With a lineup of spoken word eco-poetry, sumptuous organicmeals, and riveting discussions with nationally renowned eco-leaders, MUMEco-Fair 2006 promises to be a lively event. If you’re interestedin a glimpse of what a “green world,” might look like, be sureto attend “The Future of Living on Earth: Envisioning an AbundantPlanet,” from June 9 to 10 at Maharishi University of Management’sStudent Union Theatre in Fairfield.
“This year we’re looking beyond the usual answers for environmentalsolutions,” says organizer Dr. David Fisher, who traces Eco-Fair historyback to 2001, when it was founded by MUM students Jana ffitch and SimoneGriffith.
The 2006 Eco-Fair will take a hard look at a green world in flux. ExplainsDr. Fisher, “The organic movement is split asunder, renewable fueltechnologies are coming into question, and the nature of environmentalismis changing away from a confrontational approach to working in harmony withbig companies. So we want to see what’s beyond the usual answer—what’sthe latest and best thinking?”
Co-sponsored by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Agrestal Fund, SustainableLiving Coalition, Fairfield Internships Project, and Abundance Ecovillage,Eco-Fair 2006 will feature dynamic panel discussions with keynote speakersDouglas Bullock and Melinda Hemmelgarn, along with regional and nationalexperts on sustainable living. Audience interaction will be strongly encouraged,along with thinking outside the box in general. Topics on the docket includeenergy, agriculture, food policy, architecture, and much more.
Pushing the Envelope
The conference will honor the continuing legacy of Henry David Thoreauand Helen and Scott Nearing, all pioneering ecologists in their own right.Important questions to be addressed include: What is beyond a petroleumeconomy? What is the next step beyond the current organic standards? Howcan we redesign our homes and our cities to be more self-reliant and locallyinterdependent? How can we build an economy that works on the principlesof nature’s economy? What would a world beyond domesticated animalslook like? What is the crucial distinction between wilderness and wildness?
In between sessions, participants can explore booths showcasing productsand organizations devoted to helping create a greener world. ConferencePoet Laureate Joe Plum will entertain guests with spoken word commentarieson the connection between man and nature. Green food booths will be on hand,and organic vegetarian meals will be served throughout the event.
Part of the Iowa Natural heritage Foundation’s statewide Wild IowaDiscovery event series, Eco-Fair 2006 will host the following keynote speakersand panels.
Douglas Bullock and his brothers Sam and Joe, along with Doug’s wife,Maria, have designed and developed what has been described as the best exampleof Permaculture in North America. Their home is featured in the book Gaia’sGarden and the Australian film Global Gardener. The family permaculturesite on Orcas Island hosts an annual three-week permaculture design courseeach summer. Doug has been involved in the design of large and small projectsthroughout North America, in Hawaii and in Central America. He is one ofthe most popular permaculture instructors internationally, has taught permaculturedesign around the world, and has written for Permaculture Activist magazine.
Melinda Hemmelgarn is a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society fellow, aninstructor at the University of Missouri at Columbia, as well as a journalist,dietician, and food activist. Her “Food Sleuth” column has appearedeach week in the Columbia Daily Tribune since 1989. Motivated by escalatingchildhood obesity rates and the U.S.’s inability to effect significantchange through traditional nutrition education methods, Melinda turned herattention to food marketing, especially advertising directed toward youth.She presents a dynamic critique on current food policy in the U.S., alongwith future direction for a more positive food future.
And Much, Much More…
Other distinguished guests include gardener Jalaluddin; anti-GMO crusaderJeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception; Kent Boyum, Ph.D., RebuildAmerica coordinator for Vedic City; Derek Roller, farmer and founder ofIowa City’s Red Avocado restaurant; Roger Gipple, Agrestal Fund founder;Wayne Petersen, urban water specialist; Martha Norbeck, building designerand biomimic; Brad Young, natural builder; Lonnie Gamble, founder of AbundanceEcovillage; Rich Dana, former president of Iowa Renewable Energy; Jon Andelson,Chair of the Anthropology Department at Grinnell College; Jim Salmons andTimlynn Babitsky, founders of Sohodojo, a non-profit organization devotedto sustainable living; and others.
Today, the earth’s precious ecosystem is more fragile than ever.But between modern advances and time-tested ecological traditions, thereis still hope for a healthy, green planet. Join Eco-Fair 2006 and be partof the change.