Mark Lakeman is a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. In the last decade he has directed or facilitated designs for more than three hundred new community-generated public places in Portland, Oregon alone. Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc., and his key role in starting the The City Repair Project, he has been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory design projects and organizations across the United States and Canada. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities. His neighborhood and home created the inspiration and marked beginning of the annual Village Building Convergence in Portland, Oregon, the excitement from which has since spread to other cities.
Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer, and one of the foremost voices in earth-based spirituality. Her eleven books include The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, The Earth Path, and her first picture-book for children, The Last Wild Witch. She has lived and worked collectively for thirty years, and her book on group dynamics, The Empowerment Manual: A Guide for Collaborative Groups, is forthcoming in Fall 2011. She directs and teaches Earth Activist Trainings, www.earthactivisttraining.org, which combines a permaculture design certificate course with a grounding in spirit and a focus on organizing and activism. Currently Starhawk is working on the film-version of her popular fiction work, The Fifth Sacred Thing. www.starhawk.org.
Honored as Oregon’s 2007 Teacher of the Year, Michael Becker has recently transitioned from being an inspiring classroom teacher to the full-time director of the Permaculture Classroom Project, Hood River Middle School’s hands-on approach to teaching math and science using permaculture and sustainability science concepts.
Hannah Apricot Eckberg has used environmental media for over two decades to help inspire and educate others about ways they can be part of the solutions to environmental threats. She has served on the board of directors of several organizations, including as President and then Executive Director of Get Oil Out! As founder of RipplePonics, she hosts workshops on the sustainable method of food production called AquaPonics. Through her company, Spreading Solutions, Hannah uses media and other forms of eduction to empower people to make a difference. She moved to Portland to work with Mark Lakeman and to be involved with the Village Building Convergence and the production of the movie Village Alchemy.
Joseph La Sac is a filmmaker and educator with K’nected Media where he produces made-for-web impact videos with internet startups and small businesses. He has created short films and made-for-television series with subMedia, Free Speech TV, and collectively worked with the Seattle-based national television show Indymedia Presents. His film Democracy is a Spectacle (2008) was an audience-chosen winner at the Cinemocracy Film Festival in Denver, and with the presentation of Commune (2010) in Olympia, Washington he and others from The Free Space Project experimented using street interviews as the medium to draw out and illuminate community desires and possibilities. In 2010 he organized, filmed, edited, and produced a film guide aired through the local cable network in Tacoma, Washington, Eating Locally in Pierce County. This year he was a core volunteer with the Village Building Convergence in Portland and is excited to create a comprehensive, user-friendly tool-kit for Village Alchemy.