All living things trace their ancestry to shared beginnings.
Against impossible odds, all our ancestors survived this complex and chaotic world to get us here. Adaptability is in our DNA, and nothing makes sense except in light of evolution.
But how well do the people who design and run our world understand this?
It doesn’t matter—it simply isn’t a required skill for operating the machines our institutions have become. But with COVID and climate change wreaking havoc, we suddenly discover the structures and systems we live and work within are designed to prevent change, not adapt to it.
Join Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker—evolutionary biologist, anthropologist, and best-selling author of TEEMING: How Nature’s Oldest Teams Adapt to Change on a journey into the heart of living design—to learn how evolutionary thinking and living design can rehumanize, revitalize, and regenerate the living systems we inhabit and depend on, for a radical reset on future thriving. We are living things, after all—the answers are in our bones.
In May, 2021, Geoversity in collaboration with the Panama Tourism Authority conducted the transcontinental educational experience from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea with almost zero carbon footprint. The participants of this transformative experience were members of the Panama Tourism Authority team, indigenous people (Embera, Guna) and international guests such as Jamal Galves, Nat Geo Explorer and Micaela Iron-Shell Dominguez, Environmental Activist.
The objectives of this experience were focused on the renewal of the relationship of respect and sustainability between human beings and nature, and the establishment of a frame of reference for the development of heritage tourism according to the strategies mentioned in the Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism 2020-2025 and the Alliance for the Development of Green Tourism.
Geo2030 Global Initiative -Do or Die Concert Series
Celebrating our 30th anniversary as an organization as well as our 20th year of our rainforest campus in Panama. We are calling out musicians to join the movement and together create a permanent change bringing back hope and recovery for the planet.
The Power of Nature Forum
In February, Geoversity hosted The Power of Nature Forum at Parlatino in Panama City that included a welcome by Guna youth leaders, Iniquilipi Chiari and Laura Huertas Thompson; and presentations by Biomimicry Institute’s Michelle Graves; Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker, author of TEEMING; David Meerman Scott, best-selling author (Fanocracy); and Gary Bencheghib, co-founder of Make a Change, whose call-to-action on plastic contamination on oceans and rivers has reached millions of people worldwide.
The Inaugural Earth Vision 2020 Transcontinental Journey with Youth Leaders from Around the World
The Power of Nature Forum was followed by the Earth Vision 2020 Transcontinental Journey with youth leaders from 5 countries, including the Lakota people from North America. The youth traveled by sailboat, bike, foot and raft from the southern coast up to the Mamoní Valley Preserve, up over the continental divide and down the river into the indigenous Gunayala territory with Guna leaders Iniquilipi and Laura. They ended the journey on the youth-managed Guna island of Anmardub, for a day and a half of cultural exchange and ocean adventure.
The Nature of Business Forum 2019
The Nature of Business Forum 2019 was convened at the Parliament of Latin American and the Caribbean and the Biomuseo. The formal session was followed by two days of nature inmersion at Geoversity’s science center, Centro Mamoní.
This experiential program teams up top executives and entrepreneurs with thought leaders in business, science, design, and the arts to gain insights from nature that will help them drive their businesses to new levels of performance. The 2019 program was the third in a series focusing on design solutions to be mined from 3.8 billion years of Nature’s evolutionary R&D and selection for advantage.
The Pioneering Panama Transcontinental Expedition
February, 2019. The pioneering Transcontinental Expedition was held in Panama, produced by David Meerman Scott and introducing Hubspot executive Carolyn Kim and Geoversity associate Roberto Saint-Malo. The journey included the participation of the MUSE School of Malibu.
Geoversity and the Guna Youth Congress —led by Iniquilipi Chiari— pioneered this Life Changer journey across Panama, the isthmus joining the Americas. This expedition, on mountain bike, by foot, pack boat and horse, started on a beach in the Pacific Ocean, at the gateway to one of the most significant estuary wetlands on the west coast of Latin America. They took two days to bike uphill into the Mamoní Valley Preserve, up to the Continental Divide and Geoversity’s Centro Mamoní in the rainforest, followed by two more days of rafting and paddling into the autonomous Guna territory. Finally, they reached the Caribbean Sea, where they spent a night on a community-managed island, Gunayala.
The Power of Nature summit at Harvard
In November, 2019, Geoversity’s The Power of Nature Summit was hosted at Harvard’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center by Dr. David Ricketts. Stakeholders of Geoversity visioned ways to create the future that works for all. A reception and dinner was held at the Harvard Faculty Club, with the full-day summit following. On stage were Laurie Meadoff of CityKids Foundation, Dr. Michael Schmidt of Sovaris Aerospace, Board Members Verne Harnish, David Meerman Scott and Carolyn Kim, and Ben Goulet-Scott of Harvard-based Mamoní Natural History Project, and more.
The Nature of Business Forum
Geoversity’s second The Nature of Business Executive Education Program (NoB18) was chaired by Geoversity co-founder Dr. David S. Ricketts, Senior Innovation Scholar, TECH, Harvard University, with the acclaimed landscape designer Edwina von Gal joining the faculty. The program included two days at the Hacienda del Mar on the San Jose island conservancy in Panama’s Pearl Islands archipelago.
Geoversity’s Urban Forest Program at the City of Knowledge
Geoversity’s Biocultural Design Center at the City of Knowledge/Camino de Cruces National Park launched the Urban Forest Program. Teaming up with MiAmbiente, the City of Knowledge Foundation, the Vice Mayor of Panama Architect Raisa Banfield and other Geoversity members piloted activities such as trail design and interpretation, Biocultural Leadership training activities, nature-based education, sustainability and nature conservation, green design, and nature and the arts programs.
The Nature of Business Executive Program
The Nature of Business Executive Program (EP) was a five-day experiential and educational program where 25 CEOs, executives, and entrepreneurs teamed up with business leaders, best-selling authors and designers to gain practical insights from nature to help them drive their businesses to new levels of sustainability. Directed by Brian Dumaine, Editor at Large Fortune Magazine and co-chair of Fortune’s Brainstorm-E Conference, Geoversity’s EP was conducted in partnership with the Technology and Entrepreneur Center at Harvard (TECH). The 2017 session, with workshops and special events at the City of Knowledge, the Biomuseo and Earth Train’s science center at the Mamoní Valley Preserve, was the first of three Nature of Business sessions to be held in Panama.
2nd Bamboo Design Workshop at the Biomuseo
Geoversity’s second natural design workshop on bamboo construction was held with master builder Jörg Stamm and Colombian architect Roger Martinez. The performance pavilion, popularly referred to as the Bambuseo, was completed in time for a Geoversity/Junglewood event concert that took place on February 9th, 2017 followed by the formal opening of the Panama International Film Festival, produced by MasterCard.
Dialogue with scientists at Harvard: “Game Experiment”
Geoversity’s first conversation with scientists in the life sciences at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology was organized by Geoversity co-founder John de Cuevas, Associate Editor Emeritus, Harvard Magazine; and Ben Goulet, a Ph.D. student at Harvard’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. Topic: Applying the tools of video game design to environmental education.
Geoversity hosted the Polynesian Voyaging Society
Geoversity co-hosted the historic visit to Panama of the Hokule’a, the sailing canoe of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) as they concluded their around-the-world tour with several days of activity on the Panama City waterfront. Among the highlights of our program with the PVS was a waterfront festival at the Biomuseo with indigenous youth and elders and the Hokule’a’s crew. A traditional bamboo raft was built by kids and parents under the direction of Geoversity Design Co-founder Jörg Stamm and the boat builder James Laign.
First Bamboo Design Workshop
Geoversity Design conducts in Panama its first workshop on natural design led by Jörg Stamm, the internationally renowned builder specializing in bamboo with the award-winning architect Patrick Dillon. Workshop hosted and supported by the City of Knowledge Foundation with support from the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Panama City.
Community outreach programs in the Mamoní valley
Earth Train/MVP community outreach programs in the Mamoní valley, funded in part with a grant from the Alstom Corporation of France.
Biocultural leadership program “Go Wild! with Jane Goodall”
A spotlight was placed on biocultural leadership when the program called Go Wild! with Jane Goodall debuted in November 2013, a series of Earth Train wildlife conservation and well-being programs under the direction of Earth Train associate Halit Khoshen. A remarkable mix of people joined the primatologist Jane Goodall in Panama for five days of dialogue and cultural events including thirty-eight school children finalists, who presented their reports and displays on their model projects for “Dr. Jane’s” review.
Events 2010 – 2012
Events held at Frank Gahry-designed Biomuseo
The gala inauguration of Junglewood, MVP/Earth Train’s place and program for “The Arts and Nature”, took place in January of 2010 at the Frank Gehry-designed Biomuseo, then under construction, four years before the facility was inaugurated. The event, produced by Grammy award-winning jazz musician Danilo Perez, included performances by several award winning musicians, and indigenous dancers and was one of year’s standout social events. It was the first public event ever held in the Biomuseo. Shortly thereafter, Lider Sucre left his position as the founding executive director of the Biomuseo to come on board as the Co-Executive Director of Earth Train. Later, Jane Goodall, again in Panama for an Earth Train program, would lead the first group of children through the Biomuseo, two years before its formal opening in 2014.
Model Nature Program begins with the Metropolitan School of Panama
In 2011, Earth Train developed a model “nature partnership” with the newly established The Metropolitan School of Panama. A highly regarded International Baccalaureate school.
Created the first Adventure Learning Program for CEOs
Earth Train produced Mother Nature, CEO, our first adventure learning program for CEOs, promoted by Verne Harnish and co-led by social media marketing expert David Meerman Scott and Nathan Gray with Professor Monty Hempel of University of Redlands serving as our guest ecologist.
First Latin America/Caribbean Rainforest Leadership Conference for Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots
Earth Train hosted a five-day conference of Roots & Shoots leaders of the Americas with Dr. Jane Goodall at the MVP and City of Knowledge.
Events 2008 – 2009
Jane Goodall collaboration on Roots & Shoots
Events 2005 – 2007
First trans-Gunayala river passage
Guna leader and cartologist Enrique “Kike” Arias, joined by Nathan Gray, Leandro Toribio and filmmaker Nick Kahlbach conduct a survey of the Río Cartí Grande from its headwaters in the protected wildlands of Gunayala near the Mamoní Valley Preserve to its mouth on the Atlantic coast. In 2005, with Kike Arias guiding, Colin Wiel and his father, Steve, were joined by Nathan Gray, paramedic Dan McGuirk and Leandro Toribio on the first trans-Gunayala river passage from near the continental divide to the island of Cartí Sugtupu.
First trans-Gunayala kayak expedition
Kike Arias, Nathan Gray and Leandro Toribio led a team of youth volunteers in surveying the Río Cangandi, the second largest river in Gunayala that originates on the eastern slope of the sacred peak Dianmayala (Cerro Brewster) near the northwestern corner of the MVP. The first trans-Gunayala kayak expedition, led by Kike Arias, Leandro Toribio and Nathan Gray was accomplished in 2005 by eight teenage volunteers from the U.S. and Gunayala.
Youth Bridge for U.S.-Egypt dialogue
Earth Train co-led a 10-day Middle East and North Africa/Youth Leadership Initiative (MENA/YLI) leadership training program in Cairo, Egypt for 90 youth from various countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Nathan Gray and Sid Akbar selected eight of the MENA/YLI group to participate in Youth Bridge, in an Egypt-U.S. satellite dialogue with eight youth leaders in San Francisco, California co-organized with the World Affairs Council.
Earth Train Rolls for Youth Shadow Presidential Convention with the DNC
In August 2000, the Earth Train traveled from Oakland to Los Angeles, California with 60 participants in the Youth Shadow Convention parallel to the Democratic National Convention, accompanied by CNN veteran reporter Alan Duke. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein hosted a welcome reception for the Earth Train youth leaders. The youth convention that Earth Train co-produced took place in conjunction with the Shadow Convention produced by Arianna Huffington.
Events 1995 – 1996
Habitat II, the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements was Convened by Archbishop (ret.) Desmond Tutu in Turkey
Earth Train Advisory Board member and Nobel laureate Archbishop (ret.) Desmond Tutu convened Youth Habitat II in collaboration with Earth Train. The youth leaders that Earth Train brought from Mexico won top honors for their community development and recycling operation located next to Mexico City’s giant municipal dump.
Former President Mikhail Gorbachev Green Prizes Collaboration
Earth Train’s work with Russian youth leaders began in 1991 when a delegation of youth traveled to Moscow to participate in a conference organized by former President Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa. In 1995, Gorbachev invited Earth Train to collaborate with Green Cross International on the presentation of the Gorbachev Green Prizes in San Francisco, California.
Workshops on Systems Thinking for Activists with Native American and American Youth
Earth Train youth leaders and staff ran workshops on Systems Thinking for Activists and related content for youth groups all over North America, including for the Cree Nation and Native American Fish & Wildlife Society.
Earth Train Empowerment Conference in Kansas City
Hallmark-sponsored Earth Train youth empowerment conference and events were held in 1996 in Kansas City, Missouri. Among the events was the painting of a giant banner involving 40 young people led by the famous Japanese artist Hiro Yamagata. The theme: Earthly Paradise.
Earth Train Native Nations Tour
The Earth Train Native Nations tour traversed cross-country from Washington state near the border with Canada, to San Diego near the border with Mexico with 150 indigenous youth leaders on board from 20 countries. They conducted youth empowerment workshops in eight west coast cities.
Benefit Concert with Lenny Kravitz and Slash of Guns N’ Roses
Earth Train for Peace Traveled from Croatia to Austria
The Earth Train for Peace made its way from Croatia near the border with Bosnia to Vienna, Austria for the Youth Summit on Human Rights and the Environment held in parallel with the UN Summit on Human Rights. On board were 150 youth leaders from countries and indigenous nations affected by war accompanied by Amnesty International Heroes, Claes Nobel and eight family members sponsored by the King of Sweden, activist Bianca Jagger. The summit included 250 youth conference participants from 30 countries.
Youth Earth Summit Presents to UN Earth Summit in Brazil
Earth Train leads the organization of the Youth Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, parallel to the UN Earth Summit. Over 450 youth leaders from 40 countries participated in this event. The Youth Earth Summit delegates presented their agenda for global action to the plenary session of the Earth Summit and received a standing ovation. Among the adult guest participants in Earth Train Youth Earth Summit were then-Senator Al Gore leading a delegation of 17 U.S. senators; Green Belt Movement founder and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai; Ted Turner and Jane Fonda; actor Edward James Olmos; Dr. Jane Goodall; and Jacques Cousteau.
Inaugural Earth Train youth-calling-youth-to-action Journey across the U.S.
The inaugural Earth Train journey across the U.S. was September-October, 1992. Video for corporate sponsors was produced by Ketchum Public Relations:
Pulled by SP Engine 2472, the Earth Train, with 14 antique cars donated by Southern Pacific, traveled from Los Angeles to Oakland, California and then across the nation to Chicago, New York and Washington D.C. with 250 youth leaders aboard from over 30 countries. Co-produced with CityKids Foundation and the California Association of Student Councils (CASC) and $2.5 million in corporate sponsorship, the Earth Train youth leaders conducted youth-to-youth coaching workshops for thousands of their peers and broadcasted a powerful call-to-action message to millions of people worldwide. The youth leaders received a gala reception at the UN Headquarters in New York as well as at the US Congress organized by Senators Tim Wirth, John Chafee and Senate Majority leader George Mitchell.
Event with Ziggy Marley at the UN HQ
Earth Train co-produced with UNEP and UNICEF the first of four gatherings of 2,000 youth leaders from 40 countries in the General Assembly Hall, UN Headquarters, New York. A concert was held by Ziggy Marley.
Earth Train youth leaders roll the last train on the San Francisco Waterfront with Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead and Ram Dass
Leaders of the youth-directed Creating Our Future organized the first announcement of the Earth Train 10-year campaign for the planet on the San Francisco Waterfront. The event featured Southern Pacific steam locomotive 2472 and flat cars, Grateful Dead lead singer Bob Weir, spiritual teacher Ram Dass, and Ocean Robbins, co-founder of YES! (Youth for Environmental Sanity). The Earth Train was the last train to roll on the San Francisco waterfront. The tracks were removed the following day.