Anyone paying even a modicum of attention is likely to have their sense of hope for our world and the creatures in it dashed to bits on the cynical rocks of daily experience. This is especially unfortunate, as hope is a foundation for action, without which our darkest fears for humanity most certainly come true. Yet there are numerous compelling, empirical, and fully rational reasons to be hopeful. This inspiring presentation is not about hope as a motor of change, but a well-deserved emotional platform from we can all believe in and participate in shaping the world in positive ways.
A change maker on a wide range of social and environmental issues for more than 30 years, Skip Spitzer has worked from the local to the global level. He has started co-ops, run electoral campaigns, founded a labor union, worked in war zones, coordinated international coalitions and helped negotiate global environmental treaty texts.
Among other organizations, Skip has worked with Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America, the Women’s Campaign for Guatemala, the Ecological Farming Association, Long Island Eastern Farm Workers Association, Pastors for Peace Cuba program, the United Farm Workers, and the Resource Center for Nonviolence. He is a founding member of the national Genetic Engineering Action Network and the international Agribusiness Accountability Initiative.
For more than a decade Skip has been a social change skills trainer, focusing on organizational development, campaign development, facilitation, consensus process, grassroots organizing, using non-violent direct action and other topics. He has given workshops at Ruckus Society action camps, a wide range of movement conferences and numerous national mobilizations. He has also authored a variety of activist skills articles and materials, including “Unleashing our Power” and other titles available in Resources.
Skip trained as a Conflict Resolution Mediator at the Conflict Resolution Center in Aptos, CA. Earning an M.A. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, he has taught at California universities and community colleges, and has authored many articles and other publications, including “A Systemic Approach to Occupational and Environmental Health” recently appearing in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. Skip also worked for many years as a software engineer for computer industry leaders such as Netscape Communications and Borland International.
Skip lives in Portland, Oregon, and likes to backpack, play guitar, build things, and teach consensus process to his cats.