James Dorsey and Alison Bing are this year’s Keynote speakers. Check out the full list of conference speakers below!

person
James Dorsey
Extreme Expeditions

James Michael Dorsey is an explorer and award-winning author who has traveled extensively in 48 countries. He has spent the past two decades researching remote cultures around the world. His books include Baboons for Lunch and Vanishing Tales From Ancient Trails. His stories have appeared in 18travel anthologies, and he has won 17 Solas Awards. He is a contributor to Best Travel Writing (volumes 10 and 11) and Lonely Planet Literary Anthology as well as The Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, BBC Wildlife, BBC Travel, Natural History and other magazines. He is a retired fellow of the Explorers Club and former director of the Adventurers Club. In his presentation, “Extreme Expeditions”, Dorsey will take us across the Sahara of Mali with Tuareg nomads, visit a remote volcano in the Ethiopian dessert with a team of NASA scientists that nearly cost our lives, work in the mine fields of Cambodia, and finally go on a baboon hunt in Tanzania with hunter/gatherers who used him as bait.

 

photo
Alison Bing
Travel for Positive Impact: A Packing Checklist for Thoughtful Travelers

Alison Bing, has filled 53 Lonely Planet travel guidebooks with road-tested recommendations, leaving out some adventures that didn’t make the cut — including accepting dinner invitations from cults, researching 200 wineries in 30days, and trusting a camel to guide her. She has survived to tell tales for BBCNBCNPR, Telegraph, Guardian, New York Times and sundry other global outlets. Travel has also inspired her work with pioneering nonprofits worldwide, including American Documentary Inc., Ethiopian Midwives Association, Fair Trade USA, Frontline/WORLD, National Education Association, and the National Park Service. Bing will speak on the positive effect travel and travelers can have on the world. She will lead discussion of questions such as when you’re a stranger in a strange place, what’s your role in local social change? and with only a limited time in a destination, how do you forge bonds that last beyond your visit? In this talk, we’ll explore five contributions thoughtful travelers bring with them to make every trip more meaningful — consider it your spiritual packing checklist.

 

photo
Sky Webb Road

Sky Road Webb is a descendant of the Tamal’ko - Tomales Bay Miwok, the band of Coast Miwok Native Americans who originate in present day West Marin and the Point Reyes Peninsula.  He served in the Navy for 12 years, and is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD.  He is the President of the Marin American Indian Alliance based in San Rafael, CA — a non-profit formed in 1968 to support all Native Americans in Marin County and the North Bay area.  He teaches traditional crafts and trades skills at DQ University, a Tribal College in Davis.  He is avery active member of his local community; he volunteers at Kule Loklo, the Coast Miwok Demonstration Village of Point Reyes National Seashore, he is a Training and Technical Assistant Consultant for Tribes and Tribal organizations, and he instructs Tribal Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) at Rancherias and Reservations throughout California.  He appeared in the award winning 2014independent documentary, “The Invisible Peak,” about the restoration project of Mount Tamalpais.  Sky Road composes and performs original songs in Tamal’ko, his native language and tells “First-People” stories of the adventures of Old Man Coyote, Deer, Bear, Raven and the spirits that lived in the time before humans.

 

photo
Colleen Paeff
Bob Lutweiler and the Founding of Servas

When conscientious objector Bob Luitweiler boarded a ship bound for Oslo in
June of 1948, he had no idea his quest for information would start a worldwide
peace movement. Follow in Bob’s footsteps as he travels through postwar
Europe, India, and Israel looking for answers to questions like, “What are the
root causes of injustice, alienation, and prejudice that lead to war?” and
ultimately asks people around the globe to open their doors to complete
strangers (and recent enemies) to establish what will become the Servas we
know today.

 

photo
Carlos Cartagena
Art as Resistance: Migrants and Their Stories

Carlos Cartagena is an artist living in San Francisco who works in painting, print mking, installiations, and mixed media. In 2009, he founded a cultural project in his San Francisco studio, No Right Turn Studio, hoping to fill a gap in our Latin American community. Art can be used as commentary on social problems and even as resistance to the forces that create those problems or fail to address them. Political turmoil, economic greed and environmental deterioration have caused incredible human suffering in many parts of the world. The migrations seen today in many parts of the world are results of these social problems. Migration can be seen as a positive act of those who are migrating of their own accord, but often communities are displaced entirely against their will. As an artist, Carlos Cartagena wishes to share the stories of those who are most vulnerable and to provide an artistic platform for them to be heard and understood. Carlos Cartagena creates work with and about refugees, ultimately creating understanding, through which we can begin to think of compassionate solutions and begin to walk the path of transcendence. 

 

photo
Dr Geeta Mehta
Ghandian Non-Violence

details to come

photo
Nancy Petranto (AFS)

details to come

photo
Nancy Mitchell
Friendship Force: understanding people and creating peace

details to come

photo
Carol Costa (Task Force on the Americas)
TFA: Supporting Democracy in Latin America

details to come

photo
Jan Passion

details to come