I’ve written two books, yes, but behind that I’m a truth-seeker, a change-maker, a lover of Life and a fun-maker. Again and again. Someone called me a “strategic meddler.” I like GB Shaw’s line, “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’”
I’ve worked for sustainability for 30 years in one form or another, which I consider to be an extreme sport – going to the edge of the known and risking in the direction of one’s passions. I like to surprise people into thinking anew, questioning assumptions, making a bee-line for a more authentic, delightful and consequential life. Once, looking for the simplest statement of purpose, I crafted this: Enough for All. Other attributions like author, board member, founder and executive director all come from these essential qualities.
Here are some of the projects I’ve started or bolstered in the early days
New Road Map Foundation started as a catch-all non-profit for the teachings developed by a small group of friends, including transforming our relationships with money, health, relationships, death. For 20 years we gave away all income from our teaching to other non-profits working towards sustainability, close to a million dollars all told. From this commitment to teach what we’d learned, we developed a seminar called Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence, the basis for the book, Your Money or Your Life, which I co-autbored with the genius behind the program, Joe Dominguez. A wonderful summary of Your Money or Your Life appears here.
Conversation Cafes is a simple dialogue method I developed with Susan Partnow. At the turn of the millennium we each got curious about how to encourage everyday people to talk with strangers about the important issues of the day – in cafes, at bus stops, in lunchrooms. We asked, “What is the minimal structure that will allow friends, neighbors and strangers, in public places like cafes, shift from small talk to BIG talk?” The method that emerged from our experiments has 6 simple agreements, a 4-stage process and 2 traditions. It spread rapidly through Seattle after September 11, 2001, then across North America and now around the world, used not only in cafes but at conferences, in classrooms, in families and more. Find out more here.
Transition Whidbey flourished for nearly half a decade on Whidbey Island in response to the rising awareness of our need to relocalize our food, energy, water and economy in light of disruptions that may come due to climate change and peak oil. We were part of a national network, Transition US, and a global network, Transition Network, centered in the UK.
The Local Food Lab is the most recent innovations as I explore how people who care about local food and community food systems can learn and innovate together to increase the prosperity and abundance of their food place and work for food security, sovereignty, sustainability and justice. The first lab at SINAL retreat center near Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, generated this template for others to use and adapt to their needs.
The 10-Day Local Food Challenge gives participants a concrete and exciting way to transform their relationship with local food. For 10 days, they eat only what grows within 100 miles of their home, allowing themselves 10 exotics (foods from afar they can’t live without). The Challenge is an open source, free tool available on the web for individuals and groups to see “how local they can go.”