Aerin Dunford is a writer, upcycling artist, urban gardener and yoga instructor. She is an independent consultant using Art of Hosting and other participative approaches as a basis for her work with organizations. Aerin is currently coordinating the year-long training program Warriors for the Human Spirit, the newest initiative of The Berkana Institute, an organization that has worked globally with local for more than 20 years in collaboration with communities and individuals on many continents; Aerin is also a graphic facilitator and recorder for gatherings of all sizes. She loves to draw, dance and create.
Since moving to Mexico in 2009 she has been working with organizations, networks and individuals to facilitate dialogue and create the conditions for authentic collaboration and participatory leadership. She is also one of the founders and champions for the local time bank in Oaxaca, La Central de Talentos (www.centraldetalentos.org.mx), where she works to promote gift culture by hosting events such as “The Shop of the Open Heart” and community work days known locally as treques as a way of experimenting with walking out of transactional economies.
Sergio Beltrán Arruti (Yeyo)
Yeyo was born and raised in México City. He moved to Oaxaca in 1997 to support and learn from indigenous communities. Sergio is Co-founder of Universidad de la Tierra en Oaxaca (Unitierra) and Herramientas para el Buen Vivir, AC. Through his work in the non-profit sector he has developed a deep respect for the capacity people have to make a good life (buen vivir) for themselves when they are able to freely take responsibility for their own communities. In 2010 he was part of the pioneering team of the Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversations in Spanish, and has hosted and organized multiple intercultural encounters around the world using these tools for dialogue. Since last year, Yeyo is an enthusiastic promoter of the Tumin in Oaxaca, a complementary currency that circulates in Mexico. He is also an active member of La Central de Talentos, the Time Bank in Oaxaca.
Sergio is a fierce spiritual warrior who stands for peace, and for the rights and capacities of people everywhere. Currently, is focusing his efforts on encouraging people to take responsibility for their own garbage, promote and support alternatives for real learning, community communication experiments around the world and helping people to recover the capacity to create the future they want to live in. Since 2013 he is part of the contributors team at the YIP program in the Rudolf Steiner Seminariet in Järna Sweden.
Has spent the past eleven years as Coordinator of Shikshantar. Before co-founding Shikshantar, Manish spent two years serving as a principal architect of the UNESCO Learning Without Frontiers transnational initiative. Prior to that, he worked as a consultant in several countries in the areas of educational planning, policy analysis, research, program design, and media/technology with UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank, USAID, the Academy for Educational Development, Education Development Center, and the Harvard Institute for International Development. Manish also spent two years as an investment banker in the belly of the beast with Morgan Stanley working in the telecom and high technology sectors. He has spent several years trying to unlearn his Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Economics, International Relations and Political Philosophy from Brown University.
Frederick has always been an outcast, but never a follower. Such a foundation lead him to study architecture, the philosophy of art, which grounded him in applying critical thinking, not be enveloped in the academia of this. Never content to be stuck in an office and not practice the art of architecture, the perpetual traveller left Australia with borrowed money to Europe. Spending everything in 4 months, he stayed away for 7 years, seeing 33 countries over 3 continents and sailing across the Atlantic twice. A huge head-on collision in Mexico while making his way hitch-hiking to Brazil brought him home to recover.
After completing his masters in design, he fell into radio as a volunteer as the only outlet to broadcast his autonomous ideas, using the platform to learn why being sustainable wasn’t cool. This brought about his discovery that the only platform that values unlimited quality creation in the most sustainable way is gifting. His current program Theqse (The Quality Status Economy), is his platform for discussing the empowerment of gifting to achieve self-awareness, which he expresses playing ambient music during drive time. 🙂
He is now working with gifters worldwide to connect them together as one powerful force to change the world.
Adebayo Akomolafe (Bayo)
Bayo is globally recognized for his poetic, unconventional, counterintuitive, and indigenous take on global crisis, civic action and social change, and was recently enlisted as the recipient of the Global Excellence Award (Civil Society) 2014 by FutureShapers (California). He is the Initiating/Coordinating Curator for The Emergence Network (A Post-Activist Project) [www.emergencenetwork.org], and host of the online writing course, ‘We will dance with Mountains: Writing as a Tool for Emergence’. As Coordinating Curator of The Emergence Network, Bayo works with other curators like Eric Chisler (USA), Nuno Da Silva (Portugal), Alnoor Ladha (South Africa) and Annie Levin (USA) – and hopes to inspire a diffractive network of sharing – a slowing down, an ethics of entanglement, an activism of inquiry, a ‘politics of surprise’…one that does not treat the crises of our times as exterior to ‘us’ or the ‘solutions’ that conventional activism offers as discrete or separate from the problems that we seek to nullify.
Woman Stands Shining, is a writer, artist, speaker, activist for Right Relations from the Dine (Navajo) People, from New Mexico, U.S.A. Called on for an ability to re-frame our collective relationship to Earth and to each other by drawing on traditional principles of ancient cultures, she speaks and teaches internationally. Her most recent work is carrying a series of teachings and workshop entitled: “Thriving Life: The Feminine Design and Sustainability.”
Edgard Gouveia, Jr.
At 6’7”, Edgard Gouveia, Jr. towers over most people. An early career in professional volleyball in Brazil, his native country, was soon exchanged for training at the University of Santos in Architecture and Urban Planning. Upon graduation, he and his colleagues co-founded the Elos Foundation, an architectural firm dedicated to community activism. Pursuing their social mandate, they founded the Warriors Without Weapons program in 2000, a bi-annual five week training for young entrepreneurs to learn the tools of effective collaboration through supporting communities to identify and implement their own dreams, resources and powers without relying on outside sources of funding.
The strength of this methodology soon led Edgard and his colleagues to develop the Oasis Games, a three- to ten-day activism model that uses the same tools in short term projects, including catastrophic situations. Edgard has been active internationally in teaching this process of this playful social methodology for the past fifteen years, giving presentations at schools and universities and leading seminars on the streets world wide. Hundreds of Oasis games have now been played on four continents. For the past three years, Edgard has been actively engaged in the creation of a new project, PlayTheCall, a Global Game that merges the real and the virtual world to engage and connect young people around the world in local community activism projects. Drawing upon the passion of youth to use computer technology and to become engaged in their communities in play, PlayTheCall offers to players a series of heromissions to be accomplished in the real world.
Through the power of social networking, PlayTheCall aims to activate 2 billion people around the world to save the planet through projects that serve the community, the region and the world, and build ever-larger networks of collaboration across the globe.
The Beta 1 test version of PlayTheCall was created and launched Dec. 21, 2012 by an all-volunteer team of young experts, attracting the attention of educators and youth leaders around the world. The Beta 2 version will be launched in Dec. 2013.
The game is already being tested in communities in Brazil, the USA, India and Europe.
Edgard continues to travel and lecture widely to spread the awareness of the Global Game “PlayTheCall” and teach the tools of “playing to save the world” in a way that is fast, free, fun, friendly —- and fantastic. He is both an Ashoka Fellow, a Berkana and a Trip Fellow. Edgard lectures and leads cooperative games at schools, universities, businesses and community organizations around the world.
I am an archaeologist by training, but found myself much more interested in the stories of our contemporary culture than any ancient ones being thought up by academics. I am interested in, active in, and write about all types of activism, especially those that bridge such diverse topics as local currencies, gift culture, local food, herbal medicine, traditional cultures, unschooling and radical education, and local economic resilience. Along with other activists in my local community, we have created a Transition Town that is centered on gift principles; we started gift-based projects such as a FreeStore and a Timebank. I also ran a small herbal CSM business in the gift. For my day-job, I work in the gift with author/philosopher Charles Eisenstein.
Katie Teague — wandering mystic/visual storyteller/award winning filmmaker/time-lapse photographer/activist for Life. As psychotherapist turned filmmaker, KT brings years of study in depth psychology, human development and the world’s wisdom traditions to her work as a multi-media mystic. Committed to reclaiming and following inner wisdom and busting paradigms of business-as-usual, KT may be found working in her creative studio on image or film or other media projects. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of her traveling deep into Latin America or into the hearts of indigenous communities here in the continental US. Her work in the digital media arts is dedicated to Beauty as medicine for the messy modern world and to telling the emerging story of humanity and bringing inspired transformational media to the social change process.
Katie’s documentary Money & Life was voted the best social issue documentary in the 2014 Atlanta Docufest. Katie was also one of the collaborating filmmakers on the Sundance film 99% The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film.
Orland Bishop combines a deep dedication to human rights advocacy and cultural renewal with an extensive study of medicine, naturopathy, psychology and indigenous cosmologies. He was a research fellow with the Center for the Study of Violence and Social Change at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and has consulted with many human development organizations. As director of Shade Tree Multicultural Foundation in Los Angeles, he has pioneered approaches to urban truces and mentoring at-risk youth that combine new ideas with traditional ways of knowledge.
Shade Tree reaches into gang and drug cultures where many young people expect to die before the age of 20. Shade Tree employs a unique process that draws on both contemporary and ancient practices, particularly that of the South African tradition of Indaba or “deep talk.” Hidden Forces of the American Dream refers to the creative, still unused powers available to the American people and land that were released through tremendous sacrifices made over the course of American history by Native Americans, African slaves and waves of immigrants.
My home of Evanston, IL, USA, has a wonderful food community of urban farmers, family plots, school gardens, Northwestern University sustainability and food programs, entrepreneurs, and other leaders who are committed to building a healthy local food system. There are new and established projects that have great plans, directions, and visions. However, most are working in their isolated silo worlds unaware of the possibilities of collaborations, co-creation, and sharing. I helped found the Evanston Food Exchange, an organization that is the hub, convener, and resource for this food community with a shared vision: to help reduce hunger and poverty. A long term goal is to create a space for year-round markets, education programs, cooking and community meals.
My past career was in charitable fundraising. Having left the institutional world of fundraising I have been on a new path. I am working on how we can become more at ease and effective on our ability to ask–to make the request with a comfort and even joy. I have adopted a term called “Generous Space” which explores how, in our interaction with our guest/prospect we can create a space of integrity, play, curiosity, and joy. In this space, we are seeking a common ground, which may or may not end with “success.” This is a different conversation from the old fundraising paradigm of “selling the product”, “convincing the prospect” or “making the sale.”
My commitment to Giftival is to partner with my fellow gift activists to help organize our events and help in our three-year journey of exploration, inquiry, and emergence on how to spread give worldwide.
My interests are: hosting friends, cooking, reading, gardening, progressive politics, bicycling, and partnering in the gift community.
Charles is a speaker and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity. He is the author of several books, most recently Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible. His background includes a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale, a decade in Taiwan as a translator, and stints as a college instructor, a yoga teacher, and a construction worker. He currently writes and speaks full-time. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and four children.
I grew up in a very conventional -old paradigm- context until I realized that nothing was making sense. So, I decided to walk out and walk on and from working for P&G I ended up in Bhutan volunteering for the Gross National Happiness Centre. In-between, I spent a year in Schumacher College studying Holistic Science and learning about life. Nature became my most important teacher. I became passionate about integral community development, social enterprises and impact investment. I have been working, consulting and supporting that kind of projects around the world and taught a few classes on Ecological Thinking too. Now, I am about to start working with rural farmers in Bhutan. Also, I have been studying and practicing Ayurveda, Yoga and Buddhism for many years.
Who am I ?
In mind a storyteller, with body a pilgrim, through heart a seeker.
“Jump and the net would appear”, I had always believed. Left India to find my passion and became a filmmaker in US, and then left US to find my stories and became a wanderer in India. With a gifted camera and free spirit, life took me from one ashram to another, made me humbled in presence of one teacher to another till finally one of them said ” go find your own truth”….in an effort of doing that..one story at a time.
These experiments led to the birth of MAM Movies, an organization to inspire youth to make films for social change and use media for transformation.
Currently volunteering with Moved by Love, with an effort to create a culture towards a greater sense of trust, connection, and community, and engaged in a film project ‘Our experiments with love’.
Kevin Flanagan is an Irish activist and artist whose work focuses on the Commons and P2P as paradigms for social change. Kevin works with the P2PFoundation.net. Currently the P2P Foundation are focused on the development of Open Coops, CopyFair License and Commons Transition.
I am a social architect – a host, facilitator, convener, organizer, advocate. I am passionate about creating environments and processes that engage all stakeholders in meaningful conversations to foster understanding, build relationships, strengthen communities, identify common goals and lead to wise action. Much of my work and energy focus on community safety and resilience, organizational development and participatory leadership. I design processes and host conversations that draw forth the diversity of voices, experiences and ideas within groups and organizations and lead to co-creation and ownership of results. As a steward of the Art of Hosting, I am committed to creating spaces in which we can listen deeply to each other, focus on what matters, understand our differences and use our collective wisdom to address the complex challenges of our times.
I am a social entrepreneur – a catalyst, innovator, program developer. I have led design teams of staff and community residents to create programs, businesses and initiatives to address community concerns where residents and participants can strengthen their capacity to earn a living, learn new skills, and contribute their gifts and talents. I led a design team of parent leaders to create Parent Cafes which are conversations led by parents with parents about keeping our children safe and our families strong.
Shammi has been living off his bag without a place of his own for the last seven years and has been lovingly nourished and taken care by various friends communities as he moves around mostly in India and other countries.
He has experienced abundant generosity and has also initiated and inspired various communities and individuals to successfully take leaps into gift culture practices. He dreams of a future where gift culture is a mainstream way of living and not just one off or a fringe activity done by some ‘nice’ and ‘sacrificing’ people. He is seeing the power of requests in gift culture and has experienced abundance when we are able to make clear requests to our communities. He has trust in the goodness of all and is creative in his strategies around gift culture and dealing with money. He is trying to bring in mutuality, mindfulness, responsibility and trusts in our gift culture practices and has plenty of stories to share about all of it.
A film-maker since 1994, he gradually moved to self-healing and sustainable food practices in the last one decade, and now, for the past five years, has been travelling extensively in India and abroad, bringing Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to individuals and communities that are working towards bringing in transformation in our inner and outer worlds.
In his extensive work with alternative communities spanning more than a decade, while he saw immense beauty, strength and the spirit of community, he also comes across a lot of pain caused by disconnects in such communities, causing people to lose heart and leave often with resentments. His healing work has gradually brought him to a realisation that disconnects happen not because people are bad or mean, but because we lack ways and systems of communication and decision making which allow for deep listening and skill full power sharing.
Inspired by day to day challenges in communication in communities as well as his own personal life, he began to explore Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Sociocracy and Restorative Circles. He is also inspired by Mahatma Gandhi for his ability to work with inner power and Kabir for his thoughts on universal oneness, and draws connections between NVC and their world-views.
An inspired and creative learner and a teacher, he brings life into his sharing NVC through compassion, humour and plain dedication. He intends to work in the immediate future to bring NVC in India in regional languages to make it more accessible to various sections of the society.
Alpha Lo is a social architect, facilitator, and cultural experimenter. He founded the community-building gift circle project which guides people to share their needs, and help each other in a gift economy manner. He is the co-author and co-editor of the Open Collaboration Encyclopedia which surveys the variety of non-hierarchical and alternative economic social structures, organizations, and projects. His background is as a physicist where he studied complex self-organizing systems. Currently he is working on the facilitator improv project which enables a group to co-facilitate itself, and emerge new behaviors.
My friends and family call me Joserra. I was born few years ago in a town called Burgos in the north of Spain, located in the middle of the pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago. Since I was in my teens I have been called to explore what it means to be of service. When I was 19, I traveled to rural Argentina to serve “poor” communities. I realized their inner richness and radical generosity. Experiencing that changed my life forever.
I felt like deepening that journey by studying Development and International Cooperation and NGO Management. But I had my real PhDo at the Gandhi Ashram in India. I learned from the life of Service Giants like Mahatma Gandhi or Vinoba Bhave and more than that, I witnessed the life of many modern Gandhis, who think, speak and act with so much coherence and kindness. I was also impacted by the human hearts that live in some of the toughest places on earth, the slums of India. Their generosity was just unbelievable.
I participated in beautiful organizations and social movements like Moved by Love, Service Space, or Manav Sadhna, all dedicated to uplift people through love and generosity. The external conditions of deep altruism helped me transform myself and realize the power of inner change.
Now, I spend more time in the part of the planet we call Spain offering all I do as a gift and trusting I will be taken care of. We are hosting community silent circles, globally called Awakin Circles, experiments of generosity like Karma Kitchen and 3 days experiential retreats where we explore what it means to be of service with our Head, Hearts and Hands; and there is this whole movement we call ReLoveUtion!
Honored to be with you all so we can explore our gifts together!
Janice Stieber Rous
Janice Stieber Rous has been dancing since she was five and attended the Martha Graham School until the age of 21. She graduated from the American Center of the Alexander Technique in 1981 and has been teaching classes in Stough Breathing Coordination, Yoga and the Alexander Technique in New York City,Orlando, Florida,Ireland and Israel ever since. She is a Sarah Lawrence College graduate and has a master’s degree from Bank St. College in museum leadership, education and administration.
Janice created Body Dialogue because she was in search of a practice to integrate all of her different studies, thereby effectively combining Alexander Technique, breathing and yoga. She also partners with Polly Howells and Jean Esther annually to host a women’s retreat based in the practice of Body Soul Rhythms Leadership Program, a program Janice graduated from in 2003.