January opportunity #2: The Future is Calling Us to Greatness

Without even realizing it, I’ve become part of an online conference made up of amazing interviews with amazing people, put together by my evolutionary friend Michael Dowd. I didn’t know I’d be in such illustrious company, but now I do and I’m delighted to introduce you to the opportunity to hear Michael’s interviews in which 55 really interesting (and often famous) people speak about their work, their worldviews, and their visions. It will all be free for two weeks starting late January into early February and after that will only cost $25 for the full set (including transcripts). Though I haven’t yet listened to them all (being one of the interviewees, I’ve had access to the whole set ahead of time), I eagerly plan to explore and enjoy them. They look really really good. So I am happy to recommend this entertaining and educational source of inspiration for your new year.

I think it was last March that my friend Michael Dowd interviewed me. Michael is the “evolutionary evangelist” whose work with his science writer wife Connie Barlow inspired my second book Reflections on Evolutionary Activism. In that interview he asked me about my work and my sense of what’s going on in the world and what I thought was possible. It was fun – and I promptly forgot about it.

Then several weeks ago he sent me an announcement that he had completed a remarkable set of interviews with 55 people like me who had serious visions of what was happening in the world and what could and should happen in the future. When I looked at the list of folks he’d talked with, I was blown away by the number of terrific people I already knew.

There were famous climate activists like Bill McKibben, James Hansen, Tim DeChristopher, Derrick Jensen, and David Gershon. I saw people doing creative transformational work with the prospect of civilizational collapse – folks like Richard Heinberg, Rob Hopkins, Michael Brownlee, and John Michael Greer. Longtime favorite visionaries of “the new economy” like Charles Eisenstein, Paul Hawken, and David Korten stood out. I was happy to see youth activist Joshua Gorman and my longtime friend and collaborator Peggy Holman who’s now working with leading-edge journalists. In Michael’s home territory of conscious evolution and evolutionary spirituality, I recognized the visionaries Ken Wilber, Deepak Chopra, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Duane Elgin, Craig Hamilton, and Terry Patten, as well as activist rabbi Michael Lerner and Creation mystic Matthew Fox. Evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris and astrophysicist Joel Primack (with his co-author wife Nancy Ellen Abrams) rounded out the conscious evolution group, along with amazing evolutionary activist poet Drew Dellinger.  And others as well…

And that was just the beginning. There were dozens of people I had never heard of before. I picked out one at random – Barbara Jefferson – just to peek into this world of “luminary” strangers. I was so totally blown away by her interview – by her presence, her energy, and her worldwork – that I immediately rushed out an email to her. I can’t imagine who I’ll discover next!

In short, I have to say that this is a truly amazing group of people. And Michael did an awesome job interviewing them… I guess I should say “us”…. He invites each person to tell about their work, their worldview, their story… and then he digs deeper, adventuring into less expected territory, drawing out nuances and seldom expressed energies, with eager but humble curiosity and his own authentic responses (including occasional tears). I am very impressed with what he’s pulled off here.

In my own interview, I ended up articulating some basic principles of co-intelligence more clearly and concisely than I think I ever have before. Here’s an example:

Part of the understanding of collective intelligence is that a big part of our power is in our diversity — the fact that people are different in how they think, in what they know, in their positions in the systems we’re dealing with — and how to design collectively wise systems that access that diversity and instead of that diversity becoming a source of conflict and dissonance, have it become a source of greater capacity to comprehend the complexity of the realities that we’re dealing with.


So this is another great opportunity for January 2015. Below you’ll find the official announcement of the release of all these interviews and the list of people interviewed. You can check out who they all are – as well as highlights from their talks – by clicking on their pictures on the official site. All 55 expert sessions will stream for free January 26 – February 8, 2015, after which you can order the whole set of 55 audios, videos, and transcripts for $25. (Scholarships are available for those anywhere in the world for whom this is a hardship.)

Michael notes, “Please remember that these are Skype interviews, not television (hence the surprisingly low purchase price for the set). A few interviews were recorded only in audio, as requested by the speaker or because of low bandwidth at the time of recording. Imperfections (such as the video and audio sometimes being out of sync) are par for the course. Occasional dropouts are, too. Those who have participated in previous symposiums consistently report that the quality of the content (rather than the perfection of the production) is what they value most.”

All this was true of my interview. It starts out with live video but soon runs into bandwidth problems and Michael replaces his and my realtime video selves with still portrait photos… but the content quality continues to be great. Most of the other videos I watched looked fine.

So I want to encourage you to take advantage of this really remarkable contribution to our efforts to honestly and deeply confront the profound challenges of our time while at the same time developing ways to deepen our understanding and humanity and to realize – in all senses of that word – some extraordinary visions of a far better world.


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Join us January 26th, 2015

“The Future is Calling Us to Greatness” Symposium

with Michael Dowd
bestselling evolutionary theologian, evangelist for an honorable relationship to the future, and author of Thank God for Evolution

A worldwide movement has been emerging for decades, largely unnoticed, at the nexus of science, inspiration, and sustainability. Beliefs are secondary. What unites us is a pool of common values, priorities, and commitments regarding the importance of living in right relationship to reality and working together to ensure a just and healthy future for humanity and the larger body of life. This historic series of 30-60 minute Skype interviews showcases the work of some of the world’s most respected leaders and luminaries regarding what we may expect in the coming decades, what’s being done and what still needs to be done, and how to stay inspired to be in action in the face of enormous challenges and difficulties.

Here is a list of the thought leaders being interviewed

Nikki Silvestri
Exec. Director of Green for All, co-founded by Van Jones

Bill McKibben
Founder of 350.org; Author, Educator, Environmentalist

Ken Wilber
Founder of the Integral Institute; Author, Noted Philosopher

Paul Hawken
Author, Founder of Natural Capital Institute; Environmentalist

Katharine Hayhoe
Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
Advocate for Climate Justice, Economic Fairness; author of the Buffett Rule

Jonah Sachs
Co-Founder and CEO of Free Range; Author of ‘Winning the Story Wars’

James Hansen
Director of Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions at Columbia University

Paul Gilding
Former Head of Greenpeace International.; Author of ‘The Great Disruption’

Amy Larkin
Founder of Nature Means Business; Author of ‘Environmental Debt’

Richard Heinberg
Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute; Author, Sustainability Educator

Deepak Chopra
Global Leader and Pioneer in the Field of Mind-Body Medicine, Author

Barbara Jefferson
Lead Facilitator for Generation Waking Up, WakeUp Program

Rob Hopkins
Co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and the Transition Network

Tom Atlee
Director of Co-Intelligence Inst.; Collective Intelligence advocate and activist

James Howard Kunstler
Author, Speaker & Lead Supporter of the “New Urbanism” Movement

Joe Romm
Fellow at American Progress; Founding Editor of Climate Progress Blog

Barbara Marx Hubbard
President and Founder, The Foundation for Conscious Evolution, Author

Rabbi Michael Lerner
Editor of Tikkun, Founder of Network of Spiritual Progressives

Carolyn Baker
Author, Life Coach and International Speaker

John Michael Greer
Author on Peak Oil, Industrial Society, and Natural Spirituality

Susan Joy Hassol
Director, Climate Communication; Senior Science Writer on the U.S. National Climate Assessment

David Gershon
Co-Founder and CEO, Empowerment Institute; Author, Social architect

Chris Henderson
Head of Lumos Energy; Author, ‘Aboriginal Power’

Brian Johnson
Philosopher and CEO of en*theos

Nancy Ellen Abrams & Joel Primack
Authors of ’The New Universe and the Human Future’; Noted Cosmologist

Charles Eisenstein
Author of ‘Sacred Economics’; Teacher, Speaker, Degrowth Activist

Drew Dellinger
Founder of Planetize the Movement; Speaker, Prophetic Poet and Writer

Kathleen Dean Moore
Professor of Philosophy at OSU; Environmental Philosopher, Nature Writer

J. Marshall Shepherd
Professor & Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the Univ. of GA

Michael Brownlee
Co-Founder of Transition Colorado

David Korten
Co-Founder of YES! Magazine; Co-Chair of New Economy Working Group

Terry Patten
Author, Teacher, (R)evolutionary; Co-Author of ‘Integral Life Practice’

Joshua Gorman
Founder of Generation Waking Up; Board of Global Youth Action Network

Derrick Jensen
Environmental Activist; Author of ‘Endgame’ & ‘Culture of Make Believe’

Lierre Keith
Writer, Radical Feminist, Food Activist & Environmentalist

Matthew Fox
Founder of Creation Spirituality; R(e)volutionary theologian; Author

Bill Pfeiffer
Founder of Sacred Earth Network; Shamanic Guide, Spiritual Coach, Author

Elisabet Sahtouris
Evolution Biologist and Futurist; Author of ‘EarthDance’

Joe Brewer
Founder and Director of Cognitive Policy Works; Innovation Strategist

Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel
Authors, Co-Founders of the Breakthrough Communities Project

Duane Elgin
Social Visionary; Int’l Speaker, Author: ’Promise Ahead’, ’Voluntary Simplicity’, ‘Living Universe’

Craig Hamilton
Evolutionary Spiritual Teacher; Founding Member of Integral Enlightenment

Larry Rasmussen
Christian Environmental Ethicist; Author of ‘Earth Community, Earth Ethics’, and ‘Earth-honoring Faith’

Amanda Joy Ravenhill
Executive Director of Project Drawdown; Professor of Sustainable Business at Presidio Graduate School

Tim DeChristopher
Co-Founder of the Environmental Group Peaceful Uprising

Stephen Dinan
CEO of The Shift Network; Author of ‘Radical Spirit’ and ‘Sacred America’

Chris Martenson
Co-Founder of PeakProsperity; Creator of The Crash Course

Peggy Holman
Co-Founder of Journalism That Matters; Author, Consultant

Brian McLaren
Author, Speaker, Activist, and Public Theologian

Bill Kauth
Co-Founder of the ManKind Project and New Warrior Training Adventure

Peter Bane
Publisher of Permaculture Activist, Author of The Permaculture Handbook

Philip Clayton
Professor at Claremont School of Theology; Prophetic Process Theologian

Amir Ahmad Nasr
Author of Banned Book, ‘My Isl@m’; CEO & Co-Founder Mindvalley Arabic

Bron Taylor
Author of Dark Green Religion, Professor of Environmental Ethics at Univ. of Florida

Michael Dowd
Pro-future Evangelist, Religious Naturalist, Author, ’Thank God for Evolution’

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