I’ve been active in these movements for a long time. I got involved with the School of Living around 1979 and later joined its Board of Trustees then served as SoL President for six years until about 1990. As a result of my membership in the School of Living, I got connected with the emerging Bioregional movement, attending an OACC (Ozark Area Community Congress) in 1982.
The ideas of Bioregionalism quickly developed and gained a large following during the 1980’s resulting in the first North American Bioregional Congress in 1984 that was held outside of Kansas City, Missouri. I participated in that first Congress and also the second, fifth and sixth congresses.
In all, nine continental Congresses have so far been held. The Voice of the Turtle, the movement newsletter, reports that a tenth Congress is being planned for 2008. The Congress will be held from July 12-20, 2008 at Grailville in the Ohio River Valley near Loveland, Ohio.
The official Bioregional Congress website provides details on the upcoming Congress as well as information about the principles, history, and activities related to Bioregionalism.
Over the past couple years, various groups concerned about sustainability have been organizing. One such group, Sustainable Tucson, in less than a year has grown to become a vibrant community coalition that is helping to bring coherence of action to the efforts of its varied organizational and individual members. As a member of the ST core team, I have been privileged to collaborate with an amazingly capable and good hearted group of community leaders.
Whatever one’s views might be on issues like global warming, climate change, peak oil, terrorism, economic collapse, or other perceived threats, it is had to imagine that anything but good can come out of our efforts to reconnect with our place and with one another in ways that are more conscious, compassionate, and harmonious. We need to take good care of our home and of each other.
Last year I had the privilege to be invited to participate in a conference called, Knowledge, Business and Consciousness, held at the international community of Auroville in Tamil Nadu in the south of India. Auroville, an aspiring city devoted to human unity, has been evolving in that place for almost forty years and is an impressive example of what dedicated, open-hearted people with a shared vision can achieve. I plan to return to Auroville this summer (2007) to work with colleagues there to develop curricula for education about money and the exchange process, and to plan a cashless credit clearing exchange system for the south India bioregion.