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conference call

October 6, 2011

Last week, my husband Scott attended the Art and Environment conference in Reno, Nevada at the Nevada Museum of Art where his friend Patricia Johansen was giving a presentation on her work as an environmental artist. Scott is an environmental artist too, a landscape photographer, so he very much enjoyed and benefited from this conference. While he was gone, I find myself at a conference too, an online conference throughout the month of October called the World’s Biggest Summit. After signing up for my free ticket, I receive an email every day in October with a link to the day’s offerings. Offerings include three presenters, some via audio, some via video, some interview, some a lecture. All are 15-to 30 minutes. A global conference that fits into a mama’s home-based life. Lectures range in topic from self-care to business development for entrepreneurs to strategies for meeting your goals. My favorite talks so far have been about crafting your own map (for your life) and making peace with maintenance. This talk about maintenance was brilliant. I’ve already been working on this since I feel we are sorely lacking in maintenance in our throwaway culture and I truly appreciated her joyful words of wisdom in this area. Anyone can sign up, even now, and it is free. Since there are so many talks, many surely will resonate! Check it out.

Next weekend, Scott and I are attending the Bioneers conference, an international conference in our own backyard that my mind and my body will attend! I am looking forward to talks by some of my favorite eco-activists, including Paul Stamets, mycologist extraordinaire discussing how mushrooms can restore degraded ecosystems, Natalia Greene speaking about the rights of nature, and Amory Lovins, one of the world’s premier ecological thinkers sharing his new plan for sustainable energy by 2050. And that’s just the morning. In the afternoon, there are a bunch of discussions including workshops about participatory public art, innovative media, sustainable education and restorative design to name a few!

I’ve been attending the Bioneers conference since 2000 and am always amazed at how rejuvenated I feel by it no matter what else is going on. I have less time for in-the-community activism these days, but still feel like I am a quiet home-based activist in need of a jolt of inspiration. What I love about the Bioneers conference is that there is really something for everyone. If you are interested in business leadership, indigenous knowledge, health care, education, art, innovative design technology, or something else, there is enough there to make a customized conference related to your interest. It swirls around you and you meet friends, new and old—some you only see at the conference—and catch up and share stories and friendship. It is one of my most beloved places. Maybe I’ll see you there.

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