Transforming Climate Disaster: Indigenous Answers for Planetary Survival and Resilience

In 1990, Neohumanism founder, Prabat Ranjan Sarkar, foresaw the impending climate crisis and offered detailed causes and solutions – technological, ecological and neohumanist. This workshop builds on three years of research into Sarkar’s paradigm of ecological resilience applied to indigenous climate challenges and solutions. It describes how they developed intimate resilient practices that lasted for thousands of years and still persist. It offers eight case studies that dispel myths of civilizational collapse and focuses on indigenous practices that are saving our planet. These include the Maya and Aztec, the Japanese practice of Satoyama and Satoumi, the Hawaiian Ahuapua’a, the Marsh Arabs, Qanat and Karez of Islam, Mangrove Peoples and New Mexico Acequias. From these arise the tenets of civilizational collapse or resilience across time. These examples, combined with existing technological innovations and climate activism provides an action plan to reverse these horrible impacts in every climate zone and return to a planet of resilience. Come with me on an anthropological journey, which shifts our worldview back to the ancients, full of pictures and illustrations, song and poetry and my own personal journey.


Matt Oppenheim

Matt Oppenheim, PhD is a Fellow with the Society of Applied Anthropology and applies anthropology to social justice, indigenous education, ecological and transformative learning practices. After teaching anthropology for 23 years, he is doing his best to help reverse the horrible impacts of capitalism and climate change. His book Watershed: Ancient Paths to Planetary Survival and Resilience is completed and now seeking publication. As an activist teacher, he is developing neohumanist and global curriculum alliances that apply the worldview of his book across the planet. He began his research of watershed ecologies in 1991, then helped found a Neohumanist primary school in Australia. After, following a career as a watershed educator he has been a coordinator of service learning and civic engagement. He always finds purpose and renewal living and working with indigenous and marginalized communities, which are truly the vanguards of the future. His work is published in academic journals, book chapters and magazines. In 1991 he published “To Color a Warrior” (edited in 2011) a transformative adventure novel.