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Top 10 Spring Speakers

The Fabulous Beekman Boys (SF)

Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge are not your average couple. They have transplanted themselves from New York City to Beekman Farm in upstate New York, where they are raising 80 goats, two pigs, a dozen chickens and a narcissistic llama. These guys have urban professional backgrounds and they're now making goat milk soap in the pursuit of their new organic lifestyle brand, 'Beekman 1802.’ As they say, "we believe that a farm can be much larger than its fences.”


Amy Goodman (SF, CHI, SEA)

 Amy Goodman is an award winning investigative journalist and syndicated columnist, author and the host of Democracy Now! which airs on more than 800 public television/radio stations worldwide. She is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the Alternative Nobel Prize for developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media. She is also the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including her latest book, Breaking the Sound Barrier.

Colin Beavan (SF, CHI)

Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, is an author and award-winning blogger for noimpactman.com. His writing, speaking, and activism have encouraged tens of thousands of people to examine their lives to discover what's really important to them. The resulting lifestyle changes that people make allow them to live more lightly on the planet, while leading more fulfilling lives. It is Colin's mission to engage citizens, on an individual and collective level, in choosing ways of life that are healthier and happier for individuals, for our society, and for our planet.


Sylvia Mendez (SF)

Sylvia Mendez is a civil rights leader of Mexican/Puerto Rican heritage. At the young age eight years old, she played a significant role in the landmark desegregation case of 1946, Mendez v Westminster. On February 15, 2011, President Barack Obama presented Sylvia Mendez with the Medal of Freedom. "She has made it her mission to spread her message of tolerance and opportunity to children of all backgrounds and all walks of life,” Obama said. Sylvia retired from USC Medical Center after 33 years where she served as the Assistant Nursing Director of the Pediatric Pavilion. Today, Sylvia speaks around the country continuing the legacy of her parents and Mendez v. Westminster.


Bianca Alexander (CHI)

Bianca Alexander is a licensed attorney who translated her background in justice to empower mainstream consumers to live healthier, more eco-conscious lives. She is the co-founder and creative director of Conscious Planet Media, an independent production company that creates content designed to educate and inspire mainstream audiences. She currently serves as correspondent and producer of Conscious Living TV, a news series about the latest in eco-friendly, sustainable living, and Soul of Green, a TV program highlighting untold stories about people of color in the green and environmental justice movements.


Jeffrey Smith (SF, CHI, SEA)

The leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices, Jeffrey M. Smith, is the author of the world's bestselling and #1 rated book on the health dangers genetically modified organisms (GMOs). His meticulous research documents how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials to put the health of society at risk, and the environment in peril. In 2003 Jeffrey founded the Institute for Responsible Technology, a world leader in educating policy makers and the public about genetically modified (GM) foods and crops.


Zoe Weil (SF, SEA)

Zoe Weil is the president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE), www.HumaneEducation.org, which is dedicated to educating people to become change makers in creating a healthy, humane, and just world for all. With the goal to inspire a society of solutionaries, IHE offers graduate programs, online courses, workshops, and resources that advance comprehensive humane education worldwide. Zoe is the author of Nautilus Silver Medal winner Most Good, Least Harm; Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times; The Power and Promise of Humane Education, and Moonbeam gold medal winner Claude and Medea, about 12-year-old activists.


Dr. Sharif Abdullah (SF, CHI, SEA)

Dr. Sharif Abdullah is an author and advocate for inclusivity, societal transformation and societal spirituality. Sharif’s life vision and mission are simple: we can create a world that works for all beings. Sharif believes we must release the status quo and transform our toxic political, economic and social/cultural systems and structures. Sharif promotes heart-felt inclusivity, compassionate dialog, and a society based on visionary, localized and alternative economics and politics. His vision and work are informed by his spiritual awareness, his growing up with racism and generational poverty, and his later inclusivity experiences in over 100 distinct cultures, spanning 36 countries. His books include The Power of One: Authentic Leadership in Turbulent Times, the award-winning Creating a World That Works for All, and the visionary Seven Seeds for a New Society.


Mark Hertsgaard (SF)

Called "one of America’s finest reporters" by Barbara Ehrenreich, Mark Hertsgaard is the author of six books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Earth Odyssey: Around the World In Search of Our Environmental Future and On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency. He has covered climate change, politics and the media for leading media outlets around the world, including Vanity Fair, The Nation, Time, The New Yorker, NPR, L’espresso, Die Zeit and Le Monde Diplomatique. His latest book is HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth. More information at www.markhertsgaard.com.


John Perkins (SF, CHI, SEA)

Perkins, a former economic hit man, is a founder and board member of Dream Change and the Pachamama Alliance, nonprofit organizations devoted to creating stable, sustainable and peaceful worlds. He has lectured and taught at universities on four continents including Harvard, Wharton and Princeton, and is a champion of environmental and social causes. Perkins's Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, which spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller lists and has been published in more than 30 languages, details the clandestine operations that created the world's first truly global empire. His book The Secret History of the American Empire provides a compassionate plan for crafting a world that future generations will be proud to inherit. His other books include Shapeshifting and The World Is As You Dream It.


All of our speaker bios are available in the Speaker Directory.