Here are some of the co-creators of GIFTIVAL with whom we are EXCITED to play!
Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.) is a young international speaker, author, poet and activist for a radical paradigm shift in consciousness and current ways of living. A clinical psychologist, director, university lecturer, and evolving eclectic shaman, Bayo speaks strongly about how today’s globalizing systems of education, money, and cultural identity are destroying our hopes for a future that works for everyone. With Ej, his wife, Bayo is co-founder of a trans-local network for change called Koru. His most abiding dream is to live a life of intense and enchanted smallness, in magical affinity with the earth, in community with others, and in worship of his life-force, Ej.
Sergio Beltrán is co-founder of Universidad de la Tierra (Unitierra) and the grassroots organization Tools for the Good Life (Herramientas para el Buen Vivir) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Years ago, he walked out of his life as an up-and coming, young Mexican intellectual to live and work with the Zapatista supporters network. He developed a deep respect for the capacity people have to make a good life for themselves when they are free to take responsibility for their own communities with autonomy and integrity.
In 2010 he was part of the pioneering team of the Art of Hosting in Spanish and has hosted and organized multiple intercultural encounters around the world using these tools for conversations.
Sergio is a fierce spiritual warrior who stands for the rights and capacities of people everywhere. Currently, is focusing his efforts on encouraging people to take responsibility for their own garbage, helping people to recover the capacity to grow their own food in urban environments and is involved in the launching of a Time Bank in Oaxaca México.
Chris Carlsson is a writer, San Francisco historian, “professor,” bicyclist, tour guide, blogger, photographer, book and magazine designer. He’s lived in San Francisco since 1978 and has been self-employed in various capacities since the early 1980s. He has written two books (After the Deluge, Nowtopia) edited six books, (Reclaiming San Francisco, The Political Edge, Bad Attitude, Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration, Ten Years That Shook the City: San Francisco, 1968-78 and Shift Happens! Critical Mass at 20), and co-authored the expanded second edition of Vanished Waters: The History of San Francisco’s Mission Bay. He helped co-found Critical Mass in September, 1992, and has ridden with Critical Mass rides in a dozen cities on three continents since then. His book Nowtopia, along with his role in Critical Mass, has propelled him into extended world travels since 2002, and he has had three of his books translated and published in Italy. His frequent public appearances are well-represented online at Youtube and in various radio and audio archives.
Yvonne has lived at the Findhorn Foundation and Community, an international spiritual community and ecovillage in northern Scotland, for 13 years. Formerly an English literature teacher, she left Australia 30 years ago and has lived in Egypt, United Arab Emirates, USA, Borneo, Netherlands and Scotland
Yvonne is a former member of the Findhorn Foundation Management Team and Head of Communications, and active in Outreach Education and an experienced group facilitator. She also teaches Group Discovery Games, Circle Dancing and facilitates the Game of Transformation. She is currently helping to organise New Story Summit: Inspiring Pathways for our Planetary Future at Findhorn Sept/October 2014. She knows the future lies with bringing the global family together to open hearts and build connection.
Farah Daghistani has been the Executive Director of the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (Johud) since 2002. As the largest and oldest independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation of its kind in the country, Johud is unique both in its outreach and the range of it activities. Currently, the organisation is focusing on community participation and youth empowerment, drawing on a substantial volunteer base across the Kingdom. As Executive Director, Farah’s role is to set the strategic vision for Johud, and to ensure that it sets and meets targets that are aligned with the development needs of communities and individuals, especially those that are marginalised or living in poverty. Her particular areas of interest are gender, governance and social activism, all of which are integral to Johud’s Programmes.
From 1999 to 2002, Farah was Director of the Queen Zein Al Sharaf Institute for Development, a branch of Johud that is dedicated to research, training and consultancy around development issues in Jordan and the Arab region. Prior to that she established and ran the Princess Basma Women’s Resource Centre from 1995, which dealt primarily with women’s rights and gender equity.
Farah holds a Bachelors Degree in Islamic History and Modern Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford University (1992) and a Masters of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1995). She has contributed to numerous regional and international forums on development issues, and is interested in promoting new paradigms and ways of thinking about sustainable development.
She lives in Amman, Jordan and has three children.
Mirabelle D’Cunha “Sivajyoti”
Mirabelle was guided to create and facilitate The Rhythm & Soul Playshop , a life skills based dance and story program for young kids aged 3-6 years while she was pregnant. The endeavour is to look at evrything in life as a positive adventure through aligning and expanding perspectives, intention and action. She is a dancer, yogi and author of childrens books. She lives with her husband Rudy and 2 year old daughter Sivaanaa in Mumbai, India.
Aerin Dunford is a writer, upcycling artist, urban gardener and yoga instructor. She works with the initiative Walk Out Walk On, a community of people around the world that are walking out of intractable problems and destructive individualism and walking on to build the future now. Aerin is a member of the Board of Directors of The Berkana Institute, a non-profit organization that collaborates with a rich diversity of people around the world to explore resilience and self-reliance in community.
For three years, Aerin was a principle steward of the Berkana Exchange, a trans-local learning community of people from around the globe exploring what it takes to create healthy communities. She has worked extensively with Berkana’s values, principles and theory of change over the past eight years in several communities, and now in her local work in Oaxaca, Mexico. She has also been working in partnership with Sergio Beltrán and Deborah Frieze to share the ideas of Walk Out Walk On in places like the International Youth Initiative Program (YIP) in Sweden and the Outward Bound intiativeConstruiendo Comunidad in Isabela Island, Galapagos. 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 participative leadership.
Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution.
His on-line writings have generated a vast following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events, and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts. Writing in Ode magazine’s “25 Intelligent Optimists” issue, David Korten (author of When Corporations Rule the World) called Eisenstein “one of the up-and-coming great minds of our time.”
Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, and spent the next ten years as a Chinese-English translator. He currently lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife and four sons.
studied Arts and Pedagogy in Germany
Since 12 year living in Portugal in the Peace Research Project Tamera (www.tamera.org)
For the last five years I was working at the Place of the Children. Preparing myself to become a mother and supporting the preparations of the ESCOLA DA ESPERANCA – theSchool of Hope (http://www.tamera.org/index.php?id=47&L=0)
In May 2013 in the political department we started the TERRA NOVA SCHOOL(http://www.tamera.org/index.php?id=997&L=0). The project wants to join together and empower all those who want to work for a new Earth without violence and war, Terra Nova. It’s intended to become a catalyst for global system-change.
At the heart of the school are the development of global consciousness, the insight into coming healing processes and the implementation of real-life models for future life. Main learning subjects are:
Concrete Utopia: Ecological and technological solutions for self-sufficiency and the healing of water, nonviolent cooperation with animals, decentralized energy supply, a free raising of children.
Healing of love: Building functioning communities of trust, a new image of love, Eros and healing, a new field of female power…
Theory of global revolution: The science of transformation. Why a few groups can change the world.
Dreamer, believer, creator and connector. Formally Aysu studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Middle East Technical University (Turkey) and General Management at Vlerick Management School (Belgium). Recently she is learning informally how to listen, observe and turn the unpredictable to the dream. She wants to co-create playgrounds where all may play and show their gifts; Esya Kütüphanesi (Library of Stuff), a platform and a community to share stuff, is one of the trials.
Born in Jerusalem, Palestine in 1941; expelled with family in 1948 by the Israelis; lived and worked in Ramallah most of my life; married with 2 sons. Studied and taught mathematics for many years, before I started rebelling against academia when I was 30 years old. The most significant GIFT in my life was my illiterate mother, who helped me – without words – heal from modern superstitions. She helped me re-think and re-define almost every word I learned in schools and universities, and get rid of poisonous ones from my vocabulary. What she had which I didn’t was rooted knowledges related to wisdom. Today, my thinking and work revolve around mujaawarah (neighboring) as medium for learning, understanding, equality, source of worthiness, dignity, and for stitching the social-intellectual-spiritual fabric in community; mujaawarah is my GIFT to younger generations.
Deborah Frieze is an author, entrepreneur and social activist. As former co-president of The Berkana Institute, Deborah joined Berkana to support pioneering leaders who were walking out of organizations and systems that were failing to contribute to the common good—and walking on to build resilient communities. These leaders are the subject of her book, Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now, co-authored with Margaret Wheatley. Walk Out Walk On has received the 2011 Terry McAdam Book Award and a 2012 Nautilus Silver Book Award for Social Change.
Deborah is co-founder and managing partner of the Boston Impact Initiative, an investment fund that partners with businesses and organizations throughout Boston to create systemic shifts in opportunites for urban communities. She is also founder of the Old Oak Dojo, an urban learning center in Jamaica Plain, MA, where neighbors gather to rediscover how to create healthy and resilient communities. This small studio, which shares a half-acre residential lot with a community home, is an experiment in dissolving the boundary between public and private. Its purpose is to provide a space for community to meet, learn, eat, celebrate and play—and thereby restore our wholeness as citizens.
Edgard Gouveia Júnior
An early career in professional volleyball in Brazil, his native country, Edgard 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 1999, a bi-annual five week training for young entrepreneurs to learn the tools of effective collaboration. He became a specialist in Cooperative Games and partner of Projeto Cooperação using the approach of games to build collaboration among teams in companies, communities and networks.
The strength of this methodology soon led Edgard and his colleagues to develop the Oasis Game, a three- to ten-day activism model. Edgard has been active internationally in teaching this process of this playful social methodology for the past fifteen years. For the past two years, Edgard has been actively engaged in the creation of a new project, Play The Call a Global Game that aims to activate and connect over two billion people in global activism projects through the creation of a new game.
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 and fantastic. He is both an Ashoka Fellow and a Berkana Fellow.
Is 16 years old. She entered the project with two years and was part of the children´s community and the school project from the begining on (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDerGT5wskU).
She just gave a speech on the 1st International Education Symposium: “A New Earth Needs New Schools”
Jayan Kunju is co-founder of Lifelong Learning Foundation, Kerala, India. Engaged in creating opportunities for learning, leading and loving. Non-violent Communication, Theme Centred Interaction, Open Space Learning, gift culture are used.
Trained in journalism & communication he is now engaged in designing a new democratic community newspaper owned and operated by ordinary people showcasing inspiring little stories.
Also works at a learning centre of a public sector organisation. Your welcoming host in Kerala.
Judith Liberman as the founder of “Enchant: Storytelling to create change” and “Masalhane”, is one of the pioneers and host of the renewal of storytelling in Turkey.
She has studied theater in Pomona college and storytelling at the conservatory of Paris. She is also a certified storytelling trainer from the CLIO.
In Turkey, Judith has told stories in a variety of places: festivals, galleries, Istanbul forums, yoga centers, summer schools… She is the creator of a one of a kind multi-disciplinary storytelling method: “ENCHANT”. Several hundreds of people have participated in her storytelling workshops in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. She also works in collaboration with universities to train and certify a new generation of professional storytellers in Turkey.
Judith believes in the healing power of tales. She selects stories, which carry a strong message for our changing times. Her repertoire of over 400 tales includes many little known Anatolian tales, which she wishes will once again circulate in this land.
Judith tells stories in English, Turkish and French.
Visit her website: judithliberman.com
You can find her reflections on storytelling: astorytellerinistanbul.blogspot.com
PhD Physicist University Bern, Switzerland
After his studies he entered the project which is nowadays called Tamera (www.tamera.org). After becoming a father he knew that he needs to support the creation of new life models and meaningful education structures. He lives in the peace research project Tamera since 14 years. He is co founder of the Technology Project in Tamera (http://www.tamera.org/index.php?id=225&L=0) which exists since 2004.
First managing the finances of the technology project he took on the issue of economy on a larger scale for the whole community. This includes the daily financial business as well as the vision work towards gift economy. The last two Summer Universities were the first two bigger experiments based on gift economy (http://www.tamera.org/index.php?id=657&L=0).
born 1968 in Prague, Czech Republic
studied Information Technology on Prague School of Economics
worked as a programmer, marketing manager, headhunter
in 1996 established what become later the biggest on-line recruitment operator in the Czech Republic with more then 200 employees and more then 80% market share
in 2011 sold 100% of the company to Finnish investor
started Adato Paradigma, NGO behind hearth.net, the only gift-economy platform in Central Europe (as of our knowledge)
Robin McKenna is a Canadian filmmaker and director of GIFT, an essay film in development about gift-based cultures around the world. She is producer and co-director of The Jungle Prescription, a feature-length documentary about the indigenous medicine ayahuasca and the treatment of addiction, now in post-production. Her credits include The Take with Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis, about the occupied factory movement in the wake of Argentina’s economic crisis (American Film Institute Best Documentary 2004), and City of Borders by Yun Suh (Berlinale, Hot Docs 2008). Her film The Great War Experience won Yorkton Film Festival’s Founders’ Award. She has also worked as a filmmaker-mentor for Wapikoni Mobile, making films in collaboration with indigenous youth.
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Stephanie Rearick is founder and Co-Director of the Dane County TimeBank, a 2300-member time exchange, and Project Coordinator of Time For the World. In addition to her work in timebanking and promoting ground-up economic and community regeneration, Rearick is co-owner of Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse. Rearick worked for Greenpeace for six years of young adulthood, helped launch Madison Hours local currency in 1995 and served for several years on the steering committee of independent local political party Progressive Dane. Rearick also works as a musician.
She’s currently working to re-design community economies to create opportunities for people to do the work they love.
Sheetal Sanghvi is the founder of The Urban Ashram, an urban oasis in the heart of the city of Pune. It is a space for people to explore, experience, express their inner dimension; a space to facilitate the blossoming of love, compassion and wisdom within and a space for goodness to ripple out into the Universe.
Sheetal started his spiritual enquiry, early in his life when he lost his father at the age of 9, and remembers countless hours as a young child wondering where his father had gone.
Always ready for new experiences, he gladly accepted a scholarship to study in Chicago in early 2003. It was while studying in Chicago that he discovered his love for yoga quite serendipitously at a yoga studio near his apartment. As his yoga practice deepened so did his quest to go on a journey to seek answers. During this time he remembers being in a constant state of surrender and prayer asking the Universe for signs on “How to come back home?”. This was also a period of extensive seeking, as he went Ashram hopping across the US and then India in search of an authentic teacher.It was while attending an Awakin gathering in 2004, that he had an aha moment: “A community of noble friends can also be a teacher!” This realization planted the seeds of what was to manifest as The Urban Ashram, a space to for like-hearted pilgrims to journey together back to the source.Today, the Urban Ashram is a space where community gathers regularly for yoga, Wednesdays, inspiring talks by incredible pilgrims, giftivism powered projects such as a free book library and hand crafted Wisdom Crafts, Laughter Yoga, inspirational movie nights as well as musical Satsangs by traveling artists among other activities.Choosing service as a tool for inner transformation, many community members now actively offer their time and efforts to serve in local non profits. Sheetal and his wife Khushmita live and serve at the Urban Ashram, opening their home and hearts to everyone who walks thru the door.
Lisette Schuitemaker (The Netherlands, 59) is an optimistic pragmatic entrepreneur and informal impact investor. She is an author, an aunt, a coach, a partner, deputy chair of the Findhorn Foundation, chair of the Center for Human Emergence NL. She sees generosity as the measure of well-being, sharing time, energy and money as a practice and a way of life. She loves living in Amsterdam and being on the road a lot to connect people and initiatives who work for coherence of the one world.
Filiz is a transition host who calls for, designs and hosts collective learning processes for social, economic and ecological transformation. She is also a creative who works with the power of visual narratives to inspire and encourage people to give their gifts to the world. She is currently focusing on gift economy and work with women. She recently co-founded BARAKA, a learning platform to activate collective intelligence & heart.
Genevieve Vaughan (b. Texas 1939) has been working for many years on the idea of a gift economy based on mothering as the basis of an alternative world view and way of life. She created the international all-women activist Foundation for a Compassionate Society based in Austin, Texas (1987-2005), one of the continuing projects of which is the Temple of the Goddess Sekhmet in Cactus Springs, Nevada, founded in 1992. She also initiated a network: International Feminists for a Gift Economy (2001- present). Her books are For-Giving, a Feminist Criticism of Exchange (1997), Homo Donans, a web book, (2006), and two anthologies: Il Dono, the Gift: a Feminist Perspective (2004) and Women and the Gift Economy, a Radically Different Worldview is Possible (2008). These, a film on her life, called Giving for Giving, her songs, children’s books and many articles can be downloaded free from her website: www.gift-economy.com.