Thanks to all the retreat participants for making the 2006 gathering
a truly revelatory experience.  Over the coming year we will be putting
online recordings from the key sessions.  
Please come back for announcements of our next retreat.

Table of Contents


List of Planned Faculty/Conferees

Retreat Schedule Information

Registration Information

Map and driving instruction to Zaca Lake (+Gate code)

What to bring & friendly reminders

Introductions to Planned Faculty/Conferees


The Institute of Reverential Ecology (IRE) invites you to our fourth annual retreat,  April 28-30 near Santa Barbara, California. Our annual retreat is committed to furthering intergenerational dialogue on the interdependence between personal change, social justice and livelihoods consistent with sustaining our global ecosystem. To this end the IRE brings together distinguished and experienced visionary activists for three days to share their life experiences with 150 retreat participants of mixed ages in an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust and willingness to learn from others.

The Zaca Lake retreat builds community among its participants and inspires young people to engage their passions, transform problems, and discover purpose. Unforeseen partnerships, projects, and friendships are common outcomes of the retreat. Last year the California Student Sustainability Coalition, with support from and in collaboration with the retreat elders, sent students to both India and Sri Lanka to investigate the development and sustainability practices and build relationships with their host communities. Before that, the retreat inspired the Education for Sustainable Living Program which is moving into its third year and is responsible for educating over 1000 students in the UC system and inspiring over 50 sustainability projects.

This spring's retreat, entitled Ecology, Art, and Activism: An Intergenerational Celebration of Sustainability, explores how the arts and intelligent activism can contribute to the building of sustainable local communities.  Retreat faculty include artists Michael Green and Adam Wolpert; eco-designer Jay Harman; authors Michael Ableman and Satish Kumar; human rights activists Vandana Shiva, Tom Hayden, and Reverend James Lawson; ecological activists Wes Jackson and Scott Horton; Gandhian scholar Nandini Iyer; evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris; eco-psychologist Paloma Pavel; and communication skills teacher/activist Dennis Rivers (see full list below).  Delicious vegetarian cuisine will be prepared by Kim Schiffer.

Please join us for this transformative event, and tell your friends and colleagues about it.


List of Planned Conferees

    Michael Ableman, farmer, educator, and founder and executive director of the Center for Urban Agriculture

    Ernest Callenbach, film critic, editor and author of one of the best known utopian novels of the 20th century: Ecotopia

    Richard Clugston, Executive Director, Center for Respect of Life and Environment, and VP, Humane Society of the United States.

    Michael Green, artist, writer, designer, widely-published author of The Illustrated Rumi

    Jay Harman, naturalist, entrepreneur, inventor, author of many patents, and CEO of Pax Scientific, explores and explains biomimicry

    Tom Hayden, author, ecological and political thinker, humanitarian activist and public servant, served for many years in the California State Legislature

    Scott Horton, permaculture designer/teacher, eco-artist, writer, and editor of the Permaculture Activist 

    Nandini Iyer, Lecturer Emeritus in Religious Studies and Comparative Mysticism, UC Santa Barbara, Co-Founder of the Institute of World Culture, Santa Barbara

    Satish Kumar, Editor of Resurgence Magazine and Program Director of Schumacher College, scholar, writer, teacher and ecology advocate

    Rev. James Lawson, was described by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as "the leading nonviolence theorist in the world." Rev. Lawson played a central role in guiding the civil rights campaigns of the 1950s and 60s,

    Gloria Liggett, artist of Gabrielino/Luiseno heritage, has been an art teacher in Santa Barbara for many years. 

    Marcus Lopez, Senior Producer of the American Indian Airwaves/Coyote Radio (national news & documentaries) 

    Art Ludwig, author and designer of sustainable water systems

    Katy Mamen, Fellow at the Oakland Institute, food policy analyst and activist

    Randy Parraz, attorney, labor organizer, social change advocate, activist, educator and innovator, co-founder & Executive Director of Transformative Action Institute

    Paloma Pavel, eco-psychologist, ecology and social justice activist/advocate, Executive Director, Earth House, Oakland, CA.

    Dennis Rivers, communication skills trainer, writer, Internet activist, creator of

    Elisabet Sahtouris, Living Systems Design theorist, author of many books, including EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution

    Scott Sherman, university teacher-at-large, social change advocate, activist, educator and innovator, co-founder of Transformative Action Institute

    John Seed, Rainforest preservation activist, "deep ecology" author, founder and director of the Rainforest Information Centre in Australia

    Vandana Shiva, Author, activist, Founder of the Research Foundation for Science,
    Technology and Ecology     ( Listen online to her 2005 presentation )

    Adam Wolpert, Founder of Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, artist, activist

click here for more information about presenters


Retreat Schedule Information

    Friday, April 28, 2006

    12:00-5:00p                 Arrival, Registration, Accommodation, Lunch Buffet

      3:00-5:00p                 Optional Workshop with Vandana Shiva and Satish Kumar

      5:00-7:00p                 Dinner

      7:00-9:30p                 Opening Plenary

      9:30-12:00a               Music and Celebration in the Lodge


    Saturday, April 29, 2006

      7:30-9:00a                 Breakfast

      9:00-1:00p                 Interactive Forum

      1:00-3:00p                 Lunch

      3:00-6:00p                 Participant Organized Activities

      6:00-8:00p                 Dinner

      8:00-10:00p               Multimedia Plenary

    10:00-12:00a               Music and Celebration in the Lodge


    Sunday, April 30, 2006

      7:30-9:00a                 Breakfast

      9:00-1:00p                 Interactive Forum

      1:00-3:00p                 Lunch and Closing Plenary

      3:00-6:00p                 Optional Participant Organized Activities

The Zaca Lake retreat coordinators and faculty desire your input into the subject matter of this spring’s retreat.  This year we ask participants to submit questions on the theme Ecology, Art, and Activism: An Intergenerational Celebration of Sustainability.  These questions will be forwarded to the retreat faculty prior to the retreat and emphasized in the interactive forums. Questions may be general, personal, or specific to your associated club, institution, or organization.  To encourage dialogue rather than monologue, the retreat discussion sessions will be jointly led by the retreat faculty in roundtable forums, rather than formal lectures and power point presentations.  Please submit these questions via the retreat registration form.

During the two interactive forums retreat faculty will be divided into two groups: one art oriented and one activist oriented. During alternative forums, each faculty group will work with different half of the retreat participants, exploring the relationships between and generating practical applications of ecology, art, and activism.

Built into the schedule are two opportunities for participants to self-organize an activity open to any and all retreat participants and faculty.  Participant organized activities may range in nature from individuals and organizations seeking specific input from retreat faculty, to artistic performances and exercises, to nature walks.  Interested participants should submit activity proposals in 250 words or less to

The two evening plenary sessions will consist of a short keynote talk, music, performance art, dance, visuals and other activities intended to induce a holistic experience of some of the subject areas upon which the retreat has been focused.



Address inquiries to:
Philip Grant, Executive Coordinator, IRE:

For directions to Zaca Lake Retreat Center:  
visit www.zacalakeretreat.comor call 805.688.5699.  

For more information contact Philip Grant, Executive Coordinator, IRE;
133 E. De la Guerra St. #PMB328, Samta Barbara, CA 93101
(tel) 805.201.2810 (e-mail)


what to bring & friendly reminders

What to Bring:

  • Insect Repellant
  • Sun Block and a Hat
  • Poison Oak Medicine
  • Swimsuit (we are right on the lake and the temperature should be right)
  • Flashlight!! (please let us know if you have any extra)
  • Tent, Sleeping Bag, Pillow, and Blankets if you are not in a cabin (if you have extra please let us know, so that we can share it).
  • Paper and Pens to record your thoughts and useful info from the workshops
  • Drums and other instruments (there will be many chances to use them)
  • Poems, songs, stories, manifestos to share
  • Cushions!!! (for chairs and floors)
  • Hiking Boots (if you have them)
  • Long Pants for hiking (to avoid poison oak)
  • Warm Clothes! (the weather will be beautiful and warm during the day, but it will get chilly at night)

Friendly reminders:

  • Showers are sparse unless you are staying in a cabin
  • There is no cell phone or internet access at the site
  • Please label all of your tents, sleeping bags, blankets, and anything that you are lending out. There will be a lot of people and it is easy to lose things.
  • Rattlesnakes are part of the ecology of this mountain range.  Please wear hiking boots, stay on the trails, and be conscious of where you are walking. The babies are small and hard to spot.
  • There are also bears in these mountains. Please lock your car doors, keep windows rolled all the way up and keep food in sealed containers in the lodge and away from cars and tents.
  • The area between the gate and the Zaca Lake Retreat Center sign is owned by ranchers, please do not park or stop along this road.

Poison Oak:

There is a lot of Poison Oak on the grounds. Please be aware of its presence and wear long pants and boots when hiking. The good news is that it is easy to recognize at this time of year because its bright green leaves are out.




about planned conferees

Michael Ableman is a farmer, educator, and founder and executive director of the Center for Urban Agriculture, based on one of the oldest organic farms in California where he farmed from 1981 -2001. He is the author and photographer of From the Good Earth (Abrams, 1993), On Good Land (Chronicle Books, 1998), and Fields of Plenty (Chronicle Books, 2005) and the subject of the award winning PBS film Beyond Organic narrated by Meryl Streep.

Ableman's writing and photographs have appeared in publications and solo exhibitions throughout the world. He lectures extensively in the U.S. and in Europe. His work has been profiled in numerous print and broadcast media nationally and internationally including National Geographic, NPR, the BBC, the Utne Reader, Gourmet, the L.A. Times, the NY Times and many others.

Ableman has received numerous awards for his advocacy and work in sustainable agriculture and he has helped to inspire dozens of projects and initiatives throughout North America.
More info: 


Ernest Callenbach is one of the most creative ecological writers of our time.  His books include Living Cheaply With Style, Ecotopia, Ecotopia Emerging and Ecology: A Pocket Guide. He is coauthor of EcoManagement: The Elmwood Guide to Ecological Auditing and Sustainable Business. He founded the critical journal Film Quarterly in 1958 at the University of California Press and served as its editor until 1991. He lives with his wife, Christine, in Berkeley, California.

Along with his writing about film, Callenbach for many years edited the Natural History Guides at the U.C. Press. Through this engagement he began to take environmental issues and their connections to human value systems, social patterns, and lifestyles as areas of serious thought and creative reflection. He is now best known as an author of the visionary green books, Ecotopia (1975) and Ecotopia Emerging (1981).

Dr. Richard M. Clugston is executive director of the Center for Respect of Life and Environment, and vice president for higher education of The Humane Society of the United States.  He also directs the Secretariat of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future and the Secretariat for Earth Charter USA. He is the publisher and editor of Earth Ethics (CRLE), the deputy editor of The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (MCB University Publications), and serves on the steering committees of the Forum on Religion and Ecology and the Earth Charter Initiative.


Michael Green is an artist and musician who was born in 1943;. He attended New York University film school and studied at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil before hitchhiking around the Amazon. Michael declared himself a "Contentious" Objector during the Vietnam War. He joined the Castalia Foundation in Millbrook, N.Y., and worked on germinal light shows with Tim Leary. He has participated in various tribal/communal societies, lived in a mountaintop tipi in Woodstock, New York, and finally moved to Pennsylvania to study with the Sufi master Bawa Muhaiyaddeen.

For the last twenty-five years Michael Green has pursued a mixed career as artist and craftsman. He worked as a sign painter, landscaper, television art director, fine artist/sculptor and finally turned to creating visual books as artist, writer & designer. "I have always favored the bookstore as a superior and more accessible gallery, and tended to skirt the reefs and shifting tides of the art establishment. So far so good: there are over 2,500,000 copies of my books currently in print."  His many books include: The Illuminated Rumi, The Illuminated Prayer, Zen and the Art of the Macintosh, The I-Ching Records, Unicornis and The Book of the Dragontooth.   More info:

Jay Harman is a naturalist, entrepreneur, and inventor.   Author of numerous patents in marine craft design, and friction and cavitation reduction technologies, his award-winning designs for lightweight, high efficiency watercraft launched the Goggleboat and WildThing series of boats.  Jay has founded companies in the fields of electronics, transportation technology, and biotech.  He is currently CEO of PAX Scientific, a Marin county industrial design firm that uses natural streamlining geometries to develop fluid handling equipment that is energy efficient, quieter, and ecologically friendly.  Jay researches some of PAX's designs aboard the 400-ton research vessel "Pax," a sister ship to Jacques Cousteau's "Calypso."  A native of Australia, Jay now resides in the U.S.

Tom Hayden, author, ecological and political thinker, and public servant, was elected to the California State Assembly in 1982 and the state Senate in 1992, winning seven consecutive victories on the west side of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. He also ran "protest" campaigns for Governor and Mayor of Los Angeles during the 90s.

Tom's legislative record includes groundbreaking legislation on behalf of women, African-Americans and Latinos, Holocaust survivors and this generation's immigrants working in sweatshops. While in Sacramento, he was regarded by the Sierra Club as the strongest legislative protector of endangered species in the nation. He was recognized as the legislature's foremost watchdog against special interest waste and abuse of power in cases ranging from the LA subway controversy to the UC Irvine fertility scandal. He led the battles in Sacramento to stop university tuition increases, reform the K-12 system, and clean up fiscal mismanagement at LAUSD.  


Scott Horton is a permaculturist, eco-artist and writer living in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California. He is editor of the Permaculture Activist, and teaches annually at The Farm in Summertown, TN. Each year he also travels to Tlaxcala State in Mexico, where he is a designer and partner renovating the 16th century Hacienda Santa Barbara Chapultepec to become a rustic eco-inn, permaculture and cultural center for the region. 

In his artwork, Scott uses natural materials, patterns and systems in nature to bring human attention to the environment in unusual ways while restoring eco systems. His works with seeds, living plants, soil, natural fibers, honey, water, resins, smoke and the interaction/intervention of animals and climate over time prompted Ripples Magazine to call him the “Handyman of the Unseen”. He has created site-specific works in California, Oregon, Tennessee, New Mexico, and Colorado. His works on paper and fiber are included in private collections in California, Oregon, New Mexico, Wyoming, New York, and Mexico.  


Nandini Iyer is a life-long student of the worlds mystical traditions and of the teachings of MK Gandhi. She has taught philosophy and religious studies at the University of Oxford, UC Santa Barbara and at Santa Barbara City College. She is one of the founders of the Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara and has been involved with several schools committed to combating religious intolerance.
     We need to explore whether and how not only ethics, but spiritual and broadly religious ideals, can be meaningfully taught and practiced, without being grounded in narrow, sectarian religious frameworks. Can we allow the state, as we have sometimes allowed religion, to take priority over individual conscience? Can we educate students into being ethical? These are problems, challenges and dilemmas upon which we need to reflect..

Satish Kumar is the editor of Resurgence, an influential British magazine devoted to promoting a synthesis of ecological, artistic and spiritual values. Satish became a wandering Jain monk at the age of nine, later joined Vinoba Bhaves Bhoodan movement and walked from India to Russia, and throughout Europe, and parts of the Americas, to urge the abolition of nuclear weapons. Satish is the Program Director of Schumacher College. His latest book You Are Therefore I Am: A Declaration of Dependence is published by Green Books in the U.K. His autobiography Path Without Destination is published by William Morrow.

Sometimes I come across a tree which seems like Buddha or Jesus: loving, compassionate, still, unambitious, enlightened, in eternal meditation, giving pleasure to a pilgrim, shade to a cow, berries to a bird, beauty to its surroundings, health to its neighbors, branches for the fire, leaves for the soil, asking nothing in return, in total harmony with the wind and the rain. How much can I learn from a tree? The tree is my church, the tree is my temple, the tree is my mantra, the tree is my poem and my prayer.

Rev. James Lawson, Jr., is considered one of the principal architects of the civil rights movement. A conscientious objector during the Korean War, Lawson was sentenced to prison for one year. After his release, he served for 3 years as a Methodist missionary in India. He studied Gandhi's strategy of nonviolence in Nagpur, India at Hyslip College from 1952 to 1956. Described by Dr. King as "the leading nonviolence theorist in the world," Dr. King invited Rev. Lawson while still a student at Oberlin College Graduate School of Theology to become the Director of Nonviolent Education for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957.

Rev. Lawson relocated to the South to lead workshops on nonviolence in such cities as Little Rock, Arkansas, Jackson, Mississippi, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Greensboro, North Carolina. From 1958-59, as Southern Secretary of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Rev. Lawson became the principal organizer of the historic Nashville Sit-In Movement. In 1961, he led the first wave of freedom riders into Jackson, Mississippi. Cited by Reverend Jesse Jackson as the "teacher of the Movement," Rev. Lawson has been credited with influencing a generation of prominent civil rights activists including C.T. Vivian, Diane Nash, Congressman John Lewis, and Bernard Lafayette.

Rev. Lawson has lectured nationally and taught at several institutions, including Harvard, UCLA, USC and the Claremont School of Theology and formerly served as the National Chairperson for the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Currently, Rev. Lawson is Pastor Emeritus of the Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, California and continues to work with the working poor, community organizations and interfaith-coalitions for justice and peace.   (Biography from the Fellowship of Reconciliation)

Gloria Liggett has been an art teacher in Santa Barbara for many years. She received her masters degree in Confluent Education from UCSB and has taught in public and private schools in the area and in Los Angeles.

Gloria has been active in the Native American community in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, and is of Gabrielino/Luiseno heritage. She is a member of the California Indian Basketry Guild. She has taught many basketry workshops in California and in New England as a member of New Hampshire Guild of Craftsmen.

As a team member of The California Arts Project at Cal State she worked with teachers and administrators from throughout Southern California. In 1995 Gloria was the winner of the Bravo Award, an award given in Los Angeles County for outstanding teaching in the arts. That same year she was named as one of 14 outstanding art teachers in the state of California by the California Art Educators Association.

She is currently teaching at Antioch University Santa Barbara in the education department.

Marcus Lopez has served for the past  fifteen years as  the Senior Producer of the American Indian Airwaves / Coyote Radio a national news and documentary  organization. He currently is co-host of American Indian Airwaves,  a weekly  radio  news Indigenous Collective program that is  broadcast locally  and internationally on KPFK Radio in Los Angeles, California.  He has also produced  radio  news and public  affairs programs for KPFK and KCSB on international al  indigenous  issues. Marcus has taught  courses  on contemporary American Indian thought  and Euro-centrism at UCLA and UCSB.

He has led numerous workshops and seminars  with First peoples  nations  as well  as with the general  public on contemporary Indian  cultural, political and religious rights and paradigms.


Art Ludwig has studied and worked in 22 different countries. He designed custom transport bicycles for people without cars for ten years, and has consulted and written about the design of water and wastewater systems for the past 14 years. He developed the first cleaning products which biodegrade into plant food, has written three books on greywater systems, developed several new system designs, and consulted with New York and New Mexico on their greywater laws. He's recently completed a book on all aspects of water storage. He has worked on the design and implementation of sustainable living systems for an indigenous village in Mexico for the past eight years, including sustainable water supply from reforested watershed to greywater irrigated home orchards, composting toilets, and ecotourism. His web site includes 300 pages of information on living better with less use of resources.

Katy Mamen, a Fellow at the Oakland Institute, is a food policy analyst and an activist. Katy is currently working with the Institute on a research project, Battling Goliath: Reversing the Impact of Supermarkets on our Local Economies, Communities, and Food Security.

Katy has spoken at numerous universities and conferences, including the Bioneers, EcoFarm Conference, the California Food Security Summit and the San Francisco Green Festival. Katy is the coauthor of Ripe For Change: Rethinking California’s Food Economy, an in-depth examination of the effects of corporate globalization on California’s food and agriculture sector, making a case for a shift toward local food economies.

Katy coordinated the Berkeley office of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and is currently collaborating with Ecotrust on the Vivid Picture Project to build a plan for transitioning California towards sustainable food systems, and with Heifer International to develop working examples of sustainable food production and distribution in California.

A Canadian national, Katy has a BS in Physical Geography and Environmental Studies from McGill University, Canada, and an MS in Holistic Science from Schumacher College, UK, where her research focused on traditional farming in Devon. Katy has worked with farmers in several countries on issues relating to the global food system and her fieldwork has taken her to indigenous communities from the Peruvian Andes to Ladakh, India.

Randy Parraz is an attorney, community organizer, and executive director of an award-winning nonprofit organization, the Transformative Action Institute. As a leader of the AFL-CIO, he has spent many years advocating on behalf of workers and their families. In 2005, the global nonprofit organization Echoing Green recognized Parraz as one of the world's "Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs" for his work in establishing the Transformative Action Institute.  In the fall of 2005, TAI offered its first course on social and personal transformation at UCLA.  Since then, Parraz has also taught this course at UC Irvine and continues to teach the course at UCLA.  A similar course is already being planned for fall 2006 at California State University, Fullerton.  

A graduate of U.C. Berkeley, Parraz earned a Master's degree in Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a J.D. at Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law.  He has been an organizer in the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) and the AFL-CIO for nine years.  more





Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris is an evolutionary biologist, futurist, author, and consultant to organizations. In her unique approach, called "Living Systems Design," she applies the principles of biology and evolution to organizational development so that organizations may become more functional, healthy "living systems," with increased resilience, stability, and cooperation. She is one of a select group of scientists rethinking the classic, mechanistic view of the universe. Her particular goal is to create sustainable health and well-being for humanity within the larger living systems of Earth.
     Her books include EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution (iUniverse, 2000), A Walk Through Time: From Stardust to Us (John Wiley & Sons, 1998), and Biology Revisioned, co-authored with Willis Harman (North Atlantic Books, 1998). She has been invited to China by the Chinese National Science Association, organized Earth Celebration 2000 in Athens, Greece, and has been a United Nations consultant on indigenous peoples. She was a participant in the Humanity 3000 dialogues of the Foundation for the Future and in the Synthesis Dialogues with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. She consults with corporations and government organizations in Australia, Brazil, and the USA.






John Seed is founder and director of the Rainforest Information Centre in Australia. Since 1979 he has been involved in the direct actions which have resulted in the protection of the Australian rainforests. In 1984 he helped initiate the US Rainforest Action Network which grew out of the first of his many US roadshows.  He has created numerous projects protecting  rainforests in Sth America, Asia and the Pacific through providing benign and sustainable development projects for their indigenous inhabitants tied to the protection of their forests.

He has written and lectured extensively on deep ecology and has been conducting Councils of All Beings and other re-Earth ing workshops  in Australia, North America Japan, India, Thailand  and Eastern and Western Europe for 20 years.

With Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming and Arne Naess, he wrote "Thinking Like a Mountain - Towards a Council of All Beings"  which has  been translated into 10 languages. He is a singer and songwriter with  5 albums of environmental songs and  has made  several environmental films. In 1995 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) by the Australian Government for services to conservation and the environment.  For more information see


Scott Sherman, university teacher-at-large and social change activist, has worked on nonviolence and social justice projects from the war-torn island of Sri Lanka to the inner city ghettoes of America. He is an expert on the most effective ways that grassroots citizens succeed in activism. Recently he documented 60 cases where communities succeeded in fighting for environmental justice. He is the author of the forthcoming work, How David Conquers Goliath: The Power of People to Defeat the World's Largest Corporations and Governments.

Sherman earned his undergraduate and law degrees from U.C. Berkeley, as well as his Ph.D. in environmental studies from the University of Michigan. Besides his work as a grassroots community organizer, lecturer, and author, Sherman has worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Law Foundation. He is currently an adjunct faculty member in UCLA's School of Public Affairs.  more



Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker and activist, leader in the International Forum on Globalization, recipient of The Right Livelihood Award, and author of many books. The Progressive describes her as a burst of creative energy, an intellectual power.

"Sixteen years ago I founded the Research Foundation [for Science, Technology and Ecology] as a small independent initiative to do research in a participatory mode with people, not on them - and to do research with an interdisciplinary approach, - reflecting the interconnections in the web of life, not teaching them apart with reductionist violence. These 16 years of participatory action oriented ecological research have bought deep fulfillment - and triggered some changes in paradigms."

"Diversity is fast moving into the defining metaphor in place of monocultures of the mind. Ecofeminism has emerged as a serious challenge to Cartesian reductionism and the Baconian "rape of nature" as the "masculine mode" of knowing. Globalisation is however threatening to the ecological gains of the past few decades. It is therefore the defining context of our new engagements."  


Earth House was founded in 1990 by Dr. Margaret Paloma Pavel and currently conducts local, national and international projects in a variety of print and visual media (Journey to South Africa. Metropolitan Communities Leaders Reflect on the World Summit, a monograph; Voices from the Community: Smart Growth and Social Equity, a video; and Sustainable Solutions: Building Assets for Empowerment and Sustainable Development, a web-based video project of community-based projects around the globe).

Earth House has worked with a series of environmental sustainability groups in the Pacific Rim, including Cambodia and Japan, and in the US supporting organizations working on issues of health, justice, education, legal services and metropolitan development. Earth House media projects link communication, technology and social advocacy. Dr. Pavel’s educational background includes graduate study at Harvard University and the London School of Economics.


Dennis Rivers, is a writer, teacher, peace activist, and Internet programmer/publisher.  He lives in Berkeley, California, and...

  • coordinates the web-based Cooperative Communication Skills Extended Learning Community,,
  • teaches yearly courses in cooperative communication skills at the Santa Barbara Community Counseling Center, and

He received his MA in interpersonal communication and human development from the Vermont College Graduate Program, after studying sociology and religious studies at UC Santa Barbara, and theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.  His books include The Geometry of Dialogue, The Seven Challenges Workbook, Prayer Evolving, and, most recently, Turning Toward Life, an exploration of reverence for life as a spiritual path.  All of Dennis's books are available free of charge in e-book format from  (The Seven Challenges Workbook has been downloaded by 80,000 people in 120 countries, and has been translated into Spanish and Portuguese.)  Dennis's latest article, written after the London transit bombings, is Hall of Mirrors:  Reflections on War, Terror and Human Interaction


Adam Wolpert is a painter, teacher, co-founder of The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, and director of the OAEC Arts Program. He has taught classical painting techniques both in Los Angeles and San Diego. His work is currently represented by the Jan Baum Gallery in Los Angeles and can be viewed at

"Changing a vision into reality is the most profound and gratifying process we can engage in. It is the creative process, the process of self-realization, and an inspiration to others. As preconceptions are broken down, you awake as if from a dream to see the boundless potential of life. Suddenly the structures that imprison us can be seen for what they are: simply the manifestations of other peoples ideas, no more powerful or important than our own."