The 2013 International Montessori Congress in Portland, Oregon will bring together some of the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers. They will discuss and present on a myriad of topics both directly and indirectly related to the Congress theme “Montessori: Guided by Nature.”
Some of the Congress presenters have already been announced:
Dr. Vandana Shiva
Besides being a physicist, ecologist, civil rights activist, editor and author of numerous books, Dr. Vandana Shiva is a tireless defender of the environment. She is the founder of Navdanya, a movement for biodiversity conservation and farmers’ rights in India. She is the founder/director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy.
When viewing Dr. Shiva’s work in protecting the world’s biodiversity, her courage and determination in standing up for the biological heritage that can be symbolized in the seeds that pass from one neighbor’s hand to another’s, one can’t help but see the little girl standing in the shadows of the mighty Himalayas, longing to know how nature works. And it would appear, after a half a century of walking on this Earth, she’s come to a conclusion she wants to share with all of us. Nature works beautifully, abundantly, for all of us.
Dr. Brian Swimme
Dr. Montessori recognized that science and history both tell portions of the same story–the continuing creation of the universe. We look to Dr. Swimme to help us better understand that all aspects of humanity have been constructed by processes extending back billions of years.
Dr. Brian Swimme is a mathematical cosmologist on the graduate faculty of the California Institute Integral Studies in San Francisco. His primary field of research is the nature of the evolutionary dynamics of the universe, and his central concern is the role of the human within the Earth community.
Swimme is the author of The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos and The Universe is a Green Dragon. He is co-author of The Universe Story, which is the result of a ten year collaboration with cultural historian, Thomas Berry. Swimme is also the creator of three educational video series: Canticle to the Cosmos, The Earth’s Imagination, and The Powers of the Universe. Most recently he co-wrote and hosted the 60 minute film Journey of the Universe, broadcast on PBS television stations nationwide.
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and author. His work includes starting ecological businesses, writing about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with heads of state and CEOs on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. He has appeared on numerous media including the Today Show, Larry King, Talk of the Nation, Charlie Rose, and has been profiled or featured in hundreds of articles including the Wall Street Journal and Newsweek.
Paul has founded several companies including some of the first natural food companies in the U.S. that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods. He founded OneSun, Inc., an energy company focused on ultra low-cost solar based on green chemistry and biomimicry. Paul also founded the Natural Capital Institute, a research organization whose main project is the creation of the first open source platform for global social change.
Dr. Adele Diamond
Adele Diamond, Ph.D., is the Canada Research Chair Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. Her recent work, including a paper in the journal Science, researching executive functions of the prefrontal cortex in children–functions supported by Montessori educational principles–is affecting early education practices around the world.
She created and organizes the immensely popular international “Brain Development and Learning Conference: Making Sense of the Science” in Vancouver, which presents exciting scientific findings in neuroscience and child development in ways that parents, teachers, doctors, social workers, and others — can understand, see the immediate relevance of, and use.
Adele Diamond also reminds us that there is a reason dance, play, storytelling, art, and music have been part of human life for tens of thousands of years and are found ubiquitously in every culture, that perhaps we have discarded the wisdoms of past generations too lightly.
The Breakout Session Presenters were selected via Call For Breakout Proposals RFP which is closed on June 15th, 2012. The results from that RFP will be announced soon!