Theme: The Future of Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, CA, United States
August 27th, 2011
About this event
While California and the United States as a whole face an array of economic, environmental, and technological challenges, Sonoma County can ask itself where it wants to be in this period of tumult. Do national problems exist, to which we can start being part of the solution? What will the social landscapes look like in the coming years, and how will they affect these issues? What role can people, businesses, or institutions play in solving these pertinent issues?
Greg Sarris has published several books, including the widely anthologized collection of essays, Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts (1993), and Grand Avenue (1994), an award-winning collection of short stories, which he adapted for an HBO miniseries of the same name and co-executive produced with Robert Redford. Script. He co-produced, advised, and was featured in a sixteen-part series on American literature for Public Television called American Passages, which won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Documentary in 2003.
As a Greenbelt Alliance Field Representative, Amanda Bornstein coordinates citizen efforts to protect open space and create livable communities in Sonoma and Napa Counties through grassroots organizing, coalition building, policy analysis, political strategizing, and local advocacy. Amanda holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, a B.A. in American Studies from Tufts University and a B.F.A. in Studio Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She is interested how urban planning can be used as a tool to improve safety, sense of place and quality of life in neighborhoods.
Geof Syphers is an independent advisor on green development and conflict resolution. With a background in physics and engineering, Geof helps organizations solve technical problems by working with whole people—egos and all. He also serves as Chief Sustainability Officer of Codding Enterprises, where he helps plan and design a new neighborhood for 4,400 people with a truly sustainable, one-planet footprint. Geof is an avid go player and gentleman cyclist.
Norman Solomon is a columnist on media and politics. He wrote the nationally syndicated "Media Beat" weekly column from 1992 to 2009. He is the author of 12 books, including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death”, and Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You (co-authored with foreign correspondent Reese Erlich). He has been a guest on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel, and international outlets including BBC Radio World Service, Voice of America, Al-Jazeera Television, and Australia's ABC Television. Solomon’s op-ed articles have appeared in a range of newspapers including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, New York Times, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun. His journalistic experience includes many years of free-lance writing for Pacific News Service and other media outlets, and several reporting visits to the Soviet Union during the mid-1980s. He is a former associate of the Center for Investigative Reporting. Norman Solomon is a longtime associate of the media watch group FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting).
Ransom Stephens is a professor of particle physics turned writer and speaker. He discovered a new type of matter, was on the team that discovered the top quark, led an engineering commando team in conquering high tech problems for a Fortune 500 Company and now makes a living as a novelist, speaker and high tech consultant. His first novel, The God Patent, is set on the battlefield between science and religion over the nature of the soul and the origin of the universe. Most remarkably, The God Patent (www.thegodpatent.com), has been endorsed by both religious groups and atheist groups – it’s the fundamentalists who hate it.
He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from The University of Chicago and his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin. His research has focused on experimental astrophysics, and he has built and used world-class telescopes and instruments, such as the Lick Observatory Adaptive Optics system, and the SPIREX near-infrared telescope located at the South Pole. Dr. Severson works in the cross-disciplinary field of adaptive optics and will operate a laboratory on-site at SSU. His teaching interests include: innovative teaching practices, such as project- and inquiry-based learning; mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers; and recruiting, educating and retaining a diverse population of scientists. Scott has taught astronomy at the COSMOS summer school program at UCSC, and has mentored undergraduate and graduate students.
Sean Martin is an instructor of philosophy at Santa Rosa Junior College where he currently serves as Chairperson of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Philosophy, Humanities, and Religion. Sean’s principal area of study is in political philosophy. In recent years, he has focused his research on the growing cannon of literature addressing questions of human nature, political power, peace and nonviolent action. In particular Sean has conducted an interdisciplinary investigation into in the ways in which broadly shared conceptions of human nature influence the development and sustenance of social institutions (e.g. political, economic and educational) related to peace and conflict. Mr. Martin’s is specifically interested in how overly pessimistic conceptions, perpetuated and reinforced through our popular culture and political economy, can distort our understanding of, and frustrate our capacity to address the most pressing issues pertaining to the nonviolent and calculated resolution of conflict. Sean is interested in how educational institutions can facilitate informed dialogue on such matters and has developed curriculum intended to challenge unwarranted assumptions pertaining to human nature while also enumerating and critically assessing historical and contemporary counterexamples.
Spring Maxfield is a curator, event planner and avid supporter of all things art. With a background deeply rooted in DIY culture, Spring applies her experience and education in both art history and museum studies to create vibrant communities with various, community-centered approaches. An art curator for over a decade, Spring's work has included shows in underground galleries, wineries and private studios. She has also worked as a costume designer and seamstress within her local theater community. In 2008 Spring co-founded the Handcar Regatta festival which continues to draw an annual attendance of up to 10,000 participants. In addition, her innovative organizational skills have been utilized at events such as Iron Horse Winery's Earth Day Celebration, The Harmony Festival and The Maker Faire. Spring's support for the arts also overflows into community involvement and public art projects, where she serves on a number of grassroots, city government and private art foundation committees. Spring holds a BA in Art History and Art Practice from Sonoma State University and an MA in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University. When not busy constructing clothing, curating art shows, improving her neighborhood with public art advocacy or riding one of her homemade bicycle contraptions, Spring can be found in the garden at her mini urban homestead with her husband and daughters in Sonoma County, CA.