IEF 9th Annual Conference programme

Submitted by admin on 24. August 2010 - 5:01
14-15 December 2005
Orlando, Florida, USA


The 9th Conference of the International Environment Forum
Education for Sustainable Development:
The Spiritual Dimension
in support of the
United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)

preceding the 2005 Bahá'í Conference on Social and Economic Development
Orlando, Florida, USA
14-15 December 2005

Sponsored by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States
in collaboration with
members of EDSED
International Environment Forum
U.S. Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development



Wednesday, December 14: Knowledge

8:30 a.m.     Program Opening: Welcome, Setting the Context, Agenda Overview
                      Peter Adriance

8:45 a.m.     Spiritual Reflection I - an interactive exercise to foster spiritual resonance and set the tone for the seminar
                      Rick Johnson

9:45 a.m.    Orientation: Who is in the room; hopes for the seminar; integration and synthesis of 2004 Seminar and pre-reading; program objectives.
                     Elena Mustakova-Possardt

1:15 p.m.    Artistic and multi-media Devotions

1:30 p.m.    "Fishbowl": Citing examples from various parts of the world that highlight the challenges of sustainability, a diverse group of ESD practitioners explored the spiritual principles required to address these challenges, while participants listened in and observed.
                     Brad Pokorny (moderator)

2:45 p.m.   Break

3:15 p.m.    World Café - following up on the 'Fishbowl", all participants explored meaningful questions relating to ESD through a process designed to promote powerful conversations.
                     Valerie Davis and Peter Adriance

5:30 p.m.    Day I Closure
                     Peter Adriance

7:30 p.m.    Communities of Interest -a session of learning and sharing open to participants across all three Pre-Conference Seminars. The objective of this session was to explore the connections amongst ESD, Spiritual Ethics and Mediation, Consultation and Conflict Resolution.
                      Lloyd Brown and Valerie Davis

9:00 p.m.    Devotions

Thursday, December 15: Volition

8:30 a.m.    Spiritual Reflection II - an interactive exercise for spiritual resonance.
                     Rick Johnson

9:30 a.m.    Open Space - Under the theme, "Bahá'í responses to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development", participants engaged in a dynamic participatory process using "Open Space Technology". The opening session oriented all to the Open Space framework, engaged participants in creating the day's agenda, and opened the Marketplace of Ideas. The session was facilitated by Steve Cochran, Executive Director of the International Center for Leadership Results, and Interim Steward of the U.S. Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, who has lead similar processes for representatives of federal agencies, NGOs, educators and others.

10:15 a.m.   First wave, Open Space Sessions - 6 simultaneous sessions

11:15 a.m.   Second wave, Open Space Sessions - 6 simultaneous sessions

12:15 p.m.   Lunch Break (with concurrent open space sessions)

1:45 p.m.     Third wave, Open Space Sessions - 6 simultaneous sessions

2:45 p.m.    Circle of Integration -- an integration session to capture participants' closing insights and reflections

3:30 p.m.     Devotions and Closure
                       Lloyd Brown and Gwendolyn Watson

Friday, December 16IEF Annual General Assembly

The 9th Annual General Assembly of the International Environment Forum was held Friday evening 16 December 2005. See separate report.

The seminar was followed by the 2005 Bahá'í Conference on Social and Economic Development (SED) in Orlando, Florida, USA, 15-18 December 2005. (

An electronic (e-mail) conference was held prior to the Conference in Orlando for those who were unable to travel to the conference

A short visual report on the seminar


In order to make the most of the seminar experience, participants were provided with the following recommended readings before the seminar.


Daniella Tilbury and David Wortman, Engaging People in Sustainability. IUCN Publications, 2004

Soka Gakkai International Quarterly Magazine (October 2004) feature articles related to ESD:
The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, by Richard Clugston
ESD or the Commercial Imperative?, by Anastasia Nikolopoulou

IEF Compilation on Sustainable Development
This compilation gathers a selection of references to sustainable development in the Bahá'í Writings and statements that are relevant to economic, social and environmental sustainability.


Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Bahá'í Faith, Bahá'í International Community, 1995,

Valuing Spirituality in Development - Initial Considerations Regarding the Creation of Spiritually Based Indicators for Development, Bahá'í International Community, 1998,

See Change: Learning and Education for Sustainability, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, New Zealand, January 2004. This report provides a recent philosophy of ESD and offers a big-picture, country-wide level, institutional / community change perspective. Available online with an Executive Summary at: (full report)

Sokka Gakkai International Quarterly Magazine (October 2004), two additional articles:
A Decade of Opportunity, by Daniella Tilbury and Dimity Podger
Conceptualizing ESD, by Michael Scoullos


Last updated 26 August 2006