SYMP 8-7 - Ecology of self: Stories of trying to use ecology as a verb

Tuesday, August 7, 2012: 4:10 PM
Portland Blrm 252, Oregon Convention Center
Garett Brennan, Focus The Nation

I am not an ecologist. But I remember it making sense when I was little. And it stuck. The tenants of ecology were forged in me as a value system at an early age. Long before I understood it as a field of study or area of expertise, it was just how the world worked. And the course my life has taken has been a result of acting on those values, of using “ecology” as a verb in my life. Not a noun. Not a concept. I wish I had the discipline to be a scientist. But I don’t, so in my presentation, I will share examples and stories of how my understanding of “action ecology” has played out.  From launching a festival in college, to working in health care, to growing a music career and to building the country’s premiere clean energy leadership development organization.


I strongly believe that we need ecologists more than ever to tackle our biggest problems. So I will challenge participants to answer questions like: “How can you bring ecology back to earth?” “If you were the staff ecologist at Walmart, what would your job be?” And “How would you make being an ecologist sexier than American Idol?”