Award-winning documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf, whose work has focused on the human dimension of government policy, will show clips from several recent films on topics ranging from human trafficking, to baseball as it informs US relations with Cuba, to public transportation infrastructure, to modern agriculture during an address at Olney Friends School on Friday, October 29.
His talk, titled, "Where's My #*&! Jetpack? The World They Promised Us and the World We Want to Create," will focus on the future as it appeared in the past versus how it appears now - and the role of individuals and organizations in creating change. The event begins at 1:15 p.m. in Stillwater Meetinghouse on the Olney Friends School campus. His talk is free and open to the public.
Woolf is the director and producer of the critically acclaimed film, "King Corn," his sixth feature documentary, for which he was awarded a 2008 George Foster Peabody Award. His work has been released theatrically in the US, Europe, and Japan and broadcast on PBS, the Sundance Channel, and numerous international networks including RAI, ARTE, and SBS.
In 2000, Woolf directed "Greener Grass: Cuba, Baseball, and the United States," a WNET-ITVS co-production that received a Banff Rockie Award. In 2003, he directed "Dying to Leave: The Global Face of Human Trafficking and Smuggling," which won an Australian Emmy Logie Award for best documentary series, aired as a two-hour special on the PBS series Wide Angle, and has been screened at the State Department and the United Nations. Woolf has presented work and spoken at numerous institutions including Stanford University, Yale, UCLA, the CDC, and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
He is the founder of Mosaic Films Incorporated and has recently completed a new film, "Beyond the Motor City," which focuses on Detroit, and aired on PBS in February 2010. The film was part of the Blueprint America series on American infrastructure. In May and June of 2010, Woolf toured the country, speaking about the future of America's transportation infrastructure supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2007 he opened Urban Rustic, a Brooklyn, N.Y. grocery specializing in locally sourced and organic foods. He divides his time between New York City and Elizabethtown, N.Y.
Woolf's talk is one highlight in a packed schedule of public events Thursday-Saturday, October 28-30, at Olney Friends School. "People, Planet, Place: Case Studies in Organizational Transformation," a visioning process for the future of the school, will double as a gathering-point for citizens and leaders concerned with mapping the future of local and regional economies.
Keynote speakers, panels, and performances will overflow into three full days, with plenty of time for discussion on the agenda. All events are free and open to the public. Tours of the high school campus, and of the farm and garden; a chance to meet the goats and to help plant the year's garlic crop; and various other hands-on activities including apple butter making will be offered. Child care is available by advance request.
"It's not your typical conference. Nor is it your typical organizational planning process," says head of school Rich Sidwell. "We really wanted to make the process open to the whole community. We also expect leaders from other schools will come to participate."
A full schedule of events is posted at www.olneyfriends.org/summit. Some of the nationally and regionally noted speakers who will be featured include the following:
Quaker singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer, recently named one of the 50 most influential folk musicians of the last 50 years by The Chicago Tribune, will perform at Stillwater Meetinghouse on the Olney Friends School campus on Friday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.
Environmental policy advocate and author Michael Shellenberger will speak on new approaches to global warming and renewable energy on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Stillwater Meetinghouse on the Olney Friends School campus. Shellenberger is co-founder of The Breakthrough Institute, a California public policy think tank. His talk, "Beyond Environmentalism: Why We Need a New Ecological Politics," is free and open to the public.
The intersection of economic and environmental sustainability will be the subject of a panel on Friday, Oct. 29 at 10:45 a.m. featuring Matthew Bennett, president and operations manager of Dovetail Solar and Wind of Athens, Ohio; Peter Hackbert, management professor and director of the Entrepreneurship for the Public Good Program at Berea College; Howard Sacks, sociology professor and director of the Food for Thought Program at Kenyon College; and environmental reporter and advocate Megan Quinn Bachman, especially known for her work on peaking oil production and climate change. The location is Stillwater Meetinghouse.
Other speakers throughout the three-day event include David Kline, editor of Farming Magazine; Leslie Schaller, program director of the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet); Bryan Smith, watershed coordinator for Captina Creek, Belmont County Soil and Water Conservation District; Amy Eller, marketing manager of the Whole Foods Market store in Durham, North Carolina; and Judy Logback, co-founder of Kallari Chocolates, a worker-owned cooperative supporting 850 families in Ecuador.
Olney Friends School, a boarding and day high school located in Barnesville, Ohio, brings students from around the state, around the country, and around the world to study in a college preparatory program in grades 9-12. The academic program focuses on humanities, the arts, and the environment.