“The best time to plant an oak tree was thirty years ago. But the second best time is today.”

October 20 - 22 2017

Portland, OREGON

St. Johns Community Center

8427 North Central Street, Portland, Oregon 97203

The annual North American Rewilding Conference is an Open Space conference. It is a think tank of some of the nation’s most inspiring rewilders and rewilding projects, as well as a social networking opportunity for rewilders. It is a marriage of conservation rewilding and human rewilding as a social and environmental movement away from civilization and the restoration of the wild and the human place therein. Here you will find individuals and grassroots organizations collaborating on a range of rewilding-related fields including ancestral technology, wildlands restoration, ethnobiology, reintroduction of species, social and environmental justice, traditional ecological knowledge, and much more. This event is brought to you by Rewild Portland

2017 Theme

“issues and Opportunities of restoration?”

We talk a lot about “restoration,” but what are we trying to restore to? What are our actual goals? A certain time in history? A specific ecotone from a specific era? A diet from a specific time and bioregion? If the world has changed with elements like extinction, the introduction of invasive species, and climate change, what then do we mean by restoration? What does it look like? What exactly are we restoring? Do we have commons goals to work toward together? If so, how can we encourage each other's efforts? This theme was inspired by the advanced permaculture course titled Social Forestry with Hazel (Tom Ward) at Siskiyou Permaculture

Opening Night Presentation

Friday October 20, 7pm


Rather than a keynote speaker, we will host twelve different five-minute "lightning round" presentations related to rewilding work, projects, ideas, and/or strategies from twelve individuals. These diverse presentations get us all on the same page, understanding the vast complexities and the multi-dimensional nature of rewilding. It is designed to whet our collective appetite for the deep conversations during the Open Space conference.

Each five-minute talk will focus on three points:

  • What is/was the problem?
  • What is the project and how does it solve the problem?
  • How can people participate in the project?

2017 Opening Night Presenters


Peter Michael Bauer

Heron Brae.jpg

Heron Brae

Jordan Fink.jpg

Jordan Fink

Solveig Nilsen-Goodin

Willem Larsen


Teri Lysak

Douglas Tsoi.jpg

Douglas Tsoi

Kevin Tucker

Lacy Campbell


Ariel Greenwood

Mulysa Melco.jpg

Mulysa Melco


Do you have an idea for a talk? Do you have a rewilding-related passion that you just can’t keep to yourself? Are you part of an organization doing amazing rewilding-related work? To propose a talk, FILL OUT THIS APPLICATION

Weekend Open Space

Saturday October 21 - Sunday October 22

9am - 5pm


The Rewilding Conference is an Open Space conference. Open Space Technology is a non-hierarchical, organic, social collaboration tool, best used to discuss and create solutions to a specific problem or issue. We have chosen to use the Open Space Technology because it is a way of rewilding a conference. The conference does not operate the way we think of traditional conferences, with presenters or speakers giving lectures or teaching classes. Rather than having a few people talk at you, Open Space is a way of generating discussions between everyone in the field of rewilding, from institutional to grassroots, from "experts" to hobbyists. All the participants arrive in the morning on the first day and create the topics, lead the discussions, and you take part in whatever discussions you want. One of the most amazing things about the Open Space is that it puts the known experts on the same field as the unknowns and lay people. Everyone has things to contribute in a community, and Open Space is a way of pulling ideas out of the zeitgeist of the movement rather than expecting to hear solutions from only just a few "thinkers." At open space, all ideas and people are equal and have an opportunity to be discussed, in real life, face to face with other humans.

Our Open Space Facilitator


Diana Larsen is co-author of Liftoff 2nd ed.: Start and Sustain Successful Agile TeamsAgile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams GreatFive Rules for Accelerated Learning; and co-originator of the Agile Fluency(TM) Model. Diana delivers inspiring conference keynote talks and facilitates productive Open Space Technology events. As a volunteer, she contributes as a leader with Agile Alliance, Organization Design Forum, Agile Open Northwest, and the Agile Open Initiative. As a founding partner of FutureWorks Consulting, she leads the practice area for Agile software development, team leadership, and Agile transitions. FutureWorks Consulting contributes to the growth of workplaces where people say, “I love my work; this is the best job ever!” As a founding member of the Agile Fluency Project, Diana delivers ways to chart a course for teams, create alignment with management, and secure organizational support for continuous learning and improvement. 

This event is hosted by Rewild Portland, a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization. We do not have investors who make money from this event. Any money earned goes back into our mission to create cultural and environmental resilience through the education of earth-based arts, traditions, and technologies.

This is an evolving event. To stay connected and get updates, join our mailing list: