It would be impossible to celebrate 25 years of YES! without looking back to our roots and celebrating the people who planted the seeds that would become the multifaceted outlet and organization we are today. On Day 1 of YES! Fest, we did just that, hosting a robust conversation with YES! co-founders Sarah van Gelder and David Korten, as well as longtime contributing editor Vandana Shiva. The conversation was moderated by YES! Editorial Director Sunnivie Brydum.
Coming on the heels of Shiva’s opening keynote address, the discussion explored the moments of hope and progress that van Gelder, Korten, and Shiva have witnessed across their decades of work in movement spaces, and in true YES! style, fearlessly named the systemic hurdles still between us and the possibility of embracing an ecological civilization. And regardless of the progress—and setbacks—each of these lifelong thinkers, writers, and organizers have witnessed in their storied lives, one thing was clear from the conversation: The work that YES! set out to do, to share stories about what’s possible in hopes of mapping the path to a more equitable, sustainable, and compassionate world, continues to be as vital as it was when YES! published its very first issue in 1996.