Public Events


On Saturday, July 11th, there will be 2 public events held in Asheville, NC.

Revolutions in Learning:
Education for a Compassionate and Liveable Future
The End of Unemployment


Revolutions in Learning: Education for a  Compassionate and Liveable Future
Ferguson Hall, AB Tech campus – 340 Victoria Rd, Asheville
Saturday July 11, 2015 1:30- 5PM

This program  will explore cutting-edge pedagogy that prepares students for an interdependent and cooperative global society. Parents, teachers, school administrators, and educational professionals at all levels are invited to a sharing of ideas. Local educators, Dr.Basil Savitsky and Megan McCarter, will co-moderate presentations by three national and international speakers.

Dr. Kathleen Keeson is professor of Teaching, Learning and Leadership at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY, co-author of Curriculum Wisdom: Educational Decisions in Democratic Societies and Understanding Democratic Curriculum Leadership, and co-editor of Defending Public Schools: Teaching for a Democratic Society. In Personalizing Learning for a World in Transition”, she proposes ‘personalized learning’ for students to design collaborative experiences with community mentors, creating ‘flexible pathways’ to high school graduation.

Dr. Marcus Bussey is lecturer in Futures and History at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, and co-author of Futures Thinking for Social Foresight and Neohumanist Educational Futures: Liberating the Pedagogical Intellect. In “It Is All About Us: Cultural/Educational Change for a Livable Future”, he supports both educational and cultural change to create “the heart and head spaces that will enable both our communities and our civilization to establish preferable and livable pathways to our many futures.”

Acharya Ananda Devapriya is a Yogic nun and director of Gradinita Rasarit Kindergarten in Romania, Fountain of Hope After-School Center, Vistara Transitional Program for Youth, Amurtel Ecological Garden, and Morning Star Holistic Wellness Center. She will share neohumanist educational practices used in the “We All Have a Story” project for personal narratives that break down social barriers, increasing empathy and respect for diversity. Didi is now training 100 kindergarten teachers in Bucharest, Romania.

Dr. Basil Savitsky focuses on positive youth development and methods to support adolescent rites of passage into meaningful adulthood.  He is currently developing a gaming front-end to a set of social-emotional learning activities for Early College students to be “future-ready” as global citizens and members of the 21st century workforce.

Megan McCarter is CEO and Director of Programs at Odyssey Community School, a PreK-12 Integral Model school.  Having taught across grade levels and worldwide, she now creates curriculum and professional development using Compassionate Communication, Restorative Justice, and Design-Thinking to facilitate a learning community of brave kindness, authenticity, and positive change through connecting consciousness and creativity.

Contact: Sid Jordan (828-712-1225)//

The End of Unemployment
Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe – 55 Haywood Street, Asheville
Saturday, July 11, 2015  7 – 9 pm

Dr. Ravi Batra will speak on The End of Unemployment, based on his recent book by that title.

The year 2010 marked when the National Bureau of Economic Research declared an end to the Great Recession. The economy had shed over six million jobs in 2008 and 2009, but few had been recalled to work by 2010. Today, government policies have yet to make a significant dent in unemployment. In End Unemployment Now, Ravi Batra explores why this is the case. He explains how joblessness can be completely eliminated–in just two years, and without the help of our painfully incompetent Congress. The President and the Federal Reserve have the legal authority to generate free-market conditions that will quickly end the specter of unemployment, all without involving Congress.

Some examples of how to end unemployment without congressional intrusion:
• Creating a bank by the FDIC to compete with banking giants and then charging only 5% interest rates on credit card balances, instead of the standard 10-35% seen today
• Banning mergers among large and profitable firms, as such mergers directly cause layoffs and reinforce monopoly capitalism
• Aid to small businesses in the form of cheap loans and government contracts, because small firms have been real job creators since 1980, while Big Business has been a job destroyer
• Offer retiree bonds to increase the incomes of pensioners who live on savings and whose incomes have been practically destroyed by the collapse of interest rates
• Bring oil prices down to $20/barrel, which would lower a gallon of gas to $1.50



Kathleen Kesson is Professor of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at Long Island University-Brooklyn, where she teaches graduate courses in the foundations of education and teacher research in the School of Education.

She is co-author, with James Henderson, of Curriculum Wisdom: Educational Decisions in Democratic Societies and Understanding Democratic Curriculum Leadership, and co-editor, with Wayne Ross, of Defending Public Schools: Teaching for a Democratic Society. She has recently completed a memoir titled Unschooling in Paradise, and also writes young adult fiction. She is the author of numerous book chapters, book reviews, and academic articles in such journals as Teachers College Record, Educational Researcher, Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, Journal of Critical Education Policy Studies, English Education, Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Curriculum Inquiry, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Educational Philosophy and Theory, Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning, and the Holistic Education Review.

Dr. Kesson is currently on a research sabbatical in Vermont studying the implementation of HR77, which mandates that all Vermont students will have a Personalized Learning Plan. She lives in Barre, VT.

Marcus Bussey is a lecturer in Futures and History. He is interested in cultural processes that energise social transformation. His work focuses on futures thinking and anticipatory imagination in the context of the struggle to liberate our minds from the shackles of history and habit. His workshops, research and writing all focus on the quest for individual and collective empowerment and for creative and hopeful pathways to the future.

Marcus has a long term professional connection to schools of difference including Montessori schools, Democratic schools and yoga based schools. He has written over one hundred articles and book chapters on educational futures, cultural change and philosophy. He has co-authored with Richard Slaughter Futures Thinking For Social Foresight, Tamsui, Tamkang University Press, 2005; co-edited with Sohail Inayatullah and Ivana Milojević Alternative Educational Futures: Pedagogies for Emergent Worlds. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2008; and Neohumanist Educational Futures: Liberating the Pedagogical Intellect. Tamsui, Tamkang University Press, 2006. He has also written a book of poetry Clare and Francis: Conversations of Divine Love. Blue Dolphin Publishing, Nevada City, 2012. In addition he is co-editor with Jennifer Fitzgerald of Flowers in my Heart, Fire in My Eyes: Tantric Women tell Their Stories, Gurukula Press, Maleny, 2007.
His website is

Didi Ananda Devapriya was ordained as a yogic nun of Ananda Marga in 2001, after 2 years of specialized training in Neohumanist philosophy, PROUT and Biopsychology as well as following an intensive practice of yoga and meditation at the “International School of Social Service Prashiksana Matha” in Yderfors, Sweden. The final stage of training as a personal instructor in yoga and meditation practices took place in Kolkata, India.

From 2001-2005, Didi managed “Asilo Nido Giardino Del Sole”, a nursery for 20 children from 0-3 in Verona Italy. Since then Didi Ananda Devapriya was a founding member and  president of Asociatia Educatiei Neoumanista (AEN) as well as the overall coordinator for Asociatia de Ajutor AMURTEL in Romania, where she has supervised  two Neohumanist kindergartens, an alternative family style children’s home, an after-school center, a community supported agriculture project and a social integration program for youth leaving care. AEN is currently in the process of authorizing Neohumanist Education as a nationally recognized educational alternative in Romania.

Didi has a broad experience as an international speaker throughout Europe and the USA on topics related to Neohumanist Education, spirituality, Biopsychology, PROUT and yoga.  In 2015, in partnership with two other Romanian NGOs, CPE (Center for Equal Partnerships) and Romanobutiq,  AMURTEL Romania has been offering trainings to encourage greater openness to diversity and to share best practices in inclusive education in kindergartens through the “We all have a story project.”  One hundred kindergarten teachers in Bucharest are benefitting from the training in which Didi is one of the principle trainers, and the project will reach 20 kindergarten classrooms.

Dr. Ravi Batra, a professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, is the author of five international best sellers. He was the chairperson of his department from 1977 to 1980. In October 1978, because of dozens of publications in top journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Econometrica, Journal of Economic Theory, Review of Economic Studies, among others, Batra was ranked third in a group of “superstar economists,” selected from all the American and Canadian universities by an article in the learned journal, Economic Enquiry. In 1990, the Italian prime minister awarded him a Medal of the Italian Senate for writing a book that correctly predicted the downfall of Soviet communism, fifteen years before it happened.

Dr. Batra has been written up in major newspapers and magazines, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Time, Newsweek, the U.S. News and World Report, and appeared on all major networks including CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC, CNBC, among others.  In 2009, Batra received the Pratina and Navin Doshi Award for his contributions to economic analysis.