Economics of Happiness Portland, Earthwise and Weiss for Palo Alto roots

hello, helena

hello, helena

I left a pursuit of corporate happiness in 1993 and moved my belongings via a rented truck from Cow Hollow to Byrd Lane and studies activism, environmentalism and “right livelihood”. Part of that effort landed me at Bay Area Action, where Cindy Russell, Frank Lopez, Holly Kaslewich (Millions), Peter Drekmeier and others were producing an Earth Day event. I worked a stint in Berkeley, off Solano, helping market the film version of “Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh”. Because I was reading Jerry Mander “Absence of the Sacred” Cindy suggested I produce the “Earthwise Traditions” segment of Earth Day. Two of the groups I met thru that, Eagle Vision Education Network of Sacramento, CA (“Cathy White Eagle”) and Rainforest Awareness Project of Colorado (“Kevin Russell”) then hired me to work directly with them on follow-up events. This lead to a series of concerts at Cubberley the first two of which were benefits for BAA and friends of BAA. And that led to about 150 more shows at Cubberley, 50 or more additional concerts and work on a dozen to twenty music acts per se.

I probably met Helena Norberg Hodge (founder of Ladakh Project, producer of film, author of book of same name, founder of ISEC International Society of Ecology and Culture, laureate Right Livelihood Award) only four or five times, but that made an impression. I worked directly with Steve Gorelick or the Berkeley office, which shared space with Thich Nhat Han’s publisher, Parallax Press.

I do recall meeting with Steve at the inception of the move towards a focus on music and being affirmed that somewhere in a book Helen cowrote or edited on the movement there was discussion of the value of local-produced culture and independence from big media and entertainment.

And as I write this I look up to see Jack Black on a Thanks a Million Teachers float on Parade of Roses, on TV36. Oh, well. Jack Black is a dude who married a chick I kinda sorta dated in SF in the late 1990s, a cellist. She turned an “O” or “0” into a smiley face, but had her grandparents in town, or so she said, when I invited her to Elastica at the Fillmore and that ended that. (She said she wanted to learn to play accordion).

During my Brooklyn sabbatical of winter, 2001 I attended at Hunter College the conference of the International Forum on Globalization, and also corresponded with Academy Award nominee and Emmy winner from Los Altos and Egan Elizabeth Thompson on these issues, we re-met ISEC office around that time, she did some freelance for them. (Mazel to she and Robert the rocket scientist somewhere in the 650, newlyweds; Betsy was at Yaddo while I was in Brooklyn).

The previous on Amy Goodman led me to think of Helena. Steve said “she’s one of the world’s most lucid thinkers” or maybe “She’s one of the media world’s few lucid thinkers”. Either or.

None of the 50 or so mentions of my three successive campaigns for public office has mentioned that I see my efforts there as part of a 20-year campaign of activism. I self-identified on my ballot book statement as “activist/CEO/writer”.

maybe I can get here:
The Economics of Happiness conference

Portland, Oregon

February 27 – March 1, 2015


There is an alternative. In fact, there are many!

All around the world, thousands of initiatives are demonstrating that we can create a better future: resilient communities, healthier ecosystems, equitable economies. Now we need to connect the dots, get together, translate understanding into action, and build a global to local movement!

Join us at the Economics of Happiness conference to discuss, discover and devise better systems for now and the future. Get involved in a new project. Find out how to make your work more effective. Link up with local initiatives. Debate the details. Explore new policies. Deconstruct the old. See the connections. Articulate solutions. Get engaged in creating a new economy – one that works for people and the planet!

The program will include plenaries, panels, interactive workshops and other participatory sessions. The wide range of inter-connected topics will include: local food, public policy, democracy, local business, the commons, cooperatives, local finance, spirituality, connecting to nature, economic indicators, health, education, bridging the North-South divide, the new economy movement, climate justice, cultural diversity, biodiversity, environmental justice, income inequality, and the impact of the economy on our psychological well-being.


Bayo Akomolafe, Nigerian clinical psychologist, professor, and coordinator of the International Alliance for Localization (IAL).

Yoram Bauman, An environmental economist and professor at the University of Washington, co-author of The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, and world’s first and only “stand-up economist.”

Kurt Beil, Naturopath, professor and researcher on the importance of nature in human health.

Carol Black, Education analyst, television producer and director of the film Schooling the World.

Chet Bowers, Esteemed thinker in the fields of education, ecology, technology and the commons. Author of Let Them Eat Data and Revitalizing the Commons.

Paul Cienfuegos,Leader in the Community Rights movement, working to dismantle corporate constitutional “rights” and enshrining local self-governance.

Charles Eisenstein, Speaker and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity, author of Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible.

Jihan Gearon, Executive Director of Black Mesa Water Coalition. Jihan is Diné (Navajo) and African American and works on connecting the issues of energy development in Indigenous communities to larger social justice movements and common strategies.

Charles Heying, Professor of urban studies and planning, author of Brew to Bikes: Portland’s Artisan Economy.

Catherine Ingram, International Dharma teacher, leader of Dharma Dialogues and author of Passionate Presence.

Manish Jain, Coordinator of the Indian organization Shikshantar: The People’s Institute for Rethinking Education and Development.

Sandra Lubarsky, Professor and leader in sustainability studies in the US.

Donnie Maclurcan, Distinguished fellow with the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems, co-founder of the Post Growth Institute and author of Nanotechnology and Global Equality.

Jerry Mander, Founder of the International Forum on Globalization (IFG), author of Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television and The Capitalism Papers.

Camila Moreno, Brazilian lawyer, food sovereignty activist and researcher with Terra de Direitos and the Global Ecology Justice Project.

Helena Norberg-Hodge, Director of Local Futures, author of Ancient Futures and producer of The Economics of Happiness film.

Janelle Orsi, Attorney and Executive Director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, author of Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy.

Derek Rasmussen, Former policy advisor to the Inuit in the Canadian Arctic, meditation teacher.

Vicki Robin, Advocate for “relational eating”, best-selling author of Your Money or Your Life and Blessing the Hands that Feed Us.

Michael Shuman, Founding board member of BALLE, Research Director at Cutting Edge Capital, Fellow of Post Carbon Institute, author of Local Dollars, Local Sense.

Cameron Whitten, Occupy Portland pioneer, 2012 mayoral candidate, activist for social justice and graduate of the Portland African American Leadership Forum’s Leadership Academy.

*Speakers listed are confirmed at time of writing; however, details are subject to change without notice. Refunds cannot be given because of program changes.

The Eliot Center
1211 SW Main Street
Portland, Oregon 92705

Friday, February 27
4:30pm-6pm: Registration
6pm-10pm: Opening evening

Saturday, February 28
9:30am-6pm: Plenaries and workshops

Sunday, March 1
9:30am-1pm: Field trips and tours
2-7: Workshops and closing plenary

For more information, please contact the conference organizers.

Telephone: +1 415-670-9054

Early bird (a limited number available until December 31): $85

Regular (until February 1): $150

Last minute: $250

Student/low income: $50

Scholarships available upon application. Please email to apply.

Alliance for Democracy
Artisan Economy Initiative
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
Center for Earth Leadership
Center for Sustainable Economy
City Repair
Community Alliance for Global Justice
Community Rights Lane County (CRLC)
Community Rights PDX
Dharma Rain Zen Center
Economic Justice Action Group (EJAG)
Gaia Education
Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN)
Growing Gardens
Jobs with Justice PDX
Living Dharma
Living Economies Forum
Move to Amend – Portland
New Economy Coalition
Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NCDC)
Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI)
Oregon Banks Local
Oregon Community Rights Network (ORCRN)
Oregonians for Fair Trade
Our Table
Overgrow the System
Portland Fruit Tree Project
Portland Made
Portland Project for Cooperative Innovation (pdxPCI)
Post Carbon Institute
Post Growth Institute
Portland State University Institute for Sustainable Solutions
Schumacher Center for a New Economics
Slow Money
Springboard Innovation
Story of Stuff
Support Local Food Rights (SLFR)
Supportland/Portland Made
Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC)
The Happiness Walk
The Oregon Commons
Transition US
Tryon Life Community Farm
Urban Farm Collective
Yes! Magazine


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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