The Way Forward Regenerative Conversations

Three Elders explore how to renew the world we helped mess up The Way Forward Podcast is dedicated to Regenerative Conversations about the future of humanity and planet. We think we need to re-think the current paradigm. Each episode explores how we can find a positive future forward for society and for ourselves. We explore the question: What is the Way Forward? We don’t have the answers, but we hope to stimulate all of us to imagine what is possible. We bring a wide variety of guests – including people at the leading edge of their field and willing to think out of the box – and engage into stimulating conversations with them, in a place of open curiosity. Topics will include a wide range of issues including environmental change, technology, governance, organizational design, sustainability, international peace, agriculture, and personal renewal. Alain Gauthier and Dr. John Izzo (the co-hosts) and Jim Burke (the producer) offer together more than a hundred years of organizational experience in the forms of consulting, change facilitation, keynote speaking and research/teaching for a wide variety of businesses, non-profits, government, and universities both in the US and abroad. We would like to thank our sponsors Elders Action Network “Building a movement of elders to address the environmental, governance and social issues of our time“ and Blueprint “Enhancing the well-being of men and communities.” You can reach us at the email address

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Monday Jul 08, 2024

In this compelling episode of "The Way Forward: Regenerative Conversations," Dr. John Izzo and co-host Alain Gauthier delve deep into the profound questions surrounding elderhood. Joined by Lynne Iser, they explore the roles and responsibilities of elders in our society. The conversation centers around two fundamental questions: What does it mean to be an elder, and how can elders become activists at this critical juncture in human history?
Lynne Iser is an advocate for elder activism and the Board President of the Elder's Action Network. With a distinguished career spanning public health and social services, Lynne has dedicated her life to fostering community resilience and intergenerational dialogue. She played a pivotal role in developing the Spiritual Eldering Institute with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, which evolved into Saging International. Lynne's activism began with the free clinic and home birth movements of the 1970s, where she worked to reshape social structures and promote holistic health practices.
A graduate of Cornell University and University to Texas Health Science Center at Houton, Lynne has made significant contributions to public health, such as developing one of the first farm trails maps and establishing the longstanding Arcata Farmers Market. She founded in 2013, a platform that inspires and supports elders to engage in creating a just and thriving world. Lynne contributed to the documentary film "Praying with Lior " in 2004, an international award-winning film that changed the way people with disabilities are included in places of worship, featuring her son.  Since 2016, Lynne has served as President of the Elders Action Network, advocating for climate action and empowering elders to play a crucial role in addressing societal and environmental challenges.
Lynne's work extends to creating platforms for meaningful conversations, such as the Women Standing for Peace initiative, which brings together Palestinian and Jewish women to advocate for non-violence and understanding. She has also been a consultant with Creating Elder Communities since 2003, encouraging older adults to use their wisdom and resources to build a sustainable, just, and peaceful world. Her lifelong dedication to social justice, community building, and environmental sustainability makes her a powerful voice in the movement for purposeful aging and elder activism.
We would like to thank our sponsors. Elders Action Network and Elders Climate Action.

Sunday Jun 16, 2024

In a time when AI is both celebrated for its potential and feared for its risks, join us as we dive into the complex world of artificial intelligence with Hiwot Tesfaye, Technical Advisor in Microsoft's Office of Responsible AI.  She provides a perspective on how we can harness this powerful technology responsibly. From addressing systemic inequities to imagining a future where AI and humans coexist harmoniously, this episode promises to challenge your thinking and inspire new possibilities."
In this episode, we explore the ethical dimensions of artificial intelligence with Hiwot Tesfaye. She delves into the delicate balance of leveraging AI's potential while mitigating its risks, emphasizing the importance of ethical frameworks in AI deployment.
Hiwot shares how her journey from health tech startups to AI ethics has shaped her understanding of global inequities and the transformative power of technology. She highlights the need for inclusive and equitable AI systems, ensuring voices from the Global South are included in global AI policy discussions.
Hiwot also provides insights from her work with the Stimson Center, a think tank dedicated to global peace and security. She discusses the Center's innovative approaches to addressing the ethical challenges of emerging technologies and promoting global stability. Throughout the conversation, Hiwot offers a thought-provoking perspective on navigating the ethical complexities of AI to create a future that benefits all of humanity.
Listeners will be inspired by Hiwot's vision for a responsible AI ecosystem and her commitment to integrating ethical considerations into AI technologies. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, ethics, and social justice.
Hiwot Tesfaye is a Technical Advisor in Microsoft's Office of Responsible AI, where she plays a crucial role in developing ethical frameworks and practices for AI deployment. Born and raised in East Africa, Hiwot's early experiences in Ethiopia sparked her interest in global inequities and the transformative potential of technology. Her childhood in Africa, marked by both challenges and opportunities, deeply influenced her commitment to social justice and equity.
Hiwot's educational journey began with a focus on economics and nutritional sciences, which she pursued at the University of Toronto. She then furthered her studies in advanced analytics at North Carolina State University’s Institute of Advanced Analytics. This diverse academic background equipped her with the skills and knowledge to transition from working on health tech startups to becoming a voice in AI ethics
Passionate about creating inclusive and equitable AI systems, Hewitt is also a key figure in initiatives that ensure voices from the Global South are included in global AI policy discussions. She serves as a co-chair on the Aether Fairness and Inclusiveness working group, which helps develop perspectives and practices related to Microsoft’s goals and requirements around fairness and inclusiveness. In addition to her role at Microsoft, Hiwot is a Loomis Council member at the Stimson Center, a renowned nonpartisan think tank dedicated to enhancing global peace and security. The Stimson Center is known for its innovative and pragmatic approaches to some of the world's most pressing challenges, including arms control, climate change, and international security. At Stimson, Hewitt contributes to research and policy development aimed at ensuring that AI and other emerging technologies are harnessed for the greater good, promoting global stability and equity. Her work at the intersection of technology and social justice exemplifies her commitment to creating a future where technological advancements benefit all of humanity. 

Monday Jun 03, 2024

In this episode, hosts Dr. John Izzo and Alain Gauthier engage in a conversation with youth climate activists Tony Passino and Sarah Hill from the organization Change the Chamber. The discussion revolves around the resurgence of youth activism on college campuses, particularly in relation to the climate emergency. Tony and Sarah share their personal journeys into activism and discuss the work their organization does in fighting the fossil fuel lobby by targeting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and advocating for climate-friendly policies.
The conversation delves into the growing anxiety among younger generations about the future of the planet and the importance of finding hope and determination in the face of the climate crisis. The guests and hosts explore the power of intergenerational collaboration in addressing these issues, emphasizing the need for both younger and older generations to work together and hold each other accountable. They also discuss the upcoming collaborative events between Change the Chamber and Elders Climate Action, highlighting the significance of intergenerational solidarity in the fight against climate change.(June 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT and June 25 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT)
Tony is a passionate environmental activist currently working on his PhD. His journey into activism began after the passing of his grandfather, whose impact on the community inspired Tony to get involved. Initially focusing on tobacco control and vaping prevention, Tony eventually shifted his focus to environmental activism, which led him to work with Change the Chamber.
Sarah's activism journey started in middle school when they became concerned about the environmental impact of Styrofoam lunch trays used in the school they attended. Sara is a nonbinary climate activist who is a current Climate Fellow and the Outreach and Response Coordinator for Change the Chamber Lobby for Climate. They earned their Masters of Energy and Environmental Management this past May.
We would like to thank our newest sponsor, Elders Climate Action.  They are dedicated to mobilizing elders to address climate change through education, advocacy, and action, ensuring a sustainable and just future for all generations. We would also like to thank Elders Action Network for co-sponsoring this podcast and supporting the voices we bring to these important conversations.

Friday May 17, 2024

Welcome to this episode of The Way Forward Regenerative Conversations podcast, where we delve into transformative ideas and pressing issues that shape the future of humanity and our planet. Today, we explore the profound impact of nature on leadership and personal transformation. As we navigate through unprecedented global challenges, it is crucial to find new ways to lead and live, particularly for those of us in midlife and beyond.
Dana Carman, our esteemed guest, is at the forefront of integrating nature into leadership development. With over two decades of experience, Dana has guided countless leaders and their teams through transformative journeys, utilizing nature as a powerful tool for introspection and growth. His deep connection with nature and his 30-year friendship with our co-host Alain Gauthier enrich this conversation with unique insights and personal anecdotes.
Dana's journey in human and organizational transformation began in 1984. Since then, he has worked with leaders from more than 200 visionary organizations across five continents, including healthcare systems, multi-nationals, governments, and NGOs. Co-founding consulting firms like Clarion Consulting, Action Inquiry Associates, and Pacific Integral, Dana has pioneered development programs. Dana's company, Integral Consulting, specializes in guiding complex organizational change through an Integral Whole Systems Approach, helping clients achieve breakthrough results and cultivate cultures of agility, resilience, and trust.   Dana and Joel Yanowitz run Wayfinding Leadership, a consulting firm dedicated to guiding leaders and teams through transformative experiences in nature, fostering greater alignment, authenticity, and effectiveness in facing contemporary challenges. His passions for telemark skiing, hiking, backpacking, and stand-up paddleboarding reflect his deep connection with the natural world, which he seamlessly integrates into his work.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to our sponsor, Elders Action Network, which is dedicated to building a movement of elders addressing social, governance, and environmental justice. Their missions align perfectly with our podcast's vision of empowering elders to make a meaningful impact.
Thank you for joining us today.  Before we dive into this enriching conversation with Dana Carman, we will hear a few words from host Dr. John Izzo

Wednesday Apr 24, 2024

How can we harness the power of activism to transform the environmental landscape and policy worldwide? Today we address this pressing question with Tzeporah Berman, whose life's work exemplifies the profound impact that dedicated activism can have on our planet's future. With a unique blend of direct action and policy advocacy, Tzeporah has navigated the complex interplay between grassroots movements and governmental strategies to spearhead sustainable change. Join us as we uncover the layers of her transformative journey and delve into the significant roles that activists play in shaping environmental policy.
 We will explore Tzeporah's early encounters with activism and how these experiences set the stage for her later work influencing national and international environmental strategies. From standing in a logging blockade to sitting at negotiation tables, her story is one of passion, resilience, and an unyielding commitment to the environment. We'll also discuss the critical changes needed in global climate policy today and how each of us, especially our elders, can contribute to a legacy of a regenerative future for humanity and our planet.
Tzeporah Berman, is a celebrated Canadian environmental activist, author, and educator, whose influence has shaped both policy and activism across the globe. Known for her dynamic role in the 1992–93 logging blockades in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, Tzeporah has been a formidable force in environmental circles. She holds a BA with Honors from the University of Toronto and a master’s in environmental studies from York University, and she has been recognized with an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of British Columbia for her environmental advocacy.
She has served on British Columbia's Green Energy Task Force and Alberta's Oil Sands Advisory Group, providing strategic recommendations on sustainable energy practices. Currently, she teaches at York University, and is the International Director of and leads the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, focusing on global strategies to combat climate change. Tzeporah's work has earned her numerous accolades, positioning her as a leader and visionary in the environmental movement.  Her Ted Talk “Quitting Fossil Fuels” has had over 2 million views. 
We would like to thank our sponsor Elders Action Network and Elders Climate Action for their support.

Monday Apr 08, 2024

Our podcasts explore the way forward and how we can shape our future as a society, our planet, and our personal journeys, especially as we navigate the later stages of life. Today’s episode will resonate with anyone pondering the essence of aging with intention and vitality, whether for yourself or someone you know. We explore aging with a sense of purpose, transforming our later years into a period of profound growth and contribution.  Our guest, Richard Leider, is a luminary in the field of purposeful living and aging. He is a best-selling author, having penned numerous books challenging and inspiring us to live life more fully including his latest book Who Do You Want to Be When You Grow Old? The Path of Purposeful Aging. Richard's approach was deeply influenced by his encounters with influential thinkers like Viktor Frankl and Abraham Maslow, He invites us to consider that growing and giving are key to vital aging.  With a career delivering keynotes, coaching leaders, and authoring eleven transformative books—including three bestsellers—Richard's insights have touched lives worldwide. His influence extends through his PBS Special "The Power of Purpose," and as the founder of Inventure – The Purpose Company, Richard has guided countless individuals and organizations, including AARP and the Mayo Clinic, towards finding their purpose. Recognized by Forbes among the top coaches globally, Richard also leads Inventure Expedition safaris in Tanzania, reflecting his deep commitment to purpose beyond borders. Dr. Izzo credits his time with Richard in Tanzania as the inspiration for his book The Five Secrets You Must Discover before You Die
Richard Shares his profound insights on how we can continue to cultivate a sense of purpose and vitality, both in our inner and outer worlds, as we age. We explore the pivotal choice points and how we can support others in their journey towards a purposeful elderhood. Also, we discuss the critical role health plays in this journey, reminding us that our well-being is tightly linked to our ability to live meaningfully.
Join us as we explore the art of aging with purpose and the choices that lead to a more fulfilled and impactful elderhood.
We would like to thank our sponsor Elders Action Network “Building a movement of elders to address the environmental, governance and social issues of our time”.

Tuesday Mar 12, 2024

In this compelling episode, we engage in a deep conversation with guest Elliot Kotek on the impactful role of storytelling and filmmaking in shaping a sustainable and regenerative future for humanity and our planet. Elliot shares his journey from a young aspiring writer influenced by the cultural richness of Melbourne, Australia, to becoming a purpose-driven filmmaker in Los Angeles, tackling subjects ranging from social justice to environmental sustainability. This episode not only explores the essence and impact of storytelling but also highlights the interconnectedness of purpose, creativity, and community in driving positive change.  Whether you’re drawn to stories that delve into the complexities of identity and inequality, or you’re inspired by the potential of technology to foster positive change, Elliot’s journey is a testament to the power of purpose and creativity. His films, recognized by Cannes Lions and Emmy nominations, do not just document reality; they question it, reshape it, and inspire us to think deeper about our role in the world. If you're eager to explore the intersections of film, innovation, and activism, then listening to Elliot V. Kotek is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. Join us as we unravel the stories behind the storyteller who’s changing the way we see the world, one film at a time.
Elliot has a remarkable history of film making including his most recent work as Executive Producer on the upcoming 2024 “Black Girls”,  and Director of the 2023 AARP’s documentary “The Hidden Power of Purpose”. Elliot is an Australian-born visionary whose transformative work bridges the worlds of storytelling, technology, and social change.  From an Australian mergers and acquisitions/biotech lawyer to an acclaimed filmmaker and social innovator, Elliot is also co-founder of the Not Impossible Foundation and Beyond Cinema magazine.   Elliot has a diverse body of work, including award-winning projects like "Black Boys", "Little Miss Sumo,” and "Queen Mimi," which highlights his dedication to storytelling that challenges, educates, and inspires. His films not only provide a platform for voices often left unheard, but also showcase his belief in the power of technology and creativity to drive societal change. Elliot’s career is distinguished by interviews with nearly a thousand notable figures, including Oscar winners and nominees, and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.  His career is a testament to the impactful fusion of art, activism, and innovation, making his insights invaluable for anyone interested in the transformative power of film.
We would like to thank our sponsor Elders Action Network “Building a movement of elders to address the environmental, governance and social issues of our time”.
You can reach us at the email address

Monday Feb 26, 2024

 In this special anniversary episode of "The Way Forward: Regenerative Conversations," hosts Dr. John Isso, Alain Gauthier, and producer Jim Burke reflect on a year of impactful conversations with a diverse array of guests, from biologists and CEOs to indigenous experts, climate scientists and elders finding purpose in their third act. Celebrating 28 episodes of exploring alternatives for humanity and the planet's future, they delve into the current state of global affairs, including elections, wars, and climate change, highlighting the urgency for societal transformation. These episodes serve as a meditation on the lessons learned and the paths forward, inviting listeners to consider the changes necessary for a sustainable and equitable world. Through engaging dialogues, the hosts and their guests have illuminated the complexities of our times, offering insights into possibilities for democracy, governance, technology, and intergenerational wisdom. As "The Way Forward" enters its second year, it continues to inspire actionable hope and encourages a collective effort towards regeneration, being good ancestors and a positive future for all generations current and future.
We would like to thank our sponsor Elders Action Network “Building a movement of elders to address the environmental, governance and social issues of our time”.
You can reach us at the email address, 

Sunday Feb 11, 2024

With the humanitarian crisis and ongoing conflict in Gaza and the Middle East on all our minds, passions run high as world leaders and nations attempt to navigate the complexities of this difficult situation and help all parties find a mutually agreeable solution.   This episode features an in-depth look at the pressing issues facing the Middle East with Barbara Slavin. From the roots of the Iran-US confrontation to the humanitarian and political crises in Gaza, Barbara offers her comprehensive insights into the region's turmoil. Her analysis not only highlights the intricacies of these conflicts but also discusses potential pathways to peace, emphasizing the importance of diplomatic and multilateral efforts.
Barbara Slavin is a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center and a lecturer in international affairs at George Washington University. With a career spanning journalism and policy analysis, her rich journalistic background includes coverage of key foreign policy issues and firsthand reporting from the region. Barbara's insights into the Iran-US dynamic and her advocacy for nuanced, informed approaches to conflict make her a respected figure in international affairs and she has emerged as a leading voice on US foreign policy, particularly regarding Iran and the Middle East. Barbara's work includes founding the Future of Iran Initiative and authoring "Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies," reflecting her deep engagement with the complexities of international relations and conflict resolution.  She is a contributor to the Stimson Center’s “Middle East Perspectives” where you can find her article “American Deaths Add More Reason to End the Gaza War Now”.
We would like to thank our sponsor Elders Action Network “Building a movement of elders to address the environmental, governance and social issues of our time”.
You can reach us at the email address
The views, opinions and ideas expressed by our guests during this in any episode are solely their own and do not reflect or represent the positions, beliefs, or policies of any of our podcast sponsors.   Additionally, the content shared by our guests does not necessarily align with or reflect the position or beliefs of the podcast hosts or the production team behind “The Way Forward: Regenerative Conversations”.

Sunday Jan 28, 2024

There is a growing problem in our approach to waste in this country and the world. Our global consumption has increased, leading to a significant rise in waste production and the materials we are using are often less desirable for recyclers due to their declining economic value. This trend has led to a decrease in recycling.
Tom Szaky a pioneering entrepreneur and environmental thought leader is best known as the founder and CEO of TerraCycle, a global recycling company that specializes in handling difficult-to-recycle materials. Born in Hungary and raised in Canada, Tom developed an early passion for sustainability, which led him to create TerraCycle while still a student at Princeton University. Under his leadership, TerraCycle has expanded into over 20 countries and has become a prominent name in eco-friendly waste management, with innovative programs like the Loop platform that promotes reusable packaging. Tom is also a prolific author, contributing his insights and experiences to several books on environmentalism and entrepreneurship. His notable works include "Revolution in a Bottle: How TerraCycle is Redefining Green Business," "Outsmart Waste: The Modern Idea of Garbage and How to Think Our Way Out of It," "Make Garbage Great: The TerraCycle Family Guide to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle," and "The Future of Packaging: From Linear to Circular." Through his ventures and writings, Tom has become a leading advocate for regenerative business practices and a circular economy, influencing both industry and consumer behavior towards environmental responsibility.
We would like to thank our sponsor Elders Action Network “Building a movement of elders to address the environmental, governance and social issues of our time”.
You can reach us at the email address
The views, opinions and ideas expressed by our guests during this in any episode are solely their own and do not reflect or represent the positions, beliefs, or policies of any of our podcast sponsors.   Additionally, the content shared by our guests does not necessarily align with or reflect the position or beliefs of the podcast hosts or the production team behind “The Way Forward: Regenerative Conversations”.

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