Where do we go from here conference, near New York, October 2014 




As a global community, we currently face many challenges. We collectively depend on shared resources including clean water, energy, a just economy, access to food and lately; the Internet. However, these assets are threatened by economic, political, and social systems that do not support what’s best for the vast majority of people in the natural world.

As we consider how to bring forth the changes that will help us move toward a world of greater social equity and environmental resilience, it is important to understand the interconnectedness of all the issues at hand. One of the most important issues from a social standpoint is housing and affordability, rather than wealth generation, which is invariably not shared with the masses, but locked away for no benefit to mankind.

This gathering is led by activists and thinkers on the front lines of change, coming together to explore “The Commons” as a unifying paradigm to move planet earth closer to sustainability. Whether you are a business leader, educator, student, architect, builder, politician, or simply a concerned citizen, this gathering has the ingredients to inform and motivate you to take action in your own community. 


At BMS, we are at the cutting edge of technology that has the potential to solve a number of the issues likely to be discussed at this venue. We are a proactive think tank, developing ideas and disseminating information that others may share our vision.









4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Arrival & Check-In (Rooms available after 5:00 p.m. for participants arriving on Thursday)


6:00 p.m.-7:15 p.m.   Dinner




7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.   Optional yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi


7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m.
Arrival & Breakfast

9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Keynotes with Robert "Skip" Backus, David Bollier, and Vandana Shiva

12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.   Lunch

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m
Optional tour of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living

2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Presentation: Detroit Kitchen Connect by Devita Davison 
Keynotes with
Winona LaDuke and Elizabeth Lesser

Dialog Walks   5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.


Room Check-in for participants who arrived Friday morning.

5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Optional tour of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living


6:00 p.m.-7:15 p.m.   Dinner


8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Omega's third annual OCSL Leadership in Sustainable Education Award
Keynote with Van Jones




7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.   Optional yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi

7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m.   Breakfast


9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Keynote with Jeremy Rifkin
Conversation with Jeremy Rifkin and Vandana Shiva, moderated by David Bollier
Presentation: 3D Printing by Michael Gayk 


12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.   Lunch


1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m   Optional tour of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living


2:00 p.m.-4:45 p.m.
Presentation by Osprey Orielle Lake
Conversation Women's Leadership in Sustainability with Vandana Shiva, Winona LaDuke, and Osprey Orielle Lake, moderated by Carla Goldstein
Presentation by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
Keynote with Bob Berkebile


4:45 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Conference Mixer: Meet and greet other conference participants. Learn about current work being done; and the vision individuals and organizations hold for our shared future.


6:00 p.m.-7:15 p.m.  Dinner


8:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.   Evening entertainment




7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m.   Optional yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi


7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m.  Breakfast


9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Presentation: The Billion Dollar Oyster Project by Harbor School Students
Keynote with 
David Orr
Keynote with Bill McKibben

Conference Close with Robert "Skip" Backus

12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m.

Lunch  1:00 p.m.

Check Out   1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. - Optional tour of the Omega Center for Sustainable Living 


Schedule and speakers are subject to change. Please check the organizers website closer to the event.



Vandana Shiva, PhD, is a world-renowned environmental leader, eco-feminist, author, and thinker. Director of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology, and Ecology, she is a leader in the International Forum on Globalization, along with Ralph Nader and Jeremy Rifkin. Recipient of many awards, she also has served as an adviser to governments and NGOs.

Van Jones, a former advisor to President Obama and best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs, The Green Collar Economy, is cohost of Crossfire on CNN and an award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy. In 2009, Time magazine called him “one of the 100 most influential people in the world.”


Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends, is an authority on economic sustainability. His books include The Third Industrial Revolution and The Empathic



Elizabeth Lesser is cofounder of the Omega Institute and senior advisor on Omega’s board of directors. Author of The Seeker’s Guide and the New York Times best seller, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, she is a frequent host on the Oprah Radio channel on Sirius/XM. In 2002, she initiated the Women & Power conference series and is cofounder of the Omega Women's Leadership Center.

David W. Orr is “Counselor to the President” Oberlin College and Steven A. Minter fellow at the Cleveland Foundation. He is founder and Chair of the Board of the Oberlin project and a founding editor of the journal


Bob Berkebile, is an influential sustainable design architect and community planner, a founding principal of BNIM Architects, and a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the Nature Conservancy, and the Center for Global Community.


Winona LaDuke is an internationally acclaimed author, orator and activist. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch Universities with advanced degrees in rural economic development, LaDuke has devoted her life to protecting the lands and life ways of Native communities. LaDuke is founder and Co-Director of Honor the Earth.


Bill McKibben, over the past three decades, has shaped public perception—and public action—on climate change, alternative energy, and the need for localized economies. An environmental activist, best-selling author, and "the planet's best green journalist" (TIME), McKibben is the founder of, the massive grassroots climate change initiative.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is the 13 year old indigenous environmental activist and youth director of Earth Guardians. He has organized many rallies, actions, demonstrations and events, giving his first speech at a climate change rally when he was six years old. He has become a plaintiff in lawsuits against Colorado and the federal government for not protecting the atmosphere.

Osprey Orielle Lake is the Co-Founder Executive Director of the Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network (WECAN). She is Founder and President of The Women's Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) and works nationally and internationally to promote resilient communities and foster a post-carbon energy future, while also addressing societal transformation.


Devita Davison spearheads Detroit Kitchen Connect, a network of shared, commercial kitchen spaces city-wide that provides community resources and an array of industry-specific services to burgeoning food entrepreneurs.


Robert “Skip” Backus is chief executive officer of Omega and the visionary behind the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL). He helped lay the foundation for Omega’s environmental and conservation initiatives, including campus recycling and composting, sustainable purchasing and support of local agriculture, water conservation, and 100% sourcing of campus electricity from wind and solar technology.

David Bollier is an influential American activist, writer, and policy strategist who focuses on democratic culture, promoting citizen action and reclaiming the Commons. He is cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group and the author of Think Like a Commoner, Green Governance, and The Wealth of the Commons, among other books.

Carla Goldstein, JD, is Omega Institute’s chief external affairs officer and cofounder of the Omega Women's Leadership Center. An attorney with 25 years of experience in public interest advocacy, she has contributed to more than 100 city, state, and federal laws, and has worked extensively on issues related to women’s rights, poverty, public health, and social justice.

Michael Gayk earned an MFA in Jewelry and Metals from the University of Washington and an BFA in Metals Design from the College for Creative Studies. Michael’s current work is emblematic of tension within muscular structures and pivot points within the human body. Michael is currently the Chair of Education for ACM SIGGRAPH 2015. He is Assistant Professor of Metal/Digital Design and Fabrication at SUNY New Paltz. 


Jason Stern is co-founder and publisher at Luminary Publishing, which he launched in 1993, to "nourish and support the cultural, creative, and community life of the Hudson Valley". Jason publishes ;ChronogramUpstate House, and their respective websites, and custom publications for likeminded organizations. Jason is author of Learning to Be Human, and pens the monthly “Esteemed Reader” column in the Chronogram.






The Omega Institute, is one of the nation's foremost educational retreat centers. As a visitor to our Hudson Valley home, you join a long tradition of people who have made their way to this spectacular region known for its natural beauty, art, and cultural innovation.


The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is a non-profit educational retreat center located in Rhinebeck, New York. Founded in 1977 by Elizabeth Lesser and Stephan Rechtschaffen, inspired by Sufi mystic, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and his ecumenical spirituality, today it offers classes to over 25,000 people a year, at the 190-acre (0.77 km2) campus.

The institute's stated mission is to "provide hope and healing for individuals and society through innovative educational experiences that awaken the best in the human spirit". Omega’s workshops, conferences, and retreats aim to create dialogues on the integration of modern medicine and natural healing; connect science, spirituality, and creativity; and build the groundwork for new traditions and lifestyles.




In 1982, Omega expanded from rented facilities in New York and Vermont to its current location on the former grounds of Camp Boiberik, a Yiddish camp, in Rhinebeck, New York. There are more than 100 buildings on the 195-acre (0.79 km2) campus, including a dining hall, café, and bookstore. Its buildings also include the Ram Dass Library, named for author Ram Dass who "has been a trusted guide to Omega". In honor of Dass' life’s work, the organization commissioned the library, which is designed in an eight petal lotus blossom shape to symbolize the unfolding of divine energy intended to represent Ram Dass’ service to public health, advancing social justice, and supporting spiritual development throughout the world.

The campus also includes the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL), which is an education center powered by a 48.5 kW solar electric system and has a water reclamation facility.

The OCSL was one of the first two buildings in the world to be certified as "living" by the International Living Building Institute. The Omega Center for Sustainable Living is a wastewater filtration facility that is designed to use the treated water for garden irrigation and in a grey water recovery system. Omega will use the system and the building as a teaching tool in their educational program designed around the ecological impact of their campus.




One of the main conference buildings at the Omega Institute





Omega’s educational programs include workshops, professional trainings, retreats, conferences, and a teen camp. Workshops are organized into six categories: body, mind, and spirit; health and healing; creativity and play; relationships and family; leadership and community; and sustainable living.


New York City events have included speakers such as Al Gore, Christopher Reeve, and Eckhart Tolle. Annually, Omega hosts a yoga conference, and the Women’s Institute at Omega offers a conference that has included speakers such as Eve Ensler, Isabel Allende, and Sally Field. Omega offers scholarships to a variety of its workshops, trainings, conferences, and retreats.


Other Omega speakers and teachers have included Adyashanti, Maya Angelou, Deepak Chopra, Pema Chödrön, Jeanne Fleming, Jane Goodall, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Ram Dass, Thich Nhat Hanh, Allen Ginsberg, Gloria Steinem, Pete Seeger, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Philip Glass, Betty Williams, Lon Milo DuQuette, Anandagiri (One World Academy) and others.



Henry Delamater House


ABOVE: Henry Delamater House, Rhinebeck - European settlement in the Rhinebeck area dates to 1686, when a Dutch group crossed the river from Kingston and bought 2,200 acres (890 ha) of land from the local Iroquois nation. Later, Henry Beekman obtained a patent for the land, and saw a need for development to begin. He brought into the area Casper Landsman, a miller, and William Traphagen, a builder. 




ABOVE: Serendipity Farm, Rhinebeck - In 1703 the New York colonial assembly approved money for the construction of the King's Highway, later known as the Albany Post Road and today most of Route 9. Three years later Traphagen bought a tract of land in Beekman's patent where the King's Highway intersected the Sepasco Indian Trail, the route today followed by Market Street. He built a house and tavern on the trail a short distance west of the King's Highway. This was the beginning of Rhinebeck.





Rhinebeck is a village located in the Town of Rhinebeck in Dutchess County, New York, USA. The population was 2,657 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.

The Village of Rhinebeck is the principal community in the town. The postal ZIP code is 12572. US 9 passes through the village. According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), of which, 1.6 is land and 0.61% is water.




Dutchess County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley. As of the 2010 census, the population was 297,488. The county seat is Poughkeepsie. Dutchess County is part of the New York metropolitan area.

Dutchess County is located in southeastern New York State, between the Hudson River on its west and the New York-Connecticut border on its east, about halfway between the cities of Albany and New York. It contains two cities: Beacon and Poughkeepsie.


  Location map of the USA and New York state  Rhinebeck map of New York


LEFT: Map of USA showing New York in red RIGHT: Map of New York showing Rhinebeck in as red dot



Dutchess County, New York


Map of New York showing Dutchess County in red





Omega Institute
150 Lake Drive
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Phone (Registration): Call toll free 877.944.2002 (US) 

or 845.266.4444 (International)
Monday–Thursday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST

Fax: 845.266.3769

Tell Omega how your time at their changed your life by emailing:

Workshop Proposals: If you would like to teach a workshop at Omega please submit your proposal using their online form.

Useful Rhinebeck Campus (845.266.4444) Extensions:

Wellness Center: ext. 575
Guest Services: ext. 125
Special Needs: ext. 181
Scholarships: ext. 180
Seasonal Staff (voice mail): ext. 191
Omega Store: 845.266.4222








Rhinebeck Village

Enjoy Rhinebeck

Wikipedia Dutchess_County_New_York

Wikipedia Rhinebeck New_York

Wikipedia Omega_Institute_for_Holistic_Studies,_New_York,_New_York




        Bluebird cartridge recharging system, prototype concept car       


LEFT: The solar assisted Ecostar DC50 equipped with the 60 second fast charge cartridge exchange system. Solar assistance is worth around 200 free motoring miles a week. Cars with the Bluebird™ fast swap system are perfect to demonstrate how service stations might be implemented that are cheap to install and load level, using either battery or hydrogen fuel cell for storage. At present this is the only systems that allows a vehicle to swap between battery and fuel cell technology at the flick of a switch. RIGHT: The Bluefish™ concept vessel is a platform to demonstrate  technology for zero carbon ships of the future, using solar and wind power as the driving force.  Governments could slash their operational costs by going over to pollution free drone ships. This Bluefish design uses no diesel fuel to cruise the oceans at relatively high speeds of 7-10 knots 24/7 and 365 days a year - only possible with the unique energy harvesting system. This vessel is likely to pay for itself in fuel saved every ten years.







This website is Copyright © 2014 Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd.   The names Bluebird™, Bluefish™, Solar Navigator™ and the blue bird and fish in flight logos are trademarks. The color blue is an essential element of the marks. All other trademarks are hereby acknowledged.


Flying blue fish Bluebird trademark legend, blue bird in flight logo