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Join us for a no-cost in-person forum on the connections between soil health, climate adaption, water resiliency, and well-being.

Our policies and practices shape our environment and imagining them in new ways can create opportunities to:

Restore broken water cycles and reverse aridification to cool the planet

Improve water supply and water quality, reduce flooding and enhance biodiversity

Promote wellbeing and protect public health and safety

Guest speakers at From the Ground Up will share new ideas and emerging policy, planning, and design practices with a special emphasis on connections between soil health and water cycles. Our keynote speaker, Jane Davidson, will showcase how one small country is inspiring the world by enacting policies and taking action to ensure the wellbeing of future generations.

This event will bring together professionals in engineering, architecture, landscape design and management, water resources, public works, community services, parks and public health, along with emerging professionals, students, and others. NGOs and CBOs with an interest in planning and implementation of multi-benefit solutions to climate change and water scarcity are also encouraged to attend.

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Our first 100 registrants will receive a copy of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country written by our Keynote, Jane Davidson!

You're Invited to a Free Forum!

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2023 | 8:00AM - 2:30PM




Our Keynote Speaker, Jane Davidson, is Chair of Wales Net Zero 2035, an expert Group convened under the 2021 Cooperation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru to Commission independent advice to examine potential pathways to net zero by 2035 – the current target date is 2050. This will look at the impact on society and sectors of our economy and how any adverse effects may be mitigated, including how the costs and benefits are shared fairly. We support devolution of further powers and resources Wales needs to respond most effectively to reach net zero. The Group’s work will be undertaken between January 2023 and July 2024.

Jane is a patron of the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Seatrust, Cambrian Wildwood and Tools for Self Reliance Wales (TFSR Cymru).  She holds honorary fellowships from IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), WWF, CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management), CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Glamorgan. She is a RSA Fellow and since 2017 has been guest faculty in the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership programme at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  She contributes regularly to international events, particularly on intergenerational equity.

Jane Davidson is the author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country (2020), the story of why Wales was the first country in the world to introduce legislation to protect future generations. #futuregen is published by Chelsea Green.

Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Urban Ecosystems and Sustainable Built Environments in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Georgia in 2003, and holds a B.A. degree from Binghamton University and an M.S. degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Mitch is an ecosystem ecologist focusing on the responses of ecosystems to urbanization and climate change, and his work builds from a co-production approach to address the needs of stakeholders, managers, and policy makers. He has over 25 years experience conducting research and teaching on the functional ecology and ecosystem services of green infrastructure and urban forests, the resilience of urban systems to climate change, and interdisciplinary approaches to studying the design, policy, and governance of urban ecosystems. He has led projects in the Baltimore, MD, Washington D.C., southern Arizona, Mexico, and China, and is currently an Affiliate Fellow in the Science and Fiction Cluster of the Honors College at University of Maryland.

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Anne LaForti is a soil health expert with a Master’s in Biomimicry from Arizona State University. She is a project manager at Biomimicry 3.8, supporting nature-based innovation in the built environment through “Project Positive”. Anne is deeply interested in soil science, microbiomes, mycology, rainwater catchment, urban and regenerative agriculture, and growing nutrient-dense foods. She was the 2022 Spring Nature, Art, and Habitat Residency (NAHR) Fellow in Santa Ynez, where she worked on “Soil as Pattern Language: Emulating Healthy Soil Communities” and is currently a NAHR Ambassador. Anne is committed to creating regenerative designs that support healthy ecosystems to help heal the soils of California and beyond.

Brent Bucknum is the founder of Hyphae Design Laboratory; an ecological design and civil engineering firm dedicated to bridging the gap between architecture, environmental art and applied biological research. Hyphae has worked on a diverse range of projects from affordable housing water studies, to living roof design, greywater system design, environmental sensor-based public art installations, rural sanitation in developing countries, and ultra-green data centers. Bucknum has two degrees from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, in International Environmental Policy and Environmental Technology and Science. 



8:00AM – Coffee with Colleagues

8:45AM – Welcome - MWD, G3, CWH

9:00AM – Keynote - Jane Davidson 

10:00AM – Break and Introductions

10:05AM – Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman 
11:05AM – Break and Introductions
11:10AM – Anne LaForti
12:10PM – Lunch (no cost)
1:00PM – Brent Bucknum
1:45PM – Panel
2:20PM – Wrap Up
2:30PM – End


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In partnership with Accelerate Resilience Los Angeles




Get ready for the event by reviewing these documents!

Speaker Resources:

  • Davidson, Jane. (2020). #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country. Chelsea Green.




Soil Health and the Water Cycle:


  • Montgomery, David R., Biklé, Anne. (n.d.). Dig2Grow.


       Additional Info: Listed above is the website for David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé, co-authors of What Your Food

       Ate, and The Hidden Half of Nature. Links to both books can be found on the website. To learn more about What

       Your Food Ate and the topics addressed in the book please watch this lecture by David R. Montgomery.




TreePeople Urban Soils Resources:

  • Pouyat, R. V., TreePeople. (2021, January 5). Urban Soils Primer: Part 1. TreePeople.


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