- October 18, 2018
- 7:00 pm
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Ever had that sick feeling when you see a clear-cut forest or mountain top destroyed for mining? Do you grieve for the woods or the fields you played in as a child? Often, we respond simply by abandoning these places, as if they no longer count. Or else we work so feverishly to restore them to a state somewhere between what we remember and what we long for, that we fail to pay attention to how they look—and how they affect us—right now.
Trebbe Johnson has spent years leading workshops, retreats, and rites of passage programs internationally using art and ritual to make peace with these places as they are now. She is also the founder and director of the global organization Radical Joy for Hard Times.
Radical Joy presents an annual Global Earth Exchange Day, where communities come together in a local place that has been wounded by toxicity, greed, or simply modern progress, to make art out of the trash and found objects there. The experience encourages acceptance for the place as it has become—"ugly" but beautiful in its own way. Tebbe reminds us that by spending time in these places, finding beauty there, discovering what they can tell us about ourselves, and making simple creative gifts for them, we can discover new sources of meaning, community, creativity, and even joy.
Join CIIS Transformative Studies Professor Jennifer Wells for a conversation with Trebbe providing clear ideas and suggestions for accepting places that have been wounded by human interaction, from clear-cutting and fracking to extreme weather and urban sprawl.
Trebbe Johnson is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover, 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty, and most recently, Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty in Earth's Broken Places. She has also authored many articles and essays that explore people's relationship with nature. Trebbe is the founder and director of the global community Radical Joy for Hard Times, devoted to finding and making beauty in wounded places. A lifelong adventurer in inner and outer worlds, Trebbe speaks four languages; has camped alone in the Arctic wilderness; studied classical Indian dance; and worked as an artist's model, a street sweeper in an English village, and an award-winning multimedia producer. She has led contemplative journeys in a clear-cut forest, Ground Zero in New York City, the Sahara Desert, and other places. She lives in rural northeastern Pennsylvania.
Jennifer Wells is a writer and professor, and has worked in video, film and radio. Her book Complexity and Sustainability, examines how complexity theories may advance environmental policy. She looks at complexity theories throughout the natural sciences, but also the social sciences, social theory, and philosophy. Case studies focus on climate change and the energy transition. The complexity framework she develops has numerous implications regarding converging, multidimensional global crises, and related environmental science, policy and management. The book explores and problematizes discourse around shifting social, economic and environmental policy from vicious to virtuous circles, and from piecemeal to synergistic approaches.
Jennifer is currently working on a book on carbon ethics and environmental politics, in the context of pressing social inequities in the race to reduce global carbon emissions. Other current writing projects include a shorter guidebook on complexity theories and global change, and articles on the discourse surrounding growth, limits and values in confronting climate change, and on the imaginary of future scenarios and visioning.
After graduate degrees at Yale, Berkeley and the Sorbonne in Paris, in the fields of interdisciplinary environmental issues and philosophy, currently she is on the core faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Transformative Studies doctoral program.