2015 Episodes

The Next System

The arguments about America’s growing income and opportunity gaps get plenty of attention, which is not the case for the projects and programs already underway to narrow them.  Gar Alperovitz of the Democracy Collaborative gives us a quick survey of advances in economic democracy nation-wide while Oregon Action describes what’s emerging in our own state.

Restorative Justice

A huge but quiet shift is underway in a growing number of public schools.  The practitioners of restorative justice are helping kids adopt respectful, accountable, remarkably wise ways of relating with others, making their personal relationships and communities stronger and safer.  This investment will yield huge returns over the years.

A New Way to Go --Electric Vehicles

The “obituary” offered by the popular film Who Killed the Electric Car? was premature.  EVs are back in a very big, and surprisingly affordable, way.  They’re evolving from luxuries for rich gear-heads to a practical (even if fun) alternative for just about anyone who drives.  This is a striking story of innovation and inter-generational connection

For The Birds

They both fascinate us and offer some of the very best indicators for the health of our natural world.  The perilous plight of wild birds has professional scientists (like those from our featured guest, the Klamath Bird Observatory) and ever-more amateur birdwatchers focused on a variety of conservation projects, old and new.  And we find  Read More»

The Workers are the Bosses

Even those with the rosiest views on our “improving” economy recognize that the American Dream has dropped out of reach for millions of diligent workers. But thousands of others, those working for the growing number of employee-owned businesses, can see a clear path to the kind of workplace security and dignity many of their parents  Read More»

Environmental Literacy

“We envision a world,” says the thriving organization NatureBridge, “where every student learns about the science of nature, is inspired by its beauty, and is motivated to take action to protect the natural world.” In partnership with some of our most magnificent National Parks, they’re bringing that world closer every year.

Citizen Wisdom

There’s a growing movement that still takes seriously the possibility of government of, by and for the people. Oregon’s Citizen Initiative Review is one expression its projects, which organizes the common sense and sound judgment of ordinary citizens in ways that spark confidence that our historic experiment in self-government could succeed after all.

Bees for People, People for Bees

By now almost everyone knows our pollinators—and with them, much of our basic food supply—are in serious trouble. But do you know what citizens across our region are doing about it, and how effective their collective efforts are? And how much enjoyment they’re getting from gathering with their neighbors to expand and protect bee habitat?  Read More»

How does singing build community?

If you were one of the kids asked by your school music teacher to sing more softly, this episode is for you. Millions of people are joining singing groups to strengthen friendships and communities, and for the simple steady joy that it brings. Performance singers come in all ages and in a broader range of  Read More»

Horses that Heal

“Horses,” in the words of Australian poet Pam Brown, “lend us the wings we lack.” A growing number of equine therapy programs are channeling the quietly profound power of horses to help people with mental, physical and emotional challenges. It is very close to magic.

A Black & White Challenge

Fifty years after Dr. King envisioned an America that would judge his children by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin, we’re overwhelmed by headlines from Ferguson and Staten Island, and sadly similar stories from just about everywhere else. Why, half a century and millions of conversations later, has racial  Read More»

Generational Equity

“A society grows great,” according to a Greek proverb, “when its elders plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.” That’s the touchstone of SAGE, Senior Advocates for Generational Equity. Their founder exchanges perspectives with millennial leaders of Oregon Climate and Generation Waking Up.

Generous Ventures in Music

While almost everyone has come to agree that studying music has tremendous value for kids, cash-strapped school districts say they can’t afford to teach it. Enter the Modern Roots Foundation and the Grizzly Fiddlers with creative and generous ways to connect kids with musical instruments. Plus the warm pleasure older folks take from Heart and  Read More»

Everyday Troops on the Cancer Front

Few if any health crises spur so many people to so many forms of volunteer commitment as cancer. What makes the national movement to make life better for victims, comfort survivors, and fuel progress towards a cure so compelling? The answers our guests offer up after years on the front lines are persuasive and moving.

Alternative School Breaks

Alternative School Breaks: Vacations of Service. Girls (& boys) gone wild? Not exactly. Students Today, Leaders Forever are creating a better society. This week millions of college students head for beaches and other crowded sunny locales to let off steam in ways that sometimes make for spicy headlines. A smaller but growing number will take  Read More»

Soaring with The Boy Who Flies

Soaring with The Boy Who Flies: Paraglider inspires kids in Malawi, Africa to stay in school and realize their dreams! Godfrey Masauli, the one and only paraglider pilot is his native Malawi, Africa, visits Oregon to sharpen his skills both in the air, and on the ground as a messenger of possibility. He is inspiring  Read More»

Our First Community Members

They were and are vital residents of Oregon and the Northwest. But many of us know almost nothing—unless you count worn-out cardboard stereotypes–about Native Americans and their culture today. Who are they, and what possibilities would come out of greater mutual understanding and appreciation?

Young Water Champions

Stuart Perlmeter and Aspyn Lysiak of the Water & Energy Learning Lab, Seth Maxwell of the Thirst Project. One of the core challenges drawing the energy and creativity of young people with an eye on the future is water—its quality in our rivers, streams and oceans, and its availability for meeting basic survival needs of  Read More»

The World is Our Community, 3rd Edition

Frances Dixon of Adopt-a-Village (Guatemala), student Skyla Patton of Rotary Interact, Brook Golling of Semila Nueva (Guatemala), and a return of the Himalaya Cataract Project’s Matt Oliva… We meet a few more Southern Oregonians who’ve traveled far from home for projects that dramatically reinforce the fact that an ordinary person with extraordinary dedication can in  Read More»

The Big Idea: upstream solutions in education

Dee Anne Everson of United Way, Medford School Superintendent Brian Shumate, Ruch School Principal Julie Barry, and “Big Idea” student representative Joby Evanow… What to do about low high school graduation rates? Mobilize your whole community —neighbors who will mentor individual kids through the rough spots, professionals from all kinds of disciplines, people excited to  Read More»

Investment for the people

Heather Stafford of Sustainable Valley, Amy Pearl of hatch.org, Michael Shuman of the Post Carbon Institute, Will Wilkinson of the Southern Oregon Time Co-op… CPOs, “Community Public Offerings,” are about to be legal in Oregon, allowing virtually anyone to make modest equity investments in Oregon companies. Our guests believe that single change can breathe life  Read More»

Storytelling rides again

Southern Oregon’s “The Hearth” and Portland’s “Back Fence”. The newest rage in communication and entertainment is also the oldest. Storytelling events—flesh-and-blood storytellers spinning yarns to flesh-and-blood audiences actually sitting in the same room, with no technology beyond a simple microphone—are selling out in communities large and small. We find out why, and enjoy a good  Read More»

Food Banks rise to the challenge

Ashland Food Bank, Marion-Polk Food Share, Rotary First Harvest. The number of “food-insecure”—or just plain hungry—Americans continues to rise steeply; about one American in eight needs assistance from food banks these days. How’s this exploding demand being met? With determination and heaping amounts of creativity, inspiring food bank customers and volunteers alike. There’s more good  Read More»

Closing the loop; making soil from waste

Southern Oregon Research & Extension Center, Ashland High School, world-renowned soil scientist Dr. Elaine Ingham. We discover how dedicated teachers and students are “closing the loop” that petroleum-based products have broken in the last century of agriculture’s development. There are a couple of simple, time-honored ways, available to everyone, to create soil (which, we learn,  Read More»

Teen Dads

Portland’s Squires program, OnTrack Addiction Treatment’s “Dads” program About one American male in fifteen fathers a child while still a teenager. Very few are up to the responsibility without the support and mentoring of mature men like those who volunteer for the Squires program. We also find out about a nearly unique program to help  Read More»

Welcome to 2015

Francis Weller, Ocean Robbins, Charles Eisenstein, Duane Elgin, Frances Moore Lappe. We ask a few of IP’s favorite guests and collaborators three questions: What has most hopeful and excited as we enter 2015? What has you most concerned? What would you say to someone who’s especially discouraged about what’s going on in the world?

2014 Episodes


Why do we give? Generosity is the lifeblood of strong community, but its satisfaction can be hard to express. We move towards the heart of the matter with a look at Sparrow Clubs of children rallying around their peers in need, a visit with the Center for a New American Dream, and an update conversation  Read More»


What’s going on with solar energy? More technical advances, broader access and affordable options than you probably think. Local and national leaders trace the movement of solar from the edges to the center of our overall energy picture. Plus an update from the Jackson County Fuel Committee.


An elegantly productive partnership arises between groups like Habitat for Humanity that help people build and own their own homes, and job training organizations like Youthbuild and the Job Corps. Results include the first quality housing some families have ever had, a pathway to quality jobs for disadvantaged young adults and remarkable volunteer opportunities. Plus  Read More»


More than a few people find their way to community connection through their love and compassion for animals. We talk to singularly devoted professionals and volunteers behind Friends of the Animal Shelter, Dogs for the Deaf and Autism Service Dogs of America. Plus an update on Sanctuary One care farm.

Food, Kids and Angels

Southern Oregon is home to a couple of the most effective programs anywhere for connecting kids to the source of healthy food, launching them into a life of conscientious, wholesome eating, and recruiting school cafeterias as key allies for establishing healthy habits. It’s also home to the Food Angels, a wildly resourceful group of volunteers  Read More»

Stirring and cultivating citizen power

We hear all the time about the importance of active civic and community engagement…and we meet plenty of people who think they don’t have the time or patience for it. Why? And what actually works to get and keep people engaged? We meet activists of very different ages with some great answers.

Lighting up the senior years

If forgetting a name or date or your car keys has you worried about “inevitable” declines in memory and mental vitality, this episode is for you. Some well-designed and enjoyable programs—service-based, recreational and educational—are carrying people to very advanced ages with very sharp and capable minds.

Extending our way towards self-sufficiency

There’s an old established institution in just about every county, bolstered by a wide range of volunteers, that offers both adults and kids the tools to extend their capacity for healthy, more self-sufficient lives. It’s a coincidence that they’re called Agriculture Extension Services

Girls in Science

Millions of girls are raised to believe they have no aptitude and little chance for success in the STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. But their thinking is changing, thanks to the professional role models and volunteers determined encourage to dream big and then make their dreams real.


The Himalayan Cataract Project, The Honduran Accompaniment Project, Eyes to Burma Every community has a few individuals called to take global challenges head-on, without constant reflection on whether or not they are making much of a difference. And it becomes compellingly clear, in a way that inspires those of is learning of their work, that  Read More»


The Green Fund, Rogue Climate and Surfing for Change The torch is passing. It’s not that the projects imagined and implemented by activists in their twenties and younger “might” change the world. They’re doing it, right now, in fundamental ways that inspire realistic hope for what the future holds.


Women’s Crisis Support Team, Community Works and Jackson Katz Violence against woman is a blight on our communities that swells in economically rough times. Volunteers and professionals are coming together to change attitudes, norms and social expectations so that every woman has reason to feel safer in her day-to-day life.


“Get America Singing Again,” Friends of Children and School on Wheels People who care deeply about kids are finding more and more creative ways to fill the gaps in today’s public school offerings, and the difference they make can’t be overstated. PLUS: As the 2014 Ashland Independent Film Festival opens, an update on how Film  Read More»


Coyote Trails is one of a growing number of programs that are turning to the rhythms and patterns of the natural world to offer children deeply formative and centering experiences they won’t find anywhere else.


Businesses across the country—and most recently in the state of Oregon—are redefining their roles and chartered mandates to pledge bottom-line responsibility to their employees, their communities and the planet, as well as to their shareholders.


In one of the most powerfully effective parts of the emerging Restorative Justice movement, teenage offenders are challenged by juries of their peers, and by caring yet insistent adult volunteers, to make things right for their victims and their community.


Creative projects and events for creative people Painting, sculpting, dancing, music, performing and spoken-word arts—they engage and inspire a lot of people, but are they really building healthier, more vibrant and functional communities? The answer, our guests clearly show us, is ‘yes.’


With a commitment of just one hour a week, volunteers all over Oregon are offering young children a gift that can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment and advantages: confidence and competency in reading.


It’s no secret that bicycles are becoming more popular and widespread in just about every community. What are the long-term visions and surprising social inventions of those on the front edge of cycling movement?


Few investments in people and communities pay off better than those that connect ambitious, hard-working people with modest amounts of money to open the doors of higher education. In most cases, one good chance is all they need


The fun and transformational magic of theatre programs for children. When you look around for initiatives that build healthy communities in a sure and durable way, that strengthen kids to meet all kinds of life challenges, that excite and engage everyone who comes near, and that are just plain fun…it’s hard to beat Children’s Theatre.


Reclaiming a vital part of the human experience. The death of a loved one can feel like a life-crushing experience. There are growing numbers of volunteers with the skill and dedication to guide kids and adults through this painful gateway to a fuller life of healthy acceptance. Guests: Winterspring (Medford) and the Dougy Center (Portland).


Enabling families to live well There’s quiet, straightforward, effective work underway in our communities to give families the counsel and support they need to raise children to healthy, satisfying adulthood. It’s not fancy or mysterious—it’s just remarkably powerful. Guests: Family Nurturing Center (Medford) and others.


The extraordinary power of 1-to-1 mentoring. “Mentor one child, change two lives” is the accurate slogan of one of our guests this week. The adults who volunteer to mentor say they’re never the same again, and the children they support thrive beyond all normal expectations.


Why does environmental education make such a profound difference? “By bringing nature into our lives, we invite humility,” says author Richard Louv, one of our guests this week.

Why Local Matters

Why is the interest in local food, local finance and local enterprise generally exploding? And why does it matter so much?

2013 Episodes

Supporting Girls on their path to adulthood

Supporting Girls on their path to adulthood We visit with founders, volunteers, and the grounded, dignified, adventuresome girls of the Rose Circle Mentoring Network.

Main Street Alliance

Owners of small enterprises are banding together to voice a very different view on “what’s good for business.”

Veterans for Veterans Day

Did you catch our earlier coverage of the Welcome Home Project, an event and film that bring communities together to welcome their war veterans home?

Community Building Media

What can radio and online newspapers accomplish when their #1 goal is to make their community stronger and more enjoyable?

Youth take the reins of leadership

Twenty-somethings are beginning to grab the reins of leadership with brilliant creativity, passion and imagination. The future is in wonderful hands.

Slow Money

What if there were a way for people to invest some of their savings, not in Wall Street, but in its own community’s food and business enterprises?

Helping our elders stay in their homes

Community groups are forming to provide the relatively simple services their elderly neighbors need to keep living in their own homes.

Childbirth as Affirmation, not Ailment

More and more American births are surgical, scheduled procedures. The cost of that shift to women, to babies, and to the initiatory stage of parenting, say more and more childbirth activists, has been drastic. They are dedicated to reversing the trend.

Citizen Peacemaking and Rotary War Prevention efforts

“It’s too important to leave to political leaders.” That’s how millions of people have come to see the task of making peace among nations, and Rotary International is on the front line.

Community Health Clinics and Rising Star

Health care the way it can be, and a community of musicians joining to help make it happen.

Supporting Girls on their path to adulthood

We visit with founders, volunteers, and the grounded, dignified, adventuresome girls of the Rose Circle Mentoring Network.

Land Trusts

Smart, far-sighted, COLLABORATIVE ventures to conserve our best land for future generations.

Life Art

One man’s patience and creative generosity decisively change the lives of  troubled teens who are easy to write off as “gang members.”


They are the irreplaceable centerpiece of healthy sustainable agriculture, and for some, a profoundly satisfying practice. How can we help the bees survive?

How Film Festivals Build Community

To mark Oscar week, we explore the surprisingly powerful way that small film festivals have created a stronger sense of community in Southern Oregon and elsewhere.

Children and Nature

The work of reconnecting kids to the natural environment is ongoing and crucial.

Crossing the Political Divide

With so much talk about building bridges between old political foes…what actually works?

The World Is Our Community

“Building community” is a global proposition for some people.  They believe they’re the “somebody” in “Somebody ought to do something about….”

Facing Child Sexual Abuse

It’s said that sexual abuse thrives in darkness and shame.  Now adult survivors of abuse, resourceful professionals and passionately dedicated volunteers are standing up together to protect our children in more effective ways.

Jeffrey Smith/GMOs

The network of people who believe that genetically modified foods threaten our health, farmlands and local economies is growing.  Jeffrey Smith, author of SEEDS OF DECEPTIONS  and both the book and film GENETIC ROULETTE, is its compelling spokesman.


Cooperative enterprises are growing in size and number, and Rogue Coops is a cutting-edge example of their collaboration to create an integrated cooperative economy.


COHO — Choosing Options, Honoring Options–is helping people find their voices for the hardest, and potentially richest, conversations of their lives.

2012 Episodes

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

Amy talks with us about IP’s essential threads: building healthy communities, bringing generations together and bridging the old political/social divides.

Pushing back against foreclosure

Enough, say more and more community activists, who are keeping more and more people threatened with foreclosure in their homes.

The epidemic of bullying

The epidemic of bullying: volunteers and professionals empower kids to safeguard their own circles from physical and emotional violence.

Visionary author Charles Eisenstein

A new story of community and economic “reality” from Charles Eisenstein, author of SACRED ECONOMICS, and a preview of the film MONEY AND LIFE.

Homeless Youth

Developing services for the exploding number of homeless children that they actually appreciate and use.

Veterans for Veterans Day

The daunting task of welcoming home and supporting war veterans continues, with dedicated professionals and volunteers making a huge difference.


Court Appointed Special Advocates: a special relationship that makes the world safer for kids and richer for volunteers

Making Our Water

The old, nearly lost and long overdue practice of rain harvesting.

Guiding Kids

The Boys-to-Men program of initiation, and an astonishing girls basketball team.

Soul of Money - Lynne Twist

Visionary Lynne Twist offers us a vast and original perspective on fundraising and good living

Care Farming

Sanctuary One and the movement to weave together the healing of people, animals and the land.

Time Banks

Currencies based on hours instead of dollars bring profound change to communities and the people who live in them.

Community voice with Duane Elgin

Duane Elgin on the basic principles of voluntary simplicity, and finding and amplifying the “community voice.”

Catherine Austin Fitts

Exploring the reframing and revitalization of community and family wealth.

State Banks

Is the publicly-owned Bank of North Dakota a good model for Oregon and other states?

Taking stock of 2012 - Frances Moore Lappé

Frances Moore Lappé makes her second visit to IP.

Keep Warm

The Jackson County Fuel Committees and the Empowerment Plan harness volunteer energy to bring wintertime comfort to vulnerable people.

What Works

On observant, systematic approaches to real-world problems…and not re-inventing wheels.

Collaborative Forestry

Old foes come together to craft a community-based 21st Century forest industry that can work

Avoiding Gender Violence

Jackson Katz and his groundbreaking approach to infusing men with a passion to end domestic and gender violence.

The Tea Party/Occupy Wall Street Conversation

Tea Party and Occupy activists look for common ground..

Welcome To 2012

Heifer International and The Abundance Swap — new gifting models that build community.

2011 Episodes


People who want the best of both individual and collective living are modernizing an old traditional approach.

Community elder care

The Eden Alternative is bringing a richly wholesome quality to the last years of life.

Community Currency

A course in the transforming energy of place-based currencies from the world’s foremost expert, Bernard Lietaer.

Tiny Houses

Dramatic downsizing that is enriching the lives of more and more people.

Help Now

The resourcefulness and devotion of volunteers solve “unsolvable” problems for people low on options

Effective Voluntarism

Civic engagemnent masters David Gershon and DeeAnne Everson tell us what they’ve learned

Effective Alcohol & Drug Treatment

OnTrack’s priority on keeping kids with their recovering mothers has the nation’s attention.

Restorative Justice

When the focus turns to healing the community, victim and offender, everything changes

Citizens Initiative Review

Bringing unbiased citizen wisdom to public policy.

Ashland Food Project

A powerfully simple answer to “What can I do to help?”

Developing great youth leadership

Ocean Robbins and college president Peter Angstadt on what it takes to support the next generation’s leaders.

Rotary First Harvest

The nation’s largest service club puts members resources together to keep thousands of people better fed.

Welcoming Home our Veterans

The community-based project and film that, at long last, welcomes home our combat veterans.


More and more people who occasionally need cars aren’t owning them.

Crewfund & Mycoriseup

Two innovations: crowdfunding for community-building enterprises, and harnessing the multidimensional magic of mushrooms.

Why Local Economy Matters

The findings of Michael Shuman, America’s premier “localist.”

Farm to School

“What they grow, they’ll eat.” An inspiring collaboration for healthier kids.


Celebrating the anniversary of the original magazine of possibilities with Executive Editor Sarah van Gelder.

Frances Moore Lappé

A conversation with the visionary whose legacy inspired IP.