Helmy Abouleish

Managing Director of SEKEM "I love working on a Mission Impossible!" Helmy Abouleish, born on July 28th in Graz, studied business administration and marketing in Cairo. As the son of SEKEM founder Ibrahim Abouleish, he is deeply connected to the development of SEKEM. SEKEM has been promoting sustainable development in the areas of ecology, economy, society and culture since 1977. SEKEM Holding produces, processes and markets biodynamic food, textiles and pharmaceuticals in Egypt and on international markets and operates various educational institutions. In addition to his work as managing director of SEKEM Holding, Helmy Abouleish is involved in national and international politics for responsible competitiveness, social entrepreneurship and the fight against the major problems of the 21st century, such as climate change and food security. Under his leadership, the SEKEM initiative was awarded the “Right Livelihood Award 2003”, also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”. Helmy Abouleish is currently CEO of SEKEM Holding as well as the SEKEM Initiative and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development. He is also a member of various international organizations and bodies, such as Fair Trade USA. In 2017 he became a council member of the World Future Council and NAP champion for adaptation to climate change. Helmy Abouleish has been President of Demeter International since June 2018.

To learn more about SEKEM: www.sekem.com


Théo Fischer

"What would our world look like if we allowed complexity to fully run its course? If each and everyone of us was empowered to go his/her own way? » These questions, among many others, fascinate Theo Fischer and have shaped who he is today and his professional practice. After studying management at the University of St Gallen, he worked for two years at euforia as a Creator of Opportunity (COO) before continuing with a Master's degree in Strategic Leadership for Sustainability in Sweden. For the past two years, he has been working as a freelance facilitator and program designer for individuals, groups and organizations wishing to unleash their collective potential to create radical change.

Orland bishop

“How do I have to be in order for you to be free?” Perhaps you are already familiar with this question, voiced so simply and yet so completely by social activist and community organizer Orland Bishop. In his own words, Orland says that, “My work is in service to the creative freedom of others.” Orland Bishop combines a deep dedication to human rights advocacy and cultural renewal with an extensive study of medicine, naturopathy, psychology and indigenous cosmologies. He was a research fellow with the Center for the Study of Violence and Social Change at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and has consulted with many human development organizations. He is also the founder and director of ShadeTree Multicultural Foundation in Los Angeles, where he has envisioned and actualized new approaches to creating urban truces and youth mentorship. A kindler of will-fires, a listener to the old and the new, and an advocate for the infinite potential within the Human Being, we joyfully welcome Orland back to Initiative Forum! He will contribute a lecture on the topic of Deep Listening which will work with the theme of detangling narratives in order to ask the question, “Am I truly listening to myself?”


Nora Rahimian

Nora Rahimian is a creative consultant and co-founder of #CultureFix, a global collaborative network of artists, activists, and entrepreneurs who use their platforms for social change. With over 10 years of experience in the music business, she helps artists and creative entrepreneurs from around the world achieve success without giving up their financial freedom, creative control, or personal integrity. Her work focuses on placing power back in the hands of those who are creating art and culture, and making sure that those people are well taken care while dismantling systems of oppression. She's been named a Trailblazer by VoyageLA, was recognized as one of iStandard's Women Who Run The Music Industry, and is a UN Alliance of Civilizations Fellow.

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg

Hazel Archer-Ginsberg is the Founder of Reverse Ritual: Understanding Anthroposophy through the Rhythms of the Year & the ‘I Think Speech’ Podcast. Hazel is a Trans-denominational Minister, Essayist, Lecturer, Poet, Anthroposopher. She is also working as the Events and Festivals Coordinator of the Chicago Rudolf Steiner Branch, the Central Regional Council of the Anthroposophical Society, and the ‘Traveling Speakers Program’ of The Anthroposophical Society. What are the qualities of the Divine Feminine? How can we use them to empower an innovative way of thinking, feeling & willing, to create a new world, where the human being is free? These are some of the questions that will be explored during Weaving a non-gendered Feminist Reality with Hazel Archer-Ginsberg. Make sure you have paper & colored pencils at the ready for this hands-on workshop.


german gallardo

German Gallardo is a Fulbright Scholar who holds a B.A. from the University of California Santa Cruz and a master’s from Claremont Graduate University. Before returning to education German served as an Executive Director and a non-profit consultant with a focus on the creation of healing programs for youth. As a social science educator German centers, the knowledge and experiences of marginalized peoples through the use of project-based learning, inquiry-based instruction and youth participatory action research. German strives to create learning experiences that address generational trauma and community challenges, allowing students to identify and nurture their gifts and strengths to generate real world change. As a school founder German seeks to bring the founding principles that have guided his career to the families he serves. By focusing on healing generational trauma through the use of powerful educational experiences and the use of indigenous healing practices to create a school that challenges all forms of oppression and helps the community radically reimagine what is possible.

Podcast links: The first one is foundational, the second is more for educators doing work and how to be sustainable.


lynn ostermann

More information soon.

panel discussions

Kailea Frederick

Kailea Frederick is a mother of Tahltan, Kaska and Black American ancestry. She is also a proud graduate of YIP6! Her work sits at the intersection of climate justice, spiritual ecology and resilience thinking. Her prayer is that those on the frontline of climate change and extractive based industry are able to find justice and peace for their communities. Currently, Kailea is the Editor for Loam, the Vice - Chair of the Petaluma Climate Commission and a board member with the Weaving Earth Program.

Learn more about Kailea's work by visiting her website, https://www.earthisohana.com


diane longboat

Kahontakwas Diane Longboat, BA, BEd, MEd is a member of the Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation at Six Nations Grand River Territory, Canada and a citizen of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is a ceremonial leader, traditional teacher and healer. Since 2013, Diane has served as Elder for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s largest and leading institution for clinical services and research for mental well-being. Diane lead the development of the Ceremony Grounds for CAMH to establish the Sweat Lodge, Sacred Fire, and medicine gardens, including the policy development required to support traditional Indigenous healing as a standard of practice.

Diane is founder of Soul of the Mother, a Healing Lodge on the shores of the Grand River at Six Nations Grand River Territory, with extensive relationships with First Nations in Canada and throughout the United States and globally.

Diane is also founder of First Nations House (Office of Aboriginal Student Services and Programs) at the University of Toronto.

As a professional educator with a Master's degree in education, Diane has taught at universities and conferences, lectured nationally and internationally, on the topic of traditional Indigenous knowledge systems and spirituality as the fuel for innovation. She has published extensively on Indigenous education law and policy for Ontario Native Counselling Association, the Chiefs of Ontario and the Assembly of First.

anna poelin

More information soon.