Leading Visionaries Speak in Ashland – Architects of the New Paradigm

The Architects of the New Paradigm Conference Series (ANP) brings together some of today’s most accomplished visionaries to present a fresh approach to the world’s critical challenges. ANP events take a blinders-off approach to identifying the root causes of the meta-challenges, balanced with innovative and practical solutions. Presenters are chosen for both their expertise and presentation skills, and the day-two intensive sessions are designed to engage the audience, enabling a co-creation of new ideas and solutions.

The ANP Conference Series is produced by RVML Community Resource Center, a 501c3 non-profit lending library and events organizer here in Ashland for the past 15 years. RVML’s mission is “providing easy access to information that inspires, heals and transforms.”

In this interview we speak with the lead organizers of the conference Jordan Pease, Lori Lorenz, and Julie Drabik to learn about the behind the scenes planning and the vision for their third-annual conference here in Ashland this month.

Julie, Jordan and Lori, thanks for taking the time to speak with us here and congratulations on your upcoming conference. This looks like a great event. Please tell us a little bit about what you have been creating.

Thank you, we’re glad for this opportunity. We’re bringing some great presenters to Ashland this month for our conference, and we’re excited to tell people about it.

The thing that distinguishes the ANP Conference Series is that the events are inclusive and solutions-focused. We take a “blinders-off perspective” on things, meaning we’re not afraid to look “deep down the rabbit hole” as we say. But we’re essentially an incubator or a crucible for new ideas to be generated. The presenters are just as much facilitators who inspire the group to imagine new ideas collectively.

I love that you have created a conference that emphasizes practical solutions. What are some of the subjects you’ll be covering?

Okay, good question, and it’s a little difficult to answer actually. We have a list of subject words: environment, whistleblowers, quantum physics, worldview theory, social harmony, economics, vaccine safety, media propaganda. Those words are useful for a poster on a bulletin board, but the conference is as much about the content as it is about the experience that people will have. That’s what we’re going for. Creating an environment for people to be inspired. And to participate in together with the presenters.

The people who attend these events are really smart, and we’ve received good feedback from many of them. They’re typically well-informed people who care about the world, and often they’re somewhat aggravated because they feel alone in their perspectives. They’re focused on improving themselves and their communities, and they thrive when they’re engaged with others who are doing that too. Many of them also have great ideas and wisdom to share. So ANP is a place where people can network ideas and grow their community of friends and contacts. It’s a privilege to help facilitate that.

And certainly we aren’t naïve or arrogant enough to imply that we’ve got all the answers to the world’s problems. But we think we can present some good perspectives and ideas. And we can help inspire and collect some new ones too.

It must be hard choosing your lineup. Tell us something about each presenter and what they bring to the conference.

Yes, and we really encourage people to watch the short promo video on the ANPconference.com website. It captures the essence of each presenter in a powerful three minutes. It’s the best introduction to the conference and the presenters that we have. There are also audio interviews with most of them there now too, and of course, their full bios and presentation descriptions are on our website as well.

Essentially, each of the presenters we chose takes a solutions-oriented approach. What can we do? What can we do as individuals and what can we do when we join with others? Foster Gamble is a great example. His team has created a huge website with resources for people to get engaged with solutions easily. It’s called Thrive Movement, and it connects people with other people and groups who are already actively doing something in twelve different areas, all around the world.  Foster and his wife Kimberly are the creators of the film Thrive which lays out many of the root-problems we face, and then presents an array of solutions and opportunities. It’s been viewed millions of times online in many languages.

Jennifer Margulis, who lives here in Ashland, is a courageous researcher and investigative journalist who speaks out on the issues of health. She contends that while hygiene, vaccines and antibiotics have been the saviors of millions of lives, we may have overshot the mark.  Now these breakthroughs are becoming hazardous in unexpected ways.  She looks at how to find that middle ground where we can help our bodies be healthier and vibrant while not discarding the benefits of these advances.   

John Perkins is the author of the popular book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. He knows full well the ugly background of the corporate strong-arming of small countries around the world to take control of their economies and resources.  For most of us this reality brings feelings of frustration and helplessness, and John, through his decades-long inquiry into how we can empower ourselves through internal connection with ourselves, turns that around and provides solutions to affect real change at both a personal and global level.

Daniel Sheehan is the director of the New Paradigm Institute and he’ll address the philosophical and sociological aspects of worldview paradigm theory. He has an encyclopedic mind and first hand understanding of what’s behind national and international events.  His full resume is extensive with many significant social justice accomplishments. He was the attorney for the Karen Silkwood case, Pentagon Papers, Iran-Contra, Three Mile Island and many more. He’s done tremendous things for Native Americans as well. In fact he’s been hard to reach lately because he’s been up in North Dakota doing critical work protecting the water and land. He’s a terrific presenter.

Mary Ruwart is an activist, research scientist, and ethicist. She is well-known and respected in the Libertarian community for her perspective on how we can live more peacefully as a people when we become aware of the non-aggression and restitution principles. She speaks to the practical application of these principles and how they have resulted in real-life situations that bring more peace and more real prosperity while respecting individual personal freedoms. Mary’s book is called Healing Our World, and it’s an award-winning international best-seller. It demonstrates in detail how the application of these principles has historically created harmony and abundance, and it’s a roadmap for exploring practical solutions we can apply personally in our lives.

Nassim Haramein is an internationally-respected researcher, physicist, and teacher who is great fit in our presenter lineup for 2017. RVML members might remember his ground-breaking presentations in Ashland back in 2003. He brings a fresh way to understand our connection to each other and the universe. Nassim’s new film, The Connected Universe, pulls diverse understandings together in a comprehensive and visually stunning manner.

The conference emcee this time is Joel Garbon. Joel is the co-founder and former president of The New Energy Movement, and was a presenter at our last conference. He’s excited and enthusiastic to be invited back, and he will also be a participant on the two panels where he will interject his expertise on energy-related solutions. He brings his careful scientific approach to these subjects, and we’re truly delighted to have him back again this year.

We know the audience will agree.

Will Wilkinson is the moderator for the two speaker panels. He’s also the emcee for half of the sessions on Sunday. He’s an author, editor and workshop teacher living here in Ashland who has been engaged his whole life helping others discover and follow their calling. During the planning, he helped us define and refine elements of this conference, and he brings his breadth of understanding and humanistic approach to these subjects. He’s right at home within this awesome group of people, and we’re so glad he’s part of it.

ANP is developing a strong reputation for doing things differently. Please talk about the unique approach you bring to curating conferences.

Sure. We’ve each attended a lot of conferences on these kinds of subjects. A pitfall of the traditional structure is that it’s typically a one-way communication, from speaker to audience. Nothing wrong with that model really, except that when the information is of a “paradigm-challenging” nature, the audience sometimes needs a different experience to better integrate new ideas. And if they are brand new to some of the more challenging material, they might just shut down and not integrate anything at all.

There’s a testimonial on our website praising ANP for “setting a new standard for participatory think tank events.” It’s a great compliment, and it refers to how we choose our presenters and especially how we structure the day-two experience. We call it a “deep-dive intensive,” and it’s where the presenters can elaborate and expand on their day-one material, and it’s also where the audience gets engaged in the co-creative process. It’s a tricky thing to accomplish, but that’s what we’re aiming to do.

Another concern is that people may leave the conference feeling very energized, and then return home on Monday, and then by Wednesday or Friday they’ve mostly lost all their inspiration. And they start to forget the new ideas and feelings they had. One thing we do to address that is to include access to the recordings of the presentations with the ticket price, so that everyone who attends can watch them again right away to help re-energize themselves.

There’s another thing I’d like to add on that: Foster Gamble’s wife Kimberly told me something very powerful while we were planning the last conference. She told me “Jordan, think about this: it’s one thing to tell a person that there are a bunch of scary challenges ahead for the world. And then it’s another thing to tell people: ‘okay, here are some challenges, and here’s some solutions.’ But then, it’s a whole other thing to tell people: ‘here are some challenges, here are some solutions, and hey, here’s a group of people who have been working on ideas for 18 months already, come join them!” This idea was a big epiphany for me and it’s become a foundational piece of how we approach these conferences.

You said that your previous attendees have provided good feedback and suggestions. What were some suggestions you received and are implementing into the upcoming conference?

It was a full house last time, about 500 people, and it was remarkable how much feedback we got. Most of it very useful, and all of it appreciated. It’s an indicator of how much people valued the experience.

I know that it’s easy for people to overlook how many details and variables are involved with planning events like these. For example, we certainly would like to have a better balance of men/women presenters. Our three-year average is an unacceptable 70-30, favoring men, but there are so many other considerations for us involved with decisions like that, including just the logistical ones! Like how much will their travel cost? Keeping the ticket prices affordable is a big factor.

So, some of the things we’re implementing? There will be even more opportunities for networking, better music during the breaks, fewer ticket types, more free literature. Pretty simple things actually – we had it dialed-in pretty well at our last conference.

People appreciated how well we kept to the schedule and the quality of the A/V production. Those are things we strive for. Each of the presentations are supplemented with multimedia elements, which are displayed on large screens.

The last conference was magical and people absolutely loved it. It was a great experience for us, and I’m excited we get to do it again, this time in our hometown community, which makes it even more exciting and special!

Jordan, as founder of RVML, you have been involved with event promotion for over 15 years, quietly working behind the scenes. Tell us more about your inspiration for organizing conferences and founding the library.

Yes, both maintaining RVML’s lending library and organizing events have been my passion and primary focus since about the time I moved to Ashland in 2001. The library was actually an outgrowth of a meetup-style discussion group that I started back then, which soon became “RVML’s Tuesday Night Lecture Series.” That continued for about nine years, and during that time I was also involved in A/V production for conferences around the country. Among other things, it was a good way to recruit speakers for the lecture series and for the larger events that we produce every few months. I think there are about 500 of those events on RVML’s website calendar archive, and about half of them are available on Vimeo to watch for free now too.

And so this new brand we’ve developed called ANP Conference Series is a natural progression of the work we’ve done previously. Half of the presenters for 2017 were actually lecture series speakers too, Foster Gamble, Daniel Sheehan, Nassim Haramein and Joel Garbon. And in fact, the name “Architects of the New Paradigm” was originally brainstormed at a staff meeting in 2004!

And I’ve got to take this opportunity to publically thank a very special few of the many people who have been involved with RVML over the years: Kathy Brown, Hearne Moore, Bridget Tyler, Lori Lorenz, Sharon Elam, Suzette Mecca, Bunny Niewenhous, and many more. Julie Drabik joined us last year and she’s been a true godsend in making the 2017 event happen. A huge thank you to those friends and dedicated supporters, plus all the hundreds of others who have been part of RVML’s successes over the years. They’re such great people.

Yes, Ashland’s full of great people. Is there anything else you’d like to include here?

Sure, and thanks again for this opportunity. The tickets are a little cheaper if you get them early on our website, and it’s going to probably going to sell out at the door. We’ll have a group of about 20 vendors both days at the event, and there are a few spaces left right now. You won’t need a ticket to enter the vendor area by the way.

A special thank you again to our sponsors, vendors and volunteers – they’re all a critical part of this for sure. And one last thing about our intentions with the conferences. It takes twenty or more of us to accomplish this, and each of us is coming from a place of service. That’s the real bottom line with us. There’s not a big financial incentive involved here. The ticket prices are low because we want to involve a lot of people – to inspire a lot of people. It’s truly a labor of love.

Learn More:

Architects of the New Paradigm Conference

ANP – Architects of the New Paradigm


March 25-26, 2017
Ashland Hills Hotel & Conference Center, Ashland