The Whole World is a Downstream Neighbor – Building a Water Secure Future for All
Many parts of the world are running out of water and the earth is rapidly drying up as demand far outstrips supply. Maude Barlow will challenge us to understand the true nature of the human and ecological water crisis and lay out the path to a just and sustainable future based on the notions of water as a commons and a public trust; the human right to water; and the rights of water and nature.
Maude Barlow. Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is a founding member of the San Francisco–based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council. Maude is the recipient of eleven honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the Citation of Lifetime Achievement at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and the 2011 EarthCare Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club (US). In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 16 books, including the international best seller Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water. To watch the video of Maude Barlow’s keynote address at the Downstream Neighbor Symposium, click here.
Elizabeth Peredo Beltrán. Director of the Solon Foundation, a recognized institution in Bolivia for its work on human rights, integration and culture. She recently compiled the writings from water activists around the world in the groundbreaking work entitled, The Human Right to Water and Sanitation: Victory and Challenges for the Peoples of the World. Elizabeth has authored numerous publications including books, various reports, articles and videos about social, economic and cultural rights and as water and gender activist took part in international campaigns linked to the World Social Forum. Between 1999 and 2003 was the National Coordinator of the Solidarity Committee on Domestic Workers Rights in Bolivia promoting the approval of a specific law to protect their rights. Since 2006 coordinates the “Blue October” Campaign in Bolivia, a big social yearly mobilization for the right to Water as a common good and human right. She is a Board Member of Food and Water Watch in the USA. belongs the Women’s Net Transforming the Economy in Latin America and is part of the LA Committee for an International Tribunal on Climate Justice. For the audio of Elizabeth Peredo Beltrán’s talk at the Downstream Neighbor Symposium, click here.
Kate Armstrong has always felt a primary connection to the Earth, and this was deepened by spending her childhood on a small diverse farm in New York State. As Denver’s Urban Forager she teaches people how to find food in the city, including ‘weeds’. She also creates sacred space and ceremony with a community of women in a Dream Circle/Moon Lodge on the New Moon each month. She blogs at www.urbanforager.com and www.WhatGrandmotherKnew.com and www.denvergreenstreets.com.
Nick Brown is an author and organizer from Denver, Colorado, mainly focused on a Marxian interpretation of global wealth disparities and human rights. Other topics frequently explored include racism and anti-racism, history, ecology, culture, militarism and gender, and his articles and essays have appeared on websites such as Countercurrents, Anti-Imperialism.com, People of Color Organize! and Mathaba. As well, Nick has been a long time supporter of various radical, anti-oppression causes and is currently an organizer with the Collective for Social Change, which is hosting a three-day conference in April at the Auraria campus entitled, “The Art of Social Justice.”
Michael Brownlee has been a relocalization advocate and organizer since mid-2005. He is a co-founder of Transition Colorado, the first officially recognized Transition Initiative in North America. Michael was among the original initiators of Transition U.S., and subsequently served as a director of that organization. He is also publisher of Boulder County’s EAT LOCAL! Resource Guide & Directory, was a founding member of the Boulder County Food & Agriculture Policy Council, and is now spearheading efforts in food localization in Colorado. He and fellow co-founder Lynette Marie Hanthorn also work closely with Genesis Farm in Blairstown, New Jersey, where they offer workshops on “Deep Transition.”
Phil Doe has been fighting for Colorado’s water for most of his adult life. He served as Bureau Chief and Environmental Compliance Officer for the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of Interior and was featured as a whistleblower on 60 Minutes. A former professor of English literature, he has published op-ed features in Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post, Colorado Central Magazine, and Counterpunch. His past grassroots efforts opposed the Animas-La Plata water project in southwest Colorado. He is a registered citizen lobbyist at the State Capitol and testifies at the federal and state legislative level on natural resource issues. He serves on the board of the grassroots group, Be the Change, and directs their environmental issues program, with a current focus on horizontal hydrofracking.
Teresa Foster is a graduate of the Naropa’s MA in Environmental Leadership program (2009). This unique curriculum prepares leaders to be the catalysts of transformational change in organizations and communities. Her diverse experience includes environmental outreach and education, marketing, project management, research and graphic design. Teresa has invested countless hours volunteering for Clean Energy Action, the Transition movement, 350.org, and others, as well as interning at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Governor’s Energy Office, Center for ReSource Conservation, and the Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP). She currently is the point person for the Community Bill of Rights effort in Longmont to ban fracking.
Linda Gibler. Overwhelmed by the first Hubble Deep Field picture, Linda, a Dominican Sister of Houston, became enchanted with the magnificence of the Universe and intrigued by the image’s significance for a deeper understand of the place of the human in the Universe. In 1999, she began formal study of cosmology at the California Institute of Integral Studies with Brian Swimme where she completed a MA then a PhD in Philosophy and Religion with an emphasis in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. Linda is the associate academic dean of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio and science editor for Collins Foundation Press. Her new book, From the Beginning to Baptism: Scientific and Sacred Stories of Water, Oil, and Fire,was published in March 2010 by Liturgical Press.
Leslie Glustrom is a founding member of Boulder-based Clean Energy Action. She is trained as a biochemist and has spent over 30 years working at the interface of science and society. Most recently, Leslie has devoted herself to the environmental and health impacts of how we produce electricity. She has helped to build the Beyond Coal movement in Colorado and has helped to train many other activists who are working to accelerate the transition to the post-fossil fuel world. Leslie is the recipient of several Colorado awards and she is known as a dynamic and inspiring speaker.
David Groenfeldt is founder and director of the Water-Culture Institute, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. An anthropologist, David received his PhD in 1984 from the University of Arizona, based on field research on irrigation development in northwest India. He spent 5 years with the International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka conducting applied research on the governance of irrigation systems in Asia, followed by 13 years at the World Wildlife fFederation in Washington, DC. He has worked with consulting firms and the World Bank on water and natural resources policies in developing countries. David moved to Santa Fe in 2002 and started a consulting practice focusing on agricultural and water policies related to Indigenous Peoples. From 2006-2009 David served as director of the Santa Fe Watershed Association, and since January 2010 he has directed the Water-Culture Institute with a mission to promote sustainable water management through the application of indigenous wisdom and cultural traditions that respect rights of nature.
Lynette Marie Hanthorn is co-founded and is executive director of Transition Colorado, a Boulder-based non-profit that embraces the ethics and principles of the global Transition movement to localize and regenerate community. With a background in mediation and restorative justice, Lynette Marie holds certifications in Permaculture design, Holacracy, and as a Transition Trainer. She and fellow co-founder Michael Brownlee work closely with Genesis Farm in Blairstown, New Jersey, where they offer workshops on “Deep Transition,” integrating New Cosmology, Pattern Language, Co-Creation, and Heart & Soul into the evolving Transition model.
Elena Holly Klaver is a professional Spanish/English interpreter, musician, and long-time activist for protecting Mother Earth. She has been interpreting in state and federal courts, conferences, and international indigenous gatherings since 1995. She has a CD titled Promise of Spring of original songs, most in honor of different people and activism. The CD is available from her or as a download from iTunes, www.cdbaby.com, or www.amazon.com. She believes in using her interpreting, music, organizing, and bird watching skills to work to unite people and efforts to increase peace, justice, and environmental healing.
Dan Leftwich is an attorney in Boulder, Colorado, and the founder of MindDrive Legal Services, LLC, and Evolutionary Law, with the mission to bring the Rights of Nature and Humanity into balance. Dan has decades of experience in antitrust litigation, class actions, jury trials, and appeals in state and federal courts around the country. He has an undergraduate degree in journalism, and a law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. Beyond this traditional legal experience, Dan also has life-long experience in the study of consciousness and the law. He has training from the Oneness University in India, the Presencing Institute, and the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, in techniques for personal and community transformation. Dan is the author of several articles on consciousness, sustainability, and the law. To watch the video of Dan Leftwich’s presentation, click here.
Laurie Rink is a practicing ecologist currently working out of Denver. As an older ecologist, she earned a double degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1984 in Environmental, Populational, Organismic Biology and Environmental Conservation. Her graduate degree studies were in in biology and engineering. She is certified as a professional wetland scientist. She co-owned and operated a design/build environmental restoration firm and in 1999 formed the state’s first company devoted to mitigation and conservation banking. Her firm has since built and is operating a mitigation bank in Adams County. Ms. Rink provides regulatory-based water quality consulting services to the Farmer’s Reservoir and Irrigation Company and the Burlington Reservoir and Land Company. She manages the water quality program in the Barr and Milton Divisions.
Rik Sargent introduces himself in this way: What interests me most as an artist, is the challenge of communicating clear ideas through the language of visual art. Story telling and abstract thinking can be expressed in entirely unique ways, when pictures replace words and shadows and forms become our sentence structure. My work with Water issues and Earth subjects are ideal for this form of expression. The challenges that are with us today need to be redefined with a new tomorrow richly visualized in its many possibilities of completeness and Harmony. Artists and imaginears can create a vision to open the doors to countless possibilities and solutions in this Renaissance age we all live in.
Amy Sauer, Mississippi River Program Manager, joined the Biodiversity Project in September 2011 and manages the Mississippi River Network, coalition of 39 organizations dedicated to protecting and restoring the Mississippi River for the well-being of the land, water and people of the country’s greatest River. Amy holds a M.S. in environmental science from American University and both a B.S. in biology and an M.Ed in secondary education from Xavier University. Her previous experience includes working in the Office of Water at U.S. EPA and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, both in Washington, DC.
Sonia Skakich-Scrima founded “What the Frack?! Arapahoe” (website:www.frackingcolorado.wordpress.com) and an alliance of Colorado grassroots groups that have formed regarding oil and gas extraction issues, for the purpose of sharing news and information, and coordinating efforts. She is a Board member of Be the Change, with a Master of Arts and background in cognitive developmental psychology and education. Currently she works as a research coordinator and office manager for a health diagnostic facility.
Mary Shaeffer Smith brings her considerable life experience as a healthcare provider, teacher, grower of food, and nurturer of animals and children to her work as an activated citizen. Her passion for a healthy, sustainable world where all can thrive and for an environment free from the hazards and toxins that have plagued her adult life gives her the impetus and energy to tackle issues like GMOs and practices such as fracking and other environmental onslaughts pervasive in our current system. Mary is a passionate lover of nature, a devoted and tireless advocate for sustainable agriculture and energy, and a patient and persistent educator who applies her undying faith in the human capacity for goodness to help others envision and then create the world we all want to live in.
Rise Trenis the dishwasher and founder of Cocina Campesina, a bio-regional pop-up restaurant with a focus on food justice. A South Platte watershed food expert and artivist at heart, she has one of the most eclectic backgrounds of activism in the Denver area. She is a true network weaver of people. When she isn’t washing dishes, creating an installation, or holding a picket sign, she facilitates workshops and interactive discussions on food justice and the boundaries of oppression. She has worked with notable organizations such as the Community Food Security Coalition, The GrowHaus, and Food Day. Food justice is a mallow-rooted in her being.
Mike Wird. Hiphop renaissance man, the artist’s artist. Mike is an Educator, Organizer, Entrepreneur, Bboy, DJ, Emcee/Poet, Producer, Writer, Musician, Hiphop music recording artist, natural wholistic health advocate and sustainable living practitioner, organic permaculture gardener, Hiphop community cultural consultant/spokesperson/liaison. Mike is a contributing partner and mentor to Denver’s annual Brown Suga Youth Fest and Going Green Living Bling series, held in several cities across America. Mike has also contributed time and energy to the Eastside Growers Collective (a locally based urban farming venture) and Denver GrowHaus (a project to bring food justice and sustainable green economics to the inner city and people of color). Living health, wealth and wellness is an art form to be redeveloped many times over! The journey continues.
Shane Wright, Groundwork Denver Youth and Water Programs, has been involved in the fields of education and recreation since 1994. He uses his experience guiding people on mountains and rivers to influence his advocacy for clean and wild water. Groundwork Denver works for clean urban water in the South Platte River Watershed. It is sponsored by both EPA and the National Parks Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program.
Robert Yoder has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Iowa and received his MS and Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University. He has over 40 years of international development experience in design and management of water resource projects. He joined iDE in 2003 as Technical Director of Water Technologies and for the past four years was based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia leading a technology design and development unit focused on improving low-cost irrigation technologies. Prior to joining iDE, Dr. Yoder was a Senior Associate at ARD responsible for water related development projects in Asia, Middle East and Africa. Early in his career Dr. Yoder worked in Nepal with United Mission to Nepal’s Development and Consulting Services supervising construction of an underground hydroelectric project and implemented a program to design, manufacture, and install water-powered grain mills in remote areas of the country. Dr. Yoder is currently pursuing research related to low-cost well drilling and working as a consultant.
Marie Zanowick is a creative environmental engineer with 25 years of experience working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainability. As a highly motivated and creative program manager, she has the ability to engage team members to produce results. A recent graduate of the Biomimicry 2010 Masters Degree Program, she combines her educational background in Biology, Public Health, Engineering, and Biomimicry with her regulatory experience and facilitation skills to produce innovative solutions to a wide range of challenges. Ms. Zanowick’s work includes assisting federal agencies in developing and implementing sustainability management systems as well as providing technical assistance to EPA, Federal, State and local governments and industry as they find innovative ways to reduce pollution and move towards sustainability. She serves on the Sustainable Operation Board of Directors for the U. S. Forest Service and as an EPA international expert to provide regulatory and sustainability assistance to developing countries.