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Cities and Towns In Transition: Speakers

On Friday June 4 day we will hear and participate in a series of inspiring dialogue and challenging presentations on sustainable cities, transition towns and global perspectives from:

Robert Liberty 

For the last twenty-nine years Robert Liberty has worked on urban and rural land development and conservation policy, law, administration and politics at the local, regional, state and federal levels.  

He was a Staff Attorney and later Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon, a nonprofit organization that helps to implement, enforce and improve Oregon’s statewide growth management program.  Liberty’s experience with 1000 Friends of Oregon included the review of local government land use plans and regulations, precedent-setting litigation in the appellate courts, evaluations of the state planning program, policy advocacy at the state legislature and the establishment and fostering of grass-roots citizen organizations dedicated to the monitoring and enforcement of state land use laws and policies.  While Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon, Liberty served as Chair of the Growth Management Leadership Alliance, an association of US and Canadian smart growth advocacy organizations.

In 1994-95 he took the lead in founding the regional Coalition for a Livable Future for the Portland, Oregon region.  CLF brings together social justice, environmental, land use and transportation groups as well as churches, unions and neighborhood associations.  The Coalition for a Livable Future is an active participate in regional transportation, land use planning and housing policy discussions.

Between 2003 and 2008, he worked part-time as Senior Counsel to United States Congressman Earl Blumenauer, advising the Congressman on how Federal policy could promote livable communities.

In November 2004, he was elected to represent 240,000 citizens on the Metro Council in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.  Metro is the United States’ only elected regional governing body.  Metro has regional land use and transportation planning authority for the Oregon part of the Portland metropolitan region.  Liberty was re-elected to the Council in 2008 with 74% of the vote.

Liberty also works as a consultant and speaker on the subjects of land use and transportation policy and planning.  He has conducted research, provided advice or made presentations at the National Training Center for Mayors of China in Beijing, for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Foundation in China, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, for the Brookings Institution of Washington D.C., the Governor and state of Maryland, the American Planning Association, the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, Smart Growth America, Vivre en Ville in Quebec, and many nongovernmental organizations at the state, regional and local level.

Robert Liberty is a graduate of the University of Oregon Honors College (BA 1975, Phi Beta Kappa), Oxford University (MA 1977, Rhodes Scholar) and Harvard Law School (JD 1981). He was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design during the 2002-03 academic year. 

Jan Inglis

Jan specializes in developmental and integral approaches to complex social issues and has developed a process called 3D Democracy to support public engagment in issue analysis and decision making. She is the director of the Integrative Learning Institute, which offers training, program design, and consulting to individuals and organizations committed to comprehensive social change. She has published articles on climate change and public engagement in Integral Review, World Futures: Journal of General Evolution, and the International Journal of Public Participation.

Her background includes sustainable community development, adult education, psychotherapy, and media. She is a member of the Commons Action Group for the UN, the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, the Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation, and a board member of ARINA, Inc., an international non-profit organization supporting action research for social change.

For more information see

Michael Lewis

Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Community Renewal
Editor, Making Waves, Canada's CED Quarterly
Lead Investigator, B.C. Alberta Social  Economy Research Alliance

Conference Hotlist for Cities & Towns in Transition

i4 - an ejournal about community resilience and transition in an age of climate change and peak oil

Since 1977, Mike Lewis has founded and managed a number of organizations, all of which have engaged in community economic development, community resource management, development finance and the social economy. He currently is executive director of the non-profit Canadian Center for Community Renewal, editor of Making Waves and Lead Investigator in the B.C.-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance. CCCR is a self-supporting non-profit enterprise.

Mike has worked with hundreds of projects since 1977, cutting across a wide range of organizations and several economic and social sectors. He also has provided leadership in a range of local, national and international organizations. He is also a prolific and respected author in the field, having written or co-written 13 books, many chapters and about 70 articles. He speaks widely in Canada and has spoken in the US, several countries in Europe and Africa in a wide variety of settings.

The focus of his current leadership is helping communities and regions strengthen their resilience, especially their capacity to equitably meet their needs for food, energy, finance, shelter, and sustainable livelihoods in the age of climate change and peak oil, themes he and Patrick Conaty (new economics foundation - U.K.) are addressing in an upcoming book.