Featured Past Projects

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April 22, 2015

Dear Friends,

I am thrilled to announce the release of PLANETARY, a feature-length documentary from award-winning filmmakers about the interconnectedness of all life on the planet. You’ll find more about the new documentary beneath the film’s poster-image below, but first …

I’d like to invite you to be among the first wave to support and see PLANETARY — exclusively through Vimeo-On-Demand.  You can receive a 10% discount on rental or purchase below. To stream or download, click on the top right icon on the image below. Be sure to click “Apply promo code” and enter LTE10 for your 10% discount.

PLANETARY is the follow-up to the award-winning short film Overview, which captivated audiences with astronauts’ stories of what it means to see the Earth from space.  Sir Richard Branson called it “An exceptional documentary,” and NPR, Cosmos and Culture called it “Breathtaking.” Overview has become one of Vimeo’s most viewed videos, with over 6.9 million views.


PLANETARY interweaves stunning imagery from NASA Apollo missions with visions of the Milky Way, Buddhist monasteries in the Himalayas, and the cacophonous sounds of downtown Tokyo and Manhattan, with intimate interviews with astronauts, Indigenous elders, environmentalists, spiritual leaders, activists, cosmologists, authors and others. Through the interviews and imagery, PLANETARY sheds new light on the ways our worldview is profoundly affecting life on our planet.  Please check out our two-minute trailer by clicking the “Watch Trailer Button” anywhere on this page. You can also purchase or rent the film by clicking on the first icon on top right of the video image below. Be sure to click “Apply promo code” and enter LTE10 for your 10% discount.

I am honored to serve as the Lead Consulting Producer for Planetary. I am also a Featured Expert in the film, and serve as Senior Advisor to the collective behind the film.


If you or someone you know would like to promote PLANETARY to your mailing lists and social networks, please contact me about a special affiliate arrangement, in which you will receive a portion of all sales.

Also, if you or someone you know would like to promote PLANETARY to a large audience, such as an organizational or community mailing list or network, please contact me about special affiliate opportunities and discount arrangements.

You can also use the film as a fundraiser for your organization or community. Just contact me for more details.

I can be reached at LTE@LawrenceEllis.net or 510-444-7284, ext. 1.


Once again, click the top right icon on the video poster below to stream or download Planetary. Be sure to click “Apply promo code” and enter LTE10 for your 10% discount.

I thank you, in advance, for your support of this film, and its aim to transform our collective relationship with all life on Earth, in support of a life-honoring civilization.

And please do forward and share this message widely. Thank you!

For the Planet,

Lawrence Ellis

Power to the Planet

Mindfulness, Earth Justice and Stories for a New Humanity

A conversation between
Charles Eisenstein, Konda Mason, Lawrence Ellis and Paul Hawken
– and a Fundraiser for the East Bay Meditation Center


Indigenous Wisdom & Modern Science

It’s more and more evident that the scope of contemporary challenges requires new ways of thinking and being. Thanks to horizon-edge leaders opening pathways of dialogue and collaboration about sustainability, the chasm is being bridged so that we might advance the outcomes of sustainability by applying the very best offered by modern science and ancient wisdom traditions.

Lawrence Ellis and many of his colleagues are thought-leaders engaged in bridging Indigenous wisdom and modern science to raise awareness, and to enhance the processes and effectiveness of transformative change and courageous leadership.

Learn more


Lawrence Ellis is a respected sustainability advocate who uses a range of vehicles (high-level consulting, filmmaking, transformative teaching, activism, writing and others) to help shift our global culture away from ecological destruction, extractive and exploitative economics, and inhumane political and social systems… towards a life-honoring culture.

His unique approach combines the best of ancient wisdom traditions with contemporary innovations such as complexity science that promote systemic, large-scale change – from personal to political to planetary.

A Rhodes Scholar who took his graduate degree at Oxford University, Lawrence has worked with large-organization leaders, filmmakers, Indigenous communities, and fellow visionaries and thought-leaders.

Recent highlights include his producer role for Planetary the Film, the Indigenous Wisdom & Modern Science global tele-summit, his inclusion in an anthology of visionary change leaders, and an emerging book project on the Indigenous Wisdom & Modern Science approach to contemporary challenges.

He is a Trustee of World Merit, and serves as the Lead Sustainability Engager/Advisor with/to its 100,000 young leaders, ages 18-35, in more than 100 countries around the globe.

Full Bio

For more on the Great Shift from a destructive culture to a life-sustaining culture, see The Motivation.

For more details on Lawrence’s clients, films, symposia, books, and transformative teaching, see The Work.

The Motivation

At the heart of any visionary and inspired body of work is a powerful guiding motivation.

Lawrence’s core motivation is the current state of crisis on our planet — system-wide, survival-level crises of climate change, massive species extinction, and a destructive dominant culture promoting unchecked consumption, waste generation, human immiseration, and  Earth-resource ravaging that is well past a sustainable level.

These system-wide, global crises have prompted visionary inquiry into possible innovative approaches for facing and mitigating these challenges.These visionary responsive movements have been called The Great Turning, The Great Work, The Prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor, and The Great Shift — among other names.

Lawrence’s core life mission is to assist our global culture in a transition towards a life-honoring culture that respects the radical interconnectedness of all life: human life, other species, eco-systems, and the Earth itself.

For more information on this core mission in action, see The Work.

The Approach

“The really wonderful thing that happened to me when I was in space was this feeling of belonging to the entire Universe… We’re at the point in time now where we need to take radical leaps in order to be able to continue to live on this planet. We have to think about it in a much broader, grander fashion.” Astronaut Mae Jamison

The Sustainability movement, and our individual and collective efforts in support of it, are all a definitive and focused response to the crises that threaten life on Earth — very real crises that are altering life as we know it, not just for human beings, but for all Life on the planet.

Specific threats include climate change, species extinction, economies in collapse, ecological overshoot …. to name a few. While there isn’t one, universally-agreed-upon definition of sustainability, the most widely quoted definition comes from the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations:

“[meeting] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The implicit focus on enduring systems and processes involves not just ecological, but also economic, social, and political dimensions. One of Lawrence’s unique contributions to the sustainability movement is what he calls, Full-Spectrum SustainabilityTM – an integrated, whole-system response to the calling for humans to step into a new way of being.

The challenges that we face are so complex, and their consequences so monumental, that they require engaging human ingenuity across a full spectrum of approaches – versus the more ‘siloed’ and often non-integrated approaches more common in recent history.

A more interwoven, whole-system approach includes both the capacity of modern science to deliver technological breakthroughs, and the best of ancient wisdom traditions that stem from thousands of years of experience in living sustainably, and with the awareness of the Earth as a living system and our own interconnection in it. Full-Spectrum Sustainability also incorporates the participation from a range of fields and sectors — personal, business, science, education, community, government, religion, and spirituality; for-profit and nonprofit; personal and professional — working together across boundaries or ‘silos’, and across generations, to catalyze awakening, mobilization, transformation, and shifts towards more sustainable ways of thinking, acting, and being for people across the planet.

In particular, we advocate for a fourfold approach that encompasses top-down, bottom-up, inside-out and outside-in strategies:

  • Top-Down approaches leverage legislative, judicial and other mandated forms of change;
  • Bottom-Up approaches focus on grassroots, community-based change;
  • Inside-Out approaches cultivate practices for “inner” transformations for healing, visioning, bridge-building within and between communities, etc.;
  • Outside-In approaches leverage social media and web technologies to broadcast and amplify messages, and to build connections and enduring networks.

The Full-Spectrum Sustainability approach leverages this full range of perspectives and approaches, in support of a shift to a life-honoring culture.

The Work

Lawrence has …

… advocated for a synthesis of Indigenous Wisdom & Modern Science to more effectively meet the steep challenges of our time;

… fostered breakthrough progress on a renewable technology with the potential to preserve threatened ecosystems and generate hundreds of millions of dollars of profit annually;

… helped to shift the national conversation on pollution, resulting in subsequent shifts in policy, culture and behavior across the U.S.;

… served as a Trustee of World Merit, and as Lead Sustainability Engager/Advisor with/to its 100,000 young leaders, ages 18-35, in more than 100 countries around the globe;

… supported cultural revitalization of millennia-old Indigenous wisdom practices in support of Indigenous-led projects;

… advised an award-winning documentary film team for Planetary, sequel to Overview.

… and more.

Lawrence uses complex systems (also called “complexity science”) organizational consulting, and change-leadership consulting approaches, to assist for-profit and non-profit individuals, groups, organizations, communities and movements to become more effective and efficient in support of the shift to a life-sustaining civilization. For several years he was a Director at Interaction Associates, one of the world’s oldest change-leadership consulting firms.  In 1995, he founded Paths to Change Consulting, where he and his colleagues provide state-of-the-art consulting, facilitation, executive coaching, training and related products & services.

Below find a small sampling of some of his sustainability consulting projects:

  • As a key consultant on a major, multi-year national Anti-Pollution Initiative, Lawrence:
    • Developed the most effective Key Working Group in the entire initiative, masterfully leading the group to a high level of performance;
    • Co-designed and co-implemented the overall initiative, the results of which were:- Helped to shift the national conversation on pollution, resulting in subsequent shifts in policy, culture and behavior across the U.S.;- Generated over twenty-five demonstration projects, many of which became mainstream cultural norms. Examples include: local land-use tax incentives, public education programs, and reduced interest rates and insurance premiums for farmers who reduce agricultural pollutants.- Contributed to significant changes in the language of a major national environmental-protection legislative bill.
    • For more information about this project, click here.
  • As the consulting lead on a project with Engineering & Construction giant CH2M HILL, for manufacturing a “clean-tech” renewable biochemical, Lawrence:
    • Led the successful resolution of significant change-management breakdowns that threatened the project, allowing continued progress on a renewable technology with the potential to generate hundreds of millions of dollars of profit annually, and to preserve threatened ecosystems;
    • Guided the successful conclusion of an important study vital to a top-priority planning effort for a multi-million dollar capital-budget plan;
    • Received highest client-satisfaction praise at the conclusion of the project.
    • For more information about this project, click here.
  • As a consulting engagement manager leading a group of ten colleagues and seventy client-system members on a multi-year, major urban school reform effort, Lawrence:
    • Effectively influenced and facilitated the expanded community participation necessary for sustainable educational reforms
    • Successfully navigated discordant local politics and ‘disintegrating political climate’, resulting in ‘unprecedented civic commitment’ and collaboration amongst community leaders
    • Helped the school system to achieve breakthrough success. According to the client, “The overall engagement was a huge success. Three to four years after the initial work of Paths To Change, the District realized significant gains in educational outcomes.”
    • For more information about this project, click here.

For more about the work of Lawrence and his colleagues at Paths to Change Consulting, visit their online home.

Over the years, Lawrence has been invited to share his wise, warm, and insightful voice and presence through a variety of public venues, including film, conferences, workshops, global tele-gatherings and Wisdom Talks.

Here’s a small sampling from Lawrence’s appearances below.

PLANETARY, The Documentary Film

PLANETARY is a feature-length documentary film released in 2015 from the producers of the award-winning short film, Overview.

Lawrence is a consulting producer, senior advisor and cast member for the film, joining astronauts Ron Garan and Mae Jemison; Dagara wisdom-keeper, Sobonfu Somé, environmental writer Barry Lopez; and celebrated environmentalist Bill McKibben; and other luminaries and leaders.


Alternate Trailer

Learn more about PLANETARY

Indigenous Wisdom, Modern Science Global Tele-Summit – 2012

Lawrence was the executive producer, emcee, and panel-discussion moderator for the Indigenous Wisdom, Modern Science (IWMS) global tele-summit.

The 2012 IWMS tele-summit was part of the Spring of Sustainability program sponsored by the Sustainable World Coalition and The Shift Network. The program drew over 12,000 participants from 148 countries around the world.

Opening Ritual – Excerpt

Greening Our Organizations and Communities Panel Discussion – Excerpt

Learn more about the Indigenous Wisdom, Modern Science Tele-Summit

Wisdom Talks

Since true transformation encompasses a change of mind and heart, Lawrence has given Wisdom Talks in collaboration with colleagues such as Paul Hawken, Joanna Macy, Larry Yang and other spiritual leaders from many traditions.

Here’s a small Wisdom Talk sampling.

Transforming Distressing States of Mind, Heart, and Body — Spirit Rock Meditation Center (SRMC), Woodacre, CA

Lawrence gave this ‘Wise Intentions’ Wisdom Talk as part of SRMC’s ‘Transforming Distressing States of Mind, Heart, and Body — For Ourselves and Our World’ (Lawrence Ellis, Joanna Macy, Donald Rothberg).

Listen to a 3-minute excerpt from Wise Intention

Download the full 30 minute Wise Intention Wisdom Talk (Right click and choose save as)

Lawrence Ellis serves as a consulting producer, casting consultant, and featured expert for the feature-length documentary film, Planetary. He is also a senior advisor to the award-winning company behind the film. Planetary premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March 2015, and is slated for broader release later in 2015.

Planetary is a major sustainability-focused documentary film conceived and produced by Planetary Collective. Their prequel short film, Overview, won the prestigious Digital Media Film Award for 2013 from The Environmental Media Association (EMA). Planetary, as the follow-up feature-length sequel to Overview, weaves perspectives from various luminaries with a largely original visual narrative, resulting in a powerful communication tool to amplify the message of our interconnectedness, and to deepen awareness, stir remembrance, and catalyze action.

Both films are intended to help convey the vital, perception-shifting message that we and the planet are deeply interconnected — that we are part of the same system and web of life.

View the Planetary trailer and learn more about the Planetary documentary, and Lawrence’s role.

Learn more about Planetary



In addition to his multi-faceted role for the documentary film, Planetary, Lawrence has served as producer or special advisor for several other films:

  •  Hidden History, a 90-minute documentary on the sacred spirituality of Two Spirits, Twin Spirits and their counterparts among Indigenous peoples on all continents. Directed by Peabody and Telly award winning producer and director, Cheryl Rosenthal, shooting on Hidden History began in 2009. Lawrence serves as Senior Advisor and Associate Producer.
  • A rare interview with Paula Gunn Allen, the great Two-Spirit poet, novelist, scholar and activist. Directed by Carmen Goodyear and Laurie York of Turtle Time Productions, the interviews for this documentary film were completed shortly before Gunn Allen’s death in late 2008. Goodyear and York also produced the award-winning documentary, Freedom to Marry. Lawrence serves as Executive Producer of this film.
  • Two Spirit, Twin Spirit – Historic Gathering in 2008. This film, directed by four-time Emmy Award-winning director and cameraman, Rick Butler, will center on an historic gathering of Twin Spirit and Two Spirit leaders that occurred in 2008, and will include footage from several other facets of Two Spirit and Twin Spirit life. Lawrence serves as Executive Producer of this film.

Collectively, these films are significant because they highlight the vital importance of honoring the interconnectedness of all life – from harmonious interactions with the so-called “natural world,” to harmonious and effective ways of organizing groups and societies. In this regard, these films highlight crucial contributions from the Indigenous world towards shifting our society towards a life-sustaining civilization.

Stay tuned for news of opportunities to contribute to the production of these wonderful films.

In his role as a respected thought-leader, Lawrence has been invited to participate in a variety of global conferences and symposia, sharing his insights and expertise in the areas of sustainability leadership, Indigenous wisdom and modern science collaborations, transformational activism, and complexity-science/complex-system organizational consulting.

His roles typically range from featured expert to moderator; from conference designer to emcee.

Here is a small selection of his appearances and leadership roles in these events.

Indigenous Wisdom & Modern Science Global Tele-Summit


The Indigenous Wisdom & Modern Science (IWMS) global tele-summit, brought together Indigenous wisdom-keepers and modern scientists for an inspired dialogue exploring what it means to be interconnected, how we know it, and its practical implications for sustainability. The IWMS tele-summit was part of the 2012 Spring of Sustainability program sponsored by the Sustainable World Coalition and The Shift Network.

Lawrence served as the IWMS global tele-summit executive producer, emcee, and panel-discussion moderator. As the executive producer, Lawrence designed the conceptual framework for the summit; secured alignment of the executive sponsors; led the presenter-recruitment team, as well as the team-leads responsible for marketing, operations, and other functions. Lawrence also oversaw the daylong summit itself, and handled key post-event activities.

The Spring of Sustainability program drew over 12,000 participants from 148 countries. For more information on the IWMS Global Tele-Summit, click here.

Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)14th International Conference:
Noetic 2.0 – Tools and Technologies for a World Transforming.

IONS invited Lawrence to play three roles at the 14th International Conference:

  1. To serve as co-emcee of the overall conference, together with Lynne Twist, author and co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance.
  1. To present a pre-conference intensive;
  1. To design the process of the event.

Lawrence’s pre-conference intensive, The Hidden Science: Healing Our Planet, explored the concept of “radical interconnectedness” from the perspectives of contemporary complexity sciences and ancient wisdom traditions.

As the process designer for the conference, Lawrence orchestrated the sequencing and flow of content for all presenters, and coordinated topical themes and transitions for the presenters, ensuring a well-synthesized and successful event.

The Earl Lectures & Leadership Conference 2010: Pacific School of Religion at the University of Berkeley
Spiritual But Not Religious: Chasing the Divine

The Earl Lectures event was founded in 1901, with the purpose of convening eminent scholars to explore the important theological, political, social, and economic issues of the times. The 2010 Earl Lectures & Leadership Conference focused on the increasingly popular phrase spiritual, but not religious.

Lawrence joined fellow 2010 Earl Lecturers, including Author and Theologian Matthew Fox; the Associate Professor of Religion and Gender Studies at Whitman College, Melissa Wilcox; and the Dean of Religious Life at Stanford University, Rev. Scotty McLennan. For this series of Earl Lectures, Lawrence presented Reconnecting with Ourselves & The Earth in this Time of the Big Shift: Practices from Ancient Cultures & Contemporary Complexity Science.

Green Festival 2012 – San Francisco, CA
Sacred Activism: An Interfaith Dialogue on Creating a Just and Healthy Planet for All

Green Festival is “America’s largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event.” Lawrence was invited to moderate the SF Green Festival panel, Sacred Activism: An Interfaith Dialogue on Creating a Just and Healthy Planet for All.

“Leaders of faith have worked to defend our planet and have seen all as sacred. In this time of cataclysmic change, people are looking deeply to discover that which compels them to stand up with courage for the well being of all – on behalf of life itself. This Interfaith Sacred Activism dialogue explored the power of spirit in action.” (Source: Green Festival brochure.)

Panel participants included Founder and Executive Director of the American Muslim Voice Foundation, Samina Faheem Sundas; Founding co-director of Wilderness Torah, Zelig Golden; and Author and Earth-Based Spirituality Teacher, Starhawk.

The Shift Network
The 2011 Ultimate Men’s Summit 

Lawrence was a featured visionary-expert in two programs for The Shift Network’s global Ultimate Men’s Summit, which featured over 75 prominent experts, authors, teachers, and visionaries.

He was interviewed by The Shift Network CEO, Stephen Dinan, for the tele-summit program, Just Apes Who Kill? – Practices for Transforming Separation from Self, Community and the Earth, in which he shared an overview of the “culture of violence” prevalent in our contemporary world, separation as a root cause of violence, and peacemaking practices for transforming separation and promoting deep interconnectedness.

Lawrence also hosted a panel dialogue that included Anguksuar (Richard La Fortune); Yacine Kouyate, Ph.D., and Wesley Thomas, Ph.D., to share perspectives on Gender, Sexuality, Transformation & Sacredness from the ‘Changing Ones’ of Indigenous Societies.



Anguksuar (Richard La Fortune) is a member of the Yupik (Eskimo) tribe and was one of the lead organizers for the first International Two Spirit Gathering in 1999, has served as a narrator of several PBS-aired specials on Two Spirit or Changing Ones peoples, and founded Two Spirit Press Room.

Wesley Thomas

Wesley Thomas

Wesley Thomas, Ph.D. is a member of the Navajo Nation, author, and founder of the First Nations Cultural and Education Center. He was department chair and dean for the Dine Studies program at Dine College, and a faculty member at Indiana University-Bloomington.

Yacine Kouyate

Yacine Kouyate

Yacine Kouyate, Ph.D. is a “Jali” or musician-historian from Mali, West Africa, and a steward for the wisdom traditions of the Bambara and Dogon peoples. He has a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UC-Davis, and has taught, spoken, and/or performed at Stanford University, UC-Berkeley, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, The Fillmore in San Francisco, and a diverse array of other venues.

PeaceWeek Global Telesummit
Traditional Wisdom & Modern Science Tele-Council

The Summer 2010 PeaceWeek global tele-summit featured 50 peace-building pioneers and luminaries from around the world, including Nobel Laureate Betty Williams, the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne (“the Gandhi of Sri Lanka”), Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Ambassador John McDonald; and drew participants from more than 100 countries.

Apela Colorado

Apela Colorado

Lawrence was featured in a PeaceWeek tele-council along with renowned traditional-wisdom elders Dr. Apela Colorado and Dr. Malidoma Somé, exploring insights on how Indigenous wisdom and modern science can interweave to illuminate the paths through some of the biggest challenges of our times.

Miladoma Somé

Miladoma Somé

Apela Colorado is a member of the Oneida tribe. Apela created the first doctoral program in traditional knowledge at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS) and founded the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network (WISN), bringing together Indigenous practitioners of traditional knowledge and western scientists in unprecedented collaborations.

Malidoma Somé is widely regarded as one of the most influential representatives of African Indigenous spirituality in the West. He is an initiated elder of the Dagara people of Burkina Faso and a best-selling author who regularly hosts conferences and retreats around the world on integrating ancestral wisdom into modern life.

“When you go around the Earth in an hour and a half, you begin to recognize that your identity is with that whole thing. That makes a change… it comes through to you so powerfully that you’re the sensing element for Man.”Astronaut Russell “Rusty” Schweikart
“It has taken scientists until the twentieth century to prove what we’ve known since time out of mind: that we are all connected.” ”Grandmother

For many astronauts, seeing the Earth from space produces the overview effect: a profound cognitive shift in awareness, where national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this “pale blue dot” becomes both obvious and imperative.

Fortunately, traveling to outer space is not the only way to experience a deep sense of holistic connection to the Earth, humanity and other species. In fact, for thousands of years, several ancient wisdom traditions have placed this connection as central to their philosophies, and have developed practices for cultivating a direct and sustained experience of it.

Lawrence has for years immersed himself in many of the ancient connective traditions, and uses skillful means to bring their transformative messages and practices to a variety of audiences in support of The Great Shift to a life-sustaining civilization. This sometimes involves his teaching in some of these traditions, where he is so authorized. Or, it may entail supporting and amplifying the works of other teachers. Alternatively, he might showcase these traditions through film and other media.

He has coined the term the Omniview EffectTM to describe his unique approach to using whatever skillful means are appropriate – from ancient wisdom traditions to modern innovations – to awaken or deepen in others this transformative sense of interconnectedness. Here is a small sampling of Lawrence’s transformative teaching engagements:

  • Served as one of the Core Teachers for a series of Men of Color retreats at the East Bay Meditation Center with Larry Yang and other teachers.
“Lawrence’s commitment to issues of justice is so strong that he engaged in civil disobedience to support low-wage urban workers who were facing serious injustices. I have no doubt that he would have engaged in similar actions to support farmer workers, had such actions been required. Lawrence’s contributions to A Just Harvest* — and to helping to transform the suffering of farm workers — were outstanding.”Dolores Huerta, Legendary Human Rights Activist and Cofounder, with César Chávez, of United Farm Workers (UFW)

PEOPLES-CLIMATE-MARCH-500pxLawrence’s dedication to his life work isn’t just focused in the thought-leader, expert consulting, transformational teaching, and film realms, but also interweaves these with engaged activism on behalf of individual, group, and community and planetary wellbeing, in service to a truly sustainable and life-honoring culture. Select transformative-activism highlights include:

  • *A Just Harvest is an interfaith clergy and lay-leadership organization supporting campaigns for dignity, respect, and basic human rights for farm workers. For A Just Harvest, Lawrence directed his movement-building leadership to raise awareness about the plight facing farmworkers and their families; encouraging dialogue and reconciliation between growers and farmworker advocates; and mobilizing faith communities to support justice for farm workers.
  • Healthy Native Communities Partnership leaders chose Lawrence to contribute his expertise and leadership for an innovative program that revived millennia-old Dineh/Navajo practices as the core of a community wellness program to train Native facilitators to work with communities throughout Dineh/Navajo Nation.
  • The Summer of Peace Initiative selected Lawrence as its first Executive Director. Under Lawrence’s leadership, the organization established its initial frameworks and pilot projects, providing a platform for it to become part of a seasonal series of events hosted by The Shift Network, including Winter of Wellness and Spring of Sustainability. Among other noteworthy activities, the initiative grew to host the annual Peace Week global tele-summit, featuring Nobel Prize laureates, prominent spiritual teachers, activists, authors, and other notables.
  • Organizers for Green Festival — “America’s largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event” — invited Lawrence’s to serve as moderator for their San Francisco Green Festival event, Sacred Activism: An Interfaith Dialogue on Creating a Just and Healthy Planet for All. The panel featured several notable spirit-in-action leaders: Executive Director of the American Muslim Voice Foundation, Samina Faheem Sundas; Founding co-director of Wilderness Torah, Zelig Golden; and Author and Earth-Based Spirituality Teacher, Starhawk.
ProductImageLet It Begin With Me

Lawrence was honored to be selected as one of 21 pre-eminent visionaries by author Mindy Audlin for her 2011 book, Let It Begin With Me. Audlin is the host and spiritual director for SpiritualityToday.TV and founder of Unity Online Radio, which includes more than 20 programs and reaches 100,000 listeners in 60 countries.

Focused on sharing fresh, contemporary perspectives on the “new peace consciousness,” Let It Begin With Me featured Lawrence’s visionary insights as well as perspectives from other horizon-edge leaders such as Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut and founder of the Institute for Noetic Science (IONS); Barbara Marx Hubbard, futurist and best-selling author; Azim Khamisa, founder of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation; and Andrew Harvey, author, religious scholar, and teacher of world spiritual traditions.

Interconnected: Innovative Perspectives from Indigenous Wisdom & Modern Science for Meeting the Challenges of Our Times

IndigenousPanelBuilding on the Indigenous Wisdom & Modern Science global tele-summit that Lawrence executive-produced in 2012, this emerging book project will draw the best insights from Indigenous wisdom traditions and its leaders as well as leading-edge innovations from modern science.

The purpose?

As Albert Einstein said, the challenges we face will not be solved with the same mindset that created them. The answers will be found in an awareness, long-forgotten by most of the modern world, of deep interconnectedness and radical sustainability that has been understood and lived by Indigenous peoples around the world, and is inherent in the world’s earlier spiritual traditions.

Pairing this wisdom with the most innovative insights and findings from modern science — which, interestingly, is beginning to ‘bridge’ with the knowledge of Indigenous wisdom traditions — offers a rich well from which to draw inspiration and practical approaches to the enormous challenges we face as individuals, communities, and cultures.

Stay tuned for more on this emerging book project. In the meanwhile, learn more about the Indigenous Wisdom & Modern Science global tele-summit and Lawrence’s related work at Paths to Change.

Paths to Change Sustainability

The Praise

Over the years, Lawrence has earned much praise from his clients and colleagues for his work, as well as numerous awards and distinctions. A small sampling includes:

  • Selected as a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation New Jersey Scholar
  • Awarded a Morehead-Cain Scholarship for undergraduate study at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University, the Morehead-Cain Scholarship is generally regarded as the most prestigious undergraduate merit scholarship in the United states.
  • Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most widely known academic honor society in the United States.
  • “Without a doubt, I’d give Lawrence Ellis an A+ for his consulting work on the National Anti-Pollution Initiative project.” — Thomas Rice, CEO Emeritus, Interaction Associates (consulting firm hired to support the Initiative)
  • “We would not have turned this important project around without the outstanding support of Lawrence Ellis of Paths To Change.” — Dan Weisiger, Director of BioSciences Operations at CH2M HILL
  • “Lawrence Ellis and Paths to Change are top-tier in so many regards… I can assure you that to this day, Lawrence and other team members remain beloved by dozens of people throughout the Paterson community and the Public School District who admire the consummate skill, educational reform advocacy, and caring and compassion Lawrence consistently brought to reforming their schools…. The overall engagement was a huge success. Three to four years after the initial work, the District realized significant gains in educational outcomes.” — Laura Moran, former Director of Organizational Development, The Stupski Foundation; Chief of Staff, San Francisco Unified School District
  • “Without question, I whole-heartedly recommend Lawrence to any organization seeking expert counsel in becoming more effective and efficient. The results of his work were outstanding, and far surpassed my expectations.” — Dr. Joanne Turnbull, Retired Executive Director, National Patient Safety Foundation
In his role as a respected thought-leader, Lawrence is regularly invited to participate in a variety of global conferences and symposia, sharing his insights and expertise in the areas of sustainability leadership, Indigenous wisdom and modern science collaborations, transformational activism, and complexity-science/complex-system organizational consulting. His roles typically range from featured expert to moderator, from conference designer to emcee – and have included:

  • Executive Producer, Emcee and Panel Moderator for the Indigenous Wisdom & Modern Science Global Tele-Summit, sponsored by the Sustainable World Coalition and The Shift Network.
  • Co-emcee, process designer, and expert presenter at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)14th International Conference: Noetic 2.0 – Tools and Technologies for a World Transforming.
  • Presenter at The Earl Lectures & Leadership Conference 2010 – Pacific School of Religion at the University of Berkeley: Spiritual But Not Religious: Chasing the Divine
  • Panel moderator for Sacred Activism: An Interfaith Dialogue on Creating a Just and Healthy Planet for All, at Green Festival 2012 – San Francisco, CA

For more details on these events, see Conferences & Symposia.

  • Invited by Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson to represent the U.S. in a yatra (journey) in India commemorating Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
  • Selected as the emcee for the interfaith ceremony for the first annual César Chávez State Holiday in California.
  • Selected to give the keynote address at the interfaith service that kicked off the San Francisco version of the “Day of Decision” protests, the international protests that occurred on the day that the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the California ballot proposition and state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.


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