Eric Chisler is a cultural inquisitor and sociopolitical critic immersed in a philosophical journey to the heart of human nature. He is currently wandering the North American landscape in search of opportunities to engage in community, and share his gifts of systems-thinking, writing and narrative-construction in service of cultural evolution and to learn what he might from the connections he makes.
After dropping out of high school, disillusioned early with the systems he was surrounded by, he spent several years surviving through jobs in the service industry. In 2008 he left his work in a dorm cafeteria to pursue his dreams of returning to school. Diving directly into state-level student advocacy and education politics in California, he quickly began to understand the political and economic systems of authoritarian capitalism and once again left a promising future in the educational system to pursue a radically different life. With a close friend, he set out to practice living entirely by trust through gift relationships as he travelled the US in pursuit of a more authentic path. He has since spent time living on an organic farm, in a van on the streets of Chico, CA and in a burgeoning sustainable community in southern Washington.
Dedicated to understanding the crises we face as a species and exploring the spiritual, cultural and institutional insights which can bring about a more beautiful world, Eric is emerging into the next phase in his life’s passion of abolishing the belief systems that keep us separated from ourselves, each other and the rest of life while seeking deeper grounding in community and the natural world he has always desired intimate connection with.
Annie Levin is a doula/attorney/pollinator living in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of Harvard Law School also trained in mediation, psychology, permaculture design, and women’s physiology & health, she believes that the complex problems facing our world require creative, cross-disciplinary solutions.
Currently, Annie collaborates with individuals and organizations re-imagining the ways we build community, weave narratives, support childbirth, and tend to the dying. Previously, Annie was a Staff Attorney at Catholic Charities Community Services in New York, where she represented Unaccompanied Immigrant Children before the Executive Office of Immigration Review. She also served as the Director of Mediation Services at the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago, where she trained mediators and supervised approximately two thousand mediations annually. She was a Doula in the Teen Parent and Infant Development Services program at Christopher House in Chicago, providing childbirth support and advocacy for teen parents, as well as a Literacy Teacher/Community Organizer in the Public Allies Americorps program. She has worked with the American Civil Liberties Union, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project.
Annie is a nature-lover mysteriously planted in the big city; you’re likely to find her walking the wooded paths of Prospect Park, swimming in the Atlantic Ocean at Brighton Beach, or attempting to grow corn on her urban sidewalk.
Alnoor Ladha is a founding member and the Executive Director of /The Rules (/TR), a global network of activists, organizers, designers, coders, researchers, writers and others dedicated to changing the rules that create inequality and poverty around the world.
He is a Board Member of Greenpeace International USA and a visiting lecturer at New York University (NYU), Columbia University and the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD). Alnoor holds an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics. Alnoor’s daily practice involves deep immersion into cosmic entanglement (knowing his activist work is a spritual practice and vice versa) and constant disruption (he’s a nomad, training himself for the post-capitalist world…at least that’s what he tells himself). He is an unreconstructed utopian, Gaia-worshiper, star gazer, systems thinker and meme-warrior.
Nuno Da Silva is an Educational Activist, a transition initiatives promoter, an aspiring permaculture practitioner and a father of twins with his life companion Jo, entangled with Life, the Universe, and Everything.
He left the business field, one and a half years after studying Economics in the University of Algarve, to do more meaningful work within civil society, running an international network of youth organizations, promoting understanding, peace and the respect of human rights among young people (www.yeuinternational.org).
In 2005, he was fully dedicated to the facilitation of alternative, out of school, forms of learning, training trainers and young activists all around Europe, Asia, Africa and South America in a range of topics from citizenship and active participation, to intercultural learning, global education, human rights, social inclusion, sustainable development, outdoor experiential learning, education through arts, project and organizational management. In 2009, he founded a cooperative of education, cooperation and development, called ECOS, in the south of Portugal (www.ecos.pt).
More recently, he worked for 4 years as a consultant in South East Asia, in the adult education National Directorate of the Ministry of Education of Timorleste managing a World Bank project. In 2014, he returned to Europe, totally disillusioned with the development and cooperation world, looking for alternatives to the current capitalist, planet-exhausting, poverty producing, dehumanizing system.
He aspires to be a midwife for the emergence of initiatives and experiments that can help us reconnect with ourselves, with each other and with our ecosystems, regenerating them and developing more resilient communities able to face the huge disruptions that are heading our way.
A writer and speaker, Bayo Akomolafe [www.bayoakomolafe.net] is recognized in many places for his poetic, unconventional, counterintuitive, and indigenous reconfigurations of the modern discourse on global crisis, civic action and social change, and was recently enlisted as the recipient of the Global Excellence Award (Civil Society) 2014 by FutureShapers (California).
In 2014, Bayo left his lecturing position as a university professor and ethnopsychotherapeutic researcher in Nigeria [www.covenantuniversity.edu.ng] to do work that he and his wife, Ej, felt was more shaped to ‘the ecstatic possibilities of these times’ – and to recover from the insularity and complicity of the academic world in perpetuating a single story about the world. He was invited to be the Coordinator of the International Alliance for Localization [www.localfutures.org], a project of Local Futures (USA).
His desire to trouble the conventional accounts of change and activism, to ‘introduce a little irony’ to activism, inspired him to initiate The Emergence Network (A Post-Activist Project) [www.emergencenetwork.org]. He is also host of the online writing course, ‘We will dance with Mountains: Writing as a Tool for Emergence’ [course.bayoakomolafe.net]. With the emergence network, Bayo hopes to help inspire a diffractive network of sharing – a slowing down, an ethics of entanglement, an activism of inquiry, a ‘politics of surprise’…one that does not treat the crises of our times as exterior to ‘us’ or the ‘solutions’ that conventional activism offers as discrete or separate from the problems that we seek to nullify.
Bayo and Ej are on a decolonizing/unlearning journey with Alethea Aanya – their daughter – and are slowly adopting a nomadic life. He spends his time writing, is presently crafting his second and third book, ‘And We Shall Dance with the Mountains’ and a novel, ‘The Boy Who Stayed Outside’. His most fervent passions are Ej, drawing, singing, writing, designing, speaking, and travelling – as well as dreaming about a time when writing bios like this one will no longer make sense.