The 2018 Geography of Hope Conference explores the theme of “Finding Resilience in Nature in Perilous Times” on Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18. During these fraught days of political upheaval, social turmoil, and environmental assaults, the conference shows ways to build emotional and spiritual resilience, using nature as a touchstone.
Since 2008, Geography of Hope conferences have become known for illuminating the relationship between people and the land, and for strengthening that bond through the compelling voices of writers, artists, and activists who offer both inspiration and calls to action.
Headlining the 2018 conference are: Peter Forbes, educator, writer, and cross-cultural facilitator in the fields of leadership development, conservation, and social justice. He is a former vice-president at the Trust for Public Land and founder of the Center for Whole Communities; Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro, the nation’s leading, cutting-edge network that celebrates and inspires African-American connections and leadership in nature; and Caleen Sisk, the Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, who practice their traditional culture and ceremonies in their territory along the McCloud River watershed in Northern California.
On Saturday, March 17, the presenters will share their experience and perspectives on ways to find hope, healing, and strength in a troubled world. Attendees will have opportunities to exchange ideas, write, and reflect.
On Saturday evening, David Worm, a founding member of Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra and a regular performer with McFerrin, leads conference goers in a post-dinner round of exuberant vocal improvisation.
On Sunday morning, March 18, participants take part in land-based restoration and an environmental service project. They will be joined by Peter Wohlleben, bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World.
Beginning March 3, The Atlas of Decivilization—a Toby’s Feed Barn Gallery show inspired by the Geography of Hope Conference—will feature the works of more than 20 contemporary artists. Additional installations will be sited throughout Point Reyes Station.
• Saturday panels with Peter Forbes, Rue Mapp, and Caleen Sisk
• Saturday lunch & dinner featuring delicious locally sourced food & drink
• Saturday evening program with vocal improvisationalist David Worm
• Sunday morning restoration project with author Peter Wohlleben
Scholarships: We hope to encourage a conversation among people of diverse occupations, ages, experiences, races, and ethnicities. To assist those who otherwise could not afford to attend, we offer a limited number of partial scholarships for people from 18–30 years of age. These scholarships are available for young people ages 18–30 only. Please note: These are partial scholarships. All recipients are asked to contribute a minimum of $50. (Full cost of the conference is $175.) Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until February 19, 2018. To apply, please complete a scholarship application. If you are awarded a scholarship, you will be invited to complete a conference registration form.
Ticket Refund Policy: We offer a refund less $50 for cancellations made prior to and including March 1, 2018. No refunds will be given on cancellations made after March 1, 2018.
Volunteer All volunteer positions have been filled.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering. Due to an overwhelming response, all volunteer positions have now been filled. This conference always sells out, so be sure to purchase your ticket early if you still plan to attend.
West Marin Accommodations
There are many lodging options in coastal West Marin in nearby Inverness, Olema, Marshall, Point Reyes National Seashore, and in Point Reyes Station itself. Click here for a brief list of accommodations
The Geography of Hope Conference is presented by Black Mountain Circle and co-sponsored by Point Reyes Books, the Center for Humans and Nature, and the U.S. Forest Service.
Founded in 2008 as a literary conference inspired by the iconic Western writer Wallace Stegner, the six Geography of Hope (GOH) gatherings that followed explored profound relationships between people and the land as expressed in the voices and writings of the renowned poets, novelists, nonfiction authors, journalists, and activists who headlined the events.
GOH 2018 Throughout the Year
The 2018 Geography of Hope Conference begins a year-long exploration including events, field trips, and opportunities that engage with the topic of finding resilience in nature. Conference sponsor Black Mountain Circle is a nonprofit organization that cultivates resilience, community, and earth stewardship in challenging times.
After the 2018 Geography of Hope Conference has concluded, Point Reyes Books will host Peter Wohlleben at 1 PM Sunday afternoon, March 18, at the Dance Palace Community Center in Point Reyes Station. Wohlleben will present his latest book, The Inner Life of Animals, which follows his hugely successful bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees. Please note: Tickets for this special afternoon event are $25 and must be purchased separately from conference tickets. Tickets are available at ptreyesbooks.com or in the bookstore. This is a benefit for Black Mountain Circle and is expected to sell out.
About our logo
The Brown Pelican is a comically elegant bird with an oversized bill, sinuous neck, and big, dark body. They are fairly common today—an excellent example of a species’ recovery from pesticide pollution that once placed them at the brink of extinction. Squadrons glide above the surf along southern and western coasts, rising and falling in a graceful echo of the waves. They feed by plunge-diving from high up, using the force of impact to stun small fish before scooping them up. —The Cornell Lab of Ornithology