Wishing You a Year of Unscripted Happiness and Discovery

Sometimes planning is overrated. Sometimes thinking is overrated. Sometimes the best things happen when you just act. That’s what happened on my 50th birthday. Though it’s a concept I had thought about before, what’s become the “50 Years – 50 States – 50 Speeches Expedition” was an idea that literally popped into my head on the morning of my birthday. I knew if I thought about it too much — with all the challenges,
logistics, and complications — I’d talk myself out of it. So I announced the ambitious project to give speeches at no charge to schools in all 50 U.S. states (plus territories), and in so doing, dove into the deep end of a new endeavor that is rapidly taking on a life of its own. And that’s the best part of it.

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Free Speech(es): 50 Years, 50 States, 50 Speeches

Fresh from the Eisenhower Administration era, your friendly neighborhood Ocean Doctor turned 50 today. In doing so, I outlived my father, William L. Guggenheim, who tragically died at 49 when he was lost at sea. It was my days as a boy, fishing with my dad off of Cape May, New Jersey, that I truly inherited his passion for the sea, and I feel lucky to have been able to spend much of my life near, in, or best of all, under the water.

To celebrate my 50th, I’d like you to send me on a journey this year, a journey to visit our next generation, in their schools, and share with them some of the awe and wonder of my experiences in the sea, including the important lessons that go along with them. So I’ll be donating one speech to one school in every state and U.S. territory (accredited schools, public or private, K through college level). I’m waving my speaking fee and travel expenses. I don’t require anything except an enthusiastic audience and maybe a glass of water. (I would encourage a class project to find creative ways to offset my travel’s carbon footprint to your school.) I’ll show my videos, share my adventures, and my enthusiasm for the wonder of the deep blue part of the planet.

I’ll honor the first request I receive from each state and U.S. territory (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa) and, of course, the District of Columbia. If you or someone you know would like to take me up on this offer, just fill out the Book a Speaker Form on the 1planet1ocean web site and indicate that you’re submitting the request for the “Free Speech” project.

I look forward to this adventure and wish all of you a happy 50th, whenever it arrives, or whenever it was.


Ocean Doctor at Grace, Race & Renewing the Commons at Wollam Gardens, Virginia

race, Race & Renewing the CommonsOcean Doctor President Dr. David E. Guggenheim is a featured speaker at, Grace, Race & Renewing the Commons, a literary-and-activism-inspired festival featuring speakers and workshops at Wollam Gardens – a sustainable locavore farm and flower destination. The event will cultivate conversations, ideas, and strategies to think out loud about ways to answer some of the most pressing challenges facing all of us today. Dr. Guggenheim’s remarks will include readings from his forthcoming book, DEEP in Enemy Territory: An American Marine Scientist’s 20-Year Odyssey in Cuba and the Race to Save the World’s Coral Reefs.

What are some of the historic factors driving conversation in the public square about race, and how can we use those, as well as today’s developments, to create broader awareness and dialogue? In agriculture, what can we do to adapt to changing climate conditions? Can we devise new ways based on old practices to think about sharing common natural resources? What is the role of ordinary citizens in creating dialogue with policymakers about sustaining the oceans and slowing the extinction of species? How might we bring grace to our civic discourse about the opioid epidemic? What is the role of humor in countering alternative facts? Taking inspiration from our three themes of grace, race, and renewing the commons, these are just a few of the questions we’ll be exploring.

Panelists and Workshop Hosts Include:

Clarence Lusane – Department of Political Science at Howard University; author, The Black History of the White House, Hitler’s Black Victims
Thomas Lovejoy – Professor, George Mason University; originator of the term “biodiversity”
David E. Guggenheim – President, Ocean Doctor
David Bollier – Director, Reinventing the Commons Program at the Schumacher Center for a new economics; author, Think Like a Commoner, Free Fair & Alive.
Barry W. Lynn – Ordained Minister, United Church of Christ; former president, Americans United for Separation of Church & State; author, God & Government
Grace Tiffany – Author and Shakespeare scholar, Western Michigan University; author, Paint, Gunpowder Percy
Ellen Polishuk – Farmer, teacher; author, Start Your Farm
Sanho Tree – Fellow, Director of the Drug Policy Program at the Institute for Policy Studies; co-author, The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb
Bonnie Monteleone – Executive Director, Plastic Oceans Project
O.H. Perry Cabot – Historian; co-Chair, Society for the Preservation of Culpeper History
Zach Lester – Grower; soil and landscape artist
Shawn Appling– Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, based in the Culpeper extension office.
Florence Nash – Former director of the OLLI Poetry Workshop for Duke University’s department of continuing studies; Author, Fish Music, Crossing Water
Ralph Chami – Assistant Director, Institute for Capacity Development at The International Monetary Fund
Arjun Singh Sethi – Civil rights lawyer; Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law School; Editor, American Hate: Survivors Speak Out
David Riemer – Lawyer, author, politician, administrator, and advocate. Harvard Law School. Has worked with Democrats and Republicans to create path-breaking public policy at the state level and influence national policy.
Michael Gerard Mason – Professor, Associate Dean, and the Director of the Luther Porter Jackson Black Cultural Center at the University of Virginia.


Schedule of Events

9:30 a.m.
Guests begin to arrive

10:20 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

10:20 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
Ralph Chami & Heather Watrous:
Whales: Unlikely Climate Change Superheroes

10:40 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Thomas Lovejoy: A Wild Solution for Climate Change

11:00 a.m – 11:20 a.m.
Bonnie Monteleone:
Saving Our Seas and Saving Ourselves

11:20 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.
Arjun Singh Sethi: American Hate: How to Support Vulnerable Communities

11:40 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Clarence Lusane: The Black History of the White House: Our Land 400 Years Later

12:00 – 12:20 p.m.
Grace Tiffany: Shakespeare Against Racism

12:20 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.
PARTICIPATORY WORKSHOPS (all are 1 hour long), MUSIC, sampling food, wine, crafts; participating in informal “sing and stretch sessions,” touring Wollam Gardens and the Farmhouse

12:30 p.m. – 1:00p.m.
MUSIC Marie Tattiana Aqeel (Pavilion)

1:10 p.m. – 2:00 p.m
MUSIC “Soprano meets Bass,” Ana Maria Ruimonte and Alan Lewine (Pavilion, Music)

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m
PARTICIPATORY WORKSHOPS (Various locations around Wollam Gardens)

Can We Really Know A Community? [Race]
Perry Cabot & Terry Miller

The Return of Community Supported Agriculture [Renewing the Commons]
Ellen Polishuk, Bob Wollam and Shawn Appling

Wearing What You Make: Dying Silk and Cotton with Flowers and Insects (No More Polyester!) [Renewing the Commons]
An Ly

Living a Regenerative Life: How Can We Do It? [Renewing the Commons]
Zach Lester

Poetry and the Presence of Grace: Reading, Writing, and Conversation” [Grace]
Florence Nash

3:20 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.

3:20 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.
David Bollier: The Insurgent Power of the Commons

3:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
David Guggenheim: Deep in Enemy Territory: An American’s 20-Year Odyssey in Cuba and the Desperate Race to Save the World’s Coral Reefs.

4:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.
David Riemer: Does Government Have a Place in Renewing the Commons and Improving Racial Equity?

4:20 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.
Sanho Tree: Modernity and Its Discontents: Reflections on the Opioid Crisis

4:40 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Michael Mason: Choosing Grace When Profanity Alone Would Suffice: Reflections on Grace-Filled Living

5:00 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.
Barry Lynn: One Night at the Sideshow

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
MUSIC La Marvela (Pavilion)

Ocean Doctor Keynote at Sustainatopia DC 2019

Ocean Doctor President Dr. David E. Guggenheim will deliver the opening keynote at Sustainatopia 2019 in Washington, DC on its final day. Founded in 2009, SUSTAINATOPIA is one of the leading events in the world for social, financial and environmental sustainability & impact. Attendees have participated from more than 60 countries. Consisting of both a mega-conference and a broad-ranging Festival, SUSTAINATOPIA brings together the global ecosystem of social, financial and environmental sustainability & impact like no other singular event.