Long Talks in the Woods

monthly speaker and conversation series
Next talk: Fall 2021
January (no meeting)
February (no meeting)
March 20, done
April 17, done
June 5, done
July: stay tuned for extras
August: stay tuned for extras
September tbd...
October tbd...

On the internet while we manage the risks of covid-19, but in non-covid times, at the

Hastings Highlands Public Library

Maynooth, Ontario

Saturday sessions from 10 am to 12 noon

recorded and posted on the website for convenient viewing if you can't make this time.

Long talks in the woods.

Long Talks in the Woods is a speaker and discussion series. Long Talks in the Woods aims to be a generative hive, a place for learning, a place for en-skill-ment, a place where people can come to understand current issues in new ways and consider how they would like to engage. It is a capacity building space for change-makers.

In 2020, we envisioned this as a set of diverse conversations through which we could explore topics of interest and relevance to us as individuals and community members. We held five sessions in person before the pandemic changed the way we socialize and gather with others, and we got used to having our conversations on Zoom, with many folks watching through our YouTube channel as well. While we never anticipated digital communications technology to be as large a part of the conversations as they have become, we are grateful for the discussions, shared learning, and ideas we could consider with other folks online. The topics of interest that we started with soon evolved into themes of well-being, justice, climate action, and how to participate meaningfully so that our local communities and practices are part of the broader economic, ecological, and social transformations required of societies around the world.

In 2021, we are more focused in our conversations as the themes that emerged from last year guide our discussions this year. We will begin by discussing theories of change, which we imagine will include discussions of narratives of change, governance, political engagement or disengagement, ways of knowing, clarifying our motivations for change and our roles, and seeing solidarity in the diversity of approaches to change.

Our upcoming session:

Who are we in the future?

The big systems transformations required to avoid the worst climate change scenarios, as laid out in the IPCC (2018) report, mean many aspects of our lives and relationships will change. Many activists, scholars, and advocates of change suggest this requires us as individuals, and communities big and small, to understand and relate to the world around us in ways that are not currently reinforced by our institutions and social norms. Different ways of knowing the world, of understanding humans as part of ecological relationships, and of identifying value beyond money or individual preference constitutes a change in worldview for many people, because it means we must understand the world beyond a mere collection of observable individual things, to see the relationship between these things as fundamentally as meaning-creating as their individual qualities. In this session, we will explore why knowing the world differently is crucial to transformative change, and which parts of embodying other ways of knowing might be challenging, which parts will be joyful and fulfilling, and why we might be closer than we think to knowing who we might become.

upcoming talks

thinking about 2021,

the future, and change

Speaker: Barb Lindenberg and Shaun Sellers 

Dates: March 20, 2021

theories of change

Speaker: Jen Gobby

Dates: April 17, 2021

Navigating in Woods

narratives of change

Speakers: Meg Egler, Sam Bliss, and Shaun Sellers

Dates: June 5, 2021

who are we in the future?

Disco Ball

Speakers: Ivan Vargas Roncancio

Dates: Fall 2021, TBD

learning how to world-build from those who do it already

Helping Hand

Speakers: TBD

Dates: Fall 2021, TBD

details here

Thank you to everyone who came to the 2020 sessions and participated in the first year of Long Talks in the Woods! There were some really interesting discussions in each session and we are currently planning and looking forward to 2021. If you have any feedback or an idea of a topic you'd like to hear about, or if you want to suggest someone in the community that would be a great speaker, please fill in the feedback form at the bottom of this page.

past  talks


an introduction to ecological economics

Foggy Forest

Speaker: Shaun Sellers

Dates: January 23 + 24, 2020

what do we mean by sustainability?

Paper Straws

Speaker: Shaun Sellers

Dates: February  28 + March 5,  2020

Street Protest

Speaker: Shaun Sellers

Dates: April 24, 2020   12pm- 2pm

bringing big ideas into a local economy

Sharing Food

Speaker: James Magnus-Johnston

Dates: May 22, 2020

home is where we are


Speaker: Shaun Sellers

Dates: July 24, 2020

imagining anti-colonial futures

Stained Glass Pattern

Speaker: Krista D'Amour Flute

Dates: June 26, 2020

capitalism, climate, democracy, and demands

a just transition to a right-sized economy


Speaker: Jon Erickson

Dates: August 28, 2020


who is Long Talks in the Woods?

Responding to community appetite for deep discussion and rigorous questioning on existential topics, Long Talks in the Woods happens because Shaun Sellers, Marilyn Zehr and Barbara Lindenberg make it so.

Shaun Sellers is a PhD candidate in the Leadership for the Ecozoic program (L4E) at McGill University. She has a MSc in Ecological Economics from the University of Leeds, and a BA (Hons) in Business Management from Antioch University. Her research interests are in the foundational philosophies of institutions, the policy applications of social ecological perspectives, and the history of economic thought. (Learn more about Shaun here - click through to Session 1 info)

Barb Lindenberg is a dance artist, parent and administrator living in Maynooth. She holds an MFA from Simon Fraser University and a BFA from York University. She lends her administrative and communication skills to Long Talks in the Woods.

Marilyn Zehr is a spiritual director, and an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada, (originally ordained in the Mennonite Church), currently serving the Maynooth Madawaska Communities of Faith UCC.  She has a Masters of Theology (ThM) with a Diploma in Spiritual Direction (DSD) from Regis College, University of Toronto, a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Emmanuel College, U of T, and a BA (Hons) in religious studies and sociology. She has a deep connection to land, and seeks to be attuned to the Sacred through the earth and her creatures.  She and her wife Svinda Heinrichs co-founded and lead (in CoVid safe times) a wild church, Cathedral of the Trees, and are part of the Wild Church Network.


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