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Plenary: Regenerative Communities Panel
September 25, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PDT
In our first plenary, we take a look at what “regeneration” really means, how it has been missing and why it is so important to center in our discussions. Our speakers will also explore and share what is happening in our social structures and communities as positive responses to the challenges of climate change, eco destruction, division/conflict, and systems that are broken. This panel looks today’s world squarely in the face and explores what is happening in communities today to bring better, more regenerative, communities.
This workshop is being offered as part of the 2021 Regenerative Communities Summit. Please click here to learn more and register using our pay-what-you-can donation-based system to participate.
Daniel Christian Wahl is the author of Designing Regenerative Cultures. He is a thought-leader of the rising reGeneration and the author of Designing Regenerative Cultures. He works as a consultant, educator, and activist with NGOs, businesses, governments, and global change agents. Daniel grew up in Germany and has lived in California and Scotland before he moved to Majorca, Spain, to grow roots and deepen his practice of facilitating bioregional regeneration. Daniel originally trained as a biologist and holds degrees in Biology (BSc. Hons., Univ. of Edinburgh), Holistic Science (MSc., Schumacher College), and Natural Design (PhD., Univ. of Dundee). He was the director of Findhorn College between 2007 and 2010, is a member of the International Futures Forum and H3Uni, an avocation partner of r3.0, and on the advisory councils of Ecosystems Restoration Camps, Commonland, the Ojai Foundation, the Systems Change Alliance, and the Overview Institute of Australia, as well as, a Findhorn Foundation Fellow.
Olivia Benson (she/her) is the Chief Operating Officer of The Forbes Funds and Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership. At The Forbes Funds, Olivia leads the implementation of the organization’s social impact goals – including program alignment to the Social Determinants of Health and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, development of trainings for community based partners to align worth with regional goals and needs, and project management of new, critical initiatives like the Black Equity Coalition and fiscal management portfolio. She also leads the organization’s largest funding portfolio, the Catalytic Community Cohorts (C3), designed to develop best practices for the nonprofit sector locally, nationally, and internationally through collaboration, identifying community-wide assets, and tracking key metrics.
Professionally, Olivia can best be described as a driven strategist with a passion for social change. She has a proven track record of promoting advocacy causes, securing financial support for organizations, and spearheading community engagement initiatives for government, private, and non-profit sectors. In fact, Olivia used this experience to serve as a thought partner to the Pittsburgh region’s first green infrastructure pay-for-success project. She also helped co-found She Runs SWPA with now State Rep. Sara Innamorato, an initiative to help more women run for and get elected to public office.
Olivia is also a featured radio, print, and television political analyst who regularly speaks on national political trends, women seeking election to public office, civic engagement, and social impact policies. She is the founder of a boutique social impact strategy firm, Civic Impact Strategies.
Taisa Mattos is a Gaia Education certified trainer. She has coordinated and taught Ecovillage Design Education Programmes since 2009, having contributed to 26 programmes so far, all over Brazil also in Portugal, Argentina, and Mozambique. Currently serving as Education and Research Coordinator at the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), Taisa works as an international trainer and consultant in the fields of sustainability, social innovations, and community life.
Ecovillage researcher and Board member of the International Communal Studies Association (ICSA), Taisa is the author of the book Ecovillages: building a regenerative culture. She holds a master’s degree in Communities and Social Ecology and is also a Professor at the Post-Graduate Program on Pedagogy of Cooperation and Social Methodologies in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (UNIP/Projeto Cooperação).
Leader and author of the GEN Regenerative Urban Communities Manual and Project Coordinator of the Ecovillage Transition in Action, an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Project on collaboration between community-led initiatives and local authorities for regional sustainability. Taisa has contributed to transition initiatives both in urban and rural areas, being the co-founder of Terra Una Ecovillage (Brazil, which she left in 2013) and other small urban communities in Rio. She has been actively engaged with the Ecovillage Movement since 2004.