July 17, 2021
Saturday Time TBD
Location TBD, in Lenox, Massachusetts
The program includes live, thought-provoking talks by our featured speakers listed below,
two short breaks, and two TED videos.
Speakers scheduled for 2021 are listed in alphabetical order.
Time spent in nature is necessary for our health much in the same way we depend on nutritious whole foods for vitamins and minerals. Science supports what we intuitively feel – nature is good for us. When we incorporate mindful awareness of our environment into our everyday modern lives, we build a connection that supports personal wellbeing and nature for the benefit of both.
Becky Cushing is Sanctuary Director of Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries, which includes six wildlife sanctuaries, 12 miles of hiking trails and the countywide Berkshire Environmental Literacy program. She’s a trained field biologist and environmental educator with a passion for cross disciplinary collaboration, environmental problem-solving and connecting people to nature.
In 2015 she developed Birding and Mindfulness, an approach to tuning into our environment that engages our mindful awareness of birds and is offered through programming at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. She’s shared these practices through presentations and workshops for conservation professionals, educators and the general public throughout New England. She serves on the Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership faculty, a program to train leaders in facilitating mindful outdoor experiences.
Becky has worked in the conservation field for 17 years in science, education, development and administrative roles at Mass Audubon sanctuaries across the state, the University of Vermont and The Nature Conservancy. She earned a master’s in Plant Biology from the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist program and a bachelor’s in Conservation Biology from Middlebury College. She’s a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and Sea Education Association (SEA), a Switzer Environmental Fellow and author of journal article, Exploring the Role of Ospreys in Education. Last year she was selected as one of the Berkshire 40 Under Forty.
At the heart of Becky’s work is the value that all people should have access to nature for the mental and physical benefits that it provides and that humans have a great responsibility to recognize our influence on the environment and take action to mindfully steward it.
Her favorite nature moments involve sunrise hikes, exploring northern bogs, paddling New England salt marshes and beach meditation. She recently got engaged during a rainstorm on top of Mount Greylock.
In this talk, Matthew Dicks, an award winning and nationally recognized storyteller and internationally bestselling novelist, will review the basic elements of a great story, moving past the ridiculous "beginning, middle, and end" paradigm and into a practical, actionable explanation that can transform anyone into a better storyteller almost immediately.
Matthew Dicks is an award-winning elementary school teacher and the internationally bestselling author of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Something Missing, Unexpectedly, Milo, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, Twenty-one Truths About Love, and Storyworthy: Engage Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling. He’s also the humor columnist for Seasons magazine and an advice columnist with Slate magazine.
Matthew is a 45-time Moth StorySLAM and 6-time Moth GrandSLAM champion and the founder and Artistic Director of Speak Up, a Hartford-based storytelling organization. In addition to performing, he teaches storytelling and communication strategies to corporations, nonprofits, religious institutions, universities, hospitals, public schools, advertising agencies, and many more. He has most recently worked with Yale University, MIT, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, LEGO, and the Mohawk Nation of Canada.
Matthew is also a wedding DJ, playwright, minister, stand-up comic, life coach, and Lord of Sealand. Matt loves ice cream cake, golf, tickling his children, staring at his wife, and not sleeping.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian
Dariush Mozaffarian is a cardiologist, Dean and Jean Mayer Professor at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and Professor of Medicine at Tufts Medical School. As one of the top nutrition institutions in the world, the Friedman School’s mission is to produce trusted science, future leaders, and real-world impact. Dr. Mozaffarian has authored more than 400 scientific publications on dietary priorities for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, and on evidence-based policy approaches to reduce these burdens in the US and globally. He has served in numerous advisory roles including for the US and Canadian governments, American Heart Association, World Health Organization, and United Nations. His work has been featured in a wide array of media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and Time Magazine. In 2016, Thomson Reuters named him as one of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds.
Dr. Mozaffarian received a BS in biological sciences at Stanford (Phi Beta Kappa), MD at Columbia (Alpha Omega Alpha), residency training in internal medicine at Stanford, and fellowship training in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Washington. He also received an MPH from the University of Washington and a Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard. Before being appointed as Dean at Tufts in 2014, Dr. Mozaffarian was at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health for a decade and clinically active in cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is married, has three children, and actively trains as a Third Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.
The Friedman School pursues cutting-edge research, education, and public impact across five Divisions, a cross-divisional Center, and multiple academic programs. Areas of focus range from cell to society, including: molecular nutrition, human metabolism and clinical trials, nutrition data science, behavior change, community and organizational interventions, communication and media, agriculture, food systems, and sustainability, hunger and food security, humanitarian crisis, and food policy and economics. Friedman School graduates are leaders in academia, US and international government, policy, advocacy, industry, public health, community service, and entrepreneurship. The School’s unique breadth, engagement with the world, and entrepreneurial spirit make it a leading institution for nutrition education, research, and public impact.