- ABOUT US
- Rights of Springs
More than 50 lawyers, law students, and community members gathered on February 10, 2012, at the Barry University School of Law for the third annual Future Generations Conference, hosted by the Center for Earth Jurisprudence. The program, True Wealth in a Green World, explored an expanded definition of wealth that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.
For its theme, the conference drew upon an older definition of wealth that meant “welfare, weal, and abundance,” an original meaning not linked to material possessions or money value. As Sister Patricia Siemen, CEJ’s director, observed, “This underlying other meaning remains: that which gives abundance, welfare, good living. True wealth is the welfare and the well-being of the larger community that includes the needs and good of the individual.”
The conference was opened by award-winning environmental writer and documentary filmmaker Bill Belleville, who encouraged the audience to re-encounter the unique “sense of place” created by Florida’s natural areas, and to appreciate the essential contributions of land, water, plants and animals, as well as Florida’s human explorers and inhabitants, to the Florida experience. Mr. Belleville’s latest book, Salvaging the Real Florida: Lost & Found in the State of Dreams, was recently awarded the National Outdoor Book Award for natural history literature.
Janelle Orsi, a “sharing lawyer” from California who co-directs the Sustainable Economies Law Center, introduced the new practice area of sharing law, which has recently been recognized by the American Bar Association as a new specialty area, helping clients navigate the legal challenges posed by such environmentally friendly practices as food co-operatives, car sharing, and urban farming. She offered a new model for legal practice, based upon data showing that about 70% of potential clients, those in the middle of the economic spectrum, are underserved by the legal community, and suggesting that legal job growth will come from serving that client base. Her approach generated much interest among the Barry law school alumni in attendance. Ms. Orsi is finishing a book on sharing law, following the success of her earlier work, The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life & Build Community.
Janie Barrera, president and CEO of AccionTexas, the largest non-profit microlender in the United States, explained the vision and philosophy that created the company and grew it into a multi-million dollar operation with ten offices in three states, more than 2,200 active clients, and a payback rate above 90%. Under her leadership, ACCIONTexas provides vital funding to small businesses that do not qualify through banks. Ms. Barrera credits the company’s relationship-building with their borrowers—car lots, hair salons, restaurants, and daycare centers, to name a few—to their high payback rate. She emphasized how a new model of lending can benefit communities by overcoming the flaws in the traditional economic system.
The individual presentations were followed by a panel discussion of additional aspects of true wealth. Kelly Swartz, Esq., founder of IngenuityLaw, a boutique intellectual property firm, explained how she “rebalanced her life account” by choosing to start her own firm. Tia Meer, president of the Simple Living Institute, discussed the real value of food and included information about sustainable gardening in Florida. Don Hall, executive director of Transition Sarasota, provided a history of energy consumption and current consumer lifestyles, and offered a model for communities to transition to more sustainable ways of living and working.
Highlights will be available soon via video on this page, along with presentation slides.
The Future Generations conference represents an ongoing effort by the Center for Earth Jurisprudence to provide education and probe significant areas of the essential task of this generation: reconciling current human needs and the needs of future generations of all species.
To join the Center for Earth Jurisprudence mailing list and receive notification of future conferences and events, contact Jane Goddard at firstname.lastname@example.org or (321) 206-5788.
Sr. Pat Siemen on Rights of Nature at TEDxJacksonville 2013View video full screen on YouTube.
Florida’s Water and Land LegacyCongratulations to all who are working diligently and passionately in support of Amendment 1 on the November 2014 ballot. More than 960,000 voters signed petitions to place The Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment on the ballot. Learn more about Amendment 1 at VoteYeson1FL.org.
CEJ Events & PresentationsHidden Springs Paddle
Saturday, October 4, 2014
(note new date)
Spend a morning kayaking on the Wekiva River with award-winning nature writer Bill Belleville and experience the waters and wildlife of one of Central Florida's treasures. RSVP required. Contact jmarsden (at) barry.edu for more information.
The Myth & Magic of Florida Springs
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Spring Field Trip
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Building an Earth Democracy: Protecting the Rights of Mother Earth & Humanity
February 2-6, 2015
Doon Valley, Dehradun, India
Join Dr. Vandana Shiva, PhD, Dr. Mira Shiva, MD, and Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, JD for a residential workshop at Navdanya's Earth University to examine the Rights of Mother Earth, and the customs and laws that protect all inhabitants' rights of exist, regenerate, and thrive.
Contact: Dr. Vinod Bhatt - vinod (at) navdanya.net or Patricia Siemen - psiemen (at) barry.edu
Discover more at Navdanya.org.
Other EventsMarjorie Harris Carr: Defender of Florida's Environment
Thursday, September 16, 2014
Preserve Brevard and Friends of the Carr Refuge present author Peggy Macdonald and her brand new biography of pioneering environmentalist Marjorie Harris Carr. Find out more and register for this FREE event at MarjorieCarr.EventBrite.
Save the Date!
Public Interest Environmental Conference
February 12-14, 2015
Details coming soon!
Learning to See Naturally ~ Nature Journaling WorkshopsVisit our nature journaling blog, Learning to See Naturally, for poems, photos, stories and other nature-inspired creative works from our workshop participants.
Tag Cloudadvocacy belonging climate change climate justice community culture earth Earth jurisprudence ecological justice Ecology ethic events Florida future generations history Lagoons & Estuaries Pat's Blog publications public trust resiliency Rights of Nature Rob Williams springs sustainability team water Wild Law words
- Getting Global: The Hidden Power of Local Leadership September 8, 2014PRESS RELEASE | Contact GAELLE GOURMELON | For release: Tuesday, September 9, 2014Notes to Editors: To schedule interviews, obtain a review copy of State of the World 2014 or for more information, please contact Gaelle Gourmelon at email@example.com.About the Worldwatch Institute: Worldwatch is an independent research organization based in Washington […]Gaelle Gourmelon
- Getting Global: The Hidden Power of Local Leadership September 8, 2014