Theme: Activism/Justice/Human Rights

Thursday, November 11th

Architect Deanna Van Buren will illustrate her lifelong commitment to ending mass incarceration by building infrastructure that addresses its root causes. She will share how her studio works to counter the traditional adversarial and punitive architecture that characterizes our legal system by creating spaces and buildings that enable Restorative Justice, community building, and housing for people coming out of incarceration. She is co-founder, Executive Director and Design Director of the Oakland-based architecture and real estate development non-profit Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS).

November 11th | 10:53 am to 11:10 am

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Keynote


Deanna Van Buren
Executive Director
Designing Justice + Designing Spaces

November 11th | 11:10 am to 11:15 am

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Keynote


MaMuse
Musical Duo

For millennia Indigenous communities have been guardians of their environments, protecting flora and fauna, using their traditional knowledge and wisdom passed down over generations to live in balance within their ecosystems. Today Indigenous peoples safeguard 80% of the biodiversity left in the world, and protecting those lands and waters is crucial to mitigating the climate crisis, because those biodiverse areas are among the planet’s major carbon sinks. Indigenous peoples are the ancestral owners of nearly half of the intact forest left across the entire Amazon Basin. Nemonte Nenquimo, a leader from the Waorani community in Ecuador and a founding member of Indigenous-led nonprofit organization Ceibo Alliance and its partner, Amazon Frontlines, will discuss why respecting Indigenous people’s internationally recognized rights to decide the future of their territories, cultures and lives is critically urgent for the protection of our world’s most important rainforest, our climate, and life on our planet.

November 11th | 11:15 am to 11:32 am

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Keynote


Nemonte Nenquimo
Co-Founder
Ceibo Alliance and Amazon Frontlines

A coproduction of WECAN and Bioneers Everywoman’s Leadership program

As the IPCC reports, climate destabilization is happening far faster than even the most pessimistic scientists had anticipated. The chaotic results are now visible to everyone around the globe. The situation is urgent, and failure to take immediate large-scale action would be catastrophic, but extractive industries and corrupt governments are barreling ahead with business as usual, wreaking havoc on our planet’s water, air, lands and living creatures, including people. Women, BIPOC and youth leaders are taking many of the strongest stands and implementing innovative tactics in this, the most important, crucial, existential struggle in history. Join three visionary climate justice leaders as they share their strategic insights. With: Eriel Deranger, Indigenous Climate Action; Leila Salazar-Lopez, Amazon Watch; Osprey Orielle Lake, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN). Hosted by Bioneers co-founder Nina Simons.

November 11th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Eriel Tchekwie Deranger
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Indigenous Climate Action
Leila Salazar-López
Executive Director
Amazon Watch
Osprey Orielle Lake
Founder and Executive Director
Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
Nina Simons
Co-Founder and Chief Relationship Strategist
Bioneers

To achieve the profound socio-economic, environmental and political changes we so desperately need, many of our societal systems will require intensive re-visioning. Key professions such as medicine, architecture/design, and the law (among many others) will need to embrace far more socially engaged worldviews and on-the-ground practices. In this dynamic dialogue, two leading figures who have been cutting-edge, exemplary models of how passion for social justice can inform professional life will share their thoughts on what it will take to radically transform professional paradigms. With: Rupa Marya, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF, one of the nation’s leading figures working at the intersection of medicine and social justice, and co-author of the brand new: Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice; and Deanna Van Buren, M.Arch, groundbreaking activist architect, a major thought leader in advocating a complete rethinking of the criminal justice and incarceration system, and Executive Director of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces. Hosted by: Sonali Sangeeta Balajee, founder of Our Bodhi Project.

November 11th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Sonali Sangeeta Balajee
Founder
Our Bodhi Project
Rupa Marya
Faculty Director
Do No Harm Coalition
Deanna Van Buren
Executive Director
Designing Justice + Designing Spaces

Trauma has perhaps never been more widely prevalent than it is now, nor more varied in its causes: personal stress, familial history, racial discrimination, poverty, oppression, climate disaster, etc. These times are really stretching our capacity to endure, so they require ever more effective healing and self-care modalities that include the taking of our personal inventory and adjusting our beliefs and lifestyles. Join two master Somatics practitioners and teachers as they share insights and explain their methods. With: Dr. Ruby Gibson (Lakota, Ojibwe, Mediterranean), author, educator and healer, co-founder and Executive Director of Freedom Lodge; and Staci K. Haines, educator, advocate, healer, co-founder of Generative Somatics and author of The Politics of Trauma.

November 11th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Staci K. Haines
Co-Founder
Generative Somatics
Ruby Gibson
Executive Director
Freedom Lodge

They say “laughter is the best medicine,” but the most powerful medicine of all might just be American Indian comedy. Native peoples on this continent developed rich and complex humor traditions in response to centuries of oppression and the intergenerational trauma of ongoing settler colonization. Jokes were and are used to reflect on life’s ironies, impart wisdom, build relationships, and help heal from pain. Comedy can be one of the most effective tools in the arsenal of Indigenous strategies of deep cultural resilience, and as we emerge from this global pandemic and continue to struggle with dire threats to our people and the planet, we need the healing medicine of laughter more than ever. Share some laughter and learning with two leading comedic stars: Oakland-based (Yerington Paiute/Washoe) stand-up comedian, writer, actor and producer Jackie Keliiaa; and Dallas Goldtooth (Mdewakanton Dakota/Dine), artist, poet, activist (with the Indigenous Environmental Network), Dakota culture/language teacher, and co-founder of the Indigenous comedy group, The 1491s. Hosted by Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Program Director of Bioneers’ Indigeneity Program and renowned artist/photographer.

November 11th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Cara Romero
Co-Director of Bioneers Indigeniety Program
Bioneers
Dallas Goldtooth
Keep It in the Ground Campaign Organizer
Indigenous Environmental Network
Jackie Keliiaa
Comedian, Writer and Producer

Friday, November 12th

The way in which we diagnose problems in our bodies, in society and in our ecosystems is hampered by legacies of overly reductionist thinking, racist world-views and misguided desires to subdue nature, all conceived in a time of colonial conquest. These continue to persist, to our great detriment. What results is an inability to see how “whole systems” interact and how to effectively address the challenges we face, from pandemics to climate change, which are systems-level derangements. Physician, musician, activist and writer Rupa Marya will describe what “Deep Medicine” is and how the new level of diagnosis it offers can address the suffering of our planet, our societies and our own bodies. Drawing from insights in science, medicine, ecology, and story detailed in the book she co-authored with Raj Patel—Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice—Dr. Marya will outline why it is time for us all to join the Care Revolution.

November 12th | 10:49 am to 11:06 am

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Keynote


Rupa Marya
Faculty Director
Do No Harm Coalition

November 12th | 11:06 am to 11:11 am

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Keynote


Rupa Marya
Faculty Director
Do No Harm Coalition

The perspectives and experiences of Indigenous peoples are especially critical in the fight against climate change and environmental devastation. First, it is estimated that 80% of the planet’s remaining biodiversity is found in the lands of Indigenous communities, who have historically proven to be the best protectors of their ecosystems. These lands are also often some of the Earth’s most important carbon sinks, so the health of those regions is crucial to our collective survival, and supporting these frontlines groups in defending their rights and territories has to be central to any credible global climate strategy. On top of that, the rest of humanity has a great deal to learn about how to live in balance with the natural world from the traditional ecological wisdom of many Indigenous peoples. Finally, no one has more experience surviving apocalypses and providing models of resilience in the face of dire crises. Julian Brave NoiseCat, an activist and one of this era’s most brilliant emerging progressive journalists and thinkers, will lay out the case for the moral imperative to assure that Indigenous voices have a central role in humanity’s struggle to address the existential climate crisis.

November 12th | 11:11 am to 11:28 am

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Keynote


Julian Brave NoiseCat
Director of Green New Deal Strategy
Data for Progress

November 12th | 11:28 am to 11:38 am

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Keynote


Alixa Garcia
Poet, Musician, Visual-Artist, Filmmaker, Educator and Activist

Young people have been key players in nearly every successful social change movement, and at the moment they are at the forefront of the struggle to force authentic global action on climate and injustice—they are currently humanity’s conscience, and it’s crucial that we listen to them and that we nurture as many of these new leaders as possible. Student PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) are working to train the next generation of activists, and Alex Gordon, one of these young activists, a winner of this year’s prestigious Brower Youth Award for her organizing prowess on the “Break Free from Plastic Pledge,” voter registration drives and other student power initiatives, shares her experiences as a young person working to create a world that can work for everyone. 

November 12th | 11:33 am to 11:38 am

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Keynote


Alexandria Gordon
Student Organizer
Florida PIRG Students

Alongside Indigenous and frontline communities, young people have been at the forefront of the global climate fight. In this talk, Bill McKibben will explain why older activists not only need to have their backs, but how we can harness the power of the fastest-growing population on earth—people over the age of 60—and move them towards progressive political involvement, foster intergenerational collaboration, and deepen the fight for a fairer, more stable planet.

November 12th | 11:38 am to 11:53 am

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Keynote


Bill McKibben
Founder
350.org

Clayton Thomas-Muller and Julian Brave NoiseCat are nationally and internationally acclaimed Indigenous leaders in the fights against climate change and the accelerating, human-induced destruction of our ecosystems. When they aren’t on the front lines organizing movements to protect the planet, Clayton and Julian work as accomplished writers penning penetrating analyses of the connections between settler colonial capitalism, broken social and political systems, trauma, and environmental disaster. They also happen to have a deep friendship. Join us for an intimate conversation with these two exemplary leaders, as they share the story behind the story about how their lives intersect with their activism and discuss their new projects and their hopes for the future.  Moderated by Alexis Bunten (Unangan/Yupik), Co-Director of the Bioneers Indigeneity Program.

November 12th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Julian Brave NoiseCat
Director of Green New Deal Strategy
Data for Progress
Clayton Thomas-Muller
'Stop It At The Source' Campaigner
350.org
Alexis Bunten
Co-Director of Bioneers Indigeniety Program
Bioneers

The psychedelic community owes enormous debts to the Indigenous cultures that, over millennia, developed the use of consciousness-modifying substances, which laid the basis for the now ever-expanding interest in and use of these medicines. Indigenous peoples are also very often the best protectors of what’s left of global biodiversity, so finding effective, concrete ways to help support these groups’ struggles to defend their lands and rights is of utmost importance to all of humanity. So far, though, while the psychedelic world is replete with romanticized language about Indigenous worldviews, it has done very little to offer genuine, large-scale tangible support that actually reaches frontline communities, and as enormous amounts of venture capital are now pouring into the psychedelic domain, this is the time to act. The Chacruna Institute’s Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative (IRI) was created to fill that void. Come hear about this exciting new project from Joseph Mays, the IRI’s Program Director; Bia Labate, Chacruna Institute co-founder and Executive Director; and cultural anthropologist Daniela Peluso, who has extensive experience working with Indigenous communities in Peru and Bolivia. The session will also feature several videos of statements by Indigenous leaders from frontline communities throughout the Americas who are partnering with the IRI.

November 12th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Bia Labate
Executive Director
Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines
Joseph Mays
Program Director
Chacruna Institute’s Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative
Daniela Peluso
Emeritus Fellow in Social Anthropology
University of Kent

As ecological destruction, climate destabilization, the global pandemic, and all forms of historical and current injustice are converging to initiate a near-death experience for our species, join a group of wise women to discuss why the combination of honoring, respecting and learning from nature, being motivated by a deep quest for justice, and cultivating the leadership of women can provide a potent, three-pronged strategic path for getting us to a world we want. With: Osprey Orielle Lake, founder/Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International, author of Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature; Amisha Ghadiali, a UK-based intuitive therapist, meditation and yoga teacher, host and founder of the podcast and community, The Future Is Beautiful, and author of Intuition; Naelyn Pike, renowned young Chiricahua Apache activist. Hosted by: Nina Simons, co-founder of Bioneers.

November 12th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Amisha Ghadiali
Podcast Host
The Future Is Beautiful
Osprey Orielle Lake
Founder and Executive Director
Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
Naelyn Pike
Activist and Fighter for Indigenous Rights
Apache Stronghold
Nina Simons
Co-Founder and Chief Relationship Strategist
Bioneers

Many boys and men of color have to grapple with very potent intergenerational traumas deeply linked to the racism, oppression and systemic inequities their communities have had to endure for so long. The Covid Pandemic has unfortunately exacerbated many of these underlying dynamics, resulting in increased levels of domestic and community violence in many neighborhoods. This session, facilitated by internationally-recognized author, community leader and healing practitioner Jerry Tello, will offer an intergenerational conversation among young men, elders, and middle-aged men of color. They will explore the deep traumas they and their communities suffer from, and how to develop strategies of responsibility and accountability that face the truth, but also create conditions for deep healing and prevent these wounds from undermining our families, communities and selves. With: Jason Seals, professor of African American Studies at Merritt College, with a long career in youth development; David Bouttavong, a Fresno, CA-based first generation queer Lao American activist with extensive experience working on issues affecting young men and boys of color. 

November 12th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Jerry Tello
Co-Founder
Healing Generations Institute and the National Compadres Network
Jason Seals
Professor of African American Studies and Chair of Ethnic Studies
Merritt College
David Bouttavong
Outreach Specialist
Poverello House

Presented in Partnership with Sierra magazine

The drumbeats demanding that the fossil fuel giants be held accountable for sparking the climate crisis are getting louder. Here in the U.S., more cities, states, and counties keep filing lawsuits seeking compensation from the oil giants for climate-related damages and to fund adaptation projects. Last spring, a Dutch court found multinational Shell Oil guilty of violating human rights and ordered the company to slash its emissions, and many other international lawsuits against fossil fuel corporations are pending. Join author and investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz, Greenpeace International attorney Michelle Jonker-Argueta, and Carroll Muffett of the Center for International Environmental Laws to learn about the latest twists and turns in the global effort to hold the oil companies accountable for their deception and delay. Moderated by Jason Mark, editor in chief of Sierra magazine. 

November 12th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Antonia Juhasz
Author, Investigative Journalist, Analyst
Carroll Muffett
President
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Michelle Jonker-Argueta
Attorney
Greenpeace International
Jason Mark
Editor in Chief
Sierra Magazine

Unlike many traditional psychological approaches, somatic practices focus on embodied sensations as much as on the mind. They have proven especially effective in helping address many types of traumas, from purely personal ones to those rooted in collective histories of oppression. In this session, two gifted practitioners, Donaji Lona, a somatics teacher and community social justice activist/organizer who works especially with immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area; and Nazbah Tom (Diné), a Toronto-based somatic practitioner and writer who works with a combination of techniques, including drama therapy, conversation, gestural practices, breath, and bodywork, will share their insights into how we can start working through our traumas with some of the powerful embodied transformation processes that Somatics offers us.

November 12th | 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

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Panelists


Donaji Lona
Teacher
Generative Somatics
Nazbah Tom
Somatic Practitioner and Writer

Saturday, November 13th

In a world wracked by income inequality, social divisions, and ecological destruction, can we build an alternative economics based on mutual cooperation and respect for our environmental commons? Among the nation’s most influential progressive thought leaders, activists and scholars, Manuel Pastor taps his new book, written with his long-time colleague Chris Benner, to propose that drawing on our instincts for connection and community can actually help create a more robust, sustainable, and equitable economy. But while most of us would benefit from centering mutuality and equity, some people do benefit from the current stark inequalities. As a result, seizing this moment for change will require brave conversations about racism and social fragmentation, a deep commitment to intersectional social movements, and a clear strategic vision for building people power.

November 13th | 10:49 am to 11:06 am

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Keynote


Manuel Pastor
Director
Equity Research Institute, USC

November 13th | 11:28 am to 11:33 am

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Keynote


Rising Appalachia
Renowned Musical Ensemble

For the Climate Justice Movement to arrive at results that are truly “just,” it must be radically inclusive, which means that its struggles must of course intersect with those of social, racial and gender justice movements, but it also means that other historically disenfranchised groups can’t be excluded, so, for example, the Disability Justice Movement must have a seat at the table. One of this year’s Brower Youth Award winners, Alexia Leclercq, an environmental justice organizer based in Austin TX and NYC, shares her passion about these rarely discussed aspects of intersectionality.

November 13th | 11:33 am to 11:38 am

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Keynote


Alexia Leclercq
Co-Founder
Start: Empowerment

Nalleli Cobo, now 20, has acted as an extraordinarily effective Environmental Justice activist since she was 9 (years before Greta Thunberg began her school strike). She lived in South Los Angeles across the street from an oil drilling site. Her mother and many neighbors suffered from a range of illnesses, and Cobo herself had heart palpitations, headaches and nosebleeds so severe that she had to sleep sitting up lest she choke on her own blood. Nalleli became one of the leading voices demanding the site be shuttered, and she has become an internationally renowned, award-winning Environmental Justice activist. She will share the story of her trajectory and challenges, the importance of the ongoing struggles in which she’s engaged, the very high price she and many people in disenfranchised communities continue to pay, and how local struggles relate to the larger global fight for Climate Justice.   

November 13th | 11:45 am to 12:02 pm

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Keynote


Nalleli Cobo
Co-Founder
South Los Angeles Youth Leadership Coalition

Indigenous Peoples already do “green jobs”—they integrate cultural values into business activities and protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity. In order to transform our economies through Indigenous-led solutions, we need to uplift movements and stories inspired by Indigenous resistance. To do this, we must change the culture of philanthropy and impact investing, which still largely circulates in privileged circles. In this panel, we will explore how to transition from colonial-capitalism using Indigenous-led strategies that offer us pathways towards an equitable and regenerative future. With: Sikowis (Plains Cree/Saulteaux), founder, Great Plains Action Society, speaker/writer/artist; Nick Estes, Ph.D. (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe), historian, author, Professor at the University of New Mexico, co-founder, The Red Nation. Hosted by Alexis Bunten (Unangan/Yupik), Co-Director of the Bioneers Indigeneity Program.

November 13th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Alexis Bunten
Co-Director of Bioneers Indigeniety Program
Bioneers
Nick Estes
Assistant Professor of American Studies
University of New Mexico
Sikowis
Founder
Great Plains Action Society

Co-Sponsored by the New Leaders Initiative/Brower Youth Awards

The Brower Youth Awards, named after the late, legendary environmental giant, David Brower, are one of the most prestigious prizes for youth activists, and we at Bioneers are delighted to be able to highlight the work of this year’s cohort of winners, an exceptional array of young mobilizers, organizers and paradigm-shifting leaders, who will discuss their activist trajectories, the challenges they face, and their aspirations for the future. Hosted/moderated by: Mackenzie Feldman, founder/Executive Director, Herbicide Free Campus. With: Sonja Michaluk, 18-year old NJ-based young scientist and citizen science activist, founder of the Conservation Communities Initiative, which encourages people to monitor and protect their local aquatic habitats; Peter Pham, 22, San Jose, CA-based environmental and transit justice activist with Turnout4Transit; David Baldwin, 18, Fort Lauderdale-based invasive plant researcher and activist with Everglades Restoration Ambassadors; Artemisio Romero y Carver, an 18-year old, Santa-Fe, NM-based artist, poet and organizer, co-founder of Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA) (who was also Santa Fe’s 2020 Youth Poet Laureate!).

November 13th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Mackenzie Feldman
Founder and Executive Director
Herbicide-Free Campus
David Baldwin
Invasive Plant Researcher and Activist
Everglades Restoration Ambassadors
Sonja Michaluk
Founder
Conservation Communities Initiative
Peter Pham
Transit Justice Activist
Turnout4Transit
Artemisio Romero y Carver
Co-Founder
Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA)

Solidarity Economics is an economic frame that recognizes that people are not just individuals, but also members of broader social groups and communities, that people are motivated not just by self-interest, but also by caring for others and a desire for belonging, and that we can and should build our economy not on an embrace of individuality and competition, but rather on a sense of commons and our shared destiny.  In this session, Natalie Hernandez, Associate Director of Climate Planning and Resilience at Climate Resolve, and Nailah Pope Harden, Executive Director of ClimatePlan,  join Manuel Pastor, one of the nation’s most influential thinkers on poverty and social movements, and Chris Benner, a leading innovator in urban political ecology, to discuss how these concepts might apply in the realm of solidarity with people and the planet, and how we can make this real in terms of policy and power in this moment. 

November 13th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Manuel Pastor
Director
Equity Research Institute, USC
Natalie Hernandez
Associate Director of Climate Planning & Resilience
Climate Resolve
Chris Benner
Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology
UC Santa Cruz
Nailah Pope Harden
Executive Director
ClimatePlan

Although we’ve all been taught that “being professional” means suppressing our honest emotions while we’re at work, research shows that this actually leads to a loss in productivity, diminished creativity, and crushing job dissatisfaction. The workplace kicked out the emotions more than a century ago, and as a result has built unhealthy and dysfunctional environments ever since. Because of this, most of us have only worked in “unintentional communities” in which our social and emotional needs are not respected, as well as our needs for basic respect and self-determination. As we all grapple with our pandemic and post-pandemic reality, it’s high time to welcome the genius of the emotions back into the workplace so that we can create respectful, naturally motivating and emotionally well-regulated environments where people and projects can thrive. With: Karla McLaren, M.Ed., social science researcher, founder/CEO of Emotion Dynamics LLC award-winning author of several books, including: The Power of Emotions at Work: Accessing the Vital Intelligence in Your Workplace.

November 13th | 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

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Panelists


Karla McLaren
Founder and CEO
Emotion Dynamics LLC

From the majestic peaks of the snow-capped Sierra to the parched valley of Payahuunadü, “the land of flowing water,” this stunning film poetically weaves together memories of intergenerational women. Native Americans, Japanese-American WWII incarcerees and environmentalists form an unexpected alliance to defend their land and water from Los Angeles. Featuring breathtaking photography and immersive soundscapes, the film recounts more than 150 years of history, showing how water lured outsiders in and continues to fuel the greed which sucked this once lush place dry. Ann Kaneko, director; Jin Yoo-Kim, producer; Tracy Rector, executive producer. 

November 13th | 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm

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