Agenda for “Deeper Sense of Place” Workshop on July 17-19, 2023

Transformation requires we find new ways to meet that are inclusive and sustainable. This year we are experimenting with different approaches that offer in-person participation to a broader range of people from wider geographic areas from across the globe, while keeping travel emissions low.

This July you have the opportunity to join the Transformations Conference 2023 in multiple hub events. Join in-person workshops and innovative sessions in a hybrid conference format. 

🇦🇺 July 12-14, Sydney Conference: The main event: multiple themes, and the central place for the Transformations Community 

🇪🇺 July 12-14, European Hub Conference in Prague: Hub track on Transformative Organizations

🇺🇸 July 17-19, COBALT North American Hub Workshop in Portland, Maine, USA. Online participation is currently NOT be available. This is a limited registration and filling fast.

A “report-out” session is being planned for late September and early October that feature reflections on the Bioregional T-Lab/Workshop and an example of co-development of a “Bioregional Theory of Transformation” facilitated by Glenn Page and Michael Quinn Patton.

Workshop Agenda at a Glance

For the human species to evolve, the conversation must deepen.

Antropologist Margaret Mead

Three Days of Building Relationships and Deepening Sense of Place

Joins us and learn how to see together to connect and accelerate positive change.

NOTE: Detailed AGENDA and schedule to be sent to all registered participants.

Voices of the Bioregional Workshop

A series of remarkable leaders will participate with YOU across the two days learning how to better see, connect and amplify transformative change at a bioregional scale.

Elected Chief of the Passamaquoddy Peoples (St. Croix/ Schoodic Band; Canada)

Chief Hugh Akagi

I represent a People who have existed in this territory for the past 12,000 years. We welcome you to a three-day workshop to help us all navigate a future ahead. I welcome you to this inspirational moment where we can focus on the practice of stewardship, to which we need to return if we are to restore “health” to
our territory. The concept of bioregionalism is very important and is, of course, what Indigenous Peoples around the globe refer to as caring for our “Our Mother Earth.”

Founder of Coastal Culinary Academy

Chef Barton Seaver

Barton Seaver is one of the world’s leading sustainable seafood experts and educators. Before leaving the restaurant industry to pursue his interests in sustainable food systems, he was an award-winning chef leading top seafood restaurants in Washington, DC. After traveling the world with the National Geographic Society, he translated his experiences into his leadership in the area of sustainable seafood innovations. We will learn about how our choices for diet and menus can promote healthier people, resilient bioregions, more secure food supplies, and thriving communities.


Juliana Bohórquez

Juliana Bohórquez is a leader in the practice of individual and collective transformation. She will share how social technologies are essential to move from hierarchical and pyramidal, to being much more horizontal and co-creative, and from linear to more extensive and systemic. Researcher and co-author of national education programs with the Educational Alliance for Colombia, she has designed and directed impact processes for SENA, COLCIENCIAS, Governación de Cundinamarca, among other national institutions.

Stockholm Resilience Centre

Per Olsson

Per leads the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s work on transformations for sustainability, working with agency and system entrepreneurship. Recently, Olsson has developed the concept of Transformation labs, a new methodology for generating innovative approaches for re-wiring social-ecological systems. In 2019 he was recognized by the Web of Science as one of the world’s most influential researchers of the past decade.

Stockholm Resilience Center

Michele-Lee Moore

Michele leads the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s work on topics of transformative agency, social-ecological systems resilience, and social and governance innovations that are better able to grapple with complex system dynamics in local and transnational water governance. This work allows us to transform and develop towards positive and just futures that support social-ecological-cultural resilience.

Passamaquoddy Language Keeper

Dwayne Tomah

Dwayne Tomah is a teacher of the Passamaquoddy language and culture. He is the youngest fluent speaker of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and has served on the Tribal Council. He has worked with Animal Planet on a segment called Winged Creatures, highlighting the history of the Thunderbird. His life has been dedicated to working on the language and culture preservation, he edited the Passamaquoddy dictionary and shares Native legends through song and dance.

Plant Based Foods Institute

Nicole Negowetti

Nicole is an attorney, educator, and scholar whose work focuses on the laws and policies shaping the U.S. agriculture and food system. She is a widely recognized expert on the legal and regulatory issues affecting the plant-based foods industry. Nicole has extensive experience developing and leading federal, state, and local initiatives to promote sustainable, equitable, and healthier food systems.

Gerald J. and Dorothy R Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts

Tim Griffin

Timothy Griffin is Teri and Barry Volpert Family Professor in Nutrition, Agriculture, and Sustainable Food Systems at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. At the Friedman School, he is Division Chair – Agriculture, Food and the Environment, and teaches classes on U.S. agriculture, agricultural science and policy, and the linkage between food system domains.

Regenesis Group

Bill Reed

Bill is an internationally recognized planning consultant, design process facilitator, lecturer, teacher, and author in sustainability and regeneration. He is a principal of Regenesis, Inc. – a regenerative design, living systems integrator, and education organization. His work centers on creating the framework for and managing an integrative, whole and living system design process. This work is known as Regenerative Development.

Some Background for the Casco Bay Bioregional T-Lab/ Workshop July 17-18, 2023

When should I plan to show up?

Plan to arrive Wolfe’s Neck by 8:00 am for registration as we will begin promptly at 9:00 pm July 17th. We will have a full day on July 18th and 19th, from 9-5 with closing ceremony by 6:00 pm on the 19th.

Who’s Coming?

While we do this work in appreciation of the many thousands of people who are working on innovations, this event is limited to 54 people so that we can build connections and develop deeper relationships across a wide range of expertise and grow through the power of networks and relationships. There will be many different sectors and disciplines represented including many who have been contributing to the Working Groups and have been invited to serve as advisors and contributors representing diverse perspectives.

DIVERSITY:  for an effective bioregional T-Lab/Workshop, we begin with a diversity of perspectives, professions, ages, ethnicity, disciplines, sectors. The power of a convening such as this is to learn how to see through the eyes of another and that is best accomplished through diversity – so join us and bring your perspective but be prepared to learn how to see through the eyes of others!

Why Now?

Many agree that we are in a “global polycrisis.” This term refers to a time when crises in multiple global systems become entangled in ways that affect human life support, and significantly degrade our prospects of survival. We are all aware that the risks to humanity are profound, spreading in unimaginable ways. In 2021, a Nobel Prize Summit was convened called Our Planet, Our Future and the authors describe this time in the state of the planet as “a critical juncture for humanity.” They emphasize the importance of social innovations at a bioregional scale that align with windows of opportunity to unlock broader levels of change within a governance system.

At local scale, the Casco Bay National Estuary Partnership describes Casco Bay as remarkably healthy compared to many other U.S. estuaries yet warns of a series of major changes “underway that warrant a timely response to protect the Bay and the many people whose livelihoods and quality of life depend upon it.” The Maine Monitor recently reported that “More than 34,000 people moved to Maine during the pandemic…vast majority came from elsewhere in the United States, although the Maine also took in nearly 3,500 international migrants, including many fleeing conflicts in Ukraine and countries in Africa.” Our social and ecological systems are both changing rapidly yet our dominant worldview remains strong (world as machine, need for separation and fragmentation, problems as simple and linear, the primacy of of top-down command and control, maximizing self interest and prioritizing consumerism). These dominant paradigms shape what we do, frame our our goals and what we do as a society.

We believe simple but profound questions are needed to help navigate into this uncertain future. These questions begin with a focus on the places where we are living and how we are living within them. This T-Lab/Workshop is an understanding of both the deeper sense of place and emerging alternatives through engaging with purpose, potential and calling.

What is a T-Lab?

We calling this gathering a three day Transformation lab or “T-Lab” which is a concept developed by some folks connected to the Stockholm Resilience Center, several of whom will be joining us for this event. T-Labs are intended to be “safe spaces” to discuss questions deeply and if possible to launch innovations that may help to address deep challenges with no clear solutions, no silver bullets. The magic is based upon the people who are engaging in the T-Labs, people who are doing real change work. So this event will focus on engaging with the catalysts of transformative change. This begins with inviting people who are willing to spend the time to get to know one another, willing to work with new language and ideas , willing to appreciate and try new practices and willing to be part of something that is not tied to any one organization but appreciates the contributions of the whole.

As noted, a major goal for our T-Lab – is learning how we better “see/sense” the systems we are living within. This includes both the social and the natural/ecological dynamics. This is why we are calling the event “A Deeper Sense of Place: Growing Bioregional Stewardship.” This work requires a sense of history (indigenous and colonial), as well as the implications of decisions made over the past 400 years that have led to where we are.  

Going even deeper – the invitation for this T-Lab is coming from the seagrass meadows around Casco Bay and all the amazing life associated with our coastal ecosystems that include salt marshes and seaweeds and the power of life that they support. Seagrass are the hist because they are the true “protagonist” of the story of the systems and interrelationships across the wider Casco Bay (and wider Gulf of Maine) Bioregion.  For systems, we mean seeing into our local food/fiber systems, seeing the systems and innovations around food waste, water infrastructure and waste water treatment, energy, tourism, etc.  No small task.  However, the “data revolution” and “internet of things” has made all of this suddenly possible but how to approach this is more about the social technology that is needed.  

What are the likely outcomes?

Every bioregion has the potential to define its unique sense of character and cohesion, which then nourishes those who lives there and entices and enriches guests, and attracts supportive resources. From this “fertile ground,” new, creative projects continuously emerge. Like plants in regenerated soil, individual enterprises prosper. We believe this process is an essential step to better see, connect and amplify transformative change where communities discover that more becomes possible together, in a continuous unfolding of learning, healing, vitality and potential. We believe this foundation is essential for communities develop the kind of adaptation and resilience to withstand future shocks and disruptions. This begins with a deeper sense of place.


The following testimonials are from participants of recent COBALT events.

Too often we are meeting with the same people. COBALT and COBALT Global Lead, Glenn Page have brought together an entirely new group of stakeholders. Everyone in the group was committed, experienced, and engaged, and importantly, they are from disciplines or sectors that don’t normally come together to talk. This allows for discussion about these issues in a way where we can share ideas and learnings and allows for synchronizing efforts.

Peter Handy

CEO, Bristol Seafood, Certified B-Corp

“Transformation always starts small and from within… in the Gulf of Maine, people and organizations are collaboratively exploring the creative frontiers of an emerging future – an inspirational learning experience not to be missed. The Learning Journey is a fantastic way to see the specifics of how people and companies are trying to change the world.

Steven Lovink

Founder of the Planet2025 Network, France

“For anyone who feels change is needed in a big way, this learning journey will help you explore how that can be realized with stimulating conversations grounded in people’s practical, day-to-day work and helpful frameworks for connecting it to the big picture.”

Steve Waddell

Author, Change for the Audacious Global Lead: Bounce Beyond
Boston, MA

“The entire itinerary was so diverse. Ideal for the curious and mindful explorer, the Learning Journey in the Gulf of Maine shares and engages – how individual and communal efforts can have transformative impact. This is an experience of a lifetime, if you want to make a difference!”

Martha Holder

Former staff, World Bank
Tall Timbers Maryland

Join us for Transformations 2023

North American Hub

July 17-19, 2023

The most effective learning journeys begin with good questions, some of which are unanswerable in the short term and lead to better questions.  Often we end up with far more questions than answers! If we are truly successful, this may even feature “unlearning” of what we thought we knew about ourselves and our place in this world. A Deeper Sense of Place is about developing community and the practice of living within the ecological limits of a place in a manner that can be further developed by future generations!