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

January 25–27, 2019

Portland, OREGON

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, decolonization, 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, a nonprofit organization serving the Portland area and the rural and wild areas beyond. Proceeds from this event go to supporting Rewild's mission to promote cultural and environmental resilience.

2018 Theme

“Creating Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Rewilding”

For many people rewilding does not feel accessible. Rewilding covers many subjects and has lots of room for people to find a place within, yet within each of those areas barriers exist for people. These barriers can take many forms: financial barriers, racism, sexism, cultural bias, and more. Come together this year and work together to discuss each others barriers, how individuals and organizations are working to dismantle these barriers and make rewilding more accessible for all. 

Opening Night Presentations


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


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 & Sunday


The North American 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 Open Space Technology because it is a way of rewilding a conference. This 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 allows us to generate discussions between everyone in the field of rewilding, from institutional to grassroots, from "experts" to hobbyists. All participants arrive in the morning on the first day, create the topics, and lead the discussions. You can take part in whatever discussions you want. One of the most amazing things about Open Space is that it puts the known experts on the same field as the unknowns and laypeople. 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 just a few "thinkers." In an Open Space conference everyone is equal and all ideas have an opportunity to be discussed, in real life, face to face with other humans.

How Open Space Works

Participants of the open space create the agenda first thing in the morning. People are given the opportunity at this time to announce their session to the entire group. Sessions can be added any time during the open space, but the morning is the only time people are able to announce the session to the entire Open Space. 


After announcing the sessions, participants hang them on the Open Space "Marketplace." The marketplace is the agenda and schedule. 


Once the session announcements are over, the Open Space begins. People which sessions they would like to attend. Open Space Technology has five "principles" and one "law." The five principles are: Whoever comes is the right people. Whenever it starts is the right time. Wherever it is, is the right place. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.  When it's over, it's over. The one "law" is the law of two feet. If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, go someplace else.


At the end of the day participants come back to together to share moments of the day. 

Our Open Space Facilitator


Diana Larsen is coauthor of Liftoff: Launching Agile Teams and ProjectsAgile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great; and Quickstart Guide to the Five Rules for Accelerated Learning; and co-originator of the Agile Fluency™ 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. 

Child Care

Childcare is available for children five years old and up and must be arranged in advance. Please contact the organizers to arrange childcare prior to the event.



"Nowhere else in my world are people having the conversations that people at Rewild are having. This is not because people aren't dying to talk about these topics but because the conditions haven't been created in enough spaces. Environmental education that doesn't address the inner violence of colonial culture won't get past mere skills, and we can't simply bow-drill our way out modern problems. I left the conference feeling a grounding sense of awe and gratitude - something truly special happened this weekend and I only wish we didn't have to wait another year to gather like this again." - Colleen

"The conference left me feeling inspired and connected to a large base of people working on radical change in our world. The culture was supportive and exploratory, with so much room for our human cracks. I felt encouraged at the way people listened and shared openly, allowing the depths of what we truly care about to be seen." - Heron

"What an amazing weekend! The simplicity and power of the open space format allowed for our individual and collective brilliance and inquiries to steer us. It was humbling to both contribute and listen to the intellect, heart, skills, songs and stories of our community. I came home full of a richness of practical next steps, inspiration, and new friendships. I am so grateful to have attended and already added next year's dates to my calendar." - Leah

"The Rewilding Conference provides a truly unique chance to provoke thought and inspiration while nurturing mutual opportunity and community connection. This brilliant band of folks brave enough to peek through the looking glass are a hoot to boot! I am already looking forward to next year, and I am a serial conference avoider... THANK YOU!" - Rose

"How wonderful to gather people together for rich dialogue around rewilding and how to create that tangibly in all our spheres. Together we can shift our collective reality towards and wild and connected future." - Kim

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.

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