The Seizing an Alternative conference is the result of several events held in conjunction:
10th International Whitehead Conference
9th International Forum on Ecological Civilization
Inaugural Pando Populus Conference
Pilgrim Place Centennial Celebration
Process & Faith Summer Institute
The primary conference organizer is the Center for Process Studies, in cooperation with the Institute for Postmodern Development of China (IDPC), the International Process Network (IPN), and Pando Populus.

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The Center for Process Studies (CPS) is a faculty center of Claremont School of Theology in association with Department of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. CPS seeks to promote the common good by means of the relational approach found in process thought. Process thought is based on the work of philosophers Alfred North Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne, two contemporary examples of a longstanding philosophical tradition that emphasizes becoming and change over static being.


The Institute for Postmodern Development in China (IPDC) was incorporated as a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization in 2005 to create and promote new modes of development in China and the West. Using ideas that integrate classical Chinese philosophy with constructive forms of Western thought, the Institute will address practical problems associated with economic growth, social change and globalization.






The International Process Network (IPN) is a global network for process-relational philosophies. Process-relational philosophies (or “process”), in general, have creativity, organic change over time, interiority and interdependence as fundamental aspects of their understandings. The purpose of IPN is to support, generate, and disseminate an international discourse on the meaning and implications of process thought across academic disciplines and conflicting truth-claims, and in relation to the entire community of life and the cosmos.




Pando Populus is a platform for people who care about big ideas that matter for a thriving biosphere. Their name comes from the largest and oldest organism on the planet — a giant grove of quaking aspen, some 80,000 years old. Above ground, the trees appear as individuals. Underground they are interconnected through a shared and vast root system.




We are grateful to the following institutions and organizations for being co-sponsors of this conference.

This conference will take place on the campus of Pomona College. We are grateful for their generosity in allowing us to use their facilities!

Pomona College is a private liberal arts college located in Claremont, California, United States. The founding member of the Claremont Colleges, Pomona is a non-sectarian, coeducational school. Since 1925, the Claremont Colleges, which have grown to include five undergraduate and two graduate institutions, have provided Pomona’s student body with the resources of a larger university while maintaining the benefits of a small college.

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Pitzer College produces engaged, socially responsible citizens of the world through an academically rigorous, interdisciplinary liberal arts education emphasizing social justice, intercultural understanding and environmental sensitivity. The meaningful participation of students, faculty and staff in college governance and academic program design is a Pitzer core value. Our community thrives within the mutually supportive framework of The Claremont Colleges, which provide an unsurpassed breadth of academic, athletic and social opportunities.


Claremont School of Theology (CST) is a United Methodist Seminary located in Claremont, CA. CST offers graduate programs in theology and ministry that are both transdenominational and transreligious.

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Claremont Graduate University (CGU) is the graduate university of the Claremont Colleges, a unique consortium that the Fiske Guide called “a collection of intellectual resources unmatched in America.” CGU is the oldest all-graduate institution in the United States, with many notable alumni in different fields all over the world.


University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology and international business, USC’s diverse curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, and collaboration with leading researchers in highly advanced learning environments.


The Spirit of Humanity Forum is a new global network of organisations, communities and individuals committed to catalyse effective systemic change in governance and decision-making, based on core human values. The Forum creates a safe space for deeper encounter, exploration and dialogue among leaders to discover new ways to move forwards


Pilgrim Place is a Continuing Care Retirement Community providing quality housing and services for people who have served fifteen or more years in careers in religious, charitable, or non-profit humanitarian organizations. Residents come to Pilgrim Place to continue their lifelong service and outreach to others while exploring new opportunities for personal growth and learning within this caring community.

MurrayCenter The Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement draws on the social, spiritual, and leadership capital of churches and the broader faith community to promote economic development and civic engagement in low-income neighborhoods. Specifically, the Center honors Rev. Cecil L “Chip” Murray’s three-decade-long legacy of working for the betterment of Los Angeles.
pcu Progressive Christians Uniting engages people and communities to embody Jesus’ way of compassion and justice for our world. PCU is a growing Southern California network of individuals and congregations seeking to express and embody a version of Christianity that looks more like the religion of Jesus than the religion of empire. Over the years, the organization has been supported by several hundred individual donors, regional conferences and judicatories, and congregations throughout Greater Los Angeles, as well as by significant foundation support for its criminal justice reform project and for other specific projects.
nsp The Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) is an international political and social justice movement based in the United States that seeks to influence American politics towards more humane, progressive values. The organization also challenges what it perceives as the misuse of religion by political conservatives and the anti-religious attitudes of many liberals. In the international sphere, the NSP seeks to foster inter-religious understanding and work for social justice.

Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York was founded as a Presbyterian seminary in 1836 and established in lower Manhattan. In 1892, the Seminary became non-denominational, and continues as the oldest independent, non-denominational seminary in the U.S. Union Theological Seminary has always embodied the freedom to learn and the freedom to teach—ideals that may be more critical than ever to churches and society at this moment in history. Union forged a new vision for theological education: to center ministerial training in an urban context so that academic excellence and personal faith might respond to the needs of the city.

Since 1891, the University of La Verne has been dedicated to the belief that a quality, values-based education enriches the human condition by engendering service, scholarly accomplishment, and professionalism. Though decades of growth have changed its appearance and reach, La Verne has retained its sense of purpose, seeking to provide students with individual attention to spark personal growth through intellectual challenge and development.

The Iliff School of Theology is a graduate theological school related to the United Methodist Church. Its central mission is the education of persons for effective ministry in Christian churches and other religious communities, for academic leadership, and for the cultivation of justice and peace in local and global contexts.

graphic  The Forum on Religion and Ecology is the largest international multireligious project of its kind. With its conferences, publications, and website it is engaged in exploring religious worldviews, texts, ethics, and practices in order to broaden understanding of the complex nature of current environmental concerns. The Forum recognizes that religions need to be in dialogue with other disciplines (e.g., science, economics, education, public policy) in seeking comprehensive solutions to both global and local environmental problems.
American Teilhard Association The American Teilhard Association explores and builds on the life and work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. The American Teilhard Association, since its foundation in 1967, is committed to making the thought and vision of Teilhard more widely available. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), a French Jesuit and paleontologist, was one of the leading thinkers of the 20th century. Teilhard integrated his scientific understanding of evolution with his religious understanding of the “divine milieu.” His vision of the human as part of a dynamic unfolding universe is expressed in his classic text, The Human Phenomenon. As an accomplished scientist and as a person of deep religious conviction, Teilhard was himself a pioneer in bridging science and religion

Ecological Civilization International

The overarching theme of Ecological Civilization International is the idea of an “Ecological Civilization.”  An ecological civilization is a civilization whose people dwell in creative harmony with one another and the earth, building upon the inherited wisdom of their past and open to new possibilities from the future. 

Today there are many local communities in different parts of the world that are exploring ways of becoming humane, sustainable communities; all are worthy of support and study.  Ecological Civilization International is a network of educators across the Associated Colleges of the South, across the United States, and across the world who want to support and learn from them, and who are offering courses on college campuses in Ecological Civilization.


China Ecological Civilization e-news letter, formally released since January 1, 2014, is now a reliable source of information about the sustainable growth and environment protection in China. It is currently run by Xinhua News Agency Los Angeles Bureau. Scholars, entrepreneurs, officials in China, United States, Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden, Russia, India and some other countries are now subscribing and reading it.

Some of the news stories and photos published on the e-news letter now can be seen on this website. All of the news stories and photos are released by Xinhua News Agency, the biggest media outlet in China.

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Beginning Our Second Hundred Years 
Of Activism for the Environment On November 1, 1911, 75 Sierra Club members gathered in downtown Los Angeles to sign a petition calling for the creation of a “Southern California Section,” the first local chapter in the history of the organization that John Muir founded in San Francisco in 1892. Today, the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter covers Los Angeles and Orange counties and includes 16 regional groups (organized by geographical area) and 27 outdoor activity sections and committees (organized by interest). Chapter coordination and oversight is provided by an elected volunteer Executive Committee; the chapter also employs 5 staff who work with volunteer leaders to advance its priorities. Together, we offer a wide array of activities to engage members and the general public in efforts to explore, enjoy and protect our shared environment.

  Claremont UMC

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are an inclusive community responding to God’s love and grace.  We nurture one another on our spiritual journeys. We work for peace and justice. We serve others and God’s creation.  Together, we seek God’s creative transformation of the world, and of individual hearts.


City of Claremont is a college town on the eastern border of Los Angeles County, California, United States, 32.5 miles (52.3 km) east of downtown Los Angeles. Claremont is located at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and Claremont Colleges are located there. The population, as of the 2010 census, is 34,926. Claremont is known for its many educational institutions, its tree-lined streets, and its historic buildings. In July 2007, it was rated by CNN/Money magazine as the fifth best place to live in the United States, and was the highest rated place in California on the list. Due to its large number of trees and residents with doctoral degrees, it is sometimes referred to as “The City of Trees and PhDs”.

CA Interfaith Power & Light California Interfaith Power and Light (CIPL) is a faith based organization and stipulates that every major spiritual tradition calls on us to be faithful stewards of Creation. We have a responsibility to protect the earth for our children and future generations. Global warming is a crisis that has severe environmental, social, moral, economic and spiritual consequences. Current patterns of climatic warming point to increases in heat-related illnesses and deaths, increased heat stress for crops, and greater energy needs for cooling. CIPL helps educate congregations on the theological basis for eco-stewardship and assists them in implementing programs to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and become more energy efficient – therefore helping to mitigate the harmful effects of global warming. Working together, individuals and communities of faith can model to the rest of the world how to be the stewards of our precious Creation.

The Claremont Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP) is coordinated by a team of volunteer organizers, including residents from all walks of life and representatives from a wide variety of community organizations in and around Claremont, California. Our team unites young and old, professional and amateur, student and professor around our desire to effect significant, immediate, and positive change in our community and the environment – and we believe that Energy is at the Heart of the Matter

 Climate Resolve Climate Resolve’s mission is to make Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work and in government to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and prepare for climate impacts.
Los_Angeles_Trade-Technical_College  Los Angeles Trade–Technical College (L.A. Trade–Tech) is a public community college in Los Angeles, California. It offers academic courses towards 4-year colleges and numerous vocational training programs including associate degree and certificate programs in Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, Nursing, Sign Graphics, Welding and Chemical Technology. Los Angeles Trade–Tech College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Western Association of Schools and Colleges, The American Culinary Federation, and the National League of Nursing among others.

The Southern California Committee for a Parliament of the World Religions (SCCPWR) serves as the Los Angeles area chapter of the larger Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions, which has it’s headquarters in Chicago, USA. Whereas the International organization works to create a  major world interfaith parliament every five years, SCCPWR works at the local level, organizing events and dialogues in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area to further the interfaith movement. Our organization (SCCPWR) is open to individual members, founded upon a common commitment to promote dialogue about the varieties of sacred experience in order to foster understanding, mutual respect, and cooperation.

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The mission of the Center for Ecozoic Societies (CES) is to advance new ideas and new ways of living for an ecological-cultural (ecozoic) age, through publications, education, arts, and action. CES emphasizes critical reflection, story and shared dream experience as ways of enabling the creative advance needed to bring into being a new mode of human civilizational presence, and also of discerning the practical steps leading to the Ecozoic. CES understands the universe as meaningful, continuously evolving, and relational. In such a universe, the Ecozoic is not something to be arrived at, but something ever to be created.


Established in 1973, South China Institute Of Environmental Sciences (“SCIES”) is a non-profit scientific research institution directly under the Ministry of Environment Protection with the mission of specializing in comprehensive scientific research on the environment. SCIES has a staff of 228, 196 of whom are scientific professionals and form a strong team with 25 researchers, 58 senior engineers, 41 Doctors, 94 Masters and 6 experts granted with governmental special allowance. Our team comprises a diverse mix of more than 40 multidisciplinary professionals in the fields including environment science, environment engineering, chemical, atmosphere physics, meteorology, geology, computer, instrument and mechanics, with substantial academic and scientific research strength.

Ecological civilization reserarch center of chinese academy of governance

Chinese Academy of Governance (CAG) is a ministerial-level institution directly affiliated to the State Council. The Academy pioneers in the training of senior civil servants. It is an important base for the training of senior administrators and policy researchers, an important think-tank of policy consultation to the central government. The Ecological Civilization Research Center is attached to CAG, which performs a vital role in the work of scientific research and policy consultancy under CAG’s guidance and supervision. Ecological Civilization Research Center of CAG insists on the concept of “knowledge and action should go hand in hand”; and the method of “integrated multidiscipline”, to implement their research activities.

Fowler Center 

 The Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit exists to advance the scholarship and practice of flourishing enterprise. In 2002 Weatherhead School of Management launched an initiative called the “world inquiry into business as an agent of world benefit” where faculty and students across the school established a data bank to discover and showcase profitable business innovation in the arena of environmental sustainability and social entrepreneurship. After 2,000 interviews, we soon realized that the data bank was documenting a revolution.

The-Drucker-School-Logo-Web-2014-10-29 The Peter F. Drucker & Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management is part of Claremont Graduate University, the graduate university of the Claremont Colleges, a member of the Claremont University Consortium (CUC). Reflecting the Drucker philosophy of management, the School believes that management is a human enterprise—an art as well as a science—that integrates perspectives from the social and behavioral sciences, from philosophy and the humanities, from history and technology, and from religion and mathematics.
 CSUN Institute for Sustainability California State University Northridge Institute for Sustainability serves to promote, facilitate, and develop educational, research, and university and community programs related to sustainability.  The Institute serves as an umbrella organization across all the colleges of the university on issues related to sustainability and is committed to serving our campus community by increasing interdisciplinary and cross-functional communication, and supporting and aiding in the development and application of sustainability practices within the university and community.
thenextsystemproject_CMYK The Next System Project is an ambitious multi-year initiative aimed at thinking boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades. Responding to real hunger for a new way forward, and building on innovative thinking and practical experience with new economic institutions and approaches being developed in communities across the country and around the world, the goal is to put the central idea of system change, and that there can be a “next system,” on the map. Working with a broad group of researchers, theorists and activists, we seek to launch a national debate on the nature of “the next system” using the best research, understanding and strategic thinking, on the one hand, and on-the-ground organizing and development experience, on the other, to refine and publicize comprehensive alternative political-economic system models that are different in fundamental ways from the failed systems of the past and capable of delivering superior social, economic and ecological outcomes. By defining issues systemically, we believe we can begin to move the political conversation beyond current limits with the aim of catalyzing a substantive debate about the need for a radically different system and how we might go about its construction. Despite the scale of the difficulties, a cautious and paradoxical optimism is warranted. There are real alternatives. Arising from the unforgiving logic of dead ends, the steadily building array of promising new proposals and alternative institutions and experiments, together with an explosion of ideas and new activism, offer a powerful basis for hope.
The Land Institute has worked for over 30 years on the problem of agriculture. Our purpose is to develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops. Investing in research today will ensure we create a just and healthy food future, for generations.


Central Compilation and Translation Bureau of CPC


The Central Compilation and Translation Bureau (CCTB) is an organization directly under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Its main work consists of compiling, translating and researching classical Marxist works; preparing foreign translations of important documents and work of the Party, state and government leaders; researching the basic theory of Marxism and its development in the contemporary era; researching the history, present state, theory and praxis of world socialism and the international communist movement, focusing on the theory and praxis of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and researching the development paths, strategies and models of China and other countries, focusing on the praxis of China’s reform and development; and collecting.

The Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, especially its China Center for Marxism and China’s Current Affairs, has been a cosponsor of the International Forum on Ecological Civilization.

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Dharma Civilization Foundation is a California based 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization. It seeks to promote and enhance philanthropic giving to promote the systematic study of “Dharma”, its interpretation and application in modern contexts, in formal academic settings. The Foundation aims to do this by creating visiting and tenured professorships, endowed academic chairs, fellowships, scholarships, centers of excellence and academic institutions for the study of Dharma, and other such similar pursuits in North America, India and around the world. The Corporation will also further, support and sponsor research that examines the relevance of Dharma to contemporary concerns and globally significant issues, and will enable the creation of books, journals, publishing projects, think-tanks and position papers to aid the adoption of Dharma-centered policies and practices towards the solution of challenges facing humanity.