Hello and welcome to the Urban Laboratory of Arcosanti and to the first ever Arcosanti Convergence. Convergence is bringing together renowned speakers, artists, musicians, and activators to co-create an experience of vibrancy, action, and hope.
We are here to DO community and sustainability, not just talk about it. The Convergence acknowledges the complexity of the Human Experience, and we are here to explore new and ancient ways to come together and transform the challenges today into large opportunities!
Participants are able to guide themselves through a flow of Keynotes, Workshops, Panel Discussions, Art Installations, Performances, Film Screenings, Acoustic and Dance Music.
Tracks of Food and Farming, Localism and Sovereignty, Indigeneity and Colonialism, Community Economics, Permaculture, Immigration, and more. Prepare to be a student and teacher as you weave together your tapestry of experiences.
Speakers, Artists & Performers, and Partners
Mark Lakeman is a global leader in the fields of creative urban place-making, architecture and planning projects and activism, and urban permaculture design projects and education. He sees that every design project can be a means to further the development of a community vision, whether it involves urban design and placemaking, ecological building, encourages community interaction, or assists those who typically do not have access to design services. His leadership in the City Repair Project, communitecture, and the Planet Repair Institute has benefited communities across the North American continent and the world.
Thomas Barr is the Director of Operations for Local First Arizona, the largest coalition of locally owned businesses in North America. He advocates for independent companies unique to Arizona that contribute to building vibrant, equitable, and prosperous communities. A proud Arizona native and graduate of Arizona State University, Thomas strives to connect people together to make Arizona a better place and works to engage young people to be involved in their communities.
Thomas oversees operations at LFA including managing the recruitment, retention and engagement of 3000 businesses across Arizona, providing support to all LFA staff in 4 regional offices, and managing technology and finances. He also frequently speaks to groups locally and nationally, presenting the history, mission and impact of the organization while advocating the importance of the local movement and independent businesses in sustaining and growing our economy. Additionally, Thomas is on the steering committee for Fuerza Local, LFA’s program of Spanish speaking entrepreneurs, working to provide equitable opportunity in the local business community.
Outside of LFA, Thomas serves as a standing board member for Equality Arizona, is the Past Board President for Young Nonprofit Professionals Network – Phoenix, and is an Arizona Leading for Change Fellow Alumni.
Bill McDorman is Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance (RMSA), an organization created to assure a diverse and abundant supply of seeds for the Rocky Mountain West. A native of Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho, he has been teaching classes in wild, edible and medicinal plants and seed saving for more than 30 years. Bill holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Montana. Bill and his wife Belle Starr founded Seed School in 2010, a seed saving program that has graduated hundreds of students from around the world.
In 1981, he co-founded The Down Home Project and Garden City Seeds in Missoula, Montana. He also founded High Altitude Gardens in Ketchum, Idaho in 1984 which was incorporated as Seeds Trust in 1989.
Sarah Wentzel-Fisher is the interim executive director of the Quivira Coalition in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has worked as an advocate and organizer in the regional food and farming movement for the last ten years. Her work includes directing farmers markets; communications for La Montanita Food Co-op; editing and writing for Edible New Mexico magazine, and marketing and communications for ranches and farms in the Southwest. She holds a graduate degree in community planning from the University of New Mexico. In her free time she visits ranches and farms (she highly recommends this activity), experiments in her kitchen, and keeps chickens in her backyard.
Jesse Hernreich graduated from Prescott College with a degree in Environmental Studies emphasizing Ecological Design. She has earned a Masters from the New School in NYC, where she received an MS in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management. In 2016, Jesse earned a Master Certificate in Water Resource Management and Climate Science from Columbia University in New York. She began teaching Permaculture at both Prescott College and The Ecosa Institute in 2009, after receiving her Permaculture Teacher Training Certificate from CRMPI (Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute) in Basalt, CO, 2008. A recipient of the Ecological Design Certificate from Ecosa in 2007, Jesse continued to work, teach and sit on the board of Ecosa prior to her taking over the leadership position as Executive Director in 2017. Jesse’s Professional profile includes founder, owner and operator at Oakhaven Permaculture 501c3 in Durango Colorado, research hydrologist for the EPA as an intern for Columbia University’s Water Center, hydrologist and regulatory consultant for Re-current hydroelectric development company in Vermont, student coordinator and administrator at the Ecosa Institute, owner and landscape designer at Oakhaven Landscaping LLC. Additionally, Jesse sits on the board for Performance Space 122 (PS122) located in NYC. As a natural scientist, she has acquired a diverse skill set including Climate science, hydrologic physics, herbalism, animal husbandry, farming, alternative construction and aboriginal living skills. Her passion for natural resource management is at the core of all her professional undertakings.
Afia Walking Tree
For 30 years, Afia Walking Tree has been growing healing justice movement prioritizing drumming, community activism, and social permaculture at public actions, rallies, and conferences. Afia and Spirit Drumz performed at Song for All Being, Blessed Unrest, the Haas Jr. Institute’s Othering and Belonging conference, and the 2016 TEDWomen opening reception. As a leader in drum-permaculture Afia was invited to be an instructor for R.O.O.T.S. Permaculture Design Course, North American Permaculture Convergence, and Ogala Lakota Indigenous Wisdom Permaculture Convergence. A long time member of the Bioneers family, she for six years she has been featured on the main stage doing Drum Java. You can learn more about Afia Walking Tree at , AfiaWalkingTree.com
A Flagstaff resident since 2005, Adam Shimoni has been active in Flagstaff politics for several years. He founded and facilitated Flagstaff Speak Up!, a civic engagement program under Friends of Flagstaff’s Future, and was a board member of Friends of Flagstaff’s Future from May of 2013 to February of 2016. He has organized countless rallies and informational sessions to educate citizens about local issues and encourage citizens to be involved in local decision-making. In 2014, he received 2 Sustainable Leadership awards from NAU for his work at Speak UP & Friends of Flagstaff’s Future.
Major areas of focus for Shimoni’s campaign for City Councilor include increasing affordable housing, facilitating growth and wellbeing of local businesses, cultural respect and sensitivity, maintaining our Dark Skies, enhancing alternative transportation, water conservation, and preservation of surrounding natural habitats and open space.
Belle Starr has a background in media, public relations, community organizing and nonprofit management. She was co-producer of the seminal sustainability festival SolFest in Northern California for 7 years, and in the early 90s she produced and hosted the nationally syndicated environmental radio feature, the Environmental Action Report. Belle is the co-founder of Seed School, and Deputy Director of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance.
Kealapono Richardson serves as a guide facilitating the inner healing necessary to live a life of balance and harmony. During his undergraduate studies at the University of Washington, Kealapono spent time learning Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Zen meditation with world-renowned psychologist and Zen master, Dr. Marsha M. Linehan Roshi. This experience opened him to the worldview of interconnectedness through mindfulness, and Kealapono began exploring practices around health and wellness, spirituality and mysticism, and community farming. He now practices Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique (QHHT), a method of Hāʻupuʻupu, or deep remembering and connection with one’s source. As a result of integrating his own spiritual path with permaculture principles, Kealapono created + TogetherWExpand, a regenerative enterprise. + TogetherWExpand nurtures spiritual and healing arts by collaborating with co-creators to produce spiritual and healing tools while supporting a network of practitioners.
Learn more on <a href=”http://kealapono.com/”>Kealapono.com</a> + <a href=”http://togetherwexpand.com/”>TogetherWExpand.com</a>
Slow Food is an organization that promotes local food and traditional cooking. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds, and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. It was the first established part of the broader slow movement. Its goals of sustainable foods and promotion of local small businesses are paralleled by a political agenda directed against globalization of agricultural products.
Local First Arizona
Local First Arizona promotes, supports and celebrates a vibrant and sustainable Arizona economy by educating citizens about local business ownership, social equity, cultural diversity, environmental kinship, and collaboration. Local First Arizona’s business coalition represents nearly 3,000 locally owned businesses of all industries and sizes across the state. Local First Arizona also boasts about 1,000 individual members of the Localist program.
Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance
The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance is a nonprofit organization working to assure an abundant and diverse supply of local seeds for the Rocky Mountain region through education, networking, and establishing community-based models of seed stewardship.
Good Vibe Getdown
Good Vibe Getdown is a group of experienced outdoor enthusiasts and concert-goers who have dedicated their communal strength to the improvement of their environment – natural and manmade. They are professors, lawyers, musicians, business owners, photographers, artists, chefs, programmers, and much more. The majority of the community has extensive experience with remote camping and backpacking which lends itself to the environmental stewardship that lies at the heart of their core beliefs. Over the past several years, they have built a community upon mutual respect and accountability, and it has created a tangible, positive change throughout the desert southwest.
Fellowship of Intentional Community
We believe that community is an essential building block for creating a cooperative and sustainable world. The structures and wisdom of community are both a means and an end to meeting the needs of all people and the planet, and must be available, understood, appreciated, and developed. We envision cooperative communities of all kinds working together to meet these needs.
In 1965, Paolo Soleri and his wife Colly incorporated the Cosanti Foundation, a not-for-profit educational organization devoted to the support of Soleri’s noted architectural and urban planning research. Today, the primary areas of the Foundation’s work are:
• Educating students, design professionals, urban planners, and the general public about Soleri’s architectural concepts and philosophy.
• Ensuring the continuing construction of Arcosanti, according to the Arcology concept. This has been the main ongoing project of the Cosanti Foundation since 1970.
• Hosting educational and cultural conferences, as well as performing arts events, on a regular basis.
Since 2014 Speak Up has been bridging the gap between local people and local politics – organizing gatherings & educating the greater Flagstaff community. The organization began as an offshoot of Friends of Flagstaff’s Future and is lead by a group of volunteering Flagstaff professionals. Now an independent organization, Speak Up aims to reclaim local politics and bring the power back to the people. They believe that big change begins locally, and starts when citizens are informed and engaged. Speak Up provides a place where individuals can bring their ideas for positive change, and find community and resources to create action. We want to revive the true spirit of democracy and provide a template for other localities to do the same.