What’s Next: An Orion Original Video

On November 6th at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, 21 writers, artists, activists, and educators tell Orion magazine “what’s next”.


  1. Humans have approached the bounties of nature with the same abandon as a youngster who has yet to face mortality. Now we understand that there are consequences to our thoughtlessness, and benefits to thoughtful behavior.

  2. Thank you for this inspiring series of individually expressed yet connected thoughts of people conscious of nature and of their human connection to one another and the earth. The timing could not be more synchronous as I work to find motivating expressions encouraging the human connection of nature’s waters, in rivers, creeks, lakes to the water in each person’s daily life.These thoughts nourish me.

  3. What’s Next – Gratitude, thanksgiving, care for each other, food grown locally, energy from the sun, wind & water who give it freely to power our homes, cars and businesses, health care and education for every single person, social responsibility, celebrating diversity, listening to heal, love, we are undivisable worldwide – a community!

  4. I have a both/and response to this video. I really appreciate this effort to hear the voices of an amazing group of thinkers/scholars about what’s next within the current climate of hope, optimism and a willingness to look at realities. AND I wonder why the group of thinkers/scholars is comprised primarily of white folks. Where are the people of color who could also contribute to this important question and dialog?

  5. Wonderful progression of thought. Now how to get Patricia McCabe to snap her finger on prime time, so that many can see this.

  6. I think that this new consciousness (mentioned by several people in the video) is also a very old consciousness, and that perhaps it begins with the interconnectedness and impermanence of all things, whether we call this the Dao, the Great Spirit, God, or the Holy Wind that unites all beings in the breath of life. Such a consciousness would lead us to the restoration of resilience on individual, cultural, and ecological levels.

  7. My initial reaction was similar to those of Janet and Alexa. In the age of AIG and the Big Three, do we need another bunch of soft white people jetting off to a cushy resort in the mountains to flap their gums? I’m sure their insights are valuable, and – heaven knows – we need more creative and innovative thinking in our search for “what’s next,” but we also need new ways of communicating that don’t come with all the baggage and resentment. We need more grassroots leadership by example from people who are making it happen in the real world and not those stroking chins in the ivory tower.

  8. A culture that defines its very raison d’etre by endless accumulation of material possessions; by the unbounded acquisition of more money, money, money, money; by recklessly overconsuming and relentlessly hoarding limited resources, demonstrably declares to all the world that greed is good.

    Are we not members of a culture that worships consumerism? Are the products of greed nothing more or less than the objects of our idolatry?

    Are the pin-striped suits, fleet of cars, chauffeur, private jets, McMansions, distant hideaways, secret handshakes and exclusive clubs…… all signatures of success in a culture borne of the ‘goodness’ of greed?

    Consider for a moment what greed has wrought.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001

  9. The Hopi word for our present situation is Koyaanisqatzi which translates into “world out of balance, or a way of living which requires a new way of living.” It must be a total transformation from the current paradigm. We need a vision and we need leaders and artists who can articulate and implement that vision. You must be the Messiah. Do what you can as best you can where you are, and pray that, in concert with every other Messiah, it will be sufficient to save our dying planet and create a truly brave and beautiful New World. We can all begin the process if we will stop doing those things that are destructive and start doing those things which are sustainable and good.

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