Earth Charter International 2024 Conference Speakers

We present the distinguished panel of speakers for the Earth Charter Conference 2024, themed “Reimagining Education for Ecological Civilizations.” Our speakers encompass a diverse range of expertise, from renowned environmental scholars to influential authors. With profound insights and a commitment to sustainability, they will guide us in envisioning a future where education plays a pivotal role in shaping ecological civilizations.

Mary Evelyn Tucker

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Mary Evelyn Tucker is co-director with John Grim of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology. They are affiliated faculty with the Yale Center for Environmental Justice at the Yale School of the Environment. They organized 10 conferences on World Religions and Ecology at Harvard and were series editors for the 10 resulting volumes from Harvard. Her research area is Asian religions and she co-edited Confucianism and
Ecology, Buddhism and Ecology, and Hinduism and Ecology.
She has authored with Grim, Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014). They co-edited the Routledge Handbook of Religion and Ecology (2017) with Willis Jenkins. They are editors for the series on Ecology and Justice from Orbis Books.
They have created six online courses in Religions and Ecology: Restoring the Earth Community, which include Indigenous religions, Western religions, and Asian religions. They also edited the books of cultural historian, Thomas Berry, including Selected Writings (Orbis 2014). They published Thomas Berry: A Biography (Columbia University Press, 2019) with Andrew Angyal.
With Brian Thomas Swimme, they created a multi-media project Journey of the Universe that includes a book (Yale, 2011), an Emmy Award winning film on PBS, a series of podcast Conversations, and free online courses from Yale/Coursera.
Tucker was a member of the Earth Charter Drafting committee and the International Earth Charter Council. She won the Inspiring Yale Teaching Award in 2015 and has been awarded 7 honorary degrees. With Grim, she has received numerous awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture.

Jeremy Lent

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Jeremy Lent, described by Guardian journalist George Monbiot as “one of the greatest thinkers of our age,” is an author and speaker whose work investigates the underlying causes of our civilization’s existential crisis, and explores pathways toward a life-affirming future. His award-winning book, The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning, examines the way humans have made meaning from the cosmos from hunter-gatherer times to the present day. His new book, The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe, offers a solid foundation for an integrative worldview that could lead humanity to a sustainable, flourishing future. He is founder of the nonprofit Liology Institute and writes topical articles exploring the deeper patterns of political and cultural developments at Patterns of Meaning. Author website:

Akpezi Ogbuiwe

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A true nationalist and internationalist, Dr. Akpezi Ogbuigwe is a respected and high-profile expert in transformational change in higher education in Africa, environmental law, environmental education, and climate change education. She leads the Star Advantage Network. Her International Career saw her in various leadership positions with the United Nations where she was opportune to initiate and promote several initiatives on environment and sustainable development issues. She has a passion for equity, freedom and transparency in the promotion and execution of sustainable development policies and goals. She believes we can all in the context of respect for all peoples and the environment, achieve the sustainable development goals for a more peaceful and prosperous future for all. She is a Board Member of the Earth Charter International where she helps promote the Earth Charter Principles of respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, social and economic justice, and democracy, nonviolence and peace.

Sam Crowell

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Sam Crowell has been actively engaged with the Earth Charter International and Education for Sustainable Development for over 15 years. He not only facilitated several courses for ECI but has also been a senior advisor. Sam is a professor emeritus of education at California State University San Bernardino and former director at the Center for Research in Integrative Learning and Teaching. He founded the MA in Holistic and Integrative Education and is a founding member of the Network in Spirituality and Education. He also serves as faculty for The Institute for Educational Studies (TIES), Antioch Graduate Institute and adjunct faculty at St. Michael’s College offering courses on The Neurobiology of Stress, the Creative Imperative, and Neuroscience and Teaching.

Sam has been an elementary teacher, a principal, and an administrator. He is co-author of Emergent Teaching: A Path of Creativity, Significance; Transformation and Re-Enchantment of Learning: A Manual for Teacher Renewal and Classroom Transformation and two e-books on Earth Charter Pedagogy. He was recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award and the Outstanding Professional Accomplishments Award and part of the Fulbright Specialist Program.

Carol Anne Hilton

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Carol Anne Hilton, MBA is the CEO and founder of the Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics. Carol Anne is a dynamic national Indigenous business leader, author, speaker and senior adviser with an international Masters Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of Hertfordshire, England. Carol Anne is of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island.

Carol Anne is an international award winning, best selling author of ‘Indigenomics- Taking A Seat at the Economic Table’ and is also an adjunct professor at Royal Roads University’s School of Business.

Carol Anne was the only Indigenous person appointed to the Canadian Economic Growth Council as a senior advisor to the federal Finance Minister in 2016. Carol Anne most recently served on the BC Emerging Economy Taskforce, and the BC Indigenous Business and Investment Council. Carol Anne currently serves as a Director on the McGill University Institute for the Study of Canada, MITACS Research and the BC Digital Supercluster.

Carol Anne’s work has been most recently recognized with the inaugural Nation Builder Award from the National Angel Capital Organization in 2022, the BC Achievement Foundation’s Award of Distinction in Indigenous Business as well as the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’s national Award of Excellence in Aboriginal Relations.

Jim Wohlpart

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Jim Wohlpart became Central Washington University’s 15th President in 2021. Strongly committed to the university’s mission of preparing students for enlightened and productive lives, Wohlpart has made civic engagement, sustainability, and diversity hallmarks of his administration. He has promoted Central as a welcoming, inclusive institution that seeks to make education accessible to all.

Wohlpart came to Central from the University of Northern Iowa, where he was Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2015-2021, including a stint as Interim President.

Prior to that, he served in a number of administrative and academic positions at Florida Gulf Coast University, including as Dean of Undergraduate Studies (2011-2015), Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences (2005-2011), and Chair of the Division of Humanities and Arts (2000-2005).

He holds a PhD in English from the University of Tennessee, MA in English from Colorado State University, and BA in English and Philosophy from the University of Tennessee.

Wohlpart is author or co-editor of several books and peer-reviewed publications, including, Walking in the Land of Many Gods: Remembering Sacred Reason in Contemporary Environmental Literature, Unspoiled: Writers Speak for Florida’s Coast, and A Voice for Earth: American Writers Respond to the Earth Charter.

Namrata Sharma

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Dr. Namrata Sharma is on the faculty at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, State University of New York, USA. She is an expert with the United Nations’ Harmony with Nature Knowledge Network. She is also an international education consultant, and on the boards of various research centres. Her scholar contributions have appeared in several journals, and she has authored several books including Value-creating global citizenship education for sustainable development: Strategies and approaches (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). For more see:

Peter Corcoran

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Peter Blaze Corcoran is Professor Emeritus of Florida Gulf Coast University and founder-director of the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education. He has also been appointed as Senior Advisor to Earth Charter International; Research Fellow at the Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development; Senior Fellow at Forum 21 Institute in New York City; and Senior Advisor at Unity Earth Center in Melbourne, Australia. He is editor of various publications featuring the Earth Charter. His recent books include Envisioning Futures for Environmental and Sustainability Education (2017), and Intergenerational Learning and Transformative Leadership for Sustainable Futures (2014).

Cesar Baldelomar

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César “CJ” Baldelomar is Visiting Lecturerin Religion at Mount Holyoke College, where he teaches classes on religion and ecology. CJ is also an adjunct professor at Boston College, where he is currently a Doctoral Candidatein Theology and Education working on his dissertation. An interdisciplinary scholar, CJ has two law degrees from St. Thomas College of Law (J.D. and LL.M) and two master’s degrees from Harvard University (one in education and one in theological studies). He is also working on his first book, titledFragmented “Theological Imaginings”(Convivium Press).

Grian Cutanda

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Grian has a PhD in Social Education (University of Granada), a Master’s in Innovation and Research in Education (UNED Spain) and a degree in Psychology (University of Valencia). Grian has taught courses for the University of Granada and the UNED and has been part of the research group “Emerging Values, Social Education and Educational Policies” at the University of Granada. Grian is a fiction and essay writer with 16 published books (including the international bestseller “The Gardener”). Grian is the founder of The Avalon Project, an educational and activist NGO, and Executive Director of The Earth Stories Collection, a global bank of myths, legends, fables, and tales from around the globe capable of illustrating the principles and values of the Earth Charter. He is a researcher and faculty member of the Earth Charter Education Center.

Tim Echols

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Tim Echols grew up in Clayton County. The Echols owned a car auction, dairy farm, and house moving business.

In 1978, Tim attended UGA and met Windy Davis, who he married shortly after graduating. Windy is currently working on her graduate degree in Christian counseling.

After college, Tim worked for his mentor, Harmon Born, at Beaudry Ford in downtown Atlanta. Windy graduated from Georgia State University and taught at Morningside Elementary for Atlanta Public Schools. They decided to go into youth work full-time and both left their jobs to raise the funds needed for their venture.

Tim eventually started his own organization, TeenPact, which has grown to be a national citizenship experience for teens operating in all 50 states. It is headquartered in Richmond, VA, and Tim serves on the board of the organization. TeenPact has trained over 82,000 teens and children since its inception in 1994. Tim’s most recent book is Jean Marc of Jekyll, a historical fiction book about the founding of the Jekyll Island Club and the story of remarkable friendship between a French immigrant and a Gullah Geechee descendent.

Windy and Tim have seven children, have been married 39 years and live in Hoschton, outside Athens. Tim has a BA and two Masters degrees from the University of Georgia.