As an organization that is dedicated to the healing and well-being of the planet, we recognize the importance of supporting the next generation of leaders who will contribute greatly to both the personal and collective transformation that is needed at this time. And while a tremendous number of pathways for activism, innovation, and leadership are presented to young people, very rarely is the “missing piece” of consciousness engaged. And IONS hopes to remedy this!
At the 17th International IONS Conference this past July, we were delighted to present the first annual Consciousness in Action Award to illuminate three young change-makers who are leading the way by incorporating consciousness and noetic principles into their work. We would like to again congratulate and highlight the recipients of this years Consciousness in Action Award: J.R. Furst, Marcelo Garzo Montalvo, and Kendra Krueger.
Watch the video below to experience (or re-experience if you were there) the inspiring panel from the conference.
In reflection of his conference experience, J.R. Furst who is co-founder of Beyond this Prison writes:
“The IONS conference validated psychic, enchanted, mystical parts of myself that I’d cast aside, disregarded, or labeled as fanatical or inconsequential. I forget that a neglected part of me has been intrinsically drawn to awe, wonder, and mystery since I can remember. I’ve never been able to take these important parts of me seriously though. I was too suspicious of them. I’ve seen that my mind can be delusional, grandiose, fanatical, and prone to fantasy & escape—so I threw the baby out with the bath water. Without even knowing it, I became sort of a smug, avid skeptic. I became sort of turned off by everything and anything that had even the most remote esoteric edge. I’d never thought of, or conceived of, the possibility that these mystical, esoteric things could be rooted in verifiable, undeniable, quantifiable science. As I listened to one relevant conference speaker after another, I started to feel more whole as a person. All of these integral parts of me that I’d kicked, shoved, cursed, sneered, and jeered at, started to resurface with a full-bodied substance. What a gift to have this experience; to rediscover, reinvigorate, and reclaim many integral parts of who I am.
The conference feels like a distant memory now. I’m back in the grind of my life; I’m back in the real world. Nevertheless, the experience of the conference sticks with me. On some level, I think about it everyday. I am imprinted with what happened there. I felt happy, joyous, free, invigorated, connected, inspired, creative, hopeful, and open. I won’t forget this anytime soon, and therefore I have an opportunity to continue to get to the bottom of what was real, true, and meaningful about the experience. I get to practice my continued pursuit of truth and freedom. Thank you, IONS!”
Marcelo Garzo Montalvo (Mapuche-Anahuaca, Chilenx), a transnational indigenous cultural activist, musician, ceremonial dancer, educator, and PhD Candidate chimes in with his reflections post conference:
“The conference opened up and continued to deepen so many important conversations for me around consciousness, science, knowledge and power. I was able to re-connect with the strong field of consciousness that IONS creates when we come together, and received such important insight into the work we are being called to do as a planet today. I received such clear visions of just how present the ancestors and unseen creative energies are in our world, and how much we must stay in direct contact with them to work in harmony towards justice. I also re-connected with Dr. Edgar Mitchell’s beautiful vision of a unified planet and cosmos. I was reminded of how urgent it is for us to “re-member: to put ourselves back together again, to awaken DNA memory, re-new our membership in sacred relation to mother earth and each other” (the words of Temastiani Tio Samuel Martinez). We are one people, one planet, one heart, one mind, but we need to actively participate in this noetic field to be able to experience this. This connection is a constant labor of inner work/public acts, the spiritual activism that Gloria Anzaldua embodied and wrote about before she passed on to Mictlan, the place of the ancestors.”
And finally Kendra Krueger, a scientist, professor, and community organizer contemplates the effect the conference has had on her:
“This conference was a portal. An advance in non-linear time. In non-linear love, in non-linear activation of mind and trust. I’ve spent the past few years feeling very excited about the intersections of science, spirituality and social justice but also very much alone. I knew there were others out there, but I was searching in the dark. At the conference, the community became illuminated and suddenly I was in love with a new collection of friends and our shared ideas. I was almost overwhelmed with a sense of ‘trying to take advantage of as much as possible!!’ but found the wisdom to pace myself and revel in longer moments, conversations and syncronistic meetings. It was a space to trust such things. To wander and let intuition with a little strategic intention guide the way.
Now, several months after the conference, I’m still processing and putting the pieces together for the next big step. The plot is simmering. The activation emerging once again. The work ahead, for me, is steeped in the urgency of our environmental and social turmoil. It is about community resilience, acknowledging the pain of the past and transcending the shame we carry collectively. We need the Noetic tools and frameworks to do this work. I see the amazing potential for integrating more indigenous wisdom-keepers and social justice change-makers into the research and technology being developed by the scientists at IONS. The future is intersectional and multidimensional. And we have the exciting opportunity to co-create it. Thank you to everyone who helped bring me into this space and those who have offered support and collaboration! Special thanks to Garret Moddel, Andrea Livingston, Belvie Rooks, Rusty Shores, Drew Dellinger and my other fellow Consciousness in Action Award winners!”
Again, we say a hearty congratulations to these three exceptional leaders who are bringing noetics into their work and world! We know that we can all work together and collaborate across generational bridges to bring about a world that is grounded in noetic wisdom and that is in service of healing and transformation for all.