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16th Annual Earth Conference - The New Normal: Intentionally Planning Our Future

Over the past 18 months we have been forced to make myriad lifestyle changes due to Covid-19. While none of these changes were easy, there were some that, perhaps unintentionally, produced positive outcomes.

As a society, we were forced to slow down. We spent more time outdoors, we questioned systemic injustices, and we realized the importance of prioritizing mental health.

As things have begun to reopen and people are rushing to get back to “normal,” we have to ask ourselves - what are we rushing back to? Can we take the lessons we learned during the pandemic and use them post-Covid to shape a more purposeful, just, and sustainable world?

We will look at these insights through three lenses: our relationship with Earth, each other, and ourselves. How can we take the lessons learned from the struggles of the past 18 months and use them to begin crafting a more intentional life and community?

We have the power to choose what we let back into our post-Covid lives.
How will you intentionally design your future?

Due to uncertainties surrounding the ongoing global pandemic, our conference will look a little different this year:

• Conference will be held virtually over Zoom.

• Conference will be from 9am - 12:30.

• Ticket Prices:
      General Admission: $30
      Student: $10



Relationship with Earth

During quarantine many of us found refuge in nature. Being outside was one of the few places it was safe to be. What did this time teach us about our connection to Earth?

While cities were in lockdown air quality improved and water pollution decreased. Society cannot afford to complacently return to that pre-pandemic disconnect. How can we continue to foster that deeper connection as our busy, consumer-driven lifestyle re-emerges?

Speaker: Robert Blake   Robert Blake is the Founder and CEO of Solar Bear, a solar installation company. The Ojibwe pronunciation is (Gizis-o-makwa). Robert is the Executive Director of Minneapolis-based Native Sun Community Power

Development, a native-led non-profit that promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and a just energy transition through education, workforce training, and demonstration.

Robert is a graduate student in the Carlson Executive Master of Business Administration (CEMBA) program at the University of Minnesota. He is also a full blooded enrolled tribal citizen of the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians. His passion is spreading the word of renewable energy through communication, cooperation, and collaboration.


Relationship with Each Other

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder there was a shift in our nation’s consciousness. People took to the streets demanding justice, ready to dismantle systemic racism.

But this is not a quick or easy job and we as a nation have a short attention span and are easily distracted. We have barely begun to scratch the surface in the fight for true racial justice. How can we keep the focus on ending systemic injustice that gripped us back in 2020?

Speaker: Destiny Owens  The most important thing about Destiny is that she is a wife and mother to two wonderful children. She is also a racial equity consultant and strategist through her business Black Excellence Around

Minnesota (B.E.A.M). She spearheaded the first ever Black History Month celebration within the local area public schools and co-hosts the radio show and podcast Welcome to The Table. Destiny studied Child Development at South Central College and then Educational Studies at SW Minnesota State. She is the Board Chair and School President of Kato Public Charter School and sits on numerous boards and committees in the community. Destiny has been featured in publications from Minnesota to New York City and has received awards for her work in race equity. She believes that if we love first everything else will follow.


Relationship with Self

There isn’t a single one of us who wasn’t effected by Covid. While we all weren’t in the same boat, we all weathered the same storm. Focusing on our mental health became a necessity as we dealt with so much change and so many unknowns.

Things may be returning to “normal” but we have all been changed in the last 18 months. What have we learned about ourselves? Will these learnings help us make choices that will shape a more balanced and healthy future?


Speaker: Diana Gabriel  Diana works from a Strengths Based Sustainable Leadership Coaching model which she developed. It is anchored in Adaptability, Integration, and Resilience. She believes the foundation of Strengths Based

Sustainable Leadership lies in knowing one's core values, strengths, and purpose and using them as a guide, or North Star, in what you say yes to and what you say no to in your life

She brings to coaching the experiences of a long professional career in nursing, education, and psychology. In all of her work, she has helped people find meaning and purpose, achieve their goals, and move toward wellness and wholeness.

She lives in Mankato, MN has two sons who live in Memphis, TN and Menorca, Spain.