Symposium and workshop examine link between justice, sustainability and spirituality

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — Listening to the world or national news can sometimes be discouraging or depressing these days.

    Despite this, Dr. Lesley Fernow believes that changes are happening in society that are cause for hope. Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium is an interactive, multimedia event that is engaging, uplifting and hopeful for anyone who wishes to deepen their understanding of the current state of our world and how we can take action to create a sustainable, fulfilling, and just presence on the planet. 


    The symposium was developed by The Pachamama Alliance, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, founded at the invitation of indigenous people of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest. Through the symposium and other workshops, they work to generate widespread awakening at the grassroots level and a transformation of our worldview, such that humanity becomes committed to restoring and protecting the environment and moves towards social justice and spiritual fulfillment.

    Dr. Fernow says, “My first exposure to the work of The Pachamama Alliance three years ago, including traveling to the deepest rainforest in Ecuador, was deeply motivating, and brought me face-to-face with the global realities of our time. It was truly life-changing.”  

    Currently, the symposium has been delivered in 71 countries by over 3,700 volunteer facilitators. It has been presented in 12 languages and reached at least 100,000 people, generating countless community projects and individual change.

    The first Pachamama event in  Piscataquis County, The Pachamama Alliance Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 15 from 6-9 p.m. at the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church, with an interactive workshop — Getting Into Action Saturday, Feb. 16 from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Congregational Church.

    The weekend will end with a focused facilitator training aimed at training committed participants to facilitate other symposia in their own communities.  

    Participants of each event  will explore core aspects of our societal condition via facilitated interaction and engaging audio-visual elements. They will hear from some of the world’s leading experts on topics as diverse as the current state of the Earth’s biodiversity and the reality of the socio-economic disparity throughout the world.

After grounding our awareness in the facts regarding the consequences of humanity’s current relationship with the Earth and each other, we will examine how we arrived at this point. Finally, through a process of guided self-inquiry, each individual will discover the unique stands that they wish to take for our future.

    This is an opportunity to share concerns about the state of the world with like-minded members of your community, and offer support to each other in taking steps to bring to reality the changes that you wish to see. Participants will leave the symposium empowered to take clear steps to embody their vision for a better world, and having established new connections to work with others on common issues.

    For more information, please call Dr. Lesley Fernow at 564-3934 or 992-6822 or e-mail her at

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