies, and French, and from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, earning an Ed.M. in Learning and Teaching. His work at Darrow and via Sustainability Efforts Consulting focuses on facilitating unique curriculums of place that create educational experiences by embedding school communities in local contexts. Craig teaches in the Science, History, and Language departments at Darrow where he lives with his wife Kenly and sons Haven and Keller.

Inger Yancey
Inger Yancey

Inger Yancey:
Architect, GreenRoofs

Inger is a LEED Accredited Architect who has more than 25 years of experience creating sustainable architecture.
She has worked in California, Massachusetts, Washington, and New York and currently lives in Brooklyn with her family. Inger attended UC Berkeley where she received an AB degree in Architecture, and Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she earned a Master of Architecture degree.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:
Spiritual Leader

Mahesh Prasad Varma (later changed to Maharishi Mahesh) was born in Madhya Pradesh, India on January 12th 1917. He was born to the Kshetriya (warrior caste) Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born on January 12th, 1917 to a Kshetriya caste Hindu family living in the small village of Chichli near Jabalpur, in the central region of India.

After completing a masters degree in Physics from Allahabad university in 1940 he felt increasingly attracted to the spiritual life. He joined the Jyotirmath and became a disciple of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati. After studying meditation under the guidance of the Shankaracharya for 12 years in 1953 he travelled to Uttarkashi in the Himalayas. Here he entered into a meditation retreat, enabling him to deepen his meditation experience. In 1955 he decided he should teach meditation to the world and so began teaching traditional meditation techniques. He also assumed the title “Maharishi” which means great sage and is quite common amongst Indian Gurus. In 1957 he founded his first organisation the Spiritual Regeneration Movement. There have been many related organisations, they tend to get grouped under the heading of transcendental meditation movement.

The growth in the transcendental movement was rapid, especially in the 1960s when the counter culture made meditation and eastern spirituality more appealing and in the public eye. Many high profile celebrities were attracted to the movement these included the Beach Boys, singer-songwriter Donovan, Clint Eastwood and David Lynch. The most high profile were the Beatles who spent time on a retreat in the late 1960s After a while, with the exception of George Harrison they became disillusioned with the Maharishi and left. George Harrison maintained an interest in meditation throughout his life and helped proved the TM movement with a meeting place in England.

The Maharishi has sought to identify different stages of consciousness. In particular he has sought to demonstrate that if groups of people sincerely meditate in the same area it can have an effect of creating a more peaceful and prosperous effect. He gave this the term the Maharishi effect. Since September 11th 2001 he has often stated that combined efforts of meditation are important for the progress of the world’s spiritual unfoldment.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is credited as the author of at least 14 books. The most important books are the Science of Being and the Art of Living: Transcendental Meditation and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, passed away on 5th February, 2008 at his home and headquarters in Vlodrop, the Netherlands. He is believed to have been in his 90s.

Joao Amorim
Joao Amorim

Joao Amorim

João Amorim
Director and Producer ---

João Amorim is an Emmy nominated Brazilian Director focusing on animation and documentaries, and more specifically the mix of both genres. João is one of the founding partners of Postmodern Times, a media company focused on social and environmental films. João has directed and produced the animated series “Beyond 2012, Perspectives on the Next age”, on the evolution of consciousness and ecology. He has worked world wide as an industrial designer, animator, and animation supervisor for many years prior to directing.  He was the Head of Animation, on "Chicago 10", Brett Morgen's film that opened Sundance 2007, and for which Joao has been nominated for an Emmy in 2009.  He has also directed commercials for BMW, Panasonic, Oceana, among others.

 João directed many short films such as "Ferrets for Freedom" -a political short on Ferrets and Giuliani which became a YouTube hit.  He also directed the award winning "Don't get Charged up", on the recycling of batteries, among others.  He has worked as an animation director on:"Footsteps in Africa”, “For the next 7 Generations” and the upcoming “Ghetto Physics”.

He recently finished his first animated feature documentary: “2012 Time for Change”, featuring among others David Lynch, Sting, Ellen Page, Gilberto Gil, and Paul Stamets. Furthermore Joao speaks 5 languages, meditates every day, paints, practices yoga and has a permaculture sustainability project in Brazil through the NGO “Ciclo Sustainable”. In 2008 his project “Sustainable unit” was a finalist at the Buckminster Fuller Challenge.

Daniel Pinchbeck
Daniel Pinchbeck

Daniel Pinchbeck

Daniel Pinchbeck
Featured Personality and Executive Producer

Daniel Pinchbeck is the author of the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006) and Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism (Broadway Books, 2002). He is co-founder of Evolver llc, which publishes Reality Sandwich (, the leading web magazine for transformative culture, and (, the network that supports the Evolver Social Movement. His feature articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Wired, The Village Voice, ArtForum, Esquire, and many other publications. His column, “Prophet Motive,” appears in Conscious Choice and Common Ground Magazine. He is also the co-producer, with João Amorim, of the animated videos series PostModern Times, now collected in “Beyond 2012,” a new DVD published by UFO TV. His new book, Notes from the End Times, will be published next fall by Tarcher. Pinchbeck lives in New York City, where he is frequently sought out for interviews on psychedelics, prophecies, and other countercultural ideas.

Giancarlo Canavesio
Giancarlo Canavesio

Giancarlo Canavesio

Giancarlo Canavesio

Giancarlo Canavesio is the president and founder of Mangusta Risk, an independent firm based in Rome that specializes in financial risk measurement, analysis, and management. He lives in between London, New York and Rome and has a 7 year old son, Stefano. Giancarlo’s devotion and passion for independent film inspired him to establish Mangusta Productions, a company dedicated to increasing the production of superior quality independent films through partnerships with talented filmmakers around the world.

Sol Tryon
Sol Tryon

Sol Tryon

Sol Tryon

Sol produced his first feature film Bomb The System in 2002, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and earned him a Spirit Award nomination for best first feature. In 2005, while working with renowned artist Shirin Neshat on her first feature length film Women Without Men (Silver Lion Award at Venice International Film Festival), Sol executive produced Adam Bhala Lough’s second feature film Weapons (Narrative Feature Competition, Sundance Film Festival 2007).

The Living Wake was Sol’s directorial debut and starred Mike O’Connell, Jesse Eisenberg and Jim Gaffigan. It premiered at the CineVegas Film Festival in 2007 where Sol garnered the Red Star Award for “the most innovative and progressive filmmaker”. The Living Wake also won the Audience Award at the Woodstock Film Festival, Comedic Vision Award at the Austin Film Festival, Best Feature Film Award at The Big Apple Film Festival. In the fall of 2007, Sol produced the narrative feature film Explicit Ills about young love, drug addiction, poverty and activism in Philadelphia. The film, starring Paul Dano, Rosario Dawson, Lou Taylor Pucci and Naomie Harris, was executive produced by Jim Jarmusch, directed by Mark Webber and premiered at the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival where it won the Narrative Feature Audience Award and the Special Jury Award for Outstanding Cinematography.

Most of 2009 and 2010 was spent distributing The Living Wake while Producing two other feature length documentaries, 2012: Time For Change and Being In The World.  He also distributed 2012: Time For Change in 2010. In 2011 he executive produced two indie features (Starlet and Here Comes The Night) and began working on 3 new feature documentaries (Neurons to Nirvana: Understanding Psychedelic Medicines, Ram Dass & Timothy Leary: Dying to Know and Monogamy & Its Discontents).

Sol has been a partner at Mangusta Productions since 2006. Mangusta focuses building a sustainable environment for talented filmmakers to tell their stories.  Focusing on socially conscious material, Sol has spearheaded Mangustas’ move into the world of digital distribution through their new website

Living in Ojai, CA and basking in the glorious creative environment provided by nature and family, Sol strives to bring positive and inspiring stories to the world.

Blake Ashman
Blake Ashman-Kipervaser

Blake Ashman-Kipervaser

Blake Ashman-Kipervaser

Blake Ashman-Kipervaser is an independent film producer based in New York City. His credits include the award-winning feature film Prince of Broadway (associate producer) directed by Sean Baker (Nominated John Cassavetes Award Independent Spirit Awards, Winner Best Narrative Feature Los Angeles Film Festival) and the feature documentary The Lottery directed by Madeleine Sackler (Tribeca Film Festival 2010). He recently co-produced Mister Green directed by Greg Pak (SXSW 2010, Winner Best Short Film Sci-Fi London 2010) for the ITVS series Futurestates (, and 2012: Time For Change directed by João Amorim (featuring Sting, David Lynch, Ellen Page). Additonally, Ashman-Kipervaser co-produced two seasons of Greg the Bunny film parodies for the Independent Film Channel (IFC). He is currently working with Mangusta Productions to release a slate of films including Being In The World directed by Tao Ruspoli, 2012: Time For Change and The Living Wake directed by Sol Tryon (Winner Red Star Award CineVegas, AFI Festival) starring Mike O’Connell and Jesse Eisenberg.

April Merl
April Merl

April Merl

April Merl

April Merl has been working in independent film for the last 13 years. Her credits have been seen on HBO, PBS, ABC and in theaters around the world. Her editing credits include feature documentaries Trumbo, and Angelina Jolie's directorial debut "A Place in Time".
Her most recent project, The Yes Men Fix the World, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Panorama Audience award at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009.

Dustin Lindblad
Dustin Lindblad

Dustin Lindblad

Dustin Lindblad
Animation Art Director

Dustin Lindblad enjoys working as an art director, graphic designer and illustrator.   Integrating a diverse background of traditional visual arts, architectural design and computer graphics, her passion is bringing ideas to life through striking visual representations.
Influenced by a fascination with dance choreography and theatrical performance, Dustin's work explores themes of fantasy,  life-cycles, and organic imagery characterized by a vivid sense of color and intricate attention for detail.  Her award-winning film Tao, created for Vancouver dance choreographer Wen Wei Wang, has been screened internationally at numerous festivals, and Célésais, her animated short, was accepted with Honorable Mention to Siggraph Space.
Dustin is involved in various creative activities encompassing graphics for film and television, projects for ad agencies, concept art, multi-media performance pieces, textile illustrations and greeting cards.    Inspired by the evolution of the creative process, she has taught several design and architectural theory courses.  Before a Wacom pen became her main tool, she used a parallel straightedge to construct blueprints working as both an architect and exhibit designer.  Dustin is currently creating two children's books and is constantly on the lookout for magic in her everyday life. 

Lewis Kofsky
Lewis Kofsky

Lewis Kofsky

Lewis Kofsky
Partner and Producer – Curious Pictures

Lewis Kofsky is partner and producer at Curious Pictures. He guides all digital production at Curious, including film, studio services, and gaming. His team produces the mocap and keyframe motion for the hit franchise Rockband. Other game clients include Rockstar Games, THQ, and Ubisoft. He is currently overseeing an animation and VFX package for Focus Features and a supervising producer on the hit Nickleodeon series Umizoomi.
Lewis has a long history of marrying technology and artistry to create innovative new looks. He was producer of all the animation segments in the documentary film, "Chicago 10," which opened the Sundance Film Festival in January 2007 and showcases a proprietary animation look he was a principal in devising. In 2008 Lewis produced eight minutes of mixed-media animation for the Morgan Spurlock’s "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden." Another standout style is the rotomation technique that he developed on the award-winning "Avenue Amy "- five years before the ubiquitous ipod dancers. Lewis went on sabbatical from Curious to work at PDI/Dreamworks on the animated feature films "Shrek2" and "Madagascar" as a visual FX animator specializing in water and fluid effects.
He's been with us since 1998, starting out as a CG Artist and VFX supervisor fluent in a variety of media. He has worked on film, commercials, TV series and pilots, music videos, and short-form content for a long client list. Lewis started his career in New York at R\GA and has experience at a range of large and boutique studios. Lewis is self-taught in the field of computer graphics and holds a BS in design from Stanford University.
Outside the studio Lewis created a popular class at the NYU film school in title design and digital FX. He is a certified permaculture designer and spends time farming or generally working to make his community sustainable. He can be spotted in his natural habitats tapping his Blackberry in natural settings, planting trees in the forests of South America, or behind the wheel of his mutant vehicle at the Burningman Festival.

Pedro Tarragô
Pedro Tarragô

Pedro Tarrago

Pedro Tarragô
Associate Editor
Pedro Tarragô is a freelance online/offline digital film and video editor.
His most recent work was a feature length documentary "2012 - Time For Change" about sustainability and personal transformation.
His range of work includes a variety of formats from commercials and music videos to short series documentaries where he specialized in integrating various types of media (live action, 2d/3d animation, still images, motion graphs) with coherent and dynamic cuts.
Pedro's ability to speak both English and Portuguese fluently has been a valuable asset, forming a diverse client base.

Tao Ruspoli
Tao Ruspoli

Tao Ruspoli

Tao Ruspoli

Tao Ruspoli (born 7 November 1975) is an Italian-American filmmaker, photographer, and musician.
He is the second son of occasional actor and aristocrat Prince Alessandro Ruspoli, 9th Prince of Cerveteri by Austrian-American actress Debra Berger.

Nikos Katsaounis
Nikos Katsaounis

Nikos Katsaounis

Nikos Katsaounis
Associate Producer

Nikos Katsaounis is an Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker, producer, and video artist who works and lives in New York City.
As a co-founder of Postmodern Times, he has produced and directed numerous short docs, viral videos, and animations that have won a variety of distinctions and awards. He recently finished several short web pieces on prostitution, HIV, and truckers in India, and is currently developing several new films and an internet media venture.

Mangusta Productions
Mangusta Productions

Mangusta Productions
Production Company and Distributor

Mangusta Productions is a New York based production company specializing in independent film financing, production and distribution. The goal is to provide a sustainable environment for independent filmmakers to complete their work and show it to the world, while retaining creative and financial control. Explicit Ills, a Mangusta produced film, was released theatrically and on DVD nationwide in 2009. The company currently has three films in different phases of self-distribution (Fix, The Living Wake, and 2012: Time for Change) and one documentary in production (Being in the World). Believing in the creative process while understanding the challenging state of the independent film industry, Mangusta Productions is committed to bringing important work to audiences worldwide.

Curious Pictures
Curious Pictures

Curious Pictures

Curious Pictures
Production Company

Curious Pictures was formed in 1993 when four colleagues established a small entertainment company that would provide a home base for talented creators from all over the world. Specializing in animation, design, and graphics, the company opened with a philosophy based on a tripod: “great work - make money - have fun”.
Having worked together for several years, the team of four partners - Susan Holden, Steve Oakes, David Starr, and Richard Winkler - started out producing TV commercials, with the intention of expanding to television programming, toy production, and other ventures. Expand they did: in 1994, the Curious team set up shot in their current studio on Lafayette Street in lower Manhattan’s NoHo district. Gradually, five directors became a dozen and by 1995, Curious was producing upwards of 100 commercial projects annually. The production of Mo Willem’s “The Offbeats” in 1995 for Nickelodeon marked Curious’ expansion into the TV show business and in 1998 “A Little Curious” for HBO became the company’s first half-hour series, followed soon after by the next Mo Willems creation, “Sheep in the Big City” for Cartoon Network.
From 1995-1999, an office was maintained in San Francisco to support the company’s diversification into cel animation, In 1997, Curious established its toy company, Curious Toys, with Bonz as its first line. Curious toys began to expand with several additions to the Bonz line in 1998, all of which have earned awards of recognition within the toy industry. In 2000, Curious launched DCODE, a small hybrid production company/creative services company.
Curious has come a long way from its first spot for Midas Muffler in 1993; today with hundreds of brand-name clients, almost 1000 commercials, and an extensive record of relationships with leading advertising agencies and broadcasters worldwide, this growing entertainment company is proof that a little curiosity goes a long way. UFO-TV.

Postmodern Times
Postmodern Times

Postmodern Times

Postmodern Times
Production Company

A collaboration between Nikos Katsounis, João Amorim, and Daniel Pinchbeck, Postmodern Times LLC develops, produces, and distributes conscious creative media.
Using techniques of documentary, interview, and animation, PostModern Times videos make complex and abstract ideas accessible and fun to watch. Please check out or our first DVD, Beyond 2012, produced in conjunction with UFO-TV.

BBC World - Talking Movies

BBC World - Talking Movies: Sting interview for 2012: Time For ChangeBBC World - Talking Movies: Sting interview for 2012: Time For ChangeBBC Talking Movies
with Tom Brook

Talking Movies on

July, 2010 | BBC - Tom Brook
Tom Brook interviews Sting about 2012: Time for Change.

New York Daily News

New York Daily NewsNew York Daily NewsGatecrasher
with Frank Digiacomo

July 14, 2010 | Frank Digiacomo
Sting is determined to let his freak flag fly. At the premiere of "2012: Time for Change" at the SVA Theater on Thursday, we asked the artist what he makes of criticism that gets leveled at celebrities who express their beliefs on social, political and environmental issues, as Sting does in this film about the future.
"Listen, I'm a tax-paying citizen and I have the right to believe what I want to believe, freedom of expression and all of that," Sting said. "It doesn't matter that I have a few more people paying attention."
Later that night, the Police front man had even more people paying attention during a Q&A that followed the movie. Paul Stamets, a mushroom expert who was also on the panel, showed the audience a bag of fungi that, he explained, could survive in salt water and potentially lessen the toxic effects of the BP oil spill. "Nice to meet you. Give me that," said Sting, who sat next to Stamets, as he grabbed the 'shroom stash. He then asked: "Can you smoke it?"The wedding party's over, but political insiders are still marveling at the union of longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin to Rep. Anthony Weiner. "It's a mystery," says one, who notes that, for starters, Abedin is the "model of discretion," while Weiner is her opposite: "the quintessential desperate politician." Still, the source predicts a long marriage because both spouses "won't be home much."

Olumide Productions

Olumide ProductionsOlumide Productions2012: Time for Change
Green Carpet Interviews at the '2012' NYC Premiere

Olumide Productions on YouTube

July 12, 2010 | Olumide Productions
Olumide interviews Daniel Pinchbeck, Sting, and Joao Amorim on the green carpet at the '2012' premiere in New York on July 8th, 2010. Click here to see the video.

Paper Mag

Paper MagPaper MagGreen Carpet Glamour at the 2012: Time for Change Premiere

July 12, 2010 | Peter Davis
Going green has been chic for a while and the documentary 2012: Time for Change explores how the planet can grow even healthier, and not explode to pieces like it did in the John Cusack disaster flick 2012.
Filmmaker Joao Amorim follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, author of bestseller 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, as he tries to transform the global approach to dealing with the environment and talks with eco-activists like Sting, David Lynch and Ellen Page.

The film had its New York premiere last Thursday at the SVA Theater, hosted by Mr. Sting, Yvonne Force Villareal, Bonnie Young, among others. On a steamy night, the green (of course) carpet was red hot with Donna Karan, Padma Lakshmi and sexy Paz de la Huerta who vamped it up for photographers like a Vargas pinup girl. I can't wait to see Paz in HBO's next big, bloody hit the Atlantic City, prohibition era drama Boardwalk Empire, which premieres September 19th.

Broadway World - Movies

Broadway World - MoviesBroadway World - MoviesThe '2012: Time for Change' Screening After Party

Photo Coverage:

July 9, 2010 | Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Click here to view the after party photos.

The Huffington Post

The Huffington PostThe Huffington PostSting Speaks at Premiere of 2012: Time for Change

July 9, 2010 | Karin Luisa
Sting was standing close to me (but not too close!) in the lobby of the Chelsea movie theater -- where Daniel Pinchbeck's new film 2012: Time for Change had just premiered --- affably speaking with a couple of fans, a surprisingly slight man in a trim pin-striped suit, attractive with his clean haircut and sweet beaming blue eyes -- and up-close a very welcoming wrinkled and handsome face.
"Can I ask you a question?" I asked.
He bent his face close and smiled.
"Why did you participate in Pinchbeck's film? What compelled you?"
I imagined that this low-budget film would not be able to afford the kind of money Sting would command.
"Oh we were just talking in Paris and..."
"So you know Daniel?" I said, acknowledging that I knew him as well.
"Yes, we have been friends for years..."
"I''ve been reading his work for many years."
"So is it that one ayahuasca trip you did so long ago that so moved you to take an interest in his work?"
Pinchbeck's first book was about his enlightening experiences doing hallucinogenic drugs, a book that has since become a bible of sorts for the educated spiritually minded. I quickly mentioned to Sting -- to be on the same side of the fence -- that I too had done ayahuasca in a shamanistic ritual in Peru, and that I had found it a powerful experience. "Oh yes the first time, it's always memorable that first time. Wow that first time! I have done it many times since," Sting offered openly, with his gentlemanly smile.
"Many times?"
"Many times!"
"But my question -- may I ask -- is whether it's true."
"Well it seems so revelatory, what one intuits with the ayahuasca -- but then afterwards, it fades -- and then one can think it was just a chemical reaction. So can one take what one felt as true?"
Sting laughed. "It's not a miracle drug -- it's not going to change you like a magic bullet. Afterwards, you still have to do the work. That's what this film is about, isn't it? That we all have to engage in the work. Work on problems, take our intuitions and go further. Contribute. It's work. We have to do the work. We are all here for a reason. We all have work to do."
"And you?" I said. "What is your work? I don't know your personal life -- what you engage in --but what would you say your work is? Your music?" "My family," Sting responded immediately. "This is where I am contributing. And yes my music --which..." he grinned with some sort of ironic modesty. "Happens to connect well commercially."
"But do you really feel your music is 'work' in the way the activism in this movie is work -- as a kind of contribution? Or is it just your own thing? The movie was all about efforts made in many areas -- from yoga to roof-top gardens to meditation (with an interview with my favorite -- David Lynch -- uncharacteristically not-chain-smoking -- has he quit?) to currency abolition (some Belgian expert on economy) to mushroom culture to fight oil spills: basically a hodgepodge of enthusiastic interviews about what can be done to raise consciousness before the Mayan doomsday of 2012.
Sting smiled. "Yes, you're right. Music is my own thing. Yes, it's just my own thing. But can we also say that I am a devotional musician. Yes, that is what I am. A devotional musician."
He laughed and I thanked him, and as I walked off to join my friends, he reached out and gave me the warmest sexiest handshake.

Tree Hugger

Tree HuggerTree Hugger"2012" Is Back,
This Time With Good News

July 5, 2010 | April Streeter
That first movie "2012" was fairly dramatic and yet pretty much only scary until you exited the multiplex. It was just far-fetched enough to make you think it would never happen. Though playing off a similar idea - that some type of catastrophic showdown is coming our way at the end of the current Mayan calendar in December 2012 - this new movie "2012: Time for Change" is actually an animated documentary that takes a positive spin on our joint ecological predicament - positing that an evolution of human consciousness could get us back in tune with nature and make humans more able to be positive stewards rather than wanton destroyers of our world.
Daniel Pinchbeck, the executive producer and author of the 2006 book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, starts the film detailing his quest to shake free of a depression that dogged him in his late 20s when his disconnection from current culture caused him to become despondent. One way Pinchbeck sought to connect to a higher wisdom was by visiting and participating in initiation rites and psychedelic drug rituals with tribes such as the Bwiti cult in Gabon - Pinchbeck also interviews Sting in the film about the singer's psychedelic experience taking the hallucigenic Ayahuasca in Brazil. One of Pinchbeck's heroes, Terence McKenna, also champions the idea of psychedelic drugs as one way to get people to expand their consciousness in a short period of time.
But the film doesn't really look to drugs to solve our modern ecological dilemma. Instead, Pinchbeck splices archival footage of Buckminster Fuller and his ideas with interviews with futurists such as Barbara Mark Hubbard and Richard Register, mycologist Paul Stamets and water rights activist Maude Barlow, as well as Sting, David Lynch, and actress Ellen Page. It's kind of a weird mishmash, but it works pretty well for me, and here's why. The green "movement" has had to rely on a lot of gloom and doom messaging to try to communicate some of the big problems we face, and with somewhat limited success at sparking deep and lasting change.Somehow, it seems, we are waiting for the technological silver bullets to get us out of the mess we're in. Pinchbeck yokes the techno-prowess to an expansion of consciousness each one of us must undergo - whether through inner quest or simply outer positive action. He also seems to imply that the same interconnection and social networking that the Internet has wrought will serve us well when push comes to shove, whether that's in 2012 or some other future date (like tomorrow, maybe?) That's a message we need to hear more of, as it brings back personal responsibility to the mix as well as emphasizes community, and suggests all of us have a role in our own, and the planet's, salvation.
The effect is to clear the clouds of "nothing I do really matters," if only temporarily. There's no one-size-fits-all solution by the end of the movie, yet there is the lingering sensation lots of people are working on pieces, and that we actually are all in this together. And seeing Sting says he's a "self-declared, card carrying tree hugger" makes up for some of the slightly weird moments of the film - such as a segment that sugested the moment of the jury decision in O.J. Simpson's murder trial was a moment of shared global consciousness. "2012: Time for Change" is by no means perfect, but rather than just leaving you feeling blue, as some of the recent spate of documentaries have done for me, it just could reinvigorate your personal quest for being green, whatever forms it might take.

The Seattle Times

The Seattle TimesThe Seattle Times'2012: Time for Change'
Documentary explores New Age theories

June 3, 2010 I John Hartl
Sting identifies himself as a tree hugger, and describes the psychedelic jungle experience that turned him into one.

David Lynch claims to have lost his anger as a result of years of daily doses of transcendental meditation.

Ellen Page, star of "Juno," describes coming down from a sudden rise to fame by shoveling goat manure. And loving it.

Celebrity testimonies count for quite a bit in the New Age documentary "2012: Time For Change," but the person with the most screen time is Daniel Pinchbeck, author of "2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl." He's a kind of guide through an 85-minute discussion that touches on string theory, apocalyptic prophecies, cultural shifts and the long-term impact of 1960s protest movements.

It concludes that the planet, running low on water and other essentials, is headed for a crucial time of transformation. But it's not all bad news.

The movie begins at the beginning, with an animated version of a creation myth that includes references to a great storm and a great flood. Evolution is covered in a bone-throwing episode lifted from "2001: A Space Odyssey," and there are hopeful references to Joseph Campbell and Buckminster Fuller (who appears in archival clips).

Like some IMAX documentaries, the picture tries to jam too much information into too little screen time. There's so little breathing room that an episode about worldwide attention focused on O.J. Simpson may leave you scratching your head. (A dubious murder trial will bring us together?)

At its best, it's a thought-provoking examination of some of the same issues explored in "Avatar," "Crude" and Hollywood's bigger-budget 2009 disaster epic, "2012." According to the distributor, all screenings will include panel discussions with members of the film team.

The Dr. Pat Show

The Dr. Pat ShowThe Dr. Pat ShowThe Dr. Pat Show

June 2, 2010
Please click here to listen to Daniel Pinchbeck and Penny Livingston-Stark's interview with Dr. Pat Baccili.


Variety: 2012: Time For Change movie reviewVariety: 2012: Time For Change movie review"2012: Time for Change" Review
June 1, 2010 I Dennis Harvey

Better planetary conservatorship through psychedelics is one message among many in docu "2012: Time for Change." A kind of cinematic New Age magazine flipping through hot-button issues negative (global warming, resource shortages, apocalypticism) and positive (green living, online activist communities), this plug for "conscious evolution" is both glossily crafted and exasperatingly catch-all. Its vegan food for thought has already played one-off gigs with filmmaker appearances. Single-screen Seattle engagement starting June 4 may not spur further theatrical bookings; pic will reach its ultimate audience via DVD and Internet dissemination.

There's a lot of earnest truth to what first-person narrator Daniel Pinchbeck (author of "Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into Contemporary Shamanism") guides us through here. Still, one wishes he were a more probing interviewer or prepossessing camera presence. He seems entirely lacking in humor, as does the film, aside from witty animated segments. The latter primarily illustrate Mayan creation myths suggesting 2012 brings the end of another Earth cycle in which humanity's latest failed form will be destroyed by the gods for showing cumulative disrespect toward the planet itself.

Pinchbeck doesn't necessarily buy into that literally, but uses his admitted personal depression over escalating world crises as a spur to go on a globe-trotting quest in pursuit of good news and bad. The resulting view of a "crisis in human consciousness" sweeps through everything from visionary R. Buckminster Fuller (seen in archival footage) to transcendental meditation to musician Sting (oddly avoiding eye contact) talking about the psychedelically induced "only religious experience I've ever had." (It's even odder when we get a few seconds of Ellen Page saying she recovered from "Juno's" fame-burst by "shoveling goat shit" on a communal farm.)

There are some highly articulate commentators here, including "EcoCities" author Richard Register, who compares good intentions with good deeds. "It ultimately comes down to, are you gonna do something about it?" Register says. That hits a queasy spot, since "2012" casts its net so vaguely wide; it sometimes comes across as an instructional manual for well-off do-gooders who might attend Burning Man in an air-conditioned RV. Moreover, every subject the pic touches on has been dealt with more probingly, at length, by other documentarians.

Nonetheless, "2012" is remarkably tight, considering its wandering focus and whiff of the well-intentioned vanity project. Veteran animator-turned-director Joao G. Amorim, co-lenser Felipe Reinheimer and editor April Merl do a terrific job assembling disparate materials into brisk semi-cogency. Soundtrack is the requisite smart mix tape of global dance/trance sounds. Excellent cartoon segs aside, the pic sports one for-the-books visual grace note: a simple cut from yoga-class stretching to a big cat luxuriantly extending its loins in the wild.

Chicago Examiner

Chicago Examiner: 2012: Time For Change interview with Joao Amorim and Daniel PinchbeckChicago Examiner: 2012: Time For Change interview with Joao Amorim and Daniel Pinchbeck"2012: Time for Change,"
João Amorim, Daniel Pinchbeck, and the quest for a new paradigm
Chicago Examiner

May 20, 2010 I Daniel Godston
2012: Time for Change is a new documentary which presents an optimistic alternative to an apocalyptic vision of the future. João Amorim is the film's director and producer, and he will be at the Green Festival happening in Chicago this weekend. 2012: Time for Change screens at the Green Festival on Saturday, (and after the screening João will be joined by Daniel Pinchbeck, Paul Miller, and Michael Dorsey for a Q&A), and at Facets Multimedia on Sunday. Recently I spoke with João about directing the film, collaborating with Daniel Pinchbeck, ideas about sustainable living, and some of his other projects. 

DG: How did you come up with the idea for "2012: Time for a Change"?

JA: I've always had social concerns, as well as the notion that our system is not sustainable. I'd been working with animation for years, but mainly focusing on advertising and kids' shows. In 2006 I was animation director for Chicago 10; it opened the Sundance Film Festival in 2007, and I was nominated for an Emmy for it last year, so that reaffirmed that I could use my skillset in film and animation for a more noble cause than just convincing people to buy useless stuff.

It was right around that time that a friend pointed me to Daniel Pinchbeck's book 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. At first I was dismissive about the whole 2012 idea as New Age mumbo jumbo. But in the end Daniel's book really moved me, and I strongly identified with the idea that we need to reconnect with the natural world, and that our consumer culture had moved us away from any deeper levels of consciousness.

So I eventually met with Daniel, and we agreed to develop a short pilot film around ideas he put forth in his books. This short, Toward 2012, got more than a half a million hits on youtube, and it led us to develop a series of short animated films on consciousness and ecology, which has been recently released on DVD under the title Beyond 2012: Animated Interviews on the Next Age. That series led us to develop this feature, which was made possible by Mangusta Productions, Curious Pictures, and the amazing support of Giancarli Canavesio, our main producer and financier.

DG: What are some ideas presented in "2012: Time for Change" that suggest ways by which we can make our society sustainable, and move toward a goal of regenerative planetary culture?

JA: You can reconnect with nature and with your inner self. We highlight shamanic practices, yoga, and meditation, and many others. Also, we examine a Design Science approach inspired by Buckminster Fuller, doing more with less, and looking at the Earth as an integrated whole system. We also look at urban permaculture, bioremediation of toxified environments, alternative fuels, complementary currency systems, among others.

DG: How did you and Daniel Pinchbeck collaborate on "2012: Time for Change"?

JA: We picked the people whom we wanted to interview together. Daniel had access to most of the celebrities featured in the film, such as David Lynch and Sting, as a lot of them had already read his book. He also was strongly connected with the consciousness evolution people, and I brought a pragmatic design science approach to the table. So in this way we combined practical solutions with consciousness evolution, and created a film that has a synergistical approach to problem solving. We traveled together and put in a lot of time and effort to get the right material.

DG: Who are some other people who helped with the film?

JA: We had editorial reviews, where we and other members of the team helped to mature the film. The editors April Merl and Pedro Tarragô, animation art director Dustin Lindblad, among others, also made crucial contributions to the film.

DG: What is one way by which Pinchbeck embarked on a "quest for a new paradigm that integrates the archaic wisdom of tribal cultures with a scientific method,” as I read in an interview with him?

JA: We do not negate technology. In many ways the internet is turning us in to a global tribe. So I would say that this retribalization is an example of that integration. Another one would be permaculture, which is an approach to agriculture, housing, sanitation, energy that both draws on ancient knowledge and on design science, therefore integrating the old with the new. 

DG: What are some important things that you discovered while filming "2012: Time for Change," which you didn’t know before starting this project?

JA: Oh, there are many things. I certainly learned a lot about bioremediation and cleaning up toxified environments, such as work by Paul Stamets and John Todd. I learned a lot about complemenatry currencies and how money in many ways dictates the type of society we live in.

DG: How did your perspective on money change?

JA: Bernard Lietaer -- who is a central banker, currency trader, and one of the co-designers of the Euro -- is one of the people featured in the film. Lietaer changed my perspective on what is the role of money and how we can change it to create a more equitable society. Our money today -- our conventional money and the Fiat currencies we have -- is essentially Bank Debt. It is created by people, corporations, and governments borrowing money from banks. It is a yang, patriarchal currency that is designed to extract resources to the top. Through interest, it essentially extracts money from the people that do not have a lot of it, and gives the money to those who already have the money. It's a pyramid scheme that values a model for people to live on interest. Our money system does not have to be that way.

DG: What are some solutions to this problem?

JA: There are more yin currencies out there where you can actually have a negative interest rate, called demurrage -- which incentivize people to keep money in circulation, rather than just accumulating it. Then it starts to make sense and act as a medium of exchange.

DG: I’ve read in some interviews with documentary filmmakers about how sometimes they have certain expectations about the film or the subject before it starts, but then something happens during the filmmaking process that takes the documentary in a different direction. Did you experience anything like that, while directing "2012: Time for Change"?

JA: Well, certainly the film developed in a different way than how we had originally had in mind, just by the nature of interviewing someone. You might think you know what you want that person to say, but chances are they will surprise you with something unexpected. Also I think there is a process of becoming more mature about a subject matter, more critical, then there are the test screenings, and people's reactions. If you listen to them, you will have to certainly make some changes as well. So yes, the film is different than what we had originally planned. From a pragmatic standpoint, I tend to see it as a survival manual for the 21st Century.

DG: What are some things that you hope people will learn, while they're watching "2012: Time for Change"?

JA: I think that will be different for each person, but I hope it instigates people to act -- to help them see that we do not need to create a movement, that it is already there, and that they just need to join. To make a change in their lives, and not be afraid of change. It is through change and crisis that we evolve. So in many ways it is a call to action.

DG: How would you say this film relates to the trajectory of your oeuvre?

JA: In 2000 I directed the award winning animation short: Don't Get Charged Up (about recycling batteries). I also worked as an animation supervisor on Bob Young's Human Error, which was a Sundance selection of 2004, and that has a post-industrial, post-apocalyptic quality. Then came Chicago 10, which tells the story of the Chicago 7 and their struggle to peacefully protest the Vietnam War during the 1968 Democratic National Convention held in Chicago, and their infamous trial in 1968. I also directed a series of shorts with strong eco-social content -- for both the Buckminster Fuller Institute, and for our animated series on consciouness and ecology entitled Beyond 2012.

DG: What film projects are you working on now?

JA: I am currently working on the preproduction of three films -- Gaia and the Last Forest, Archaic Revival, and Ponto Zero. Gaia and the Last Forest is an animated journey that tells the story of a urban girl who is forced to move to the last piece of forest in the world, after her parents die in a mysterious accident. Archaic Revival, which essentially is a sequel to 2012: Time for Change, focuses on consciousness expansion and our historical relation to entheogens. Finally there is Ponto Zero, which is a film with actress Alice Braga narrating, and looks at viable regenerative solutions for the developing world.

DG: Are you working on any other projects? 

JA: I'm also leading a permaculture project in Brazil called Ciclo Sustainable; we are starting to offer courses and retreats there.

O Globo

O Globo: 2012: Time For Change review from BrazilO Globo: 2012: Time For Change review from BrazilTemendo o fim do mundo em 2012
documentário de João Amorim apresenta alternativas ecológicas para uma vida sustentável

May 16, 2010 I Fátima Sá
O cineasta João Amorim, filho do ministro das Relações Exteriores, Celso Amorim, já dirigiu comerciais para a BMW e a Panasonic, olhava o movimento new age com a maior desconfiança e achava que documentário ambiental estava fadado a oscilar entre a catástrofe e a pieguice. Hoje, é sócio de uma produtora de vídeos sócio-ambientais ("Postmodern Times"), fez da pregação contra o consumismo uma bandeira, medita todos os dias e comanda um projeto de permacultura sustentável no centro-este do Brasil (Ciclo Sustainable). Tudo isso enquanto roda festivais com seu mais novo projeto, "2012: Tempo de mudança", que será exibido no Chicago Green Festival, no próximo fim de semana, e deve estrear no Brasil no segundo semestre deste ano.

Resultado de 500 horas de imagens, animação e mais de 200 entrevistas, o filme, de 85 minutos, traz depoimentos contundentes de David Lynch, Sting, Ellen Page, Gilberto Gil e Terence McKenna, entre muitos outros, falando de suas experiências com meditação, ayahuasca, projetos sustentáveis, contracultura, expansão da consciência. Misturando a sabedoria de culturas ancestrais com as possibilidades da tecnologia, o filme apresenta alternativas ecológicas - e muitas vezes surpreendentemente simples - para produzir energia, reciclar lixo, regenerar o solo, reaproveitar água, gerar alimentos mais saudáveis. Em "2012: Tempo de mudança", João, que foi indicado ao Emmy pela animação de "Chicago 10" (dirigido por Brett Morgen), segue o jornalista americano Daniel Pinchbeck, autor do bestseller "2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl" e considerado por muitos o novo pai do movimento psicodélico. Daniel procura mostrar as armadilhas do nosso atual modelo sócio-econômico e sai em busca de uma nova cultura, baseada em princípios ecológicos e solidários, por várias partes do mundo, do Rio ao Japão, onde projetos assim já estão em prática, com ótimos resultados.

- Depois de ler o livro do Daniel e entrar em contato com várias pessoas, eu, que era muito cético, fui mudando completamente minha maneira de pensar e viver - diz João, que só usou baterias recarregáveis durante as filmagens. - Por mais complexos que possam parecer os nossos problemas, as soluções para eles muitas vezes são simples. E a gente mostra isso. Pode-se construir sem agredir o meio ambiente e reaproveitar recursos de maneira racional. Dá pra coletar a água da chuva e usá-la para abastecer prédios de até quatro andares ou fazer hortas comunitárias nos terraços dos edifícios, por exemplo. Por toda parte, já há muita gente engajada na produção de uma sociedade regenerativa.

The Berkeley Daily Planet

The Berkeley Daily Planet: 2012: Time For Change movie reviewThe Berkeley Daily Planet: 2012: Time For Change movie reviewFilm Review: "2012: Time for Change"
Berkeley Daily Planet

April 08, 2010 I Gar Smith
Last summer, the blockbuster disaster flick, 2012 asked the question: “How would the governments of our planet prepare 6 billion people for the end of the Earth?” Hollywood’s answer? “They Wouldn’t.”

2012: Time for Change, is an eco-sequel that challenges this recipe for disaster. Time for Change sees the Mayan Calendar’s prediction of imminent doom as an opportunity for transformation, not trauma. 

The film’s “agent evocateur,” New Age journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, guides viewers through his personal encounters with psychedelics (from ingesting iboga in Gabon to downing ayahuasca in Brazil) and spends the better part of the film criss-crossing the globe to interview a host of 2010 positivists — shamans, scientists, inventors, yogis, permaculturists, Native Americans and Berkeley’s own Richard Register. Celebrities Sting, David Lynch and Ellen Page also chime in with Sting praising ayahuasca and yoga, Page celebrating the earthly joys of shoveling goat-shit, and Lynch (predictably) talking up the benefits of Transendental Meditation. (Too bad the filmmakers weren’t able to fit in an interview with John Cusack.) 

The film’s first order of business is dealing with the Mayan and Hopi myths that echo the Old Testament stories of human wickedness swept away by a holy flood. Both the Hopi and Mayan lore forwarned that 2012 would be a date of high danger. Scientist Michio Kaku observes that 2012 could see a Solar Maximum that could dissolve the electronic glue that holds modern society together. A radical economist predicts 2012 will see the collapse of the world economy, triggering food riots, a US tax rebellion and civil war. 

In the near-term, of course, we face hunger, war, and climate change. Canadian Maud Barlow also warns that “water is the next oil” — a precious resource that already is being claimed by corporations and Oilman T. Boone Pickens admits to buying up water rights in Texas and explains: “Do you charge for air? Well, of course not. They say you shouldn’t sell water. Well, OK. You just watch what happens.” 

The belief that Jesus will return or that benign aliens in UFOs will save are cop-outs, the filmmakers argue. There is no “personal sovereignty” when we forfeit our sense of responsibility for our own time and our own actions. Terence McKenna, author of Mind and Time, Spirit and Matter, puts it squarely: “Western civilization, at this time, is a loaded gun pointed at the head of this planet.” But, as Sting points out, “apocalypse” doesn’t mean disaster or oblivion; it means “uncovering.” And Time for Change reminds us that one of the things we need to uncover is the simple lesson: We are a part of nature; not apart from nature. 

A yoga instructor argues that the Western body is literally “uptight” — constrained in a “linear monoculture” of posture. (It’s time to get your curve on.) Sting reflects on finding comfort in difficulty yoga poses.: “That’s when we make progress. When we put ourselves out of the comfort zone.” 

2012 revisits the genius of Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller, the “daVinci of the 20th Century,” who showed the practical opportunities of a world designed to do “more with less.” Thinking outside the box produced alternatives like the geodesic dome and Fuller’s speedy, gymnastically maneuverable Dymaxion car (30 mpg; 120 mph). The clip of Bucky’s car in motion has to be seen to be believed.

Richard Register, founder of EcoCity Builders, decries the lack of attention to cities, “the biggest thing that human beings create.” Capitalism’s definition of health: “grow, grow, grow, grow!” Possible to save 80-90% of US energy by redesigning our cities along more compact European models. Rooftop gardens in New York could grow 80% of the Big Apple’s produce. Register laments that his visionary plan for an Berkeley EcoCity was rejected “because it would mean major changes in land-use patterns.” Interviewed atop the Gaia Building., Register concludes: “It’s up to people, deep in their hearts, to say: ‘I want to build a different world and I’m willing to face some serious change.’ “

Innovator John Todd explains how he uses plants to clean sewage without electricity or chemicals: “When you assemble17 kingdoms of life, you’ve actually created an eco-machine that’s intelligent. It’s got behind it, hundreds of millions of years of practice.“ And Paul Stamets expounds on how mushrooms can help save the planet by breaking down oil, chemicals and pollutants to clean and restore habitat in as quickly as three months. Mycellium has a network like the Internet. 

Pinchbeck visits the lab of inventor Ryan Wartena who uses LA tap water to generate the electricity that powers his scooter and marvels at how the Internet has terminally torpedoed the corporate suppression of alternative technologies. Today an inventor can post a demonstration of a :free-energy” device on YouTube and the next day 30 million people can start building their own version. These “open source” solutions to survival could replace hierarchical, corporate systems that now dominate our lives. 

Social transformation is not easily accomplished because is it difficult to grasp emotionally and intellectually. In addition, as one interviewee puts it: “If you can’t monetize it, it drops out of capitalist monetization.” An economist advises Pinchbeck that we can’t solve environmental or social problems within the current economic system based, as it is, on bank debt and endless borrowing. “It’s a monoculture and monocultures are not very reliable, stable systems. One unexpected thing and the whole system falls apart.” 

Patriarchal societies are inevitably identified with monocultures of “centralizing currencies” and interest rates that provide a way of “extracting resources to the top.” What’s needed is a “diversity of financial tools” that reward actions that benefit health or the environment. One remarkable example is the Japanese fiyakipo — a time-based credit currency that recognizes the value of voluntary community service and rewards cooperation instead of competition.

Just as there was an Agricultural Revolution, an Industrial Age and an Information Age, Pinchbeck predicts the arrival of a transformative Age of Wisdom. In sympathy with this hope, several interviewees praise the Sixties as the first phase of an “initiatory process” for the modern psyche: the first step in breaking away from egocentric, profit-driven materialism. What’s now needed is a profound shift in how we conducting ourselves on this planet — replacing the rituals of an “unsustainable suicide culture” with lives that respect the needs of others.

San Francisco Chronicle

"This '2012' film sees nature in positive role"San Francisco Chronicle: 2012: Time For Change reviewSan Francisco Chronicle: 2012: Time For Change review
San Francisco Chronicle

April 04, 2010 | By Hugh Hart
This '2012' avoids catastrophe, uses tech, drugs to get back to nature. 

The movie "2012" made $770 million last winter by imagining a global apocalypse predicted, some believe, by the ancient Mayan calendar. Working from the same point of departure, "2012: Time for Change" steers the focus away from dramatic catastrophes and toward people who are using technology and psychedelic drugs to repair man's relationship with nature.

The film has a three-day San Francisco run beginning April 9.

Brazilian filmmaker João Amorim's documentary follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck as he meets with a wide range of sustainability activists. Author of "2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl," Pinchbeck says: "We need to recognize that the inertia of our society as it operates now is going to lead to cataclysmic effects, so a critical mass of people need to get fully engaged in changing that."

The varieties of engagement explored in "Time for Change" include actress Ellen Page's visit to a sustainable farm Sting also appears on camera to recount his experience with hallucinogenic plants grown in the Amazonian rain forest. Pinchbeck believes that the counterculture's drug experiments may finally pave the way for some long-term dividends. He says, "In the '60s, the culture freaked out because it was as if drugs broke open this container and all this material from the unconscious came rushing in, but people didn't have the elders or wisdom to integrate the material."

Pinchbeck hopes the film helps trigger an enduring shift in awareness. "João's film clarifies issues facing our planet, and I think it will awaken people. Because more people now have gone through their initiatory process, some of this consciousness is now re-entering the culture in a more subtle, mature way."
Yale films educate about environment
Sixteen days before Earth Day, Yale University launches the 2010 Environmental Film Festival. Beginning Tuesday, the festival will showcase eight features and 12 short films.

Topics include penguins, gas drilling in the Catskill Mountains, over-reliance on soybeans, bear hunting, Dumpster diving and arsenic-laced water.
The opening night entry, "Houston We Have a Problem," critiques Texas' oil industry.
Festival Director Eric Desatnik says, "Our mission is to capitalize on the power of film to educate the public about critical environmental issues, to encourage environmental stewardship, and to incite change."
Indie film distributor's advice: Keep it simple
"I am not a very good prognosticator, but I am a very good adapter," says Mark Urman. That has served Urman well. A longtime indie film player, Urman co-founded THINKFilm, where he produced Oscar-winning documentary "Born Into Brothels" and three other nominees. He left in 2008. Urman now runs distributor Paladin.

Staying afloat in a volatile market, Urman likes to keep it simple: "I don't own a corporate jet. I don't own a corporate bicycle! And I don't need a 10-year plan. We can be flexible, we can be limber as the business changes, as the films change, as the economic models change."

Surveying the collapse of specialty film companies, Urman says, "The drunken-sailor days of independent films are now fewer and far between. If you have a movie where everybody dies at the end or it's dark, depressing and stylistically innovative, you have no business spending the kind of money that requires you to sell it to everybody."

Paladin has released "Disgrace" John Malkovich, "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond" with Bryce Dallas Howard and "The Greatest" with Pierce Brosnan. This summer, Paladin will distribute "Great Directors," featuring interviews with Bernardo Bertolucci, Agnès Varda and others. "I can't promise my partners that their film will make a lot of money," Urman says, "but I can promise that it will make a lot of noise and get on the radar. It will exist."

First Voices Indigenous Radio
First Voices Indigenous Radio

First Voices Indigenous RadioFirst Voices Indigenous RadioFirst Voices Indigenous Radio

April 1, 2010
Please click here to listen to João Amorim's interview.



2012: Time for Change is the result of a collaboration between many people, but most especially between director João Amorim and author Daniel Pinchbeck.

As Joao tells the story:
One late night near the end of 2006, in an East Village apartment, I was engaged in a long conversation with some Serbian friends. One of the Serbs, Nino, started talking about 2012 and Daniel Pinchbeck. Being a skeptic, I initially dismissed the talk as New Age nonsense. Nino insisted it wasn’t crap, and eventually convinced me to go get Daniel’s book.

While reading it, I could not help but find myself identifying profoundly with the views expressed in it. The idea that we are steadily moving toward oblivion, that somehow our system has enslaved us to an erroneous notion of time, and that we need to re-align ourselves with the natural world and evolve our consciousness, had a profound resonance with my own ideas. The book revived many of my earliest ideals, and also memories of my own shamanic experiences, which I had suppressed as I entered the working world, running large-scale animation productions and directing commercials.

By the time I finished the book, I was convinced that a movie around these ideas, one that combined an investigation into our potential for conscious evolution with practical solutions, was absolutely necessary. I also realized that my skills in animation could help illustrate these ideas, creating a compelling narrative that could help people in their own process of self-realization and the actual work of transformation.

Seized with inspiration, I wanted to find this Pinchbeck character, as I knew he lived in New York City. I tried to get in touch with my Serbian friend, but he was away. A few weeks later, I ran into him and asked him about Pinchbeck. He did not have his number but said he would try to find it and get back to me.

Anxiously after a week, not having heard from Nino, I called him. Nino said he had bad news, as he did not know how to get a hold of Daniel. Five minutes later, I’m at a friend’s house staring at Daniel’s book cover, feeling quite frustrated, when the phone rings. It is Nino, he had just run in to Daniel who told him I should call him. Synchronicity is a major theme in the book, and this was a nice synchronicity, I thought…

From then on Daniel and I became friends and colleagues. Our first project was a short film entitled “Toward 2012”, featuring groundbreaking animation that explored Daniel’s ideas on the evolution of consciousness and the nature of time. We formed the company Postmodern Times with Nikos Katsaounis and developed the animated series “Beyond 2012, Perspectives on the next age”, (available on DVD through UFOTV). The series lead eventually to the development of a treatment for an animated feature documentary, “2012 Time for Change”. Giancarlo Canavesio from Mangusta Production loved the project and partnered up with Postmodern Times and Curious Pictures to bring this dream to life.

João Amorim


As Daniel tells the story:


After 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl came out in the spring of 2006, I was approached by a number of New York production houses and directors. I met with them but somehow wasn’t inspired to want to work out a deal with any of them, until I met Joao Amorim. As soon as we met, I knew he was the guy. His passion for the subject and his intelligent understanding of the ideas were very inspiring to me. We became fast friends and colleagues. While I sparked the project, this amazing film is the result of Joao’s incredible persistence and artistic vision. I believe it will be watched and studied by people for many years to come.

Daniel Pinchbeck




2012: Time for Change is an independent documentary with animations exploring our current time of crisis, the potential for an evolution of consciousness, and solving our problems through ecological design. The film was shot using Panasonic HVX cameras and lav mikes, which allowed our subjects the maximum amount of mobility in frame. The production began by following Daniel around at conferences including: The Los Angeles 2012 Conference The World Psychedelic Forum in Basel, Switzerland The Left Forum in New York City Greenfest San Francisco At these conferences, Daniel not only gave his own lectures, an essential element in the film, but he also interviewed different luminaries, activists, and visionaries in various fields. Additionally, Daniel and João visited permaculture schools, yoga studios, Shamanic ceremonies, Ecological design centers, and research centers using scientific methods to investigate psychic phenomena. Having collected over 200 hundred hours of interviews, the material was then transcribed. From those transcriptions João pulled selects to create an 8-hour assembly. That is when Editor April Merl joined the action. With the assistance of Pedro Tarrago and the wise counsel of Chris Seward, April proceeded to wrestle the beast into a film. The editorial process was extremely tight, requiring less then 8 months to complete.



AnimationAnimationAn animation director by trade, Amorim planned from the start to use a number of animated sequences in the film. The initial storyboards for some scenes were done up to a year before the beginning of animation production. Artist Pedro

Tarrago working closely with João Amorim to develop the majority of the original storyboards. From the boards, animatics were created. These are essentially rough boards that have been put in a time line. The boards were then passed on to Animation Art Director Dustin Lindblad, a longtime collaborator of Amorim’s, an extraordinary artist and graphic designer. Lindblad developed beautiful boards that a group of animators, led by Mark Rubbo, brought to life. Curious Pictures’ Lewis Kofsky, was key to the process as well, assuring we could get the most out of our animation team, on a very tight budget. The animation was completed in less than 6 months.




2012: Time For Change
The current state of the independent film industry is challenging at best. Therefore, we as filmmakers have decided to take matters into our own hands. In the development stages of creating this documentary we established a distribution strategy that would enable us to get the film out to the world without the need of a big distribution company. We raised P&A (Print and Advertising) money as part of our production budget and set it aside in order to implement this strategy. Knowing that this film is talking about sustainability and conscious evolution, we planned on releasing the film directly to our core audience in a way to generate awareness from the ground up. The idea of this is to generate discussions about the solutions we present and the possibility of making the world a better place for future generations. Our goal is to bring the film to pockets of the country where there is immediate interest and use that interest to expand awareness to a wider audience. Since our budget is limited, we decided to partner with organizations and festivals (The Green Festivals, Boom, Bioneers and more) that would provide concentrated groups of people who are already interested in this discussion. From there we will book screenings in and around these events and offer material to engage the audience in that discussion. This is a strategy that only works if people get involved, much like the solutions we present. Without personal involvement change can?t happen and without personal involvement in this film, it won?t be seen by the masses who desperately need to become aware of what they can do to better themselves and their communities. We want the film to be the calling card for this movement and show that 2012 isn?t about death and destruction, but about an amazing opportunity to shape the world into a more sustainable, eco-friendly and spiritually positive place for the future. We ask you as a viewer to take part in any way you can to help this film spread and to help the movement grow. If you like the film and the movement, talk about it, blog about it, share the information with those you care about and anyone you think will be receptive to it?s message. Take action. Take initiative. EVOLVE TO SOLVE!



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Daniel and Shiva Rea

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Future Utopia Design Animation Art

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Dymaxion Map Animation

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Daniel at GreenFest

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Daniel and Elizabeth at Buckminster Fuller Institute

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From Conscious Evolution to Practical Solutions
From Conscious Evolution...

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Permaculture with Penny

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San Francisco Greenfest

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No Doom and Gloom Teaser

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Permaculture at Ecocentro Ipec

Permaculture at Ecocentro Ipec

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Antidote to Copenhagen

Antidote to Copenhagen

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Terence McKenna

Terence Mckenna


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Alex Theory

MySpace Profile

Sound visionary Alex Theory draws upon extensive training in psychology, integrative medicine, and psychoacoustic music production to innovate new styles of music and media. Part of the fresh scene of artists who push the musical envelope while simultaneously promoting a socially conscious lifestyle, he has done shows with Damien Marley, The Roots, Eryka Badhu, Elton John, India Arie, Ani DiFranco, STS9, Mickey Hart, Particle, DJ Logic, The Flaming Lips, String Cheese Incident, Stanley Jordan, Sheila Chandra, and many more. He is the founder of the 2008 Global Sound Conference and the 2007 Global OM project - a historic event that used the power of sound to unify participants across the world to a synchronized frequency. His work has received airplay in film, radio, and television commercials, and has appeared

on releases by Interchill, System Recordings, and Sounds True. Alex's latest project, Discover Sound, is a non-profit foundation that merges key individuals from the Music, Film, and Television industries with pioneers in the areas of Wellness, Sound Healing, and Integrative Medicine to expand the horizons of health and media on our planet.

Beats Antique

Beats AntiqueBeats Antique
Growing like wildfire under the canopy of live electonica and world roots music comes Beats Antique, a masterful merge of modern technology, live instrumentation and seductive performance. Beats Antique combines the sounds of the Middle East and orchestral gypsy music with the styles of hip-hop, brass band, downtempo, glitch and dubstep in a new collage of music that is mixed and broken down with clever breakbeats for an adept international flair. Beats Antique is producing an un-charted style of music by adding live horns, accordion, glockenspiel, viola, string quartets, kalimba, clarinet and various unusual instruments to their big beat arrangements. Born of Oakland, CA, the musical trio consists of producers, David Satori, Sidecar Tommy and world-renowned belly dance performer/producer Zoe Jakes, who helped inspire the thematic Middle East tempo of the band. On the tails of their latest release, Contraption Vol.1, Beats Antique has been consistently selling out major venues up and down the west coast, and have also toured extensively as support for national acts such as Les Claypool from PRIMUS and Bassnectar. In line with their recent success, Beats Antique has signed on C3 Presents as management, and Madison House as booking. After only 3 years performing as a cohesive force, the group is about to self release their fourth album, Contraption, Vol. 2 which furthers their journey through new electro-acoustic soundscapes. Their second release, “Collide” on CIA (Miles Copeland’s new label, previous manager/producer of The Police, REM, etc.) has consistently held the number one spot in’s Middle Eastern category, and has also reached the Top 10 list of most downloaded artists under World Dance, and the Top 20 most downloaded electronica albums.


Dust Gallery

Dust GalaxyDust Galaxy
"For me, great records are always about salvation, redemption, reflection, the dirt and the beauty, living through your own trials and experiences," says Rob Garza, one half of electronic music pioneers Thievery Corporation and the brains behind his new solo project Dust Galaxy, "What I love about some of my favorite records like "Sandanista," "Sgt. Peppers," "Odyssey and Oracle," and "Sunshine Superman" is the way they drift through different musical temperaments." Having spent the past ten years creating, producing, remixing and touring as part of Thievery Corporation, Garza has worked with, and been influenced by an endless list of diverse artists. "Through the course of working as a producer in Thievery Corporation, I've had the opportunity to work with many talented singers and instrumentalists. During this time period, I've also learned to play more instruments myself. This project finally allows me to step out from behind the control booth to continue expressing myself as a songwriter as well as a performer and musician." Which brings us to his latest creation, Dust Galaxy. "After the completion of the last Thievery record and tour, and a trip to Sudan for the UN World Food Program (for which he and Eric Hilton from Thievery are spokesmen), I was ultimately inspired to make a very personal musical reflection of my continuing journey." In recording Dust Galaxy he enlisted producer Brendan Lynch (Primal Scream, Paul Weller) to push the UK take on older American sounds with more grit and psychedelia. Says Garza, "I loved Brendan's remixes like Mathars "Indian Vibes," and the remix he did of Thievery's "Revolution Solution" as well as his production work, and thought he would be the best fit to get the sound that I was looking for with Dust Galaxy. People often think that I spend all my time submerged in electronic music, but I listen to and am influenced by a broad spectrum of music, People are quick to come up with labels to identify you with. The hardest thing is when you create your own label for yourself, and then try to break out of it - that's the real struggle." Throughout the course of a year, most of that time spent in and around various London studios, as well as time in legendary Inner Ear studios, Garza set to bring his vision to life with an array of supporting musicians. Shawn Lee, Martin Duffy & Darrin Mooney from Primal Scream, Adam Blake of Cornershop, Jim Townsend (the People's Revolutionary Choir), Didi Gutman (Brazilian Girls), James Canty (The Make-Up, Ted Leo/Pharmacists), Jerry Busher (French Toast, Fugazi) all lent their talents to the record. "The collaborative nature of the project allowed me the unique opportunity to work both in the studio and play live with artists whom I admire. It was a quite a change to be on the other side of the booth. I honestly feel like my perspective about music production in general has even evolved," he muses. The result melds the sounds of psychedelic India, British paisley beats, post-punk, and roots rock into a riveting and unique combination. He continues, "My goal was to make a record that reflected my tastes, both personally, and musically. There are a lot of elements in this record that would be out of place on a Thievery album. There are still a lot of electronic elements, but a punk rock song on a Thievery album would probably come across as forced or contrived." Of course that history with Thievery Corporation is well documented. "I bought my first synth at age 14; my father got a new job in Connecticut, which happened to have one of the only high school electronic music programs in the country. Hip-hop was really coming on the scene, so I started programming beats for fellow students. At that time I was listening to a lot of abrasive music where people were experimenting with sampling. It was an opening which I would find my way through. I remember putting out techno records in the early 90's and really being captivated with the new technology, then suddenly gravitating to bossa and jazz. He continues, "None of my peers could understand my new direction in any way." Just at this turning point he met Eric Hilton at the infamous 18th St. Lounge, and they discussed the music they were passionate about and tried to amalgamate it with electronic elements, and the rest is history. "Singing and playing guitar on a stage, fronting a band, is the last thing I thought I'd be doing when I began making electronic records fifteen years ago, and probably the last thing Thievery audiences would expect as well," states Garza. "I grew up in a very white, small, rural town in Maryland, but I also spent a lot of time in Juarez, Mexico (his mother is from Juarez) and spending time in Mexico with my relatives was always kind of confusing. For me personally being of Mexican-American background with French, Spanish, Arabic, Meso-American roots. I've never known where I fit in. maybe that was the beginning of my personal musical odyssey, continuously searching for different styles of music that resonated within." In the end this may seem to be a more reckless endeavor for Garza, but it also may prove to be the most rewarding.


Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada

OcoteOcote | MySpace Profile
Just a sliver of the ocote wood starts a blaze. A few pieces of this pine was all Martín Perna needed to get his cooking fires started in a small fishing village in Michoacán, Mexico. It was there that Perna-known for founding Antibalas, the NYC collective that sparked an Afrobeat revival-found a new direction. For several years, I'd spend time in this little fishing village," Perna recounts, "living, writing, and doing a lot of green building. People would hear I was a musician and ask me to play some music. It was kind of difficult. What do I say: I play baritone sax, which I left in NYC, with this fifteen-piece band. If I play you some of my music, it's not going to make sense," Perna recalls. "I started thinking about what it means to be a musician and having a wide enough repertoire that I didn't need fifteen people to play. So I picked up the guitar and started writing music in a new way, with more intimacy and immediacy." Yet it wasn't until a mishap on a biodiesel cross-country trek that Perna found the perfect vehicle for this new sound, and the perfect musical partner in Adrian Quesada, of the Austin-based super-group Grupo Fantasma. The result was Ocote Soul Sounds. The grit and funk of the gridlocked NYC streets intersect seamlessly with the voices and rhythms of dusty Latin American lanes on their latest album Coconut Rock (ESL Music; release: June 23, 2009). Perna and Quesada had lived in eerily similar parallel universes. Though Quesada grew up in the Texas border-town of Laredo, and Perna came up in Philadelphia (later New York), both musicians straddled borders literally and artistically. Both had grown up on hip hop and the jazz and funk it was built on; both taught themselves to play multiple instruments; both had founded game-changing, booty-shaking big bands; and both were deeply moved by a powerful spirit of social and political activism, the spirit of ocote. Ocote, the Nauhatl word for pine, is key to starting fires, the fires used for cooking and heating across Mexico and beyond. A tiny handful, and even damp pieces of wood ignite, Perna says. "And I like that metaphor. I have always seen my role in whatever I do as a catalyst. We're not the big log burning that everybody sees. We are the one that gets it started," whether it's the current Afrobeat craze fueled by Antibalas, Quesada's initiative in Austin to help improve the lives of the city's musicians, or Perna's founding of NYC's first biodiesel factory. Years ago, Perna converted his station wagon to run on restaurant grease and journeyed from Brooklyn to Mexico, making a brief stop in Austin to meet Quesada, a friend of a friend. The two began playing around with some song ideas, and things really clicked. But after a few tracks, Perna had to hit the road. The return trip gave an unexpected boost to the collaboration. "Martín's car broke down and started having all sorts of problems. He had to drive from the Mexican border at 20 miles per hour, , and then got a tow all the way from San Antonio. So he got stuck here and stayed with me until he could fix the car, which took a while because no mechanic would touch it back then. And we finished the first album," Quesada smiles.

Radiola/Karina Zeviani & Frederik Rubens

Radiola/Karina Zeviani & Frederik RubensRadiola/Karina Zeviani & Frederik Rubens

MySpace Profile | MySpace Profile
Radiola is Karina Zeviani and Frederik Rubens. A Brazilian Girl and a Belgian Boy, living in New York, blending their backgrounds and styles together in an unlikely mix : Brazilian Cabaret Electro Punk that is at once intimate, exciting, melancholic and surreal. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Karina Zeviani started her career first as a model for the Ford Model Agency at age 15 traveling to Zurich, Paris and Milano. While living in Germany, Karina Zeviani had her professional debut as a singer covering songs by her idol, Elis Regina. In NYC Karina became a sought out performer after her residency at East Village club Nublu. Since 2005, with the blessing of David Byrne, Karina sings and tours around the world with Thievery Corporation. This year Karina also started to perform as a lead guest vocalist with French band Nouvelle Vague. Frequently performing in Brazil and Turkey, Karina was featured on the cover of TPM magazine in Brazil and was the subject of a 6-page spread in the Turkish edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Hailing from Gent, Belgium, Frederik Rubens started his music career performing popular American and British folk songs with musicians from the local music scene back home. He built a recording studio in his attic and started recording his own music as well as many different local acts, ranging from folk to electro to punk. He started experimenting with and searching for new sounds, using old tape delays and cheap drum computers with guitar processing pedals - a production style that is still clearly present in his current work. Since moving to New York, he has worked with Brazilian Girls, Miho Hatori (Cibo Matto), Pharaoh's Daughter, Rob Garza (Thievery Corporation, Dust Galaxy), Acoustic Junction, Spirit House, Jason Lindner, Avishai Cohen, Third World Love, among many others.


Thievery Corporation

Thievery CorporationThievery Corporation
"Radio Retaliation is definitely a more overt political statement," says Rob Garza of Thievery Corporation. "There’s no excuse for not speaking out at this point, with the suspension of habeas corpus, outsourced torture, illegal wars of aggression, fuel, food, and economic crises. It’s hard to close your eyes and sleep while the world is burning around you. If you are an artist, this is the most essential time to speak up.” So that’s exactly what they do with their new album. Recording in their Washington DC based studio, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, better known as the international DJ and production duo Thievery Corporation, have managed to blossom in the heart of a city they often refer to as “Babylon” a poignant reference to the traditional Rastafarian distaste and distrust of a corrupt and unjust modern system. Although the city is best known as the seat of an aggressive American Empire, paradoxically Washington DC has long been the home of a music subculture legendary for fierce independence, a staunch do-it-yourself work ethic, and conscientious social activism exemplified by genre-defining pioneers like godfather of go-go Chuck Brown and indie punk rockers Bad Brains, Minor Threat and Fugazi. Likewise, although some may lazily pin Thievery Corporation as the soundtrack to their cocktail infused late night soiree, the duo have always drawn deep from the well of independent and confrontational music subculture their home town is known for, to produce an ever expanding globally conscious catalogue of music that is difficult to classify. Starting in 1996 with two international underground hit vinyl singles "Shaolin Satellite" and "2001 Spliff Odyssey," released on their own indie record label ESL Music, Garza and Hilton soon released Sounds from The Thievery Hi-Fi; an album that defined a genre and crystallized their distinct "outernational sound" aesthetic. Over the next decade the duo would remix the likes of David Byrne, The Doors, and Sarah McLachlan, and record three more critically acclaimed albums of original material, each one transcending the last in scope, style, and message: The Mirror Conspiracy (2000), The Richest Man in Babylon (2002), and The Cosmic Game (2005) Radio Retaliation finds inspiration in the uncompromising political music of groups like the Clash, Public Enemy, and Fela Kuti and is without a doubt Thievery Corporation’s broadest and most progressive album yet. The album imparts tough socio-political messages largely absent from today’s popular music. "Apart from a few independent bastions, there is no musical or informational freedom on the US airwaves anymore. They’ve been bought up, consolidated and homogenized. Music is suffering and society is suffering too. Radio Retaliation is about an exodus of conscious people who are willing to acknowledge something is wrong with the official version’ in news and culture," explains Hilton. "The album cover image is that of a Mexican Zapatista fighter. They wear masks to shield their identity from right-wing death squads who prey on them and terrorize them, threatening to kick them off their land or worse. People’s movements, like the Zapatistas, are a great source of inspiration for us and that’s clearly reflected on the new record. "This record is also our most internationally oriented,” adds Garza, describing how Radio Retaliation touches upon the eclectic sounds of Jamaica, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. "We worked with artists from around the world. The roots of our inspiration have always come from what is happening globally, and at the moment there is so much happening, on every level." With Radio Retaliation Thievery Corporation raise the bar with a new cast of musical collaborators including NigeriaÂ’s afro-beat heir Femi Kuti, Brazilian star vocalist and guitarist Seu Jorge, Indian sitar virtuoso Anushka Shankar, Slovakian chanteuse and violinist Jana Andevska, and Washington DC’s own go-go originator Chuck Brown. Also returning are long time microphone co-conspirators Sleepy Wonder, Lou Lou, Notch, Zee, and Verny Varela. A defining element of Thievery Corporation’s sound has always been its decidedly organic quality and this is clearly evident in the rich productions of Radio Retaliation and recent live tour dates. Despite their minimal beginnings, Garza and Hilton have adopted a growing cast of collaborators over the years, vital musicians and vocalists who contribute to a dynamic 15 member live band. Playing sold out venues and festivals worldwide, Thievery Corporation dazzle thousands of music fans every year with their kaleidoscopic live show. With the help of long time partners, the UN World Food Programme, Thievery Corporation also aim to provoke conscientious thought among their audience. Garza explains, "We definitely want to contribute to the opening of ears, eyes, and minds. With our live shows it’s a poignant example of music and culture mixing together in an explosive vibrant way. To see a Persian singer singing in Farsi, as America debates on a war with Iran, next to other band members from all corners of the earth singing in Spanish, Portuguese, French and so on, it makes people wonder . . . and if you can get people to question the things around them, just a little, then that’s not such a bad thing."

Wax Poetic

Wax PoeticWax Poetic
Wax Poetic is a New York-based trip-hop band. The band came together in 1997 founded by Turkish-born music guru Ilhan Ersahin who is still a current member, playing tenor saxophone and keys. The group originated at the popular and now defunct club Save the Robots, and consisted of a volatile group of musicians jamming together to create a heavy groove of drum 'n' bass blended with quick dance elements. Ersahin and company signed to Atlantic in the latter '90s and released their debut self-titled album in June 2000. Pop singer/pianist Norah Jones was a member before her break-out album Come Away with Me. Other former members include N'dea Davenport and Saul Williams. Jones can still be heard singing with them on two tracks of their 2004 release, NuBlu Sessions. Current members are Thor Madsen (guitar and beats), Jesse Murphy (bass), Jochen Rueckert (drums), and Marla Turner (vocals). The newest CD, Copenhagen, was just released November 7, 2006 and the sound has been compared by to Garbage. Part of a three part series, this CD is followed up with Istanbul and Brasil.

Alan Scheurman

Alan SheurmanAlan Sheurman
Alan Scheurman is a folk musician, research buff, ecosocialist, and bioneer from Detroit, Michigan. He is currently putting his energy into assisting Detroit's transition into becoming a sustainable city. He is a member of the Detroit Evolution Laboratory and the New Detroit Cooperative.


Karina Zeviani

Karina ZevianiKarina Zeviani

MySpace Profile
Born in a small town in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Karina Zeviani started her career as a model for the Ford Model Agency at age 15 traveling to Zurich, Paris and Milano. While living in Germany, on a break from modeling, Karina Zeviani had her professional debut as a singer covering songs by her idol, Elis Regina. In NYC Karina became a sought out performer after her residency at East Village club Nublu.??Since 2005, with the blessing of David Byrne, Karina sings and tours around the world with Thievery Corporation. This year Karina also started to perform as a lead guest vocalist with French band Nouvelle Vague. Frequently performing in Turkey, she regularly draws crowds in the thousands and was the subject of a 6-page spread in the Turkish edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Karina Zeviani performs with Frederik Rubens, producer & engineer for Brazilian Girls, Pharaoh's Daughter, Rob Garza (Thievery Corporation, Dust Galaxy), Spirit House, as well as many jazz musicians including Jason Lindner, Avishai Cohen and Third World Love. He's the keyboardist, musical director and producer of Karina Zeviani with whom he's been writing and performing internationally for the last 2 years.


Mantric Mambo

Mantric MamboMantric Mambo

MySpace Profile
Mantric Mambo is a music project and a definition of a style. Born from the experience of the group as musicians in ayahuasca ceremonies in the "Temple Mother of Water", the songs are prayers, invocations, calling the forces of nature, the subtlety of love, bringing the healing of the forest. The experience of this musicians with other music projects created the fusion of this prayers with different rhythms of latin american roots mixed with a touch of electronic. This fusion of rhythms, voices, acoustic instruments, synthesizers and electric guitars proportionate an involving hypnotic effect, bringing the feeling of listening to the music as if one was under the effect of ayahuasca. The "Temple Mother of Water" is situated in Alto Paraíso-Go, Brasil, mystic land, known for its natural beauty and large concentration of crystals.


Our Theory
Our Theory

Our TheoryOur Theory

While out on tour, Ilhan wound up in a jam somewhere with French trumpet player Erik Truffaz. The two clicked immediately, and they decided to record a few sessions together. They brought in Thor Madsen, guitar player for Wax Poetic; Jochen Rueckert, drummer for Wax Poetic and abstract electronics genius; and Matt Penman, a bass player who’s one on to become quite the name in the jazz scene. After two days of recording, Ilhan, Jochen and Thor spent two years cut and pasting pieces of the recording together coming up with Our Theory, a brilliant blend of left-field electronics and jazz.


Sofa Surfers
Sofa Surfers

Sofa SurfersSofa Surfers
Formed in Austria in 1996, Sofa Surfers wasted no time in making themselves known. In 1997, they released their first album, Sofa Rockers on Klein Records, to overwhelming interest and enthusiasm. They rode the resulting wave and quickly followed it up with their LP debut, Transit, which was also an instant success. Three years later, Sofa Surfers released their second LP, Cargo. The album proved to be a departure from their earlier sound, yet garnered attention and critical acclaim non the less. In 2001, they released their third LP, Encounters, a hip-hop flavored album that addressed the political intolerance that had been steadily growing in their home country of Austria.




Profile on Esl Music
Washington, DC-based trio, Thunderball, are globally renowned purveyors of sophisticated, stereophonic-thrillers, and cinematic dub. Since 1997 their productions have shifted effortlessly between the genres of drum & bass, breakbeat and downtempo, building a strong following for their signature sound. The former duo of Sid Barcelona & Steve Raskin are now officially joined by long-time collaborator, Rob Myers. Rob, a fellow ESL Music compatriot, records & tours with Thievery Corporation playing sitar & guitar, most notably on the Thievery classic, "Lebanese Blonde." As one of the first artists signed to ESL Music, Thunderball released their first album, Ambassadors of Style, (1999) to critical acclaim. Rolling Stone lauded the album with 3 1/2 stars for its "smooth, cosmopolitan drum and bass." Drawing from their love of '60s and '70s soundtracks, Brazilian beats and Afro-funk rhythms, Thunderball creates multi-faceted soundscapes designed for modern spy chases and late-night encounters. Thunderball's seminal second recording, Scorpio Rising, (2001) was a downtempo classic, hailed by All Music Guide as ".blaxploitation funk, cinematic soul, bossa nova lounge, downtempo dub, and downtown drum'n'bass [that] all come together to create a hipster vibe few other groups could even aspire to, let alone create." Scorpio Rising's integration of live instrumentation helped establish the organic sound that shaped the future of Thunderball. After Scorpio Rising, Steve, Sid & Rob joined forces with Jon "JonH" Horvath to found Fort Knox Recordings and the DC-based mega-group Fort Knox Five. As the Fort Knox Five the group has released 6 highly successful singles and completed many high-profile remixes for the likes of A Skillz & Krafty Kuts, Skeewiff, Tito Puente, and Louis Armstrong. They also produced 4 tracks on Afrika Bambaataa's latest album. Their efforts culminated in 2007 with the release of the Fort Knox Recordings debut CD, The New Gold Standard. With their latest full-length album, Cinescope, Thunderball return from their Fort Knox duties in full form. URB Magazine declares, "Thunderball are back, dripping in Eastern sitar melodies and tempting drum lines." Cinescope features 12 vivid soundscapes that fuse Latin funk, Afro rhythms, Indian Dub and Mediterranean Soul. With this release, Thunderball broaden their scope pushing the boundaries of their music both sonically and vocally. On Cinescope they teamed up with long time collaborator Mustafa Akbar on the jazz funk thriller, "Return of the Panther" and on the soulfully introspective, "Elevated States." Mustafa teams up with Miss Johnna M to rock the party on the '60s rave-up track, "Get Up with the Get Down." Thunderball also enlisted the talents of Thievery Corporation's MC's Roots and Zeebo of See-I to create the dub ragga, "Strictly Rudeboy." And the godfather of hip hop, Afrika Bambaataa, for the electro-pop anthem, "Electric Shaka." Thunderball has become a well known commodity for music supervisors worldwide, having their music featured in hit TV shows such as Alias, Viva La Bam, and Malcolm in the Middle; and TV commercials and ad campaigns, including spots for Mercury and Toyota. They have also had songs featured on video games like, Kelly Slater's Pro Surfing, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2006. Following in their hipster vibe their music has been used in countless compilations including the prestigious Hotel Costes. Thunderball actively perform their music worldwide as DJs; as the Thunderball Sound System (featuring Mustafa Akbar and Rex Riddem), and as an 8-piece live band. Thunderball have brought their explosive performances to jet-set destinations like Australia, Bangkok, Moscow and to the warm beaches of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.



Richard Register

Richard RegisterRichard Register

Richard Register

Daniel Pinchbeck (DP) Richard Register (RR) João Amorim (JA)

RR –I think, in terms of compact pedestrian and streetcar and bicycle-oriented solutions, you can really do some wonderful building.

DP – So do people adapt those solutions there?

RR – No, absolutely not, no. What people are doing there is very reactive and going back to the same old pattern. Basically, New Orleans spread out and sprawled over a vast area out from the French Quarter and most of that happened early this century and they’re going back to the same old pattern.
What were you asking about – the automobiles impacts and all that? Oh, you were asking about the economy. The opportunity of the economy right now is really there. I mean people could wake up, but it could also re-trench; things could get a lot more severe,which is what I think might happen. I’m really happy Obama won, because it’s such a fresh perspective compared to what we’ve had with Bush and the Republicans; it's an opportunity to look at what really did happen in the last big depression…and the reality is, I mean, what Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried was to build out of the problem, not to bail out. He infused money, but he didn’t just give it to the loaners to just loan out to society willy-nilly. There was a scheme behind it, something to build. He was building highways and bridges and schools and post-offices and recruiting artists and engineers and architects and farmers. He was reviving the soil; he was reforesting the forests, all sorts of things. All really good things to do.
And I think if we think about building an ecological city and reforestation, if we think about sequestering Co2 in forests and high bio-diversity, if we start building cities that really make sense for the long haul…and transform existing cities in that direction, then I think we’ll be, at least, building a foundation for an economic recovery; but I don’t see recovery happening unless we actually do those things.
I think it’s getting to be a very, very late hour, vis-à-vis the climate situation and biodiversity on this planet. By the way, I think that, you know, ecological cities are a large part of the solution, but they’re not the only part. I think we need to deal with population; we need to deal with too much meat eating; it takes up too much land, massive amounts of land; and I think we have to deal with actually pushing ourselves to become much more generous people. I think we have to accept taxes. We have to spend them on the above three – those three being (1) building ecological cities, (2) dealing with the population situation, and (3) dealing with our agriculture and our diets. If we do that, and we generously invest in it, then we’re headed in the right direction.

DP – One aspect of our film has been the sense that, besides any technical fixes, there’s a consciousness shift that needs to take place like, an awareness shift. Most people are maybe not aware of how their actions are impacting the planet. So what kind of blockages and experiences have you had trying to bring these ideas to the public and to planners and architects and so on?

RR – Probably the largest problem is a desire to keep things really comfortable, especially among people who are well off. They are very well organized to prevent changes in neighborhoods, to prevent buildings from being too tall where maybe they should be tall. Here, in Berkeley, where we’re doing this filming right now, my organization brought forward an idea for restoring the creeks by having developers get a bonus if they could engineer buildings a little bit higher if they were downtown, another story or two higher, and create housing in the right place where transit works really well…if they put money into a fund to actually remove buildings that prevent the bringing of creeks back and the expanding of community gardens and the creating of bicycle and foot paths around the city and so on, in willing seller deals. In other words, if somebody wants to sell their house, then developers put some money into a fund that could be matched by taxes or matched by foundations or fundraising schemes or whatever. But the money would be there so you could remove buildings in one part of the town and shift towards a transit-oriented city, not just neighborhoods, but cities.

DP – You’re saying part of the need would be to remove a bunch of the existing structures.

RR – Oh, yeah. I mean right now, the city probably covers 3 or 4 times the area that it needs to cover and that’s because we drive around in cars and have parking structures and parking lots and freeway interchanges and it goes on and on. And the houses themselves, most of them are 1 or 2 stories high in most cities in the United States, so it’s scattered out over a vast area.
So, we had this idea in Berkeley, and it relates to your previous question about resistance, to put people in their right place, to work with transit and energy conservation. Everyone is concerned about climate change here and energy conservation to open up the landscapes, everybody likes biodiversity and gardening…but they wouldn’t go for it, because it actually would mean some kind of significant change in the land use pattern. And people would get very nervous about their investments and their property values and any kind of change in their environment. So, when this is the case, you say, "Well, wait a minute. Here you say that you’re very concerned about climate change and that energy is a big problem…. Well, here’s the solution. Let’s go for it." And then you say, "Well, but not that solution." So I think what happens very frequently is that people just don’t really want to sacrifice; they don’t want to face really difficult changes…and I don’t know what it takes to get people ready to do that.
In my mind, change is exciting and fun. I’m an artist type. I like creating new stuff. I like seeing buildings go up if they’re good buildings. I don’t like ugly buildings going up, you know, that’s a matter of some aesthetic taste or something, but if buildings are going up that’s the right kind of building in the right place and it, you know, replaces the need to commute long distances, then it’s pretty good. If you restore a creek and bring it back into the city and it brings more life into the city, natural life, and the kids can see it, that’s good. So, I like those kind of changes, but a lot of people are very worried about any kind of substantial change, especially in real estate land use patterns. I think that’s a very big problem.

DP – What do you see in terms of like new technologies that are being developed? Do you see projects that could be really helpful for retooling society, and what kind of techniques would those be?

RR – I think they’re probably some new technologies that will come along that will be helpful. I don’t see any gigantic breakthroughs being necessary, I think solar energy is ready to go at the quantity of energy that could be delivered economically. It will probably be more expensive than the energy resources that we have now, but it would be a very good clean energy source, same for wind. But, the main idea in ecological city design, or one of the main ideas, is to just cut the demand way, way, way down and it can be done by designing right. And then if you come up with maybe some new technologies, I’m not sure what they would be, I haven’t seen any breakthroughs, I mean there’s information technology, but strangely enough, good ideas floated around pretty well before we had all this information technology, too. So, I’m not expecting any kind of technological breakthrough to solve these problems, but we will need a breakthrough to get to the point where we wish to work on redesigning and rebuilding our built environment.

DP – It sounds to me from what you were saying, and once again this is a theme in our film, that part of what’s lacking is a coherent positive vision that people would have a sense of what they’re moving towards, because you know they don’t want to think about what they’re giving up. You know, if they have to give up comfort, and the car, and all that stuff, that’s just negatives. So how do you present this as like, what’s the super positive new life pattern that people would be having if they followed this kind of path?

RR – Well, there’s different notions of prosperity. For example, you can have pretty bohemian people that live in what looks like poverty, but they have sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll; essentially, you know, they have poetry, art and dance. They have music and sculpture, you know. There’s so many things in life that can be enjoyed – humor, and discussion, and conversation, and friendships, and all these sort of things. So, that’s one version of prosperity. What if prosperity is very flamboyant, exciting buildings with rooftop gardens, and solar greenhouses and cafes on rooftops and…you know, being able to see your friends within a short distance if you want to, walking out of the building and in 15 minutes finding yourself in the wilderness, in a beautiful agricultural zone or something. I mean this is one form of prosperity.
The kind of prosperity that we see now is just a bunch of things that we’ve collected in our lives and being able to drive, sort of, impulsively from place to place if we just happen to want to. I think that’s a prosperity that has an extremely high price. So if we can think through a prosperity that enriches our own lives, that's rich in biodiversity, that has butterflies and hummingbirds coming back and things like that; that has real significance. It’s part of a real prosperous way to live. And you can have good food; I mean, you can have more land for food growing if you reshape towards ecological cities…so many more options. There’s a whole other kind of prosperity.
In fact, one interesting thing is to think about economics in a different way. The economics we have now is you grow, grow, grow, grow, grow and that’s how capitalism defines health. And if you aren’t always growing, you think there’s a big problem, and then people go unemployed and so on. Well, another way of looking at it is the fewer people there are, the more there is for the people that are there. You know, if you have enough production, but you have fewer people, you don’t have to share with as many people. I mean, it seems like a strange notion in a capitalist world to say – well, maybe you could have a shrinking for prosperity. It’s a little slogan that, I think, is an intriguing one. To actually shrink for prosperity.

DP – Once again, that makes sense in a way, but then what you are actually saying to people tangibly is that one of the greatest pleasures that many people look forward to is raising a family and having children and you’re saying that that’s not ecologically feasible at this point in time – what’s that?

RR – Why not?

DP – Well, I mean, if you want to have less people.

RR – Well, no, I mean, you can have two kids. You can have other people have two kids around you, they can play with your kids. I mean, and they can have plenty of friends and so on.

DP – I guess another point you were talking about the build out, rather than bail out. You know, Buckminster Fuller, for instance, had talked about like a post-work society, you know, where maybe the type of work that most people are engaged in is actually not of benefit to the planetary environment anyway, so why not just allow them to grow their own food and not work …

RR – I think part of that was an illusion of the times, which was that we were going to have energy that was so cheap that you wouldn’t even have to meter it anymore. You might remember that’s what they talked about in the fifties when nuclear was coming on strong. The head of the AEC, the Atomic Energy Commission, was saying that pretty soon energy would be so cheap we wouldn’t even have to meter it and so this is the cauldron in which some of these ideas came forward, including a lot of Buckminster Fuller’s.
I think the idea of a lot of leisure and time for arts and so on is fine, you know, to a certain degree. But, I think it’s much more important to think in terms of really productive, creative, contributing work. You know, to actually be able to build stuff. To actually harvest food and make clothes, things like that.
I just got back from China a few days ago, and over there people were saying, "Well, can you tell us not only how we can make our city different, but more importantly how to get richer faster? How do we get richer faster?" And I was saying, "Well, you know, there’s something to the idea of, and you know it sounds kind of puritanical but, do good work…to actually work hard with your muscles and your brain and accomplish something. And then relax and have fun. But, you know, don’t think you’re gonna get there just by having fun and relaxing and being impetuous or, you know, dancing and singing all the time. You know, you have to actually produce something.

DP – To me, that sounds a little bit on the puritanical side. I think about like when the colonialists came to the New World and they found the Native American people sitting around like dancing, doing ritual, not really, they didn’t even have a concept of work, they would hunt and gather a few hours a day –

RR – It’s really hard.

DP – No, not actually at all. Actually a few hours a day, two to three hours a day is what anthropologists have figured out is how long it took the indigenous people to do any behavior we would consider work.

RR – I’ve read those. I have some doubts about it at that extreme. You know, if you wanted to live in a way where you have that much, where you don’t have that much in terms of material wealth, maybe it would work out in a place that isn’t overpopulated, in a place that does have high biodiversity. We don’t have that anymore. It doesn’t exist anymore. We’d have to recreate that. We’d have to shrink our population back. We’d have to, you know, repopulate massive numbers of animals around the world. You know, there’s a hundred times the body mass of human beings of any other species in our size range that ever existed on the planet.

DP – There’s definitely a bunch of us right now.

RR – There’s a lot of us. I mean, it is absolutely gargantuan.

RR – You know, Wilson said, I think his figure is that only seven percent of all the animals, by weight, on the planet now are wild. All the rest are either human beings or our food animals, our pets, or our pests.

DP I think there are a lot of beetles–.

RR – Well, I’m talking about, you know, mammals and birds and things. <both laugh> Probably more beetles and ants and termites than people.

DP – Do you see a spiritual dimension in this transformation process?

RR – Yeah, but I think the spirit is – well, Paolo Soleri had an interesting comment. He has a book called The Bridge between matter and spirit is matter becoming spirit. In other words, I think spirit is as the spirit does largely. Spirit is becoming something that has some really powerful essence to it, some kind of recognition of where we are in the Universe, of who we are and what it means to be alive…these sort of larger philosophical questions, and the sense of being one at home on the planet and so on. I don’t think you get there just by wanting to be there and by meditating. I think meditating can help. I think many things can help to enhance, as a discipline, your recognition of where you are and who you are and when you are in the world. But I think it ultimately comes down to are you going to do something about it?
I see a lot of very wealthy people that spend a lot of time never sharing but who are all on spiritual quests. Then, I see other people who don’t seem to be on a spiritual quest at all that are always helping other people. In my mind, they make more of an actual impact than other people's spiritual journeys, because what they do actually helps. So I think that spiritual advancement takes work. It takes an understanding of where you are and that life is pleasurable, too, and creative. One of the things that I thought is interesting about so much of the psychological studies is the dearth of the information on the creative personality. You have a lot on the abnormal personality, you have a lot of people that are seeking success in their life and getting comfortable and having the luxury to be introspective. But what about the creative personality?
What kind of essence does the creative amount to? I mean here God is supposed to be the Creator of the Universe or the Creator of forces seen as the deity of some sort and I think that’s really meaningful. So why don’t we talk more about how you create something like an ecological city? Like a future where people are really happy and the other plants and animals can co-exist; this, to me. is a spiritual quest.

DP – I think there’s always a tension though between imposing any model or trying to impose any vision or model onto social reality and some kind of self-organizing process that is taking place.

RR – Well, you can just sit back when you have what you think of as something that’s worth teaching somebody or that you think is true but a lot of people will say, "Well, who are you to say that cities should be organized like that?" Well, I’m just a person that studied it; that’s all. Maybe I’m wrong. You decide yourself. So I offer these things and if people want to do something about it, they can. I certainly can’t do it alone. But the issue has come up and I’ve had people from the spiritual angle and also from the angle of the academic say to me, "How can you architecture types, how can you architects" – I’m not an architect, I just draw architecture – but, "How can you architects feel so certain that you can do this stuff? Why are you so self-assured?"
And it’s because I know I can! I build houses. I’m a carpenter. I know how to lay the things out. I know how to dig the ditches and pour the concrete and do the framing and the finish work and everything. I just know how to do it. Now, if the client isn’t there, if the money isn’t there, you don’t get to do it. If the rest of the crew isn’t there, you don’t get to do it. Same thing with building ecological cities.
But that creative possibility needs the discipline to come together. Now, I can put it out there but if other people don’t want to do it, it’s not going to happen. The signs are it’s not going to happen, actually, because we haven’t gotten enough support. Among all the people I know who are doing ecological cities, the support is very small. In the meantime, the suburbs sprawl; in the meantime, the Chinese are crazy for cars.
I was in a cab in China a couple of days ago and the fellow in the cab with me who spoke both Chinese and English says, “Well if I can’t get a car how can I get a wife?” I mean you have things going on in the world now that need major change. Now when I come say, "Hey, we need major change;" it’s up to you to say, "Okay, well, maybe, maybe not." But, I’m gonna keep saying it, because I think we do need it.

DP – How do you factor in, I mean, I assume, you were talking about reading about peak oil studies and I assume you’re looking at the accelerating effects of climate change and how, potentially, you know, life anywhere on the earth is gonna get far more unpredictable in the next few years. I mean like, so I saw your model of rebuilding New Orleans, but what if New Orleans is just hit by a series of these cataclysmic weather events? Should we even be thinking about rebuilding New Orleans? Should we be thinking more in terms of either nomadic encampments or, you know, structures on the high grounds? I’m just wondering…

RR – Well, structures on high ground, you know. That’s better. <Both laugh> I agree with that. No, I think that, well, there’s a problem here, which I’ve been dealing with my whole life, which is a lot of people say well, that’s impossible; you just can’t do that, because people aren’t going to go for it. I talk to the politicians, they say "Politics is the art of the possible; we do what’s possible." I say, "Wait a minute. There’s two kinds of possible: (1) is it physically possible and (2) can you actually design it and build it? The answer to both is yes. Can you actually design and build a world where maybe you could even start reducing the temperature of the planet?
If you really thought it through and if you had people who got behind it, well maybe they’re never gonna get behind it, but let’s not say that right now. Let’s say, could it actually be done? Could we actually institute a whole series of changes that could actually start cooling the planet? Why isn’t anybody suggesting that we actually think that way? We could say we could do several things at once. We could deal with the population, we could deal with the built environment, we could deal with our diet, we could deal with our spiritual things, which I think is the essence of generosity, which I think we need to have.
We need to invest in not just ourselves, but the future. So if we pull all these things together, I think we might be able to make it. Now when the peak oil people hear the ideas of ecological cities and ignore them, which they’ve been doing, I mean, I know a lot of the peak oil people, and they never talk about ecological cities. And yet it’s something that’s viable, that you can design and build.

DP – Could they see things moving more to a township level and do they see the cities being abandoned?

RR – Most of them are very vague on what exactly to do except get basic skills.

DP – Are you talking about people like Richard Heinberg and so on?

RR – Yeah, Richard Heinberg, in particular. He never mentions ecological city design. I was at the 1st National Symposium on Peak Oil, which was held in Yellow Springs, Ohio, was it, near Antioch, about four years ago. They keep having them, you know, they keep saying the same thing. They never talk about ecological city design. They talk about little communities, small communities, going back out on a farm. I think you can’t support the number of people we have on the planet doing that now.

DP – Well, a lot of people think that we may not have this many people on the planet for much longer.

RR- Right, well, they think there’s gonna be a big dieback, but I think that’s – I think to acquiesce to that, like…a friend of mine by the name of Jan Lundberg, he says we must embrace the dieback and then after we learn our hard lesson, then we can move forward. I say, wait a minute, that’s like saying let’s endorse the Nazis and their extermination of people in Europe or the Jews and everybody else. I can’t go for that, learn our negative lesson that way. I mean, you try to learn from –

DP – I guess most people who say that don’t expect to be one of the ones who are diebacks –

RR – They don’t. You always sort of imagine they’re going to be the ones that survive for some reason, but I don’t think it works like that. I think it’s highly irresponsible to give up on trying to design a way of living that’s really healthy.

DP – Clearly at the moment we have an irrationally designed global system that is supporting massive unsustainable and inequitable behavior. And yet, we see that we have 6 billion plus people on the planet, stumbling by in the dark, getting along…so I agree with you that if there was a huge emphasis on the kind of more rational sharing, equitable sharing of resources, really re-thinking how food is produced and energy is produced, maybe there wouldn’t have to be that kind of traumatic diebeck.

RR – I think so. I think, I’m not –

DP – So, it’s like a failure of the cultural imagination in some sense.

RR – I’m not really that hopeful that people will catch on, but I’ll continue working as if they could, because maybe they can, you know? I’m not ready to give up. I think that –

DP – Well, you were saying that you just had this eco-cities conference, you had people from 73 different countries, 223 speakers, so obviously, there is some kind of growing groundswell or movement that could lead to what they call a tipping point. And I think a lot of fields that, to me, are complementary to what you’re talking about, are experiencing the same thing. So as this crisis deepens there might be almost like – we were talking with Barbara Marx Hubbard – it’s almost like a non-linear transition point where these ideas that have been gelling for so long, are able to transmit.

RR – Yeah. There’s many analogies. You can say you go through, you go over the threshold into a new territory like the Myth of Sisyphus where you’re pushing the rock up the hill and once you finally get to the top and it starts taking off down the other side; those kind of moments are possible -

DP – I thought he never gets to the top.

RR – Well, but, yeah okay. <both laugh> Okay, so the myth of Sisyphus’ son who’s triumphant. Let’s call it Sisyphus’ son. That’s a mouthful.
But anyway, no. We might be right at the edge of things right now. People are saying finally, “solar energy!" Let’s all do solar energy. Almost everybody thinks it’s a great idea now. I was writing about solar energy in 1971 along with the ecological city design and planning and that sort of thing. This was a long time ago and nobody did anything about it. They started, and they just backed off and it faded away, but now it’s coming on really strong and it’s looking really good and finally people are saying, which we all knew back then, too, that oil is a limited resource, that fossil fuels are gonna go away.
Well, now people are beginning to catch on to solar energy and so what’s the environment that fits with solar energy? It’s a city that requests less energy. If solar energy ends up being a little bit more expensive, and I’m sure it will be – I’m almost positive of that – then, make a city that doesn’t require that much energy; and it can be done. So the two go together. And then there’s this other possibility, finally people will start catching on in a bigger way…
For example last year at the Bali conference on climate, nobody talked about city design or city structure at all. It just didn’t come up. It's the biggest thing human beings create. I mean to me, this is an amazing puzzle that we could not see this gigantic thing that we live in. I mean look out here, all you see is city. We’re surrounded by city for miles and miles. They don’t even talk about it, and yet, a European city averages about 1/3 the land area for the same lifestyle about 1/3 the energy consumption … That’s big.
You’re talking 66% savings in energy just by going into a European mode of a city. And they’re stuffed with cars anyway. So, what if you came out to a city that wasn’t stuffed with cars…you’re talking about saving maybe 80 % or 90% of your energy. You get into thinking like that, you say, hey, it can be designed and why not start getting serious about it, and maybe we’ll start doing that.

DP – It seems to me, what I keep hearing and what you’re saying, which I’m reacting to in some sense and what I see as an emergent property of a global transformation process, is this open source model that’s coming from the software development. You know, so that now there’s like Firefox or something, which is such a better Internet browser than Internet Explorer or the one that Microsoft created. And nobody got paid to do it; it emerged out of a collaborative network of designers or Drupal or whatever…
Is there a way to mesh what you're talking about with a kind of open source collaborative approach where you have people actively engaged in a design re-conceptualization process?

RR – Sure. Well this is, there’s something like the Churet process where architects and people who are interested in designing their environments, whether they’re clients or just people in a community get together; and they do almost what you call an open source design process. I mean they all come together and share their ideas that’s usually directed towards a particular piece of property and somebody has the investment money to actually make something happen, so it gets kind of real and practical. But, these ideas are out there, I mean, I’m just one of the number of people who are proposing them. There aren’t a lot of us, but they’re out there. If anybody wants them, they can take these free ideas. We have a non-profit corporation, we put them out on the Internet and so on, so we definitely use those tools you talk about.
But, it’s up to people somewhere in their, deep in their heart to say, ‘I want to build a different world, and I’m willing to face some serious change, I’m willing to work hard for it, and I’m willing to put money into it, and I’m willing to’, you know – it’s not necessarily going to be comfortable.

DP – George Orwell said that he thought that the purpose of technology shouldn’t be to make life softer and more complex, but simpler and harder.

RR – Not like that, because I think evolution heads towards the more complex. It’s another interesting discussion here, because a lot of people that are friends of mine that talk about simple living. But if you get into perma-culture and ecological city design and how you actually live in a complex, very rich biological environment, there’s nothing simple about it. Ecology is very complex. But, if you work with whole systems , if you can imagine a whole city working 3-dimensionally, it becomes comprehensible. It’s complex, but it’s comprehensible.
I think that’s an important concept. For example, you look at a bird, all the way down to the DNA and its cells, and it is an incredibly complex organism. It has wings, and you know what the wing are for, and its beak is for eating, and its legs are for landing and so on. And you get the gestalt of a bird after knowing little about and what the bird actually is and from then on, you kind of got it. You understand the whole system, even though it’s extraordinarily complex. So, when you deal with whole systems, they’re more easily comprehensible than the out-of-control mass we have of this sprawling city that seems to make so little sense.
It’s hard to understand, because it’s hard to understand. It doesn’t make any sense. But, if you redesign it so it’s an ecologically healthy organism like other living organisms, it starts to make sense. Then it becomes much more comprehensible. So, I don’t believe the ideas that we’re heading, that we should head towards simplicity, but rather whole systems understanding, which orders your thinking and makes it much easier. It makes thinking easier, but not less complex.

DP – Isn’t there a city in Brazil that’s kind of an eco-city model? What’s the one?

RR – You’re thinking of Curitiba.

DP – I’m curious to see your reactions to that project and if you feel they manage to some of the parameters that interest you.

RR – I think Curitiba especially in the early days was well on its way and still very good. It’s about as good as it’s getting so far, but it hasn’t moved much in basic design in twenty years or more. One of the first things they did was discipline the transportation system to work with a high-density development. So they have five long arms of high-density development that go along with the dedicated bus route, which means the buses move up to 40 miles an hour down this route and there’s no cars.
…it’s dedicated to buses only and emergency vehicles. And that becomes a sort of a skeleton for organizing a city that works really well. You have a lot of open space; you have good recycling. They’ve given people the option to move out of areas where used to be flooding and into the higher-density areas with good deals. There’s many things they’ve done in Curitiba that are really good. But, they are also swamped in automobiles.
There’s still quite a few cars down in Curitiba. So, my feeling about that city was that it should have continued pushing on in the same manner that it started. It’s kind of ceased up a bit. And, as it’s been growing it’s become more automobile-dependent and into the future. It’s still pretty good, though. It’s still one of the best cities around.

DP – I keep wanting to come back to this sense of how deep the consciousness shift would have to be to create a thrivable future for humanity. And I wonder, what flashed in my mind, something like homeless people, street children, but I was also thinking of the whole question of private property in and of itself. If you go to indigenous communities, they don’t have private property in the same way we do. You know, people can sleep anywhere, move around, they invite you into their home. I mean, do you think that with our kind of ego-based mentality around possessing goods and structures and land that we could have an ecologically-thrivable future?

RR – Well, it’s very complex. You’re putting out a range of different scales where people have different types of relationships, radically different types of relationships. Village life and life of migratory bands and so in is just so radically different from what you get in a city or a large town or something…Just talk about disbanding all ownership and you know somehow sharing everything in an idealized sort of way, I don’t think makes too much sense unless you actually are willing to live in a situation where people used to live and do that sort of thing.
For example, bartering, I think, is absolutely impossible. I mean, who’s going to want me to come give them a lecture and then feed me and do my dentistry because I gave them a lecture about ecological cities? I’d have nothing to offer people for bread. I couldn’t go down and get bread all the time and trade them one book for a lifetime. I’ve got one book they might like to read. I mean, you’d have to – I think economics demands people to be fair with one another and to be compassionate and to share. I think you can do that with ownership, but you can’t do that with massive ownership that’s greedy.

DP – We are planning to interview Bernard Lietaer. Have you heard of him?

RR – No.

DP – He wrote a book called The Future of Money; he’s a European currency trader who’s one of the architects of the Euro, and he basically believes that the monetary system that we’ve constituted in itself is an insoluble disaster, because it enshrines competitive rather than collaborative behavior. People want to horde it, because it’s this virtual abstraction, and keep as much of it as possible.
So he’s come up with an idea of negative-interest currency, called the Terra, that would actually loses value as you hold on to it like natural goods. It’s indexed to natural goods that also degrade in value over time. So rather than horde it, you’re emphasis would be on sharing it. Like, if you had 100 cupcakes, you’d want to give them out to us, because they’re going to go bad in two days, but if you share them, then we’re happy that you shared them, we’d remember next time we have 100 cupcakes we would want to share back with you.
So I’m just curious how this resonates with you in terms of whole-systems thinking about how things might change?

RR – Well, that has to depend upon social trust that one another is going to do that sort of thing. Otherwise, you wouldn’t want to deal with that kind of currency in the first place. So, you have a leap of faith that you’re having social trust.

DP – Well, don’t we have social trust in our currency now? I mean, isn’t that part of the problem that’s happening.

RR – Absolutely. I mean, socialism is more social trust than capitalist hording. I mean, there’s a difference there.
I think when you talk about sharing, when you talk about investing in the future, there’s many different ways you can do that. And, one is to build ecological cities. One is for gratification: save, so you can give more to your kids, things like that. I mean there’s many, many ways you can share. You can share if you have ownership, but if you’re massively greedy and if you want it all for yourself, there’s a problem there. I mean, this is a spiritual problem. This is an economic problem. This is a problem for survival of humanity now, on the planet.
So, I don’t know about these little economic systems and how they would really work, because it seems like whenever one of them is constructed it has the assumption, like I have an assumption that maybe people will like ecological cities and want to build it. Well, their assumption is everyone will want to have a more equitable world and so they’ll join in on this, but a lot of people, of course, don’t want to do that, just like a lot of people don’t want to build an ecological city. So, we’re putting the ideas out there and these monetary systems, to me, seem somewhat beside the point, maybe not, maybe I’m just not educated enough about the way money works. But, I think –

DP – So he would probably say that your ecological cities are beside the point until you reform and transform the monetary system.

RR – Well, I don’t think that’s true, because, you know, you could go out and build anything with your hands. You could build a cob house, they’re really popular now in certain circles, perma-culture circles and so on. You could just make things with a knife and a piece of wood. You don’t have to wait for a monetary system that makes some kind of ecological sense. And, there’s money lying around that isn’t that much a part of a system that’s you know you get in oddball ways.
You could borrow money and build a house on the basis of your friends. You can charm someone into loaning you money. A lot of developers are really good at weaving fantasies and charming people and that is how they get their money in many cases. It’s very complex. But, just to get down to what I think is physically needed is to build an infrastructure that runs on 1/10th the energy that we build and live in now. And, that would make an enormous amount of difference.
How you get there – by socialist investment, by capitalist investment, by using money that’s declining in value as time goes on – I don’t know. Whatever it takes.

DP – Do you want to ask some questions, Joao?

JA – Do you want to go through your projects a little bit?

RR – Okay, so in this particular design, the idea is that people have their residences on the outside of the structure, and they look out past little gardens into the natural, or agricultural landscape. Then, on the inside of the structure are social spaces and you have big beams of light coming down from above like this, swimming pools up on the roof and other social spaces up there. So, that’s one design… A fellow named Gene Zelmer has been promoting this idea, kind of a little town on a hill…Let’s see…

JA – Is that a natural hill or re-sculpted?

RR – No, it’s an artificial hill…Let me get to one that’s kind of a basic set of ideas here. Where’s the really basic one? This one’s really basic. This one kind of gets you the general idea.
Here you have the international style of towers, or slabs, it could be sliced in this manner, pretty much single use with, sometimes, restaurants on the roofs, shops on ground level, and so on, but the ecological city idea is more to bring together all those pieces in real diversity and so you can put warehousing in the lower section, and storage and so on. And they do have storage in the bottom of most buildings, but, right now, warehousing is usually outside of town at a truck’s distance, so it takes millions of gallons of energy to get the warehouse goods back and forth from the warehouses to the city.
For example, in the San Francisco area, it’s 40-50 miles out into the Central Valley where most of the warehousing is. That requires the trucks, the freeways, and so on. But, if you have a train that simply goes into your little town like that, leaves off the warehouse goods temporarily, they go up to the various shops and then they go out to the public, all you need to do is have skip loaders going back and forth, those forklifts and things like that, and elevators to deliver in a matter of feet instead of many, many miles that you’re dealing with warehousing in the current city.
And, of course, you have here the darker interior areas, which would be things like movie theaters and clean industry, and labs and so on as well as the storage. Then you can raise the city up into the sun a little bit more, you get beautiful views, you can have solar greenhouses facing the sunny side, street systems that are way up in the air. You can link building by bridges, all these design possibilities are there to be explored.
There’s one little pattern that I like a lot, which I call a “Keyhole Plaza” or “View Plaza” and the idea here is that you celebrate the view of the nature. Something of nature is of importance to you, you value that, so you save the view and in this case, you ‘re looking up a curving beach like, maybe, Santa Monica, California, where I used to live, and so, instead of having a plaza that’s just closed in with buildings all the way around it, you have a view because you are open to nature and celebrate both nature and agriculture, I mean nature and your city at the same time.

DP – What do you think about what’s happened to public spaces in cities in the last hundred years or whatever?

RR – Well, public spaces in the last hundred years, that’s a wide-ranging variety of things.

DP – Well, there’s been a sense of privatization. There’s less and less public space. There’s less and less –

RR – There’s more and more malls and things. Yeah, privately-controlled space and so on. I think it’s very negative. We need public space. Public space is wonderful. We should have more public spaces and fewer sequestered private malls.

DP – Of civilizations in the past, who do you think had the most interesting city designs?

RR – Well, Europeans certainly had some interesting designs. They’re still there. You know they’re usually surrounded by and largely suffocated by automobiles, but they’re still there. I like Katmandu, pedestrian areas in Katmandu. Old medieval cities I think are pretty neat.

DP – Katmandu is an amazing place.

RR – It really is. Have you been there?

DP – Yeah, I have.

RR – This drawing here is representing a new neighborhood in New Orleans – what to do after the floods. And the idea is that you elevate the landscape, maybe 20 feet, and that should take care of a few decades, maybe a century or more of global warming and sea rise, as well as the hurricanes that come in there. So, if you did that, you’d be doing what they did in the first cities that ever existed – Eer and the Sumerian civilization, other cities in the Tigres and Euphrates Valley.
When the floods came, the floods simply didn’t get high enough to damage the cities, and they could do that in New Orleans. You could have compact areas that are dense like this picture, you could have street cars that go through the city. They love street cars there anyway, so they should build like the French Quarter is built which is compact and works with street cars and pedestrians.

DP – I’m not seeing in these designs a kind of urban perma-culture, agriculture element. Would you still see agriculture outlying the city, would that be redesigned in some way?

RR – First of all, the ecologically redesigned city, the city that would take up one quarter of the land probably, so you’re liberating an enormous amount of actual dirt where you could grow stuff very, very effectively right next to the city. So, that’s the big thing. Putting rooftop gardens onto your city, that’s fun, that’s nice. You can get a little bit of production. Not a lot. The denser the city gets, the less rooftop there is per person, of course. So that means you get less and less.
And rooftops, like the one we’re on right now, for example, have other interesting functions. For example, people get married up here. It’s a beautiful view. I have some pictures of a marriage ceremony that faces exactly the view that you see in the background right now. So there’s more things than just food that you can do on the rooftop. One of them is solar energy. But, the thing about agriculture and about solar energy is the energy to drive that - the solar energy from the sun - lands on a large area and has to get collected. The energy has to be gathered together…and then where it’s concentrated in small points, which are your cities and your towns and where the people live, then it’s concentrated enough that you get some real effect out of it. You can really warm things, you can power your electrical devices and so on, because you gather the energy over a large area. That implies the energy to produce food as well. So the big thing in terms of ecological city design is to take up a lot less space in the first place.
And you get that possibility when you move away from cars and sprawl development and paving and so on. Also, one of the interesting things to notice there is that if you power your cars with an alternative energy source, you get almost nothing out of it in terms of the form of the city, because you perpetuate the same old city that covers that vast landscape. So, the more energy-efficient car is not a very long step in the right direction. In fact, if you take that seriously and really spend time investing energy, you’ve wasted your time and money when the time is very, very important. And we really have to solve some of these problems quickly.

DP – Well, we were looking at a friend of ours in L.A. now; we had him do a prototype of a water electrolysis engine that runs on electricity that would be powered by these battery cells he’s creating called i-cells; they’re working on…so they could be powered by solar, so you would have like a closed loop process where you wouldn’t need carbon fuels to motor people around in their cars and vehicles. Wouldn’t something like that be a solution?

RR – No. It wouldn’t be a solution, because you still have the cars. You still have the sprawl. You still have the paving the surface of the landscape and so on. So, it’s only a very partial solution. It’s only a temporary solution. It’s one that if you spend a lot of your time and energy dealing with it, you’re wasting time when you really should be investing time and figuring out how to redesign the city that doesn’t have the cars. Why agonize over better cars when you can have bicycles and streetcars and walk around in your city?

DP – What do you want to do with the 300 million vehicles we have in the U.S. right now?

RR – Scrap them and turn them into building materials. <laughs> That’s exactly what you should do with them. Make bicycles and streetcars out of them and rail systems. It’s a very, very damaging system right now.

JA – Well, the cities themselves. You’re talking about actually bringing a lot of stuff down…

RR – Yeah. Well the city –

JA – How much of that would really –

RR – You can. You can recycle a lot.
Another thing that’s going on is that – people don’t think much about this, but – every year – I don’t know if it’s one, two, or three percent of the city – goes down. Termites and dry rot and earthquakes and fires and things like that. Don’t rebuild in the same place. You know, it’s going to take decades to rebuild your city. So, work on it for decades. You’re not going to tear it all down and waste all that energy of all the embodied materials, you can let it decay at its own rate. But when you do replace it, replace it in the right place.
You know, put the new buildings where it works with transit. Don’t put them out in the suburbs someplace. That’s a really bad idea. Don’t be building cars that keep going on to the suburbs, you know, start building streetcars and moving towards the centers. You can move towards the centers of small towns and villages, as well as big cities. You don’t have to be hung up on big cities only, I’m not at all. I think you can have all sorts of scales that work well.

DP – Do you think that humanity’s gonna make it as a species on this planet?

RR – I mean it’s hard for me to make any guess, because of so many variables, but I would think that human beings would be among one of the last things to go, because we’re so clever and manipulative and, you know, we’re survivors.
But, we might end up with a very poverty-stricken planet where there’s very little else other than our food supply and animals there alive with us. I doubt very much that we will eliminate all life on the planet. I think that’s almost an ego-trip in its own right. But, I think that we could thrive with lots of the other plants and animals that are still with us. We don’t have to exterminate them. We don’t have to change the climate in a very major degree. We could turn that thing around.
We have to actually try it. We have to systematize our thinking. We have to look at ecological cities. We have to look honestly at population. We have to look honestly at diet and agricultural systems. We have to make a very strong effort and be willing to invest in it and sacrifice for it. It’s like a war schedule, you know. We’re in the Third World War right now. It’s the war with the world. And it’s mainly because of the cities we've built; there’s so many of us living in them and they’re so badly designed, and it goes on and on. But, if you actually face up to those things and if you actually try to think about it as a whole, I think that the solutions can start coming up.
I think you also have to say, though, that I’m going to face this discussion. I’m not going to run from it. In political situations where I’ve been talking about ecological cities, I’ve never really been shot down for the content of the ideas. It’s always shut down by people turning their backs and they say things dismissive like, “Oh, Richard, get a horse”, you know, just to change the subject. They just won’t deal with it. But if you actually deal with it their answer is there. There really are answers there.

DP – What about a high-density city like New York City where you already have about a maximum density of people living together?

RR – Well, an interesting thing about New York City is that it runs on about half the energy of the average American city, because they don’t have so many cars and everybody gets around on transit and it is compact and it is fairly diverse. It’s pretty intense, though, I mean, I would guess it’s probably somewhat wasteful in terms of materials, because it is so dense.
I think it might have gone over some limits there, but unless we actually think through how to really try to work this set of ideas out, I don’t think we’re gonna come up with answers like how can you make New York a little bit better. And maybe the answer is, you know, you have a Downtown, an Uptown, a few things, you begin spreading Central Park around, in between it. I don’t know. But, I know that you can certainly radically alter suburbia right away.

DP – What about ideas like a lot of the bioneers type of ideas like John Todd’s living machines?

RR – I think they’re very good. I mean, the living machine idea, that’s simply using biology in a way that’s extremely reasonable. I think it fits right into the ecological city planning.

DP – What about the idea of creating sort of wilderness corridors, do you think that’s a good one?

RR – Oh yeah, sure. I planned that. In fact, we have a mapping system – I didn’t show the whole system in here, but – these corridors become whole zones in this particular way of looking at the way you can reshape cities. One of the things I do that I like doing more than anything else is restoring creeks. That is restoring corridors and existing cities, or little pieces of them. I’d like to systematize it. Most people that I’ve run into politically don’t want to do it. They don’t want to have a system by which you can actually remove buildings systematically, because they think maybe you’ll apply it to their neighborhood or something.
Even if you say, here’s the zoning map we’re gonna deal with, we’re dedicated to it, this is our recommendation. They say, oh no, it’ll spread all over town and you’ll be eliminating my house. I mean I’ve had this argument many, many times. But, no. The answer to your question is yes. Corridors are a very good idea.

DP – What are some of the most exciting new concepts and ideas that came out of your last eco-city conference?

RR – Let’s see…Thing guy named Andy Koontz had a really good slideshow on just how bad cars are and how good rail is. And, having the experience of high-speed rail in China just last week was pretty amazing. 150 miles an hour and you have glasses of whatever you’re drinking, you know, on a tabletop, and you can barely see any ripples whatsoever. You’re going 150 miles an hour. It’s not like Amtrak. So, seeing that a high-speed rail system can really work and learning about it at our conference was important.
Marcia McNutt was speaking there, she’s the, I don’t know if it’s called a director or president, but she’s the head of the Monterey Aquarium Institute, which does studies down in the Monterey Aquarium. And she spoke about the acidification of the ocean. She said if CO2 looks like a problem for the atmosphere, it’s an even worse problem for the ocean, because the CO2 is acidifying the water, which is beginning to affect shellfish now and corals. And, she had a graph that showed the whole earth and how much of it is covered with water, which is sixty-something percent. And then she says, but the volume, the living volume is much larger than that. So she showed another graph where it was more like 85-90 percent of the volume that is occupied by life is in the ocean and that is all being affected by CO2 in a way I hadn’t realized before so that was very interesting to learn about that.
On the creative, positive side, I’ve known all the people for quite some time, or almost all of them, that came there who are working on ecological city ideas, so it was more of the same. A lot of these ideas are not new. Compact, mixed-use development is not new. It is traditional. It’s been there thousands of years in cities. We just have to run with it.

JA – You keep on talking about diets and how we need to change our diets. Why do you think we need to change our diets and what the impact –

RR – Right now, for example, in Brazil a lot of the forests are coming down for meat-raising and this is happening all over the planet. A lot of the forests are coming down to run our vehicles, for raising bio-fuels at this point and I think that’s a very dangerous thing. But, I think when it comes to diet, it’s one of those things, we really have our strong tastes, we really enjoy what we eat, we’ve really gotten used to it and it’s a very hard thing to deal with, but raising meat requires anywhere from 5 to 10 times the land area than raising greens, vegetables and so on, and fruits, and so with a ratio like that simply the raw land area that’s required is enormous.
I think we have a responsibility to try to work with bio-diversity and reforest lots of the world and reforest the world in high biodiversity not just plantations and oil pumps for example but to actually do a real job of reintroducing biodiversity in the forest. Well, if we’re eating the kind of meat we’re eating and if we’re gonna be eating more of it into the future and if our population is going up at the same time and we’re requiring that much more land, that’s that much less land for biodiversity, that’s that much less land for the other forms of agriculture and for soaking up CO2. Let’s get effective about that, too.
If you have land that’s just grazing cattle and that doesn’t have much biodiversity anymore, I mean, you wonder why there aren’t any condors around. Well, there’s no dead animals that are left over from normal predation. You don’t have mountain lions killing deer, we don’t have condors coming down to eat what’s left over, things like that. So, we have a biodiversity that’s kind of scant, because everything’s in cows out there.

JA – What about the whole bio-fuels? How do you feel about that?

RR – I think bio-fuels – it’s really odd and interesting, because if we had a reasonable population on the planet and if we had very efficient ways of living in our cities, then bio-fuels wouldn’t be such a bad idea and you would cut a certain small fraction of the forests and so on and have your bio-fuels. But, we have such a gigantic population, we have such a gigantic appetite for running so many machines, bio-fuels are about as disastrous as it can get.
To run the automobiles of the United States, this is according to a lot of different statistics I’ve seen, but, let’s see, Lester Brown has quoted this statistic that to run the cars of the United States on bio-fuels would require all the agricultural land of the entire United States, actually a little more than all the agricultural land –

JA – Is that based on corn?

RR – No, any kind. I mean, well, different, but, what do they really represent? For example, oil pumps are much better than corn in terms of the amount of energy delivered. And I’ve flown over Malaysia and I’ve looked down, it looks like astro-turf.
You’re up at 30,000 feet and you look down at Malaysia and the whole thing looks like a plane of astro-turf from horizon to horizon. It’s all one plant. It’s all oil pumps. And, Indonesia’s going the same way. Malaysia’s about 50% oil pumps now. Indonesia is changing very rapidly and the forests are going, you know, for bio-fuels. If we had a very small appetite, it might be okay. But we have an absolutely gigantic appetite. So, put bio-fuels out of your mind for a while, go for solar and wind that don’t have any of those kind of negative connotations or almost none in comparison and build a city that requires not as much energy.

JA – Do you think we can actually generate enough energy from the sun?

RR – If we build right, yeah. And if we don’t keep growing our population, if we can actually have a little negative population growth for a while, which doesn’t mean killing off people, but it means reproducing more slowly.

JA – Do you think there should be a population control?

RR – Sure.

JA – Like in China?

RR – No. But I think people, individuals, should pick up on the idea. It’s interesting that the most Catholic country in the world, Italy, where the Vatican’s located right in the middle of it, has negative population growth right now. So, you know, there are ways to deal with it, other than the ways the Chinese have tried to deal with it for a while, Indians, too, for a matter of fact. But it’s a problem and I think it’s a consciousness problem more than anything else, people have to understand the whole thing. In fact, if there’s one lesson from what I think you might learn from my experience is that whole-systems thinking really accounts for a lot.
You can think of the whole system of the city and the way that all the parts fit together, the land use, the transportation, and so on, you come up with the ecological city. If you look at the problem of human’s surviving on the planet physically with the other plants and animals you can see there’s a whole system there. There’s all the people doing what we’re doing. But, the system is…there’s a population…we’re building the wrong kind of thing, we’re powering it with the wrong kind of power, we’re eating too much meat, we’re not conservative in terms of our demands from nature. So, if you look at this whole pattern, then I think you begin to see a wholeness there that begins to make sense and then you can have ways to deal with it that are much clearer. Maybe I’m wrong, but <laughs>

JA – Where do you see this type of project advancing the most?

RR – Where are the ecological city projects doing the best? They’re little bits and pieces everywhere. There’s no place where it’s all coming together. Chicago, they’re building on rooftops, I mean, they’re putting nice gardens on rooftops, green roofs, and things like that. Some cities have really good transportation. Portland downtown has –

DP – I think a much larger meta-question –

RR – What’s that?

DP – What should be the ultimate purpose of human society?

RR – Human society? I think compassion and creativity. You know, if we could create a society that furthers our own compassionate creativity, I think that’s it. I mean, I’ve thought about that a lot. How does an ecological city serve people? First of all it’s a creation. It’s something people create. And, it’s something that can be created well. It’s something that can even be created beautifully. What’s that all about? Well, you can create atomic bombs. You can create weapons to slice people up. You can create game plans to abuse other people. You can plot. You can have creative plots that do destructive stuff. Well, you have to differentiate creativity on a band that goes from the creative to the destructive, as well as just so you are actually able to create something new and different.
So, if you really understand creativity and you tune that up with what it means to be compassionate part of life on Earth, if you really appreciate the other life forms, if you really appreciate the other people, then you might have a chance of creating a more compassionate and creative world, and you’d be creating it. So, how do you be creative? As I was saying earlier, there’s almost no studies in psychology about the creative personality compared to the abnormal personality or the inquisitive person or the somebody who is extremely successful and self-seeking and who has a strong ego, you know, all sorts of stuff, but…I think creative compassion is either our destiny, or lack of it our doom.

JA – In your own life, did you always have these ideas or is there something that compelled you, because obviously your concern is the greater good of humanity, was there something that led you to that?

RR – Well, maybe. I grew up in a beautiful place, which is New Mexico, around Santa Fe. One of the things I was rather obsessed on was the fact that we were about to be exterminated any minute by the Soviets. I grew up in the Cold War era and I grew up right across the valley from Los Alamos, New Mexico where they were making the atomic bomb. I thought a lot about that and I thought a lot about us creating the tools of our own destruction, and I knew the people who were doing it, people designing hydrogen bombs, that’s what they did.
I had Thanksgiving with them, talked with them, they were my parents’ friends and that sort of thing. I was pretty nervous about life on Earth. I thought it was pretty beautiful and I grew up in a place that was really beautiful. I think that’s where my concerns about protecting life come from. And, I think you can have a city that not only protects life, but when you started this little interview, I was saying we could have a city that actually enhances biodiversity and creates rich soil. It’s a matter of designing it that way.

DP – What about like, I mean, even a state like New Mexico. Like somebody told me that the water within the state could support maybe like 30,000 people.

RR – It could support a lot more than that.

DP – Okay. But, I mean, much less than the people that are there right now.

RR – Much less than are there now, sure. It’s right. Like I said, population can be a problem in its own right, plus the demands. You can look at it with a very small population, you can have a very well-tuned society.
In very primitive circumstances, you could design a society that recycles water and uses it in productive greenhouses for example. There are many solutions out there that are healthy. I think the bottom line is maintaining planetary biodiversity, almost more than anything else. To get there, you need compassion and creativity. You need to be compassionate and you need to be creative. You need to be somewhat fearless, too. I mean, I have people – I have to say, in all honesty, it’s a harsh word, but I see a lot of intellectual cowardice. You know, people really being afraid to engage an idea.

DP – Where does that fear come from?

RR – I don’t know where it comes from. To me, it’s a little bit mysterious. I think it comes from fear of death or something really basic. And that people have fears that I don’t understand really. I think some fears are inculcated by religions…they make you fearful. Some politicians make you fearful…so they can manipulate you. I don’t know. There’s natural fear of pain and your own death, anyway. I mean you’re not gonna get around some base, residual, existential fear of your life going away, you know, that’s there.

DP – That’s one thing that we’re talking about in the film in terms of looking at shamanism and this kind of initiatory process where if you have kind of visionary experiences you have a sense of your life extending into other worlds and other dimensions even…you know, maybe less attached to this life.

RR – Maybe, I don’t know. It’s not my personality. I see the artistic personality as one that takes visions from the head into reality by way of whatever it is: poetry, music, art, city-building, it can be beautiful. So, you have these visions. They’re not real. They’re not out there.
But, they become real, because of the agency of your own activity and your own knowledge and your own skills, whatever. So, I think that the sort of the shamanistic thing, you know, you can have exciting hallucinations or experiences you think are very real that are very definitely not on the every day plane, but I think it’s particularly exciting if you can take those sort of things and posit futures that don’t exist and make them healthy and actually then head out to try to create them…and some people do that. I mean, a lot of people work with that actually.

JA – What is there here that you think would be worthwhile for us to look at?

RR – Well, just the fact that we’re up on the roof. That’s one thing that’s sort of unusual. It’s the first building that he’s done with a rooftop garden. I convinced him to do it and he built five more afterwards. It gets people up into the views and, I mean, I would’ve liked to have the guy have real gardens up here, not just decorative plants, but it’s too much, who knows, too much trouble, investment, and time.
To garden on a roof is more difficult than to garden on the ground surface. You have to elevate everything, you have to make containers, you have to deal with overflow, you have to deal with stains, deal with leaves getting in gutters, and all sorts of stuff. So, when you hear people talking about buildings full of plants or rooftop gardens –

DP – Vertical farms?

RR – Vertical farms, that doesn’t make any sense. It really doesn’t. In fact, do I have my little notebook with me here? No, I don’t.
I run that little vertical farm scene. I have a picture of a tube like that, you’ve probably seen it on the little solar collector up here. Okay, first of all, you’re only gonna get 1/5th the energy transferred from solar to electric. Okay, so, and then, when you take that 1/5th and you change it from electric to light you lose about half that, so you’re down to a 1/10th. Say it’s a ten-story building, you’re down to 1/100th the solar energy that you’d get on a flat surface outside arriving through the system in the building. It doesn’t make any sense.
Now, how it does make sense, if you want to be really, massively invested in it you could have 1,000 acres out there gathering solar energy to run your electricity and have electricity come into the building and run up there and running all those lights. You could do that. But if you planted that surface, you’d probably get 50 times the production, just by planting where you put your solar collectors, so it doesn’t make any sense.

DP – Thank you.

JA – Thank you.

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Barbara Marx HubbardBarbara Marx Hubbard

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Author, Futurist, Social Innovator and Educator

Daniel Pinchbeck (DP) Barbara Max Hubbard (BMH)

DP: So what is conscious evolution?

BMH: Conscious evolution is the evolution of evolution from unconscious to conscious choice.
 I really think it’s as major as the origin of life, or animal life or human life. Human life being intelligent enough to understand nature, to understand the process of evolution and to suddenly wake up that it could destroy its own life support system by its own knowledge like with the atomic bombs, and on and on.. with the environmental crisis.
 So, we’ve woken up to the fact that we’re affecting evolution, we could destroy our own life, and there’s also the glimmer at the edges that we could evolve our own life. We could cooperate with nature, we could align ourselves with the process that seems to lead to higher consciousness and more intelligence so we could begin to have a positive view of how we could use the crisis as evolutionary drivers toward innovation, creativity and emergence. 
So conscious evolution would be a help to all of those endeavors that want to involve healthcare, want to involve economics, want to involve politics, want to involve energy systems and if you see that as a whole, that would be the field of conscious evolution. That field has not yet been mapped as a whole system emergent. And so the challenge and work of the field of conscious evolution would be to create an integral framework to map, connect, and communicate to the human species not only what’s breaking down but what’s breaking through. And on the personal level, what is my calling within it. I feel that I always think of it like this, this spiral of evolution goes up inside me, it awakens my heart, it connects me to the world and then it awakens me to my creative aspect of your creative aspect of it. So conscious evolution is not only just the big story, it’s the evolution of the person, of the self, toward identifying with the process of evolution. My impulse to create is the creative process of evolution localized. And I think Andrew Collins says it very well, it’s like the internal Big Bang, it’s subjective. So conscious evolution had a subjective quality of being conscious that you are yourself, wanting to emerge.
It has a social aspect. Society is breaking down so have a yearning to create a society that is viable that is evolvable, that is compassionate, that is social in evolution. Scientific and technological really goes off the charts. If you put together biotech, nanotech, robotics, space development, zero point. You see we are a new species. The creature human phase is coming into the co-creative human phase. If we don’t blow ourselves up or destroy our life support system. Ultimately, conscious evolution would be the entire field of educating ourselves in order to evolve consciously, you know, solving immediate problems, which is just like the baby having to learn to breath and nurse. Its really the beginning. And then it moves on to how do you evolve a planetary system. How do you create life support systems in the solar systems. And then is it possible that we’re a galactic, that earth is giving birth to a galactic species. And that we are not alone in the universe.
So conscious evolution to me is a field of fields. Its popping up everywhere and I’ve been one of its mothers, one of its champions. Cause I caught hold early on.

DP: What are the biggest blockages to the process of conscious evolution?

BMH: That’s a really good question. What are the blockages to conscious evolution? I think the most fundamental one is the idea that we don’t know its happening. That we don’t have a sense that these are leading to a possible, desirable future. That we are very problem oriented, very immediate oriented, so we don’t have enough means or ideas or people able to express what’s emerging. In order for the average person to even be attracted to what’s coming forward. So the worldview doesn’t fully exist.
And for me it’s like the difference between the medieval worldview and the Enlightenment. It took a while for the Enlightenment worldview to come into forum and then it changed everything. I think we’re getting post-enlightenment into the evolutionary worldview.
The conscious evolution worldview and you need that framework for people to get it.
Secondly, there are real invested interests in the way it is. The financial interest, the power interest, the dominating structure of almost every organization, nations state, organized religion, academic institutions, and corporations are not designed for conscious evolution. They are designed for holding on to the power.
So if I have, I know there are a lot of things that oppose our evolutionary potential, the greatest challenge is really something in our power, which is how do we connect what’s emergent and that won't be even through a good President of the United States. It won’t be through the United Nations. It will be through the social networks.
And the timing is really delicate here because the collapse scenarios are going fast toward a perfect storm, so the evolutionary scenarios, if they’re going to work in time would have to go non-linear. There has to be a speed up. And that’s what I think the Internet, and the connectivity of creative innovations and solutions is about to happen.

DP: And it seems that some of these ideas have been around for a while. Especially in West coast culture. From my perspective on the east coast there’s been a sort of insularity to them. Do you feel there are any reasons why awareness around these subjects hasn’t permeated more into the mainstream discourse? 

BMH: That another good question. I grew up, I went to Paris in 1947,48,49, my junior year abroad. I remember later thinking there were two great French men. There was Sarte and _______. And Sarte the existentialism thought there was no specific meaning unless we could give it.
And there was not a universe of direction or progress or internalization of the devine. De Charin saw a different worldview. And the one caught hold in the popular arts in the culture was existentialism. My husband was an artist. And when you were in NY in the late sixties, the theatre of the absurd the expressionists, the whole art form picked up the disintegration aspect which was true, but the arts and the culture, and even the scientific materialists and fundamentalists did not take up the direction of the evolutionary potential until we got the study of cosmogenesis. I mean it just began to dawn on us. That the universe has been evolving for billions of years. No theology has that built in. No political science has that built in. No philosophy has that built in.

DP: So your existential-disintegrate model became more the mainstream current. And, why would that support, what kind of behavior patterns self reinforce?

BMH: First of all, I think it was a lot more obvious. I mean we had two world wars. The United States dropped the atomic bombs and burned people alive with this great intelligence of Einstein, and there was a feeling, a real genuine feeling that something was deeply wrong with the human species, that the most sophisticated, intelligent nations could have done this. And then we became aware that we also had an environmental problem. And I think those problems are far more obvious than the possibility of some radical positive future.
Now I was an east coast person. I grew up in NYC and then I was in Washington, DC for 12 years founding the committee for the future and when I met Buckminster Fuller, Abraham Lazlo. I read De Chardin, that was all East Coast. It really didn’t start on the West Coast. And there was in DC, in the seventies, the World Future Society got started and there was a real sense, still a small group, but when you got into that group, it was very hopeful. Marshal Mcluhan, the sense that we were a global species. That we had the resources and the technology to make the world work for everyone. We had the Apollo program. All of these were from the East Coast. And they didn’t catch hold as a pattern, the art, and we had of course a social movement. A peace movement, a civil rights movement, a women’s movement. They didn’t catch light of the evolutionary component of those movements.
And then I think we had the awareness with the collapse of the Soviet Union and all of that enormous type of violence within the human species itself and the environmental threat. So, I think, I can’t explain why it didn’t catch hold. It certainly caught hold in some of us. It caught hold in me and a small band of us. Maybe it's that the crisis is deep enough now, particularly the environmental, and financial. To have people searching.. is there a way through?

DP: Of course a lot of the world has been experiencing a mega-crisis of horrific proportions for decades or longer and then we’ve inflicted, you know, apparently 1 to 2 millioin deaths in Iraq. We’ve used depleted uranium to permanently irradiate big swaths in that country. Why hasn’t there been any kind of more permanent effort to counteract that? Why haven’t people been willing to put their ideals on the line and go and do sit-ins and protest and just do whatever it takes to break that, that you know, dominator process?

BMH: Its another good question. I don’t know if we know what the positive social alternatives are. And we’ve had some terrible social experiments in the 20th century such as Communism and Fascism and Nazism and democracy does not have a vision of what can move beyond it, and we then became the corporate power and so we inflicted our power and our empire on the rest of the world. But the rest of the world was actually struggling to get to the place of more material well being--Look at India, look at China. So there wasn’t another vision and I wouldn’t be at all surprised that in the USA, as we see the failures of our culture, that the rising up post-material integrative evolutionary is coming from here. But that’s how long it took. And I remember, I have a friend, FM Esfandiari, years ago, and he’s no longer with us. I was frustrated because I was way off in my timing. I caught all of this in the sixties, seventies, and eighties. I thought it would be happening right then, then it went almost the other way, conservatives, problems, violence. And this person pointed out.
It takes a while for a new worldview to take hold and the factors that we have now are certain problems that can’t be resolved by the power structure. Not just that the poor can’t resolve it, or the oppressed can’t resolve it, it’s the power structure that can’t resolve it. I think that’s important in the evolution of these ideas that we’ve been holding. I think there’s a failure in fundamentalist religions that have come in there because at least they have a transcendent vision.

DP: Fundamental religions are a postmodern phenomenon. They kind of take this idea of a pre-modern state, then they kind of idealize it. Tha earlier state didn’t exist in the way they conceptualize it. Fundamentalism is a way to bind identity together I guess.

BMH: Not only that, but it seems to have like there’s an Armageddon scenario in the Christian fundamentalist that leads to heaven, leads to the new Jerusalem: the chosen few. That’s a transcendent leap that powers the fundamental religions. Not only identity within the tribe, but your life is going somewhere. Certainly the Muslim fundamentalists that believe, as suicide bombers, that they are going to go to paradise. If that’s what they believe, that’s a transcendent vision. And I think that what’s been missing in the evolutionary liberal movement is a transcendent vision equal to our scientific, social, and spiritual capacity.

DP: But couldn’t some of the problem the problem of transcendence within its self. I mean, I really like that native cultures seem to be more based in imminence, not transcendence, and that the spiritual is somehow separate from the physical or material.

BMH: When I use the word transcendent vision in this particular thing I meant a vision that transcends current reality. Like the new Jerusalem or paradise.

DP: So you think we need to have more modeling of desirable states that we need to move towards.

BMH: I believe that if you really put together the evolutionary potential of humanity; spiritually, socially, and technologically, and imagine that there is a direction of evolution…

DP: What about sexually?

BMH: We’ll get to that. Spiritually, socially, scientifically, and then I’ll talk about super sexually…That you will see that we have the possibility of being born as a universal species. Extended intelligence, extended space, extended lifespan, and I think that’s imminent.

DP: Do you think people are actually scared of confronting the reality of that possibility?

BMH: Yes, for one thing we’ve…

DP: Somebody was telling me, most people fear success more than they fear failure.

BMH: Well we haven’t got good images again. See science fiction, except for star trek and a few of them, a disaster, war like species clashing. So nobody can become attracted to being that. And I started out my whole career asking what are positive images of the future equal to our new power. And actually we don’t have them and without vision people perish. So I’ve spent my life finding the means and the possibilities to what’s imminent but not necessarily going to happen. When you are attracted to them you start moving in that direction. And one of them was the Apollo program. I mean I suddenly saw that we could be a universal species physically.

DP: I guess the psychedelic experience opened me to a different worldview.

BMH: Then after that it was psychedelic and then after that it was women. And then there was the uprising of the peace movements and the civil rights movements. But to take hold of a dominator culture that actually a thousand year tradition of pyramid dominant structures, we’re really re-patterning civilization here. So I think we can give ourselves some slack. You know, this is not just a quick thing. This is the transformation of our species.
So, I caught hold of the possibility of us being born as a universal humanity. I got attracted and then I started to research what might possibly lead to a species able to restore the earth, to free ourselves from hunger and poverty and actually be attracted towards… I think realizing our spiritual, our creative potential personally and throughout the world, and throughout the solar system. I think the next social level is social synergy. Like nature itself creates these vast cooperative organisms. I think that force is at work in society now.

DP: So what are some of the practical ways we might get to this social synergy?

BMH: Well, social networking is certainly happening.

DP: Social networking like Facebook and Myspace? Or what do you mean exactly.

BMH: I actually mean, and I'll tell you the image I have and it actually came from my work with Buckminster Fuller, running for vice president and all of that. I see that the social planetary body is like a living system. And it has basic functions. Environmental functions, health, politics, governance, and so on; I see that as a wheel-like structure. And at different fractal levels, locally, socially all the way on up. We would find that there are now innovations and breakthroughs in every sector and every function. While there are break downs, there are break throughs.
I think the next level of social synergy would be the connecting of the best practices, social innovations at work across functions so that you begin to see the emerging world and that that emerging world is more positive than the world that is now threatened. It's not that we want to save the existing world as it is, it's too unjust, there's too much suffering--not what we’re aiming at. So the emerging world is all emergent and it would come from connecting that which is creative. And when I ran for vice president, I suggested a peace room as sophisticated as a war room in the office of the presidency, and it would scan for, map, connect what is creative. Not only in one sector but in each sector connected. And when you do that, even conceptually, you get the feeling of an emergent world.

DP: When you talk about putting that in the office of the presidency--that’s still to me a centralized, or pyramid-like model. Do you believe that the social networks point toward a new social structure that could be more collaborative, a distributed system of power, without rigid hierarchies?

BMH: I do, and when I was with Buckminster Fuller (this was way back in the seventies), he urged me to bring these ideas into the political arena, simply to lodge them there. That’s all. I mean, I was an idea candidate, but the idea was good enough to get over 200 delegates to sign a petition. Now when I got up to make my speech, the democratic party had to move up the whole convention so I wouldn’t get on national TV. They were horrified. I actually walked in there and got 200 delegates with the idea of finding out what works in America. And I made my speech, and the guy took me up to the platform and said, "honey, now they won’t pay any attention to you, they never do, you’re saying it for the universe." So I said it like a declaration. The USA will build a peace room as sophisticated as the war room and it will be in the Kremlin and it will be all over the world and we will see the emerging world. It more or less lay dormant. I did certain things with it, but not a lot. Only recently I was invited to the Democratic National Convention to present at the big tent where progressive voices are heard. And we pulled together a team to create the Citizens Solutions Council, locally for grassroots people for many kinds of social networks to see what’s working, and what’s creative at the local level, with an office in the presidency so there could be a connection. Between the social networking and the expression of our government, not that the government is controlling it or even has to implement it, but if it knows it, and this is the vision, and it takes the very same structure integrative model and places it within the office of the presidency, where citizens could feed it up and it could be communicated out and it doesn’t control the social networks but it creates that conduit. Because its really ridiculous to have all the citizen activity going on and have it disconnected.

DP: The progressive community has a lot of disconnections. It seems to me that a lot of the community gets caught in these individuation traps where people create their little thing with a name and foundation or institute or company. Then they’re very attached to those boundaries that they’ve created. This is my perception of that…

BMH: I see exactly the same thing, Daniel. I think that we’re not quite there yet. So people could realize that they’re actually doing it themselves or that they have enough energy to get their teams together or that they’re part of an environmental movement or a health movement. But the idea of integrating all of that into a whole system is the next step of social evolution.
So, I would say, when you asked what would be the next practical steps, it would be to build these integrated models locally, to connect the social networks, to see the pattern of the whole; to bring it up into the level of governor, the level of city council, the level of mayor, the level of president, and beyond--throughout the world, so that we could have a more graceful path to the next stage of evolution. ...llya Pregogine, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his study of dissipative structures and the question is how does nature evolve up the chain of complexity when the law of thermodynamics leans toward disorder, and evidently this tendency to higher order eats disorder. You need disorder to create higher order. If there’s a very stable situation you’re not going to get a higher order so when you get evolution interpretation of the disequilibrium of modern society, out of equilibrium of the whole global society, what you see is that there’s enough disorder for new patterns, mutations, and innovations to emerge.
I was actually here to write a book in Santa Barbara, and I got lost one day, and I found myself up a mountain here and I came to Mount Calvary Monastery. It’s a beautiful monastery here and there was a group of hang gliders jumping off the mountain, in butterfly colored wings above the cross at Mount Calvary. And I had a flashing experience over the presence of the Risen Christ. And the presence was not something I saw and it certainly wasn’t a man in flowing.. But it was a field of intelligence that said.. it didn’t look like anything… It said, the presence, the field said, 'when you combine the love of God above all else (meaning to be the great creating process), your neighbor as yourself, yourself as me--as a natural expression of the divine combined with science and technology, you will all be changed.' And I thought, oh my God, that’s true.
So the way you would possibly get to a future like Bucky was seeing or I saw like a mystery was not about dominating power. It was about completely transforming your consciousness. Loving one another as yourself, loving that diving process of creation above all else and orienting technology toward the good.
We’re just beginning to experience our possible failure and collapse.
There are a couple of things, just in the simplest way Bucky did, and the one that got me was one in a little book called “Utopia or Oblivion” and it was this phrase: “we now have the resources, technology and know-how to make the world a 100% physical success for everyone without taking it away or destroying our environment.” Just that idea shifts the worldview. When I read that--basically the world will work for everyone, the world could work for everyone. Just that idea, shifts the worldview. Then the design science revolution and the world game and trying to see it as a whole; it had a purpose, which was to make the world work for everyone. We didn’t have that as a purpose. I mean, certainly in the religious world, you’re not trying to make this world work for everyone. The liberal world wasn’t even dreaming of making the world work for everyone. So Bucky had a vision that this could happen and saw that we had the resources and technology then we had a design science revolution that attracted architects and students of great intellect. But it was premature. It couldn’t get applied yet.
And one of the things I’ve learned about being part of this movement for the last forty years is that we have seed ideas and we plant them, and sometimes it looks like they’re not going to work, but they’re growing behind your back, sort-of-speak. And I sometimes feel, for myself, like I’ve been planting little seeds and they’ve been in a greenhouse--and I thought they didn’t amount to much and then the top came off the greenhouse and suddenly, just like that peace room in the White House: the idea of going to the Democratic National Convention and proposing with Obama as president, it’s not that I think getting the president to do that is the most important thing, but that was a seed idea. I caught early on the importance of the space program as an Earth, space, human development program leading to a fact of us becoming a universal species. Well that’s still not quite what the space program is about but its potential is there.
I believe that many of us in the 60s, 70s, 80s and so on, have planted these viable seeds. Maybe the conditions have to be that there is a breakdown of old structures; that the danger is real for the top to come off this greenhouse and there you've got the seeds. Now, will they grow fast enough to prevent the collapse that makes it very hard for anything to grow because if you’re in a completely destroyed infrastructure, it’s really hard. So my hope is that these seedlings that have been planted in every field, get connected in a non-linear way through social interactive networking, which leads towards a vision not only of just a world that works for everyone, but an emerging world.
It makes me happy to say this. You know I actually feel a certain joy inside me to think this could be true. Its invigorating. But the thought here is its even more than a world that works for everyone the way the world is. Like middle income housing for everyone and enough, that’s good. But the minute you get it,you get restless. Look at the materialistic world.

DP: I agree with an idea that Buckminster Fuller and Herbert Marcuse shared: That getting everyone to work is the wrong objective. Fuller proposed that most people shouldn’t work. What is the work doing for the planet? You're going into offices and using toner cartridges, you're using fossil fuels, what are you making? Fuller thought that most people would be better suited living in there home communities growing food, being educated through interactive media, exploring their creative and spiritual potential.

BMH: That maybe exactly what is going to happen. We’re re-localizing our currency, we’re re-localizing our food. The whole system breaks down.

DP: What do you know about alternative currencies and timesharing systems?

BMH: ...I wish I could quote them to you but there are timesharing systems being used…

DP: There are many initiatives, but they tend to be quite small.

BMH: ...The Ithaca dollar.. That’s a seed link: the alternative currencies--what they call 'free currencies,' seedlings.... They won’t come up unless the climate is right for them. But when they start coming up in every field and you add to it, you start to think about people like Jim Gardner and the intelligent universe and the idea that we’re going to put forward silicon-based intelligence. Maybe there’s a lot of intelligence throughout the whole universe; maybe when it gets born from its planetary womb it has to be more intelligent or it won’t get out of the womb. And there’s a convergence of intelligence here that goes way beyond anything we’ve seen. I hold that there is a tremendous progressive tendency in nature that leads to ever-more creative life. I think the universe is a developmental process. Its pretty obvious from cosmogenesis. That we’re early in the universal story still. 13.7 billion years, according to what I’ve been told there are maybe a hundred or more billion years ahead and so the universe got started and it took Earth.

DP: Could be a good movie.

BMH: And it took the universe all this time to create human life and animal life. And a species intelligent enough to realize it's evolving or dying by its own action. Boy, is that an achievement of evolution. And I feel that we are just on the cusp of becoming aware that we are evolving: that we could destroy or create, and I don’t know how many millions are waking up to that. But the worst the crisis gets more people to start looking, and then here’s the cosmic drama. Does the connecting of that which is creative and sustainable go fast enough or do you have to go--how far down do you have to go. I use the birth image. Nobody really knows when a baby is going to be born, how it will come out. Not the doctor, not the mother, and probably not the baby. Because it's dangerous.
We’re in a very dangerous transition. Nobody on this planet has been through a high-tech, overpopulating, polluting, warring species toward a sustainable, evolving, regenerative world. We don’t have elders who’ve done that. We don’t even have youngsters who’ve been there. So, we’re in an evolutionary gap and the only way that I have managed to imagine that gap is to look at past jumps. You know: from pre-life to life; from animal to human.
And then you get into the experience that nature has been taking jumps through crisis for billions of years. In different eras--I’m putting us in the story. And then I’m assuming the tendency to higher intelligence won’t stop here and I see, actually, it’s not stopping. But it’s not mature, so I have a motherly approach to the situation. We’re a mess. 
But mothers are really used to giving birth to messes. And the baby is a mess. But you know it has growth potential and you really don’t know what it's going to be. It's unknown; I would say we know we have growth potential. I know we have spiritual, social, scientific genius everywhere.
And I wanna give you information about my favorite theory called supra-sex. There have been two great human drives: Self preservation and self reproduction. And, starting in the mid sixties, we began to be aware that if we doubled the population once more we would destroy all life. So the drive to procreate is expanding past the drive to create, to express our uniqueness, and in order to get anything done, you probably have to join other people's uniqueness. And I call that supra-sexual co-creation.
I feel it all the time. I have a creative urge, I’m looking for partners, for teammates. In order to express more of it, and if they are expressing more of their creativity by joining with me than we have an energy of expanded sexuality. And if sexuality was so attractive and pleasurable, it gets us to reproduce up to a maximum--I think supra-sexual, co-creation is pleasurable. I know because I feel it.

DP: Are you talking about something that’s a little bit like Freudian sublimation of the sex drive into creativity, or are you talking about erotic intimate relationships also?

BMH: I’m talking much more in Abraham Maslow terms then in Freudian terms. I think Maslow put his finger on it when he studied healthy people over sick people. He discovered that all of them had one trait in common: chosen work that they found intrinsically self-rewarding and of service, at least, to one other person. In other words, we’re wired to create and express our potential. And if you want to be a fulfilled, joyful person--you almost have to find that once you’re not starving or in a war zone, you've got to find what it is you want to express. So when I was the mother of five and felt depressed I went to a Freudian analyst and he talked about the sublimation of the sexual drive and I felt even more depressed when I thought that was it.
When I read Maslow, I realized I wasn’t neurotic, I realized I had not found my vocation. I loved my children, but it wasn’t my vocation. And once I began to see I had a vocation as a communicator--as a student of evolution--I became self actualizing. I became happy. I reached out on and on, I became the person I am today. That is not sublimation. 

DP: Do you see a shift in human society today also leading to a change in relationship patterns? You know we’ve had a monogamous based relationship model, do you see other patterns emerging, and what do you think those might look like, or be like?

BMH: First of all, those are already emerging. You don’t have to get married to live together in this culture. Its quite different. When I was, you know, 17 or 18, if you did have sex with somebody you didn’t tell anyone and you certainly didn’t overtly live together. Now…

DP: It is true how amazingly fast that transition has been. In the fifties or forties--or many people watching this film don’t realize we’ve had such a rapid transition in relationship patterns.

BMH: And then the whole Betty Friedan feminine-mystique book was very interesting for me because she interviewed many woman in the fifties and found that many women were sad, that they had this nameless problem.
And the problem was they had no self image beyond 21. No sense of identity beyond wife, and mother, and culturally, it was imprisonment of the feminine potential. So then we have the whole feminist movement and we start to become, not just equal, but what is the feminine, authentic feminine self outside the patriarchy. We don’t fully know yet because it's--we’ve been in a cultural structure of patriarchy and I found that the drive in me as a woman, beyond my reproducing the species and loving my children, was expressing my own creativity through joining. So what does that do to couples? In my case it broke up my marriage. Because my marriage was completely in the old structure. Because I was the wife, and mother, and editor, and helper, and my husband was the genius…

DP: I was asking where relationship patterns were transitioning too.

BMH: So in my case I wasn’t able to navigate that. Then for a while I had a wonderful co-creator relationship with a partner but we didn’t get married. I felt that the bonds of marriage, wedding vows, wedding bonds, wedlock...

DP: It had been unlocked.

BMH: I had broken through… that partner died, and now I’m with another partner. We’ve been together for 20 years and we say we’re permanently engaged. He’s 85. But He was an Episcopal priest and he basically saw the feminine co-creator, the goddess needed to come forward. And he felt that it was his vocation to love such a woman so that I wouldn’t have to be aggressive or press against a dominator pattern, however its very hard for the man when the woman becomes vocationally aroused, and she’s totally passionate about her creativity .There’s something that happens in the masculine, maybe not in the young men, I don’t really know. I think that what’s happening is that we’re moving towards coupling. Not in the point of view of procreating and having maximum babies, but maybe chosen children, purposefully, but then to give birth to more of our potential by joining. I think the purpose of couples, marriage, and partnership will be a more regenerated sexuality rather than a procreative sexuality, and it will be moving up into how we release each other's potential. And if we do, the marriage, the partnership will grow, but it doesn’t have to be a legal contract. In fact it doesn’t really make any difference if it’s a legal contract or not, if it's an evolving group.

DP: What do you think of 2012? Do you see it as a legitimate prophetic date? That intuitively we’re moving at this accelerating process that is going to peak at this structure?

BMH: Well it is interesting that the Mayans came up with that from a galactic, intuitive perspective. And then it somehow relates to exactly the situation we find ourselves in: where we’re heading for a perfect storm which could be a negative aspect of the dissipater structure. It could just go down fast. Is it possible that it could quickly be non-linear in its jump. The timeframe towards 2012--I don’t know--but I do believe that there is a very short time frame here. And I think that on a mass-collective scale we’re going to take a jump by mass-resonance, by mass-consciousness shift, a mass-connection of what's creative could make the difference. So I say lets go for it.

DP: Use it as a mean or signifier.

BMH: I would, and let's say there is a higher dimension to this that can’t be proved, it gives it mystique, it makes sense to me because we are a part of, not only a solar system, but a galaxy. And I know from my studies with Nassim Haramein and others, that a shift in the galactic core, and why would there not be? And so I would like to intend in the direction that there will be a positive jump, and I love the idea of December 22nd, 2012 – it happens to be my birthday so I’m not taking that personally. But I thought that I would love to part of a very big planetary birthday party for planet Earth. And I have a wonderful planetary phrase that we could have our first motherly smile which could be, “hey, we could make it.” Its not that we made it, or we solved it, but oh, there’s enough of us. Like with Obama. Oh, oh, you know the amazement. That we both have a woman candidate and a black American candidate and the man won beyond his race is oh, how amazing. If that could happen in 2008, there is no doubt in my mind that in 2012 we could connect the positive, personally, through Internet and at a global scale.

DP: Is there any practical advice that you’re giving people these days? I’ve been more and more feeling that when I write articles and stuff to suggest people even think about, well how would you live without money, and also thinking about maybe learning how to grow food. I don’t know how to grow anything--not even a potato--but it seems good advice to offer people. You ever feel like as a public figure, now’s the time one has to give more tangible and practical advice about maybe we are about to hit this massive destabilizing crisis, and just to say that there are certain ideas that are gelling and developing isn’t enough anymore. Do you think there are absolutely practical things you want to tell people to do?

BMH: Well, there are a couple. One is in a self-evolution piece, the other is social evolution. Self-evolution is to do the best that you can to shift your identity from your egoist-separated self to that essence of who you are and what it is you want to create yourself. What is your drive to express? Seek out others who share that creativity and join. And create ever more expanding arenas of community, whether they be locally or in cyberspace, and then really draw on the sophisticated knowledge of how to grow food and how to do it right, it’s everywhere but you have to call it in. So, I think the building of community, based on a sort of survival, but more than that, affirming the creative potential of the people we’re joining with to make it into a positive, rather than just a danger signal is what I would suggest.

João Amorim: You talked about that Christ experience you had. A big focus of this film is how personal change can lead to societal change. Was that a moment, or was there such a moment where you actually had an "ah ha" kind of experience that shifted your viewpoint.

BMH: When I had the Christ experience, and I saw that it could be a forecast of the evolutionary potential of humanity, I got a very personal commandment, which was, 'Barbara I want a demonstration right now, which means you.' So I set on a personal path of what it would feel like to incarnate within myself that Christ consciousness. And there’s a lot of teaching about that and so I started to shift my identity from the person who was striving to get things done, to the one who was already there internally, and then it means, reach out and love. So I began a practice, it's in my book Emergence on how to do that. And then as the futures creator I began to see I have a role to help realize the collective potential of humanity and so I got turned on to feeling the Christ energy within me, not as a religion but as a living, creating potential. That I would say has transformed my life.

JA: As far as Bucky is concerned, do you have any more experience, do you think he had, like, a--we were asking BFI Director Elizabeth Thompson about it, if he had this kind of notion of other realms and like a collective consciousness, a spiritual essence…

BMH: With Bucky I didn’t go into the esoteric at all, but into the evolutionary. And so when he said there’s only god, there’s nothing but God, he meant the entire universe is intelligent. And the universe can’t know less, it’s a constant learning and he felt personally responsible for doing what he could about that. And so he got that impulse that made him so strong. And so when he embraced me and said there is only God and he put his forehead against mine, I actually thought he zapped me with the design science revolution in some of its aspects, because when I went out to run for vice president and said lets build within the white house a way of identifying what’s creative, I was going on that. And the fact that 200 delegates signed a petition, I was going to go see Buckminster Fuller two days before he died and I was going to ask him, I would like to know the critical path exactly as you see it. What should I be promoting exactly a 1984 to shift the tide? And I said is there anybody else that I should go talk to other than you and he said no, you come to me. So I had the date, the whole thing and he died.
So, I felt there is a critical path and that part of it is self-evolution, part of it is social synergy, part of it is vision, and part of it is the nature of the divine, intelligent, universal process of creation and embody all of that to me.

JA: One more thing actually. Um, because a lot these people are not used to these ideas, could you give your best definition of design science maybe.

BMH: Design science would be the science of understanding the design of nature well enough to work with it, to restore our environment, to be able to generate enough abundance without destroying the environment that it could sustain the life of the people on this earth and evolve our species toward its next stage. That’s a combination of design and science. The current movement is called Bright Green. And the Bright Green movement is bio-mimicry where you try to understand how nature works and instead of working against nature, you’re working as nature to grow that which can sustain human life without destroying the rest of life. That’s veery intelligent. Its an intelligent universe and we have to become more intelligent rather than less. And the design science revolution, as far as I can see, has not yet come together collectively.

JA: What do we need to do to have that come together?

BMH: What we need to is build those wheels of co-creation, and start bringing innovative and creative people from different functions together to look at the synergy of what we already find we can do because it’s coming together as a whole that we can take the jump. And I feel in the world of the foundation for conscious evolution that we want to contribute to social synergy and the design science revolution at that level.

DP: So a lot of it is about people learning how to collaborate.

BMH: Yes, the whole system, not just in small groups. What you need is an overall effect or a whole optical, like the whole site, how the astronauts saw earth. The astronauts did not see the people as the systems. I see the ___sphere, the thinking layer as the people and the systems that are now connecting in huge power to destroy and create. And that system hasn’t yet become self aware, that’s the work of conscious evolution.

JA: Maybe something about time…

DP: Any questions when you read 2012 do you have for me?

BMH: I did, I do have a question for you…What’s the Queztacoatl.. The name of the book. Cause you were such a seeker of something substantially meaningful for you. Has anything broken through that you feel you could hold onto in your quest?

DP: You didn’t feel like that from the book at all?

BMH: I felt that you were tentative.

DP: Well, tentatively certain. Well that there is a set of psychic dimensions to reality. Um..that there is a kind of an evolutionary process that’s going. That things are getting more and more fascinating. Synchronicities are becoming more and more concentrated. That there is some sort of process under way, that goes way beyond the rigid secular materialism that I was brought up in.

BMH: I think that is the same thing with me, slightly different language, that the hour of evolution is intrinsic and its in me and you and it is directional and the crisis, so I felt…you were so intelligent in your observations that I didn’t quite catch hold of passionate, I don’t mean certainty, but maybe its just your temperament is um, somewhat not skeptical, but --

DP: I also felt for the book to be sort of a work of art and not a treatise. I feel if you leave some things open, the reader has to fill them in and there are definitely questions left open by the book. You know, those were really my questions, but I felt that by being honest about I was still in this journey; I wasn’t saying that I had the answer, I had the scoop. I hope it allowed readers to connect with the material at a deeper level actually, than if I pretended I had the whole shtick worked out. I actually get unnerved by thinkers of 2012 who think they have it all worked out. Someone like David Wilcock. If there is too much certainty it begins to seems like an ego projection to me. 

BMH: Yes. Well that’s exactly what I felt. I felt you were holding back a little bit. But not zealous certainty, but certain inspirational zeitgeist in you , that you were holding back maybe for the exact reason you said.

DP: Maybe, I think also at a certain point I was just a writer who got interested in these ideas that seemed more and more important, and I became invested in the responsibility of the subject matter. And in a way I then couldn’t go as deeply into certain imaginative speculative realms. You know or literary realms that I might of gone before I had those experiences.

BMH: Yes, I respect that a lot and I would say its also a temperamental quality. Like in my temperament, when I had certain expanded reality experiences and felt we were being born a universal humanity I became overjoyed. Not so much zealous, like I knew the way, but I became excited. Then I became called to go tell the story. That was basically my vocation. So then I had to learn the story. But I felt there is a story that was an intrinsic narrative based on cosmo-genesis. I couldn’t see it stopping here so I became actually pretty enthusiastic and still am for that matter.


Practical Solutions:

Bernard Lietaer

Bernard LietaerBernard Lietaer


Economist and Author, "The Future of Money"
This page provides information about the most urgent actions to be taken now that the banking crisis of 2008 has hit. Whatever governments do for the banks, credit will be a lot harder to obtain for businesses, for many years to come. The trickiest aspect of the current situation is the simultaneous, global nature, of the banking crisis. Please, get ready now for an unprecedented rough ride for as long as one decade. What all this means in practice is that we have now entered the period of an unprecedented convergence of the four planetary issues - financial instability, climate change, unemployment and the financial consequences of an aging society - that was described in the 2001 book, The Future of Money.


Buckminster Fuller Institute

Buckminster Fuller InstituteBuckminster Fuller Institute
The Buckminster Fuller Institute is dedicated to accelerating the development and deployment of solutions which radically advance human well being and the health of our planet's ecosystems. We aim to deeply influence the ascendance of a new generation of design-science pioneers who are leading the creation of an abundant and restorative world economy that benefits all humanity.

Our programs combine unique insight into global trends and local needs with a comprehensive approach to design. We encourage participants to conceive and apply transformative strategies based on a crucial synthesis of whole systems thinking, Nature's fundamental principles, and an ethically driven worldview.

By facilitating convergence across the disciplines of art, science, design and technology, our work extends the profoundly relevant legacy of R. Buckminster Fuller. In this way, we strive to catalyze the collective intelligence required to fully address the unprecedented challenges before us.

Catalyzing the vanguard of a design science revolution.  An annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems. The Buckminster Fuller Challenge attracts bold, visionary, tangible initiatives focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. Winning solutions are regionally specific yet globally applicable and present a truly comprehensive, anticipatory, integrated approach to solving the world's complex problems.


For more information about the Challenge, visit


Ciclo Sustainable

Ciclo Sustainable &amp;amp; Kiahkeya PresentCiclo Sustainable &amp; Kiahkeya Present
Ciclo [SEE-kloo, Portuguese for Cycle] functions as a training ground and dissemination point for permaculture ideas and practical skills.  We fund and find volunteers and beneficiaries for projects ranging from tree planting to super-adobe to rainwater capture to solar panels and beyond.


Our staging grounds are the Cerrado in Brazil (see Meet the Cerrado to the right), an at-risk environment with a wealth of biodiversity, and our home in the US - New York.  No matter where you are, learning broad concepts and then distilling them down to locally appropriate iterations is the key.


Our approach is highly participatory.  Rather than simply requesting funding and encouraging armchair environmentalism, we invite people to get involved.  Volunteers from all over enjoy the benefits of hands on learning, practicing and experimenting with permaculture ideas, and being rejuvenated through the wonders of nature.  Those who can’t stop by we keep involved through photos, videos, and tips they can apply at home.  We involve local communities in assessing strengths and needs, teaching and learning.


Ciclo Sustainable & Kiahkeya present

Ciclo Sustainable &amp;amp; Kiahkeya presentCiclo Sustainable &amp; Kiahkeya present

Introduction to Permaculture and Plant Knowledge Retreat / -- contact: or find Ciclo on Facebook


Introduction to Permaculture and Plant Knowledge Retreat


This course is an introduction to Permaculture and some of its principles. Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies. (Terms where coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, and stands for Permanent Agriculture, or even the broader Permanent Culture).


In this course you will have an introduction to basic concepts of Permaculture such as rainwater harvesting, Agro forestry, Solar Heating of water and ecological construction methods such as Super Adobe and Ferro-Cement. The courses will be taught by João Amorim, Sandesh Antunes and Namaste Messerschmitt.


Plant Medicine ceremonies are offered before and after the workshop. We believe that taking care of the inner world is as important as taking care of the outer world, and there for we think your experience will be strengthened by being a part of
those. The ceremonies will be held by Healers Hernado Villa, from the Kofan tradition in Colombia, and his partner Kathi von Koerber from South Africa.

You will be immersed in a 350 Acres Sanctuary, with springs, waterfalls, Mountains, Parrots, Macaws and all kinds of Plants and animals.

Creative Commons

Creative CommonsCreative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.
We provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.
Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright, so you can modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs. We’ve collaborated with intellectual property experts all around the world to ensure that our licenses work globally.



In 1998, on return to his homeland, Andre Soares and Australian born Lucia Legan co-founded the now prominent Ecocentro IPEC. Ecocentro IPEC (Instituto de Permacultura e Ecovilas do Cerrado) is situated in a beautiful valley in Pirenopolis in the state of Goias, Central Brazil.

Ecocentro IPEC begun on 40 acres of bare degraded cattle pasture. The first task was to evict the residents from the original farmhouse, over 300 bats and quite a few rats. Second was to secure water from the natural spring and create a water tank for drinking water.

Seven years later, Ecocentro IPEC presents practical solutions with over 15 ecological buildings, composting toilets, water treatment system, ecological gardens, food forests, and renewable energy systems. Through the dedication of community members, students, adventurers and volunteers working together, Ecocentro IPEC has become one of the most important reference centers for sustainable living in Latin America, demonstrating that another future is possible.


Ecocity Builders

Ecocity BuildersEcocity Builders


We are a non-profit organization dedicated to reshaping cities, towns and villages for long-term health of human and natural systems. Our goals include returning healthy biodiversity to the heart of our cities, agriculture to gardens and the streets, and convenience and pleasure to walking, bicycling and transit. We visualize a future in which waterways in neighborhood environments and prosperous downtown centers are opened for curious children, fish, frogs and dragonflies. We work to build thriving neighborhood centers while reversing sprawl development, to build whole cities based on human needs and access by proximity rather than cities built in the current pattern of automobile driven excess, wasteful consumption and the destruction of the biosphere. Richard Register is one of the world's great theorists and authors in ecological city design and planning. He is also a practitioner with three decades of experience activating local projects, pushing establishment buttons and working with environmentalists and developers to get a better city built and running.



What is
Evolver is a new social network for conscious collaboration. It provides a platform for individuals, communities, and organizations to discover and share the new tools, initiatives, and ideas that will improve our lives and change the world. Evolver promotes sexy sustainability, yoga glamour, and shaman chic.

Are you an evolver?


Fungi Perfecti

Fungi PerfectiFungi Perfecti


Fungi Perfecti® is a family-owned, environmentally friendly company specializing in using gourmet and medicinal mushrooms to improve the health of the planet and its people. Founded by mycologist and author Paul Stamets, we are leaders in a new wave of technologies harnessing the inherent power of mushrooms and mycelium worldwide. Fungi Perfecti is Certified Organic by the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the European Organic Verification Program. In business since 1980, we offer an ever-expanding product line for the mushroom enthusiast: ready-to-grow mushroom kits, MycoMedicinal mushroom products, mushroom cultivation and identification guides, gifts, cultivation tools and more.


The Stamets Cultivation Seminar--November 6 & 7, 2010
Detailed Description
We conduct in-depth workshops on mushroom cultivation, emphasizing a hands-on approach at our gourmet mushroom research station. Participants learn tissue culture, spawn generation techniques, substrate preparation, inoculation techniques, and strategies for maximizing yields. Each participant receives seven select mushroom strains for their own personal use. (The cultures alone have a value in excess of $800.00.) The cultivation of Shiitake, Oyster, Enokitake, King Stropharia, Reishi, Maitake and many others are covered in detail. Registration is on a first-come basis. Food and lodging are not included (continental breakfast, lunch, coffee and other beverages will be provided both days). Required textbooks are The Mushroom Cultivator and Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms (not included). These informationally intense courses are taught personally by Paul Stamets and the experienced staff of Fungi Perfecti. Further information will be sent upon registering. Since space is limited, early registration is strongly advised (many seminars sell out six months in advance). Registration must be reconfirmed two weeks prior to seminar. Please note: due to an overwhelming amount of last-minute cancellations during our 2009 season we have changed our seminar policy. 50% ($400.00) of the tuition for the Stamets Seminar is non-refundable.



Groundwork Hudson Valley is an environmental justice non-profit that works with communities to improve their physical and social environment. This is done by collaborating on projects.  Among them: turning dangerous vacant lots into community gardens, planting trees, replacing graffiti with murals, and forming alliances within the community. Some of these projects are done through school programs and many of them are intergenerational. We are dedicated to environmental stewardship and community empowerment. All of our projects engage local residents in hands-on projects, from design to planting.


Growing Energy Labs, Inc.

Growing Energy Labs, Inc.Growing Energy Labs, Inc.
Growing Energy Labs, Inc. (GELI) is a consultancy for evaluation, modeling, design, engineering, hardware & software production, installation and education of balanced energy systems for all applications.
EA: Energetically Aware; Energy Aware; Energetic Awareness; The fundamental action after notion; The layer of abstraction beneath clock speed; Core Philosophy for Electronics and Communication.


Rainforest Foundation

Rainforest FoundationRainforest Foundation
Our mission:
The mission of the Rainforest Foundation is to support indigenous and traditional people of the world's rainforests in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights by assisting them in: Securing and controlling the natural resources necessary for their long term well being and managing these resources in ways which do not harm their environment, violate their culture or compromise their future; and developing the means to protect their individual and collective rights and to obtain, shape and control basic services from the state.


Reality Sandwich

Reality SandwichReality Sandwich
Reality Sandwich is a web magazine for this time of intense transformation. Our subjects run the gamut from sustainability to shamanism, alternate realities to alternative energy, remixing media to re-imagining community, holistic healing techniques to the promise and perils of new technologies. We hope to spark debate and engagement by offering a forum for voices ranging from the ecologically pragmatic to the wildly visionary (which, to our delight, sometimes turn out to be the one and the same). Counteracting the doom-and-gloom of the daily news, Reality Sandwich is a platform for voices conveying a different vision of the transformations we face. Our goal is to inspire psychic evolution and a kind of earth alchemy.


For the launch of the site, we've assembled dozens of regular contributors who will post a variety of content, including thought pieces and essays, short news stories, video clips, and audio podcasts. As Reality Sandwich develops, we will become much more than a traditional online magazine. Reality Sandwich will merge media with a social network that facilitates connections between the members of our international community. As our features present visionary ideas and new tools for sustainable living, the social network will support our members in using these new concepts and techniques in their own lives, as well as facilitating discussions about their own journeys of discovery.


The Regenerative Design Institute

The Regenerative Design InstituteThe Regenerative Design Institute
The Regenerative Design Institute (RDI) is a non-profit educational organization with the vision that all people can live in a mutually enhancing relationship with the earth. We envision a world in which people, inspired by nature, create and maintain healthy and abundant livelihoods that enhance fertility and biodiversity on the planet. We envision humans as a positive, healing presence on Earth, creating more abundance on the planet than would be possible without them.

Our mission is to serve as a catalyst for a revolution in the way humans relate to the natural world. As we continue to develop Commonweal Garden into an educational center and demonstration site in permaculture and regenerative design, we serve as an inspiration of possibility for how people can live in a mutually enhancing relationship with the Earth. Through our programs and courses, we teach the skills and technology people need to become community leaders and create healthy solutions to the current environmental crisis.


Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer and speaker. Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses and diverse yield perennial farms.





The Science Barge

The Science BargeThe Science Barge

The Science Barge is not only an invitation to ideas and learning, but to change.

The Science Barge is a prototype, sustainable urban farm and environmental education center. It is the only fully functioning demonstration of renewable energy supporting sustainable food production in New York City. The Science Barge grows tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce with zero net carbon emissions, zero chemical pesticides, and zero runoff.

Time Interchange NY (TINY)

Time Interchange NY (TINY)Time Interchange NY (TINY)

Time Interchange of NY (TINY) is a community time-bank started by a small group of interested New Yorkers. In its first two months its membership jumped to nearly 300. Timebanking is widely recognized for its benefit during social crisis (which the global financial crisis certainly qualifies as); TINY is an experiment to see if timebanking, which has been used to great effect in small town settings and smaller cities, can work in a city with a population in the millions. We believe it can; please join us.


Todd Ecological

Todd EcologicalTodd
In 1989 Dr. John Todd, an internationally recognized inventor and a pioneer in the design and construction of ecological wastewater treatment systems, decided it was time to offer a cost-effective, renewable or what is now commonly referred to as “green” solution to the growing global wastewater crisis.

The company Dr. Todd founded, John Todd Ecological Design, has constructed dozens of Eco-Machine wastewater treatment systems based on Dr. Todd’s visionary ecological philosophy and award-winning practical designs in eleven countries on five continents around the world.

Today, headed by Jonathan Todd, John Todd Ecological Design commercializes Dr. Todd’s discoveries with an approach that is well suited for reuse applications in municipal and a variety of commercial wastewater environments including commercial residential designs. Many of our installed systems are zero discharge systems; all the treated water is reused on site.

Our services include comprehensive construction design, consulting, and facility operations services to public and private clients throughout the world. We provide clients with cost-effective aesthetic solutions to wastewater and storm water treatment, aquatic environment management, and bio-solids conversion.

John Todd Ecological Design is a pioneer in the use of natural systems for the removal of chemicals, petroleum hydrocarbons, endocrine disruptors, and other detrimental water pollutants. We envision the remediation of impaired natural water bodies and soils as a major part of our future work.

Conscious Evolution:

Ciclo & Kiahkeya Present

Ciclo Sustainable &amp;amp; Kiahkeya PresentCiclo Sustainable &amp; Kiahkeya /
contact: or find Ciclo on Facebook

Introduction to Permaculture and Plant Knowledge Retreat -July 2010 –Alto Paraíso, Brazil

This course is an introduction to Permaculture and some of its principles. Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies. (Terms where coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, and stands for Permanent Agriculture, or even the broader Permanent Culture).

In this course you will have an introduction to basic concepts of Permaculture such as rainwater harvesting, Agro forestry, Solar Heating of water and ecological construction methods such as Super Adobe and Ferro-Cement. The courses will be taught by João Amorim, Sandesh Antunes and Namaste Messerschmitt.

Plant Medicine ceremonies are offered before and after the workshop. We believe that taking care of the inner world is as important as taking care of the outer world, and there for we think your experience will be strengthened by being a part of those. The ceremonies will be held by Healers Hernado Villa, from the Kofan tradition in Colombia, and his partner Kathi von Koerber from South Africa.

You will be immersed in a 350 Acres Sanctuary, with springs, waterfalls, Mountains, Parrots, Macaws and all kinds of Plants and animals.




What is Conscious Evolution?
Conscious Evolution is a new worldview that is now emerging rapidly and garnering worldwide interest and support. It acknowledges that humankind has attained unprecedented powers to affect, control and change the evolution of life on Earth.

 In simple terms, Conscious Evolution means that we must improve our ability to use our powers ethically and effectively (consciously) to achieve a positive future (evolve).

Conscious Evolution is a new social/scientific/spiritual meta-discipline. This worldview has progressed from Einstein's early admonitions that humankind cannot solve our problems from the same place of consciousness in which we created them, through noted scientists and philosophers such as Julian Huxley, Teilhard de Chardin, Sri Aurobindo, Abraham H. Maslow, Jonas Salk, to today's social scientists such as Bela H. Banathy, Hazel Henderson, Riane Eisler, Ervin Laszlo, Jean Houston, Duane Elgin, Edgar Mitchell, Ken Wilber, Peter Russell, Elisabet Sahtouris, Don Beck and many others who are building frameworks for practical application in health, governance, education, management, environment, science, the arts and media.





What is
Evolver is a new social network for conscious collaboration. It provides a platform for individuals, communities, and organizations to discover and share the new tools, initiatives, and ideas that will improve our lives and change the world. Evolver promotes sexy sustainability, yoga glamour, and shaman chic.

Are you an evolver?
Evolvers are hope fiends and utopian pragmatists. We see the creative chaos of this time as a great gift and opportunity to rethink, reconnect, and reinvent. Evolvers appreciate pristine mountains, open source economics, and the precocious laughter of small children. Evolvers belong to the regenerative culture of the future, being born here and now.





2010 Workshop




Dancing the Universe 2010 Kiahkeya workshops

Oneness with the environment lends ease to the flow of chi,
Defined by the poetry of mist, it celebrates change and transitoriness.
Our life is a canvas, it is for us to paint.
The brush stands for the masculine principle, the ink for the feminine.
The yin and yang are the conservation and flow of chi.
Water is important, it is the ever-flowing resilience of both the Way itself and chi.
Atmosphere and space create a "rhythmic flow...of design;
pliability, endurance, and continuous movement.
Within this movement we find our place in this gigantic universe.
Dance your dance, in this universe.
-- Words inspired by master Painter from China over one thousand years ago, Kuo Hsi

10 Day Intensive Improvisational Nature Spirit Dance Retreat

In combination with Yoga, Amazonian Medicinal Plant Ceremonies and cleansings, dances and prayer circles with the Fulnio indigenous people of Bahia and Sweat lodge purification ceremonies.
At Lua private retreat in the jungle Goias, 4 hours from Brasilia.
Taught by Kathi von Koerber, Hernando Villa and Nancy Eagle Spirit.
Individuals will recieve one-on-one attention to receive purification treatments, healing rituals and plant spirit work for their personal needs. During the retreat there will be 2 or 3 Group medicine ceremonies.
The workshop is designed as an ongoing intensive retreat, where participants are being summoned to participate commitedly day and night. The combination of ongoing explorative dance classes, with traditional healing and initiations of native America traditions and African rituals will support the process of each individuals healing and becoming familiar with their spirit world.
Group Classes, and ceremonies will take place in the morning afternoon and evening, in the Main Kiosk and in sight specific locations. Such as at the nearby waterfalls, white sand river beaches, mountains ravines, Fire dances, animal totem retrieval dance, etc.
Kathi combines techniques of the Japanese Butoh dance form, with Bioenergetics, Tribal Trance dance, African spiritisim, Native American practices, shamanic voice practice, meditation and deep cellular spirit work. Ancient genetic memories are accessed and participants learn to dance in their power, on the crest of their limitations, body mind spirit, and then to utilize this in their daily life. Participants come into deeper understanding of their spirit guides, and their commitment to creative movement in life. Participants will present a solo improv dance, an initiation of sorts at the culmination of the workshop in a sight specific nature location of their choice.
To dance is to be creative physically.
To dance is to take responsibility.

All dance classes are accompanied by live music. REQUIREMENTS: No prior dance experience is necessary. It is open to all levels. A letter of introduction about your interest or previous experience in dance, music and the healing arts is required. Also a written statement on any medical issues.