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Live Web Events

Orion hosts regular dialogues with writers, artists, activists, and thinkers about transforming ideas into action for people and planet. These events are free and open to all Orion readers and friends. To join an upcoming event, click on the link to get more information and to register. Audio files of past events are also available below.


Upcoming Events


June 2014
Making Wilderness Relevant
This year marks 50 years since the passage of the Wilderness Act, so it is a good time to reflect on the achievements this legislation made possible and also discuss the challenges faced by wilderness. One of those challenges is finding a way to make wilderness more relevant in an increasingly diverse and technologically-focused society. A panel of writers, thinkers, and advocates will discuss these issues live with Orion staff in June, more information and registration details will be coming soon.

Archived Events


February 18, 2014
Happiness For All
with Gretchen Legler, Charles Eisenstein, and Helena Norberg-Hodge
Author Gretchen Legler recently lived in Bhutan and reflected upon that country’s efforts toward Gross National Happiness in a feature for the January/February 2014 issue of Orion. On February 18, 2014,  she was joined by a panel of thinkers who’ve studied such efforts for a wide-ranging discussion of people-centered economics and development.

December 5, 2013
Robert Macfarlane and Rebecca Solnit on Nature Writing
with Rebecca Solnit and Robert Macfarlane
The two celebrated authors and Orion writers joined Editor Jennifer Sahn to discuss how the genre of nature writing is changing.

November 21, 2013
Local Food 2.0: What’s Next for the Sustainable Food Movement?
with Rowan Jacobsen and friends
The local food movement has grown by leaps and bounds, but the sector needs new infrastructure and investment in order to reach its true potential. In the November/December 2013 edition of Orion, award-winning food writer Rowan Jacobsen reported on one exciting solution to the challenge—food hubs—and was joined in discussion by an expert panel.

October 22, 2013
Crowded Planet
with Alan Weisman and friends
Alan Weisman, who was interviewed in the September/October issue about his new book Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? joined a discussion of human population issues on October 22nd.


July 16, 2013
Film Projects That Build Community
with Jay Craven, Tamsen Merrill, and Harry Keramidas.
All stories are local, but Hollywood rarely does right by them. The July/August 2013 issue of Orion discusses the regional films of Jay Craven (”On Location”), whose projects tell such stories, and most importantly, are produced and screened in their home region. Craven was joined in discussion by the founders of a film project that tells the stories of a single town.

June 18, 2013
The New Face of War
with Christopher Merrill, Christian Parenti, Leah Bolger, and Jodie Evans.
War has been around for a long time, but how humans fight, and what we fight over, changes in response to new factors like technology and climate change. Christopher Merrill shared his observations on this in his May/June 2013 essay “The New Face of War” and discussed the issue with a fellow author and two advocates for peace building efforts.

May 16, 2013
The Wide World of Urban Nature
with Beatrix Beisner, Kevin Anderson, and Liam Heneghan.
Listen to a panel of urban ecologists from across North America as they engage in a wide-ranging discussion of urban nature and how this fascinating field of study is evolving.

April 23, 2013
The Poetry of Science
with Eva Saulitis, Elizabeth Bradfield, Fred Swanson, and Orion‘s poetry editor Hannah Fries.
Edward Abbey wrote that a landscape can be understood best by “poets who have their feet planted in concrete—concrete data—and by scientists whose heads and hearts have not lost the capacity for wonder.” Orion‘s poetry editor was joined by poet-scientists Eva Saulitis, Elizabeth Bradfield, and Fred Swanson for a discussion of how the voice and mind of the artist and scientist form a unique understanding of the land.

March 19, 2013
Art That Restores
with Basia Irland, Daniel McCormick, and William Fox
Art is celebrated for reviving the human spirit, but there is an emerging legion of artists whose work also restores the landscape. Basia Irland creates restorative work in rivers around the world, and she was joined by fellow restorative artist Daniel McCormick and art critic William Fox to discuss projects such as her “Books of Ice,” featured in the March/April 2013 issue of Orion.

February 14, 2013
The Crisis in Climate Reporting
with Free Press and guests
The public is poorly served by reports about climate change that follow familiar lines and surface only when there’s a severe weather event or UN conference. And faced with recurring news that media outlets like the New York Times are scaling back on environmental reporting, Orion and the media watchdog Free Press convened a panel (including Kate Sheppard, Bill McKibben, and others) to propose concrete actions for improving the state of climate reporting in the mainstream media.

January 15, 2013
Nanotechnology’s Little Universe of Big Unknowns
with Heather Millar, Dr. Mark Wiesner, Jaydee Hanson, and Dr. Ronald Sandler
The lid has already been lifted on the Pandora’s box that is nanotechnology—these particles are regularly added to our food, clothing, and personal care products, despite the lack of knowledge about their impact on our health and environment. In the January/February 2013 issue, writer Heather Millar visited a team of scientists that is studying the implications of the blind rush into the use of this new technology (”Pandora’s Boxes”); on January 15th, she explored the implications further with a panel of experts.

December 18, 2012
Living Through Three Degrees
with Kandi Mossett, Timothy Denherder-Thomas, Deirdre Smith, and Joshua Kahn Russell
For today’s young adults, bad news about climate change is routine—if you were born after the early 1980s, you have lived your entire life in its shadow. What does this feel like, and what are some ways we might deal with an uncertain future and find a sense of mission in its wake? Listen in as this group of young people who work for 350.org, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Grand Aspirations share their thoughts.

November 13, 2012
Solastalgia and Its Remedies
with Trebbe Johnson, Lily Yeh, and Glenn Albrecht
Trebbe Johnson, author of “Gaze Even Here” in Orion‘s November/December 2012 issue, discussed the emotional impact of ecological degradation and how to retain a love of place during trying times. She was joined by an expert panel including artist/activist Lily Yeh and Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht.

October 23, 2012
Photographer Matt Black Discusses Landscape and Loss
with Matt Black
Representing the landscape is one of the oldest traditions in art, but a new generation of photographers is reinterpreting how humans fit with the scenery. Orion hosted photographer Matt Black to discuss his documentary portfolio in the September/October 2012 issue, “After the Fall,” in which landscape plays a major role.

September 25, 2012
A Thirty-Year Plan
with Carl Safina, Terry Tempest Williams, Simran Sethi, and Sandra Steingraber
Three contributors to the new title in the Orion Reader series, Thirty-Year Plan, discuss the next thirty years of environmentalism with Orion columnist Sandra Steingraber.

July 17, 2012
Urban Farming’s Many Benefits
with author Jennifer Cockrall-King and guests
Urban agriculture is hot! Orion welcomed Jennifer Cockrall-King (author of Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and The New Food Revolution) and guests Jason Mark (Alemany Farm), Katherine Kelly (Cultivate Kansas City), and Karen Washington (La Finca Del Sur and Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners) to discuss the movement’s “principal crops,” which, as Rebecca Solnit says in her essay in the July/August 2012 issue of Orion, go far beyond broccoli.


June 19, 2012
Bringing Cultural Diversity to the Environmental Movement: a Discussion
with Marcelo Bonta, Ginny McGinn, and Monica Smiley
The environmental movement has had limited success bringing ethnic diversity into its ranks, despite the fact that people of color greatly support environmental protection. Orion hosted a roundtable discussion on how and why the movement and its leadership can broaden its base.


May 15, 2012
America the Possible
with Gus Speth
Gus Speth, author of a two-part series in the magazine, “America the Possible: A Manifesto Part I” and “Part II,” discusses his roadmap for a renewed America and answers listener questions.


April 24, 2012
What’s a Nature Poem, Anyhow?
with Christian Wiman, Pattiann Rogers, and Maria Melendez
Is nature poetry a genre? Isn’t all poetry about nature to one degree or another? Listen to a discussion of poetry and the natural world with Orion‘s poetry editor Hannah Fries, the editor of Poetry magazine, Christian Wiman, and poets Pattiann Rogers and Maria Melendez.


March 22, 2012
Local Dollars, Local Sense
with Michael Shuman
Wouldn’t you rather put money into your Main Street instead of Wall Street? Listen to the discussion featuring popular author Michael Shuman, on how to shift your money.


February 21, 2012
Punishing Protest
with Patrick Shea and Heidi Boghosian
Is the U.S. justice system about justice or law? Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, and Patrick Shea, who defended Tim DeChristopher following DeChristopher’s act of civil disobedience in 2008, discuss the clash between law and civil protest in America.


January 18, 2012
Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist
with Paul Kingsnorth, Lierre Keith, and David Abram
Paul Kingsnorth, former deputy editor of The Ecologist and founder of the Dark Mountain Project, discusses his critique of the environmental movement, “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist,” in the January/February 2012 issue. He is joined by authors Lierre Keith and David Abram.


December 13, 2011
Art for Advocacy
with Chris Jordan and Jason Houston
Photographer Chris Jordan and Orion‘s picture editor Jason Houston discuss the role of art in making change.


November 15, 2011
Deep Intellect
with Sy Montgomery
Authors Sy Montgomery, Marc Bekoff, and aquarist Scott Dowd discuss animal intelligence—the subject of Montgomery’s feature “Deep Intellect” in the November/December 2011 issue of the magazine.


October 18, 2011
Moving Beyond Growth
with Richard Heinberg and Helena Norberg-Hodge
Richard Heinberg, author of The End of Growth, and Helena Norberg-Hodge, producer of the recent film The Economics of Happiness, talk about why the era of economic growth is finished—and what comes next.


September 21, 2011
The Schools We Need
with Erik Reece
Author Erik Reece and distinguished educators Deborah Meier and Dr. Leon Botstein discuss the future of American schools, the topic of Reece’s essay “The Schools We Need” in the September/October 2011 issue of Orion.


July 12, 2011
Cities of the Future
with James Howard Kunstler
Noted futurist and proponent of new urbanism James Howard Kunstler discusses his feature article “Cities of The Future” in the July/August 2011 issue of Orion.


June 16, 2011
Reimagining Nature Literacy
with Richard Louv, Camilla Rockwell, and David Sobel
Many of us are more familiar with what’s on TV than with what’s crawling, growing, and flying just beyond our windows. In this conversation, we discuss “nature deficit disorder”—a phrase coined by panelist Richard Louv—and the ways we might reconnect ourselves and our kids with wonder and adventure in the natural world.


May 17, 2011
Upping the Stakes
with Derrick Jensen
Derrick reads from his essay in the May/June 2011 issue of Orion, “To Live or Not to Live,” and answers questions submitted by listeners. Orion staff and readers discuss issues raised in this and other essays he’s written in recent years for his column “Upping The Stakes.”


April 12, 2011
Walking the Talk
with Tim DeChristopher, Wendell Berry, and Kentucky Rising’s Teri Blanton
What can we learn from these people who took important actions that put them at risk of significant jail time? More about Tim here, and about Kentucky Rising here.


March 1, 2011
Cutting the Tar Sands Tentacle
with Rick Bass and David James Duncan
An oil company wants to transport gargantuan mining equipment to Alberta’s tar sands via Montana. Bass and Duncan are leading a dialogue that opposes this plan—the subject of their new book, Heart of the Monster.


January 18, 2011
The Moral Dimensions of the Climate Crisis
with Bill McKibben, Kathleen Dean Moore, and Scott Russell Sanders
While the science of climate change becomes increasingly clear, can we say the same for the moral dimensions of the crisis? In this podcast, Orion writers and contributors to the new book, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, discuss the ethical imperative of dealing with a warming planet.


November 17, 2010
Discussion of “The Gulf Between Us”
with Terry Tempest Williams
Terry Tempest Williams is the author of “The Gulf Between Us” in the November/December 2010 issue of Orion. Listen as she discusses what she saw in the Gulf after the BP oil spill with several people who figure large in this landmark story.


October 27, 2010

Discussion of “The Whole Fracking Enchilada”
with Sandra Steingraber
Orion columnist and author discusses her article “The Whole Fracking Enchilada,” which appeared in the September/October 2010 issue of the magazine.