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APSO USA 2011 - My Top Ten Take Aways [Nov. 6th, 2011|02:07 pm]
Aaron Wissner
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Top Best Things from My ASPO USA 2011 Participation

  1. Talking with Dr. William (Bill) Catton, author of the books Overshoot and Bottleneck, who happened to grow up in Manistee, Michigan, the same city that my dad's side of the family is from. I talked with Bill early in the morning on the second day (I guess it pays to rise early) and then again on camera that evening. Bill also delivered two very good talks on the first day, that were short and a pleasure to watch.

  2. Talking with Dennis Meadows, one of the authors of the book The Limits to Growth, which is another often referenced work. I talked with Dennis prior to the 2nd day afternoon session on investing. Dennis is developing a board game to help teach people the ideas of the Limits to Growth, and I'm hoping to obtain a copy in the new year, to try with friends.

  3. The session on the third day about vision, story, narrative, values and messaging. This was a circle session, the only one of the conference, and it offered a great opportunity for those present to share their understandings, not least of which were the contributions of Kurt Cobb and Chris Martenson.

  4. The journey to and from the conference was an adventure. I went car -> bus -> plane -> bus -> train -> walk -> backtrack -> walk -> to get there. On the way back it was: RUN! -> train -> RUN! -> train -> RUN! -> bus -> plane -> bus -> car -> to get home. The way home on the plane in the evening, the sky was clear, and I was able to see all of the lights from the cities, towns, cars, homes. This called back to one of the lectures which pointed out how energy comes in to the living organism via a network, and no matter the degree of magnification, this was pattern was the same.

  5. Interviewing people on camera, including Robert Rapier, Chris Martenson, John Michael Greer, and Mark Robinowicz. These interviews were fun and interesting, and something I look forward to sharing with others in the future. They were also a chance to get to know the people better, which is always nice.

  6. Catching up with friends and making new friends was great. I talked with a number of people, and shared space and the experience with the Quinn's (Tom, Susan, Megan), Albert Bates, KMO and Olga, Jan Lundberg, David Gard, Kurt Cobb, my friend Dawn Moncrief (who lives in DC), and a number of others.

  7. Hearing from some of the people who made interesting contributions, including Dmitry Orlov, Charlie Hall (funny guy), Jeff Rubin, Richard Heinberg, and a number of others, especially those that had contrary views that came out strongly.

  8. My visit to Occupy DC, and the chance to see the occupation camp, and to participate in the general assembly meeting, plus the chance to interview (audio) the facilitator of the meeting. An interesting decision, they do everything through committee structure, and all proposals must first achieve consensus within a committee before being presented to the floor.

  9. Hearing Wes Jackson's talk on soil depletion including the history of soil of North America, and his work to develop a way to re-enrich the soils, and put carbon back into Earth. This was a very fine talk, apparently similar to the talk he normally gives, but very good none-the-less.

  10. Lending a hand with the event a bit by helping as the time keeper during some of the sessions. It seems like a small role, but it is actually surprisingly helpful, plus I received a nice thank you from the event supervisor Greg Geier, which was very nice. I also enjoyed meeting the staff members of ASPO, Jan and Ray.

The more things I think about it, the more things I took away from the event, but these were the top ten to pop into my mind. If I was to think about this again after a period of time, I might say that there were entirely different things.

I do believe that the experiences, and the connections (which are themselves experiences) are the best things from any conference.

I am so much looking forward to this weeks Local Future conference, which will give much more opportunity to do this as well.