Break Out Sessions


#1:  Great Transition Stories

The human family is in the midst of the greatest transition in human history. We are being pushed by powerful trends to rise to a new level of collective wisdom & find our way, together, into a positive future. There may be no more important task for humanity than to cultivate narratives in our collective imagination that can help guide us toward a sustainable & meaningful future. Because no single story is adequate to tell the great story of humanity’s journey at this pivotal time, we have gathered more than a dozen narratives from diverse sources: biology, psychology, cosmology, mythology, & more. The mission of our non-profit organization is to give a name & voice to diverse, life-affirming stories at the archetypal level that can guide humanity through this time of great transition into a thriving future. These narratives are universal, simple, emotionally powerful, & offer widely accessible invitations to realize humanity’s higher potentials. These stories can serve as ‘beacons of hope’ & insight into pathways through difficult times. 

Facilitator:  Duane Elgin


DUANE ELGIN, MBA and MA is an internationally recognized author, speaker and media activist. His books include: The Living Universe, Promise Ahead, Voluntary Simplicity, and Awakening Earth. In 2006, Duane received the international “Goi Peace Award” in recognition of his contribution to a global “vision, consciousness, and lifestyle” that fosters a “more sustainable and spiritual culture.” Duane’s website is:


 #2:  Responsible Technology:  Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) & your Right to Know

This overview of how GMOs are used in foods, & why we need the option to purchase foods without them will provide you with the tools to make an informed decision at the ballot box.

Note that:

  • California is poised to be the first state with widespread mandatory GMO labeling laws.
  • Proposition 37 gives voters the “right to know” what is in their food supply.
  • Over 80% of Californians polled supported mandatory labeling.

A win for the California Initiative would be a huge blow to biotech & a huge victory for food activists. Monsanto has billions invested in GMOs & they are willing to spend millions to defeat this initiative. California is the 8th largest economy in the world. Labeling laws in CA will affect packaging & ingredient decisions nation-wide. The bill has been carefully written to ensure that it will not increase costs to consumers or producers.

Facilitator:  John Diaz


As an Area Leader, John Diaz is a dedicated and inspiring volunteer for the LabelGMOs coalition (  He is also a recognized speaker on behalf of the Institute of Responsible Technology, and has participated in numerous GMO educational events across the nation.


#3:  Solar Power and Energy Efficiency: Practical Examples and Resources for Congregations

This practical presentation, based in part on the successful “Solar Nights” workshop series by Interfaith Power and Light, is intended to give hands-on, practical tools to those houses of worship, which are trying to lower their energy consumption and reduce their carbon footprint. Each breakout session will be divided into halves and held in two rooms, with participants hearing from both speakers. A solar power demonstration will be available on the adjacent patio.

Facilitators:  Allis Druffel & Bob Siebert

allis.jpgAllis Druffel

Allis Druffel is active in the fields of Church Ministry, Climate Change and Interfaith Relations. She is currently the Southern California Outreach Director for California Interfaith Power and Light. The Interfaith Power and Light movement is active in 40 states, working with 14,000 congregations in the areas of energy efficiency, energy reduction, sustainable energy and pubic policy advocacy. She is a past member of the Los Angeles Archdiocese Justice and Peace Commission, and is active on its Creation Sustainability Committee. Originally trained as a classical singer, Allis serves as a Choir Director at Pasadena Christian Church, and integrates creation and energy themes into current performances.


bob_siebert.jpgBob Siebert

Robert Siebert retired from an engineering career (secure long range data communications) in 1989 and founded Energy Efficiency in the same year. Energy Efficiency was a privately held solar electric systems design and installation company through 2002, when he sold the company.  Bob has been formally recognized by the Sierra Club for his contributions on energy efficiency and solar energy, and is a frequent contributor to conferences and publications on this topic.

#4:  Intergenerational Nature Experiences: Using the “Growing Up Wild” Curriculum with Your Children & Grandchildren

Have you ever felt at a loss to convey your appreciation for the outdoors to the younger members of your family? Would you like to quickly develop the expertise and tools to share environmental concepts with others, as well as develop a love of wilderness in the next generation?  Then participate in this workshop, adapted from the award-winning Project Wild programs, and walk away with a colorful book and lots of ideas to use on your next nature walk with the younger generations.

This breakout session will take both the morning and afternoon time slots to complete the entire program so registration will be limited to a total of 35 participants. Upon completion, you will walk away with the Growing Up Wild book and CD, as well as ideas for journaling, photography, and extended learning opportunities.

Facilitator:  Deborah Strunk

deborah_strunk.jpgDeborah Strunk has an M.A. in Environmental Education from CSUSB, and has worked as a parks advocate at the local, regional, and national levels.  Her nature interpretations have been featured local radio shows and television.




#5:  Corporate Rights & Wrongs...At an Environmental Conference?

When a resource is available to all, but no one has direct responsibility for it, a “tragedy of the commons” can—and usually does—occur. Air and Water are two such resources. However, some people not only use these resources, they also abuse them, leaving them polluted enough that the others can no longer enjoy them so freely.

The solution to this problem is clear: The group must regulate the common resources and punish all who abuse those privileges. Since we are a democracy, we all can vote to secure our common resources.

But when just a few (“the 1%”) can effectively “buy” our elections, they can frustrate any attempt by the 99% to regulate those resources, since by doing so the 1% can—for awhile—profit more by not bothering to clean up after themselves. That is what has happened today in the USA. The solution to this problem is also clear - take money out of politics - but we cannot do that without first amending the Constitution.

In this talk you’ll hear more about this problem and the solution that is being pursued by a relatively new organization, Move To Amend.

Facilitators:  Mark Tabbert and John Goodman, Ph.D.

mark_tabbert.jpgMark Tabbert

Mark Tabbert grew up on a lake and near a bayou in the Houston suburbs.  He always had an appreciation of nature, and a concern for the environment but became inspired at the Claremont School of Theology in 2001 during a graduate course in Earth Ethics.  He views books like Collapse (2005) and Eaarth (2009) as evidence that nothing is being done to slow the march towards global collapse.  He has worked off and on with OCICE and the Banning Ranch Conservancy for 11 years and also founded a group in 2005 called, End Corporate Rule.  End Corporate Rule was founded on the belief that environmental threats will never be seriously addressed until the corporate voice is removed from the conversation. 


johngoodman.jpgJohn Goodman, Ph.D.

John Goodman has a Ph.D. in Physics and the History of Science and Technology. He was the founder of The Experience Center science museum (predecessor to the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana) and a teacher and author. He is currently working on a book titled “Pay the Cost Once and Enjoy the Benefits Forever; The Smart Way to Save the Planet.”

#6:  What Can We Do About Global Climate Change

Fascinating opportunities for solving Global Climate Change are now available. The four sectors of the US economy that burn fossil fuels, i.e. transportation, buildings, industry, and electricity, each present unique opportunities and challenges. An approach to solv-ing the climate problem by 2050 that would cost $5 trillion less than the business-as-usual approach is presented. It requires no new federal taxes, subsidies, mandates, or laws.

Many are paralyzed by the devastating threats of Global Climate Change. The scientific community agrees that the climate is already changing, that the changes are significant, and that the changes are predominately due to us humans. This talk presents a path to actually solving our Climate Change problem by 2050 without harming our economy, our jobs, or our way of life. In fact it features a 158%-bigger 2050 U.S. economy that needs no oil, no coal, no nuclear energy, one-third less natural gas, and no new inventions. These conclusions are based on a comprehensive analysis contained in Amory Lovins’ book Reinventing Fire.  Come experience a new sense of hope and energy for solving humanities biggest problem. Find out what you, your friends, your church and your community can do to help conquer this challenge.

tom_english_high_res.jpg.jpgDr. Tom English

Tom English, Ph.D. is the President of the TESSI Endangered Species Institute, and the Creation Care Educator for the Presbyterian Church’s Synod of Southern California and Hawaii.  He is a Professor of Environmental Studies at UC San Diego, and has been developing ways to explain climate change in understandable terms to non-climatologists.


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