If recent environmental news has gotten you down — if you can’t believe the Obama Administration backed away from the chance to establish stronger smog regulations, or if you watch with a sense of helplessness as the NC legislature moves to weaken the permitting process for polluting industries — here comes an event that might help you recover your inner enviro-warrior.
The Global Transformation Festival, set for Saturday, October 15, is a free, day-long celebration intended to empower local folks on how they can help lay the foundation for a more sustainable world. Area environmental organizations, businesses and activists will be providing their expertise on a breadth of topics, including climate change, renewable energy and solar building, natural beekeeping, edible landscapes, clean air and water, livable communities, and “an evolving a new planetary consciousness.”
Special guest, acclaimed environmental author Bill McKibben of 350.org, will beam in to provide a keynote address live via Skype at 2 p.m..
The setting is definitely worth a visit: The Laughing Waters Community Center was recently constructed on a bold stream at the site of a 19th century gristmill. It’s a handsome structure built with sustainability in mind; like several of the homes in the community it anchors, it was built largely from wood harvested on-site. An enormous poplar trunk provides support for the roof at the center of the airy great room at Laughing Water.
The Center is the nexus of the Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community, where founder/developer John Myers has led the development of a community of green-built homes emphasizing renewable energy and nestled in an extensive mature forest that’s contiguous with a network of protected lands in the area. Residents share the existing 10-acre organic garden and heirloom orchard.
Event organizer Jackie Dobrinska says she’s excited by the synergistic possibilities for action that may be spawned at the event. “Together — by sharing solutions, raising our awareness, making new connections and friends, and actively participating — the shift to a more sustainable future is inevitable,” she says. “Come join us for a fun, exciting day!”
WHAT: The Global Transformation Festival: Emerging Solutions for the Coming Shift to a Sustainable World
WHEN: October 15, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
WHERE: Laughing Waters Retreat Center at Hickory Nut Forest Eco-Community near Asheville in Gerton.
CO-SPONSORS: Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, ECO-Environmental Conservation Organization, Equinox Environmental, Riverlink, Sundance Power, WNC Green Building Council, NC Sustainable Energy Association, and MountainXpress.
CARPOOLING is recommended as parking is limited.
UPDATE: Here’s a collection of short videos that provide a preview of festival speakers, all local experts:
Global Transformation Festival preview video #1
Global Transformation Festival preview video #2
Global Transformation Festival Preview #3
Global Transformation Festival Preview #4
Global Transformation Festival #5
Global Transformation Festival #6