This page contains archived information about our past speaking tours.

2016 National Speaking Tour!

What might a livable, low-carbon future look like?

Ma'ikwe presenting her Tedx Talk at Carleton College.

Click the picture to watch the 4-minute preview version of Ma’ikwe’s 2013 TEDx talk at Carleton College.

Ma’ikwe Ludwig, Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, is touring once again in 2016, and with climate change becoming more and more our daily reality, there is no better time to bring this message of hope and action to your community.

Ma’ikwe will be presenting workshops and giving talks. The main talk, “Sustainable is Possible,” shows how Dancing Rabbit residents are living rich, full lives using a fraction of the resources of the average American. In order to really address the ecological disasters of our time, 10% of our current resource consumption is the goal, and very few organizations know much about what a 10% life might look like. Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is one of the few, and Ma’ikwe brings concrete ideas for how others can take what we’ve learned here and be part of transforming our culture into the socially fulfilling, low-carbon reality of the future.

Ma’ikwe has spoken at universities, churches, intentional communities, and activist groups of many stripes in the past three years, and can adapt what she brings to your local community’s needs. We are booking speaking engagements now, so contact us to bring her to your town or organization.

While at colleges and universities Ma’ikwe will also be available for classroom visits, brown bag lunches and meetings with interested faculty. Once in town she’ll also be offering workshops on topics such as Starting a Sustainable Community, Re-thinking Sustainability, Social Skills for Cooperative Culture, Guerrilla Consensus, and Encountering Climate Change.

See a complete list of where the Dancing Rabbit Speaking Tour has been.


More about Ma’ikwe

Ma’ikwe Ludwig is a pioneering sustainability educator, who, in addition to her work as Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable and Cooperative Culture at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, is head of Ecovillage Education US, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Fellowship for Intentional Community. Her work integrates ecological, economic, social, political and personal approaches, leading to a strongly holistic view of what it takes to truly be sustainable.

She is a regular writer for Communities magazine and the author of Passion as Big as a Planet: Evolving Eco-Activism in America. For more information you can visit her website:

Workshop descriptions

Starting a Sustainable Community

Cooperation is a key element of sustainability, and a sense of community is critical for our well-being as humans. Many people feel drawn to a particular version of community: the residential intentional community. This workshop draws on years of knowledge from community founders, and Ma’ikwe’s own 18 years of cooperative living, including three start-up communities, to lay out the most important considerations for making a new community a success.

Blending practical advice with opportunities for self-reflection, this workshop can help you set your feet on the right path for your group to thrive.

Topics will include:

  • creating a good vision statement
  • what successful founders have in common
  • the relationship between decision-making, conflict resolution and membership process
  • 15 spectrums that help define what kind of a community you are creating
  • social dynamics you need to know about
  • economic choices and their implication for sustainability and group cohesion
  • what you should— and shouldn’t— freak out about
  • key questions for making your community a sustainable one

This workshop can be done in a 4-hour, one day or two day format, and can be done with open enrollment or tailored to a particular forming group.

Rethinking Sustainability

What do you think of when you hear the word sustainability? Organic food, wind turbines, natural building and electric cars? Those things matter for sure, but real sustainability goes well beyond the ecological choices we make, and touches on social dynamics, economics and our fundamental world view.

This class introduces the relationships between the four dimensions of sustainability, drawing on a curriculum developed by ecovillages all over the world. If we are going to really address issues like climate change, it is essential that we look more deeply at how we define sustainability and what we are willing to question, rethink and re-envision about how we live our lives.

Social Skills for Cooperative Culture

Living with other people is hard. In fact, trying to cooperate with people at all is hard. This workshop looks at the basic skills toolbox that can make cooperative endeavors more powerful, easier and fulfilling for everyone involved. Cooperative social skills affect conflict resolution, decision-making and the general harmony of any group. Come ready to stretch, laugh, and learn new skills.

Key skills that we focus on include:

  • developing compassion
  • self-awareness
  • speaking and listening to be understood

Ma’ikwe will also introduce multiple conflict resolution models and principles.

This workshop is offered in 1 or 2-day formats, and can be done with open enrollment or tailored to a particular group’s needs.

Guerrilla Consensus

The core of consensus is the belief that everyone has a piece of the truth. Nice theory, right? But putting that into practice and creating a culture that supports consensus going well is not a simple thing. This workshop focuses on the attitudes and cultural frameworks that make consensus—and really any participatory decision-making—a positive experience instead of a gauntlet.  The lessons are applicable for anyone wanting to have better decision-making, regardless of your group’s official decision-making processes, and even with no group buy-in to use consensus.

This workshop can also serve as a basic consensus training for groups using consensus, and can be done with open enrollment or tailored to a specific group’s needs.

Encountering Climate Change

Climate Disruption is the most urgent challenge of our time, and yet many of us are struggling with overwhelm, paralysis and a deep desire to simply check out in the face of it all. How do we even respond to something so big and fundamental, and with such huge unknowns? How do we work through the fear, anger, sadness and even guilt that come up for many of us when we try to think about the coming changes?

This workshop is an invitation to steer directly in to the emotional and spiritual morass that is climate change, and then step pro-actively into action.

This weekend workshop features the following exercises and explorations:

  • Joanna Macy-inspired witnessing and moving through emotional blockages
  • Resting in compassion for the world and self
  • Reconnecting with nature and understanding what is at stake
  • Acting on behalf of what we love, and listening for what needs to happen
  • Personal choices in the face of climate change
  • How we relate to political and economic actions
  • Holding space for others

(Note: the full list of topics is covered in the 2-day version of the workshop. While we recommend doing the full workshop, shorter formats are available as well.)