âYou want to help. We want to make it easy.â With that slogan a handful of Southern Oregonians created the simplest, and probably most effective, neighborhood-based food project imaginable. Seven years later their system is bringing food to thousands of household tables that might otherwise be empty, in more than fifty cities nationwide. These volunteers Read More»
Not long ago Canadians chose geneticist, public television host and perennial environmental activist David Suzuki as the most admired living Canadian. In our conversation days after his 80th birthday we discovery that his energy, eloquence and fiery passion to heal the planetâs human-inflicted wounds hasnât dimmed in the least.
Climate change concerns and the pushback against corporate seizure of private property have fused to unite old foes in battling new fossil-fuel energy projects. Our guests describe their 10-year struggle to stop a Canadian corporation from building a pipeline across 280 miles of forests and streams in order to deliver natural gas to a proposed Read More»
We continue the exploration we began in our last episode: at its core, what is Islam, the worldâs second largest religion, all about? Does it merit the fear for our safety that flares (or is fanned) up in the wake of horrific, headline-grabbing attacks? Islamic scholar Steve School of White Cloud Press gives us some Read More»
Current election campaigns have brought clashing attitudes towards Muslim Americans back into the headlines. What is Islam, and what is life like these days for people in our communities who follow its precepts? Sumbul Ali-Karamali, author of The Muslim Next Door, and Islam scholar Steve Scholl guide us to some answers.
The ongoing effort to get people talking and listening effectively across the overheated political divide has recently been boosted by two groups, the Coffee Party and Living Room Conversations. We meet two of their leaders, along with Erik Fogg, author of Wedged: How You Became a Tool of the Partisan Political Establishment, and How to Read More»
âPlace-based education,â says Wikipedia, âunderstands students’ local community as one of the primary resources for learning.â And the lives of children are profoundly changed in the process. Lewis & Clark Professor Greg Smith is a guiding light of PBE, and Ruch Community School teacher Ryan King is one of its inspired practitioners.
Tired of hearing about climate change, even if youâre deeply concerned about whatâs to come? Youâre not alone. We invite some fresh, evocative voices to the table: climate scientist/evangelical activist Katharine Hayhoe, Impossible Conversation author Dean Walker and Peter Melton, host of âDaring to Discussâ conversations.
Family farms are enjoying a huge surge of demand for their produce. At the same time theyâre grappling with steep challenges brought on by climate change and global economic forces. The founder/operators of Good Humus and Fry Family Farms tell us what all thatâs like, and how the rest of us fit into the picture.
Now that pioneers like our part I guests have worked most of the bugs out of tiny homes, advocates for the homeless are exploring them as an immense possibility for their movement. In part II, we get a powerful invitation to put ourselves in the shoes of the homeless, particularly the young so-called âtravelers,â and Read More»
Tiny homes, one of the fastest-growing trends in construction. As our thoughtfully passionate guests from tinyhousebuild.com and Tiny Houses, Giant Journey tell us, this is about more than square footage. In a culture of unbounded consumption, this movement is evoking a deep and broadly-shared yearning.
Itâs no secret that mental illness is stigmatized, broadly misunderstood and sometimes feared in our culture. We meet National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) volunteers who bravely describe their ongoing struggle with illness, along with leaders from Asante Health and Compass House whose cutting-edge models are embracing and healing people weâve habitually isolated and shunned.
Twenty-five years after the timber wars broke out, weâre still striving for the best sustainable balance among the economic, ecological, and social/recreational uses of our forests. Itâs a complex puzzle. The Lomakatsi Restoration Project is on the front edge of solutions, bringing old adversaries to the table to restore forest health, viable jobs, and the Read More»
Could some of our challenges with the economy and jobs have to do with the way we teach business, or donât, to children? The Josephine County Foundationâs found ways to bring business alive for youngsters, as has author Jeff Brown of Teaching Kids Business.
In July of 2015, YES! Magazine editor-in-chief Sarah van Gelder set out in a small camper for five months to rediscover America. What has us engaged, inspired, excited and worried these days? Sarah shares with us what she found. IP508 – On The Road With YES from Immense Possibilities on Vimeo.
âHeroes,â said former Oregon Governor Tom McCall, âare not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say âThis is my community and itâs my responsibility to make it better.ââ For three decades the Giraffe Heroes Project has been shining the light on people who stick their neck out for others. We Read More»
Even as same-sex marriage has been legalized, the social rift over homosexuality still wears hard on many communities. Why? Can it be healed? We watch segments from the remarkable film Facing Fear and talk to its creator, and visit with two ministers whoâve struggled with the attitudes of many peopleâand their ownâover time.
Itâs the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in America, and the second largest in terms of profits. Human trafficking is devastating not just developing countries, but thousands of peopleâmostly girls trafficked in the sex tradeâacross America, very much including the northwest along Interstate 5. Everyday citizens in our communities are coming together find ways to expose this Read More»
If, as has often been said, women are the fabric that hold families and communities together, then everyone of us have a stake in the personal wellbeing of women. That may be why Womenâs Empowerment draws so many volunteers to help homeless women back on their feet, and why Soroptomists International invests so much energy Read More»
More than anything else, hands-on neighborhood projects have a way of lighting up the spirit of community. Portlanders have found a uniquely-Portland way to do that with DEPAVE, a group that organizes people to break up and remove âderelictâ pavement and breathe life into their neighborhood. And West Medford is reviving because its residents are Read More»
Are the arts a nice-to-have or must-have element of community life? The second, say more and more people who used to be skeptics. Recognizing the complexity and dynamic unfolding of their challenges, communities are actively tapping the creativity and imagination of artists to create great places to live.
A Special New Years Edition No one is better known around the globeâand, perhaps, more belovedâthan Dr. Vandana Shiva for championing sustainable agriculture, whole nourishing food, thriving local economies, and action-based respect for the natural world. We have the pleasure of a relaxed half hour conversation with her.
The arguments about Americaâs growing income and opportunity gaps get plenty of attention, which is not the case for the projects and programs already underway to narrow them.Â Gar Alperovitz of the Democracy Collaborative gives us a quick survey of advances in economic democracy nation-wide while Oregon Action describes whatâs emerging in our own state.
A huge but quiet shift is underway in a growing number of public schools.Â 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.Â This investment will yield huge returns over the years.
The âobituaryâ offered by the popular film Who Killed the Electric Car? was premature.Â EVs are back in a very big, and surprisingly affordable, way.Â Theyâre evolving from luxuries for rich gear-heads to a practical (even if fun) alternative for just about anyone who drives.Â This is a striking story of innovation and inter-generational connection
They both fascinate us and offer some of the very best indicators for the health of our natural world.Â 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.Â And we find Read More»
Even those with the rosiest views on our âimprovingâ 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»
âWe envision a world,â says the thriving organization NatureBridge, âwhere every student learns about the science of nature, is inspired by its beauty, and is motivated to take action to protect the natural world.â In partnership with some of our most magnificent National Parks, theyâre bringing that world closer every year.
Thereâs a growing movement that still takes seriously the possibility of government of, by and for the people. Oregonâs 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.
By now almost everyone knows our pollinatorsâand with them, much of our basic food supplyâare 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 theyâre getting from gathering with their neighbors to expand and protect bee habitat? Read More»
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»
âHorses,â in the words of Australian poet Pam Brown, âlend us the wings we lack.â 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.
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, weâre 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»
âA society grows great,â according to a Greek proverb, âwhen its elders plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.â Thatâs the touchstone of SAGE, Senior Advocates for Generational Equity. Their founder exchanges perspectives with millennial leaders of Oregon Climate and Generation Waking Up.
While almost everyone has come to agree that studying music has tremendous value for kids, cash-strapped school districts say they canât 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»
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: 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: 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»
They were and are vital residents of Oregon and the Northwest. But many of us know almost nothingâunless 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?
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 waterâits quality in our rivers, streams and oceans, and its availability for meeting basic survival needs of Read More»
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 Projectâs Matt Oliva… We meet a few more Southern Oregonians whoâve traveled far from home for projects that dramatically reinforce the fact that an ordinary person with extraordinary dedication can in Read More»
Dee Anne Everson of United Way, Medford School Superintendent Brian Shumate, Ruch School Principal Julie Barry, and âBig Ideaâ student representative Joby Evanow… What to do about low high school graduation rates? Mobilize your whole community âneighbors who will mentor individual kids through the rough spots, professionals from all kinds of disciplines, people excited to Read More»
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, âCommunity Public Offerings,â 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»
Southern Oregonâs âThe Hearthâ and Portlandâs âBack Fenceâ. The newest rage in communication and entertainment is also the oldest. Storytelling eventsâflesh-and-blood storytellers spinning yarns to flesh-and-blood audiences actually sitting in the same room, with no technology beyond a simple microphoneâare selling out in communities large and small. We find out why, and enjoy a good Read More»
Ashland Food Bank, Marion-Polk Food Share, Rotary First Harvest. The number of âfood-insecureââor just plain hungryâAmericans continues to rise steeply; about one American in eight needs assistance from food banks these days. Howâs this exploding demand being met? With determination and heaping amounts of creativity, inspiring food bank customers and volunteers alike. Thereâs more good Read More»
Southern Oregon Research & Extension Center, Ashland High School, world-renowned soil scientist Dr. Elaine Ingham. We discover how dedicated teachers and students are âclosing the loopâ that petroleum-based products have broken in the last century of agricultureâs development. There are a couple of simple, time-honored ways, available to everyone, to create soil (which, we learn, Read More»
Portlandâs Squires program, OnTrack Addiction Treatmentâs âDadsâ 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»
Francis Weller, Ocean Robbins, Charles Eisenstein, Duane Elgin, Frances Moore Lappe. We ask a few of IPâs 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 whoâs especially discouraged about whatâs going on in the world?
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»
Whatâs 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.
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. Itâs also home to the Food Angels, a wildly resourceful group of volunteers Read More»
We hear all the time about the importance of active civic and community engagementâŠand we meet plenty of people who think they donât 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.
If forgetting a name or date or your car keys has you worried about âinevitableâ declines in memory and mental vitality, this episode is for you. Some well-designed and enjoyable programsâservice-based, recreational and educationalâare carrying people to very advanced ages with very sharp and capable minds.
Thereâs 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. Itâs a coincidence that theyâre called Agriculture Extension Services
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. Itâs not that the projects imagined and implemented by activists in their twenties and younger âmightâ change the world. Theyâre doing it, right now, in fundamental ways that inspire realistic hope for what the future holds.
Womenâs 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.
âGet America Singing Again,â 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 todayâs public school offerings, and the difference they make canât 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 wonât find anywhere else.
Businesses across the countryâand most recently in the state of Oregonâare 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 artsâthey 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 âyes.â
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.
Itâs 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 funâŠitâs hard to beat Childrenâs 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 Thereâs quiet, straightforward, effective work underway in our communities to give families the counsel and support they need to raise children to healthy, satisfying adulthood. Itâs not fancy or mysteriousâitâs just remarkably powerful. Guests: Family Nurturing Center (Medford) and others.
The extraordinary power of 1-to-1 mentoring. âMentor one child, change two livesâ is the accurate slogan of one of our guests this week. The adults who volunteer to mentor say theyâre never the same again, and the children they support thrive beyond all normal expectations.
Why does environmental education make such a profound difference? âBy bringing nature into our lives, we invite humility,â says author Richard Louv, one of our guests this week.
Why is the interest in local food, local finance and local enterprise generally exploding? And why does it matter so much?
Supporting Girls on their path to adulthood We visit with founders, volunteers, and the grounded, dignified, adventuresome girls of the Rose Circle Mentoring Network.
Owners of small enterprises are banding together to voice a very different view on âwhatâs good for business.â
Did you catch our earlier coverage of the Welcome HomeÂ Project, an event and film that bring communities together to welcome their war veterans home?
What can radio and online newspapers accomplish when their #1 goal is to make their community stronger and more enjoyable?
Twenty-somethings are beginning to grab the reins of leadership with brilliant creativity, passion and imagination. The future is in wonderful hands.
What if there were a way for people to invest some of their savings, not in Wall Street, but in its own communityâs food and business enterprises?
Community groups are forming to provide the relatively simple services their elderly neighbors need to keep living in their own homes.
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.
âItâs too important to leave to political leaders.â Thatâs how millions of people have come to see the task of making peace among nations, and Rotary International is on the front line.
Health care the way it can be, and a community of musicians joining to help make it happen.
We visit with founders, volunteers, and the grounded, dignified, adventuresome girls of the Rose Circle Mentoring Network.
Smart, far-sighted, COLLABORATIVE ventures to conserve our best land for future generations.
One manâs patience and creative generosity decisively change the lives ofÂ 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?
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.
The work of reconnecting kids to the natural environment is ongoing and crucial.
With so much talk about building bridges between old political foes…what actually works?
“Building community” is a global proposition for some people.Â They believe they’re the “somebody” in “Somebody ought to do something about….”
It’s said that sexual abuse thrives in darkness and shame.Â Now adult survivors of abuse, resourceful professionals and passionately dedicated volunteers are standing up together to protect our children in more effective ways.
The network of people who believe that genetically modified foods threaten our health, farmlands and local economies is growing.Â Jeffrey Smith, author of SEEDS OF DECEPTIONSÂ 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.
Amy talks with us about IP’s essential threads: building healthy communities, bringing generations together and bridging the old political/social divides.
Enough, say more and more community activists, who are keeping more and more people threatened with foreclosure in their homes.
The epidemic of bullying: volunteers and professionals empower kids to safeguard their own circles from physical and emotional violence.
A new story of community and economic ârealityâ from Charles Eisenstein, author of SACRED ECONOMICS, and a preview of the film MONEY AND LIFE.
Developing services for the exploding number of homeless children that they actually appreciate and use.
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
The old, nearly lost and long overdue practice of rain harvesting.
The Boys-to-Men program of initiation, and an astonishing girls basketball team.
Visionary Lynne Twist offers us a vast and original perspective on fundraising and good living
Sanctuary One and the movement to weave together the healing of people, animals and the land.
Currencies based on hours instead of dollars bring profound change to communities and the people who live in them.
Duane Elgin on the basic principles of voluntary simplicity, and finding and amplifying the âcommunity voice.â
Exploring the reframing and revitalization of community and family wealth.
Is the publicly-owned Bank of North Dakota a good model for Oregon and other states?
Frances Moore LappĂ© makes her second visit to IP.
The Jackson County Fuel Committees and the Empowerment Plan harness volunteer energy to bring wintertime comfort to vulnerable people.
On observant, systematic approaches to real-world problemsâŠand not re-inventing wheels.
Old foes come together to craft a community-based 21st Century forest industry that can work
Jackson Katz and his groundbreaking approach to infusing men with a passion to end domestic and gender violence.
Tea Party and Occupy activists look for common ground..
Heifer International and The Abundance Swap â new gifting models that build community.
People who want the best of both individual and collective living are modernizing an old traditional approach.
The Eden Alternative is bringing a richly wholesome quality to the last years of life.
A course in the transforming energy of place-based currencies from the worldâs foremost expert, Bernard Lietaer.
Dramatic downsizing that is enriching the lives of more and more people.
The resourcefulness and devotion of volunteers solve âunsolvableâ problems for people low on options
Civic engagemnent masters David Gershon and DeeAnne Everson tell us what theyâve learned
OnTrackâs priority on keeping kids with their recovering mothers has the nationâs attention.
When the focus turns to healing the community, victim and offender, everything changes
Bringing unbiased citizen wisdom to public policy.
A powerfully simple answer to âWhat can I do to help?â
Ocean Robbins and college president Peter Angstadt on what it takes to support the next generationâs leaders.
The nationâs largest service club puts members resources together to keep thousands of people better fed.
The community-based project and film that, at long last, welcomes home our combat veterans.
More and more people who occasionally need cars arenât owning them.
Two innovations: crowdfunding for community-building enterprises, and harnessing the multidimensional magic of mushrooms.
The findings of Michael Shuman, Americaâs premier âlocalist.â
âWhat they grow, theyâll eat.â An inspiring collaboration for healthier kids.
Celebrating the anniversary of the original magazine of possibilities with Executive Editor Sarah van Gelder.
A conversation with the visionary whose legacy inspired IP.