Bayo Akomolafe

The Times are Urgent, Let Us Slow Down

Author, speaker, lecturer, renegade academic, ethnopsychotherapeutic researcher and proud diaper-changer, Bayo Akomolafe (Ph.D.), is globally recognized for his poetic, unconventional and counter-intuitive take on global crisis, civic action and social change. He is Executive Director and Initiating / Co-ordinating Curator for the Emergence Network. Bayo has authored two books: ‘We Will Tell Our Own Story’ and ‘These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters To My Daughter on Humanity’s Search For Home’ and has penned forewords for many others.

Bayo is visiting professor at Middlebury College, Vermont, and has taught in universities around the world (including Sonoma State University California, Simon Frasier University Vancouver, Schumacher College Devon, Harvard University, and Covenant University Nigeria – among others). He is a consultant with UNESCO, leading efforts for the Imagining Africa’s Future (IAF) project. He speaks and teaches about his experiences around the world, and then returns to his adopted home in Chennai, India – “where the occasional whiff of cow dung dancing in the air is another invitation to explore the vitality of a world that is never still and always surprising.”

He considers his most sacred work to be learning how to be with his daughter and son – Alethea Aanya and Kyah Jayden – and their mother, his wife and “life-nectar”, Ijeoma.

"A New Activism" Webinar with Helena Norberg-Hodge and Bayo Akomolafe

In this webinar, Local Futures’ Director, Helena Norberg-Hodge, is joined by Nigerian poet, author and activist Bayo Akomolafe for a lively and challenging conversation about activism today.

As our global crises deepen, many are coming to question activism altogether. Widespread assumptions undermine meaningful action: it is believed that people are greedy and aggressive by nature, that they don’t incorporate new information into their thinking, and that they are simply unwilling to change. Helena and Bayo discuss these and other assumptions, and explore new directions that can help us resist the corporate-led consumer-culture while renewing local economies and our deep connections to others and to nature.

Let Us Make Sanctuary

Dr. Bayo Akomolafe on the invitation, "Let Us Make Sanctuary," and the need for a deeper inquiry in our times.

In this special session, Bayo explains one of his oft-quoted sayings, “The times are urgent; let us slow down” and how sanctuary is where slowing down happens.
Also discussed:

  • How the function of slowing down in urgent times is not about simply resting so that we can continue forward in the same direction. We slow down to connect with the more-than-human world, to engage in deep inquiry about where we are going.
  • Pouring drink to earth: An African spiritual technology that expresses our indebtedness to our ancestors and all that makes life possible.
  • Standing at the crossroads: How the ground underneath us is going through a seismic shift at this time that is allowing the unsaid to now be spoken and intelligible.
  • The invitation of the slave ship as a place of spiritual contemplation, as a site of renewing our connections with grief, loss, trauma, and tragedy.
  • Grieving as a form of activism.