Circles of Discernment Listings

QIF Circles of Discernment: Completed

Energy and Ethics, 2007-2009

Participants: Baird Brown, Keith Helmuth, Robert McKinstry Jr., Mark Myers, Marianna Wood,

Ed  Dreby, Hal Feiveson, Hollister Knowlton, Margaret Mansfield, Mary Burton      Risely, Liz Robinson, Dan Seeger, Judy Lumb, Robert Mcgahey. 

Report published by QIF as Focus Book #1, 2009. 

Ed Dreby & Keith Helmuth, Coordinators, Judy Lumb, Compiler & Editor, 2009. Fuelling Our Future: A Dialogue about Technology, Ethics, Public Policy, and Remedial Action. Paperback, 


Natural Capital vs. Deep Ecology, Searching for Common Ground 2008-2011

Participants & authors: David Ciscel, Barbara Day, Keith Helmuth, Sandra Lewis, Judy Lumb.

Report published by QIF as Focus Book #2, 2011.

How on Earth Do We Live Now? Natural Capital, Deep Ecology, and the Commons. Paperback, 91p.

Biotechnology and Public Policy, 2009-2011

Participants & authors: Anne Mitchell, Pinayur Rajagopal, Keith Helmuth, Susan Holtz.

Report published by QIF as Focus Book #3, 2011

Genetically Modified Crops: Promises, Perils, and the Need for Public Policy. Paperback, 68p.

Understanding the Growth Dilemma, 2010-2012

Participants & authors: Ed Dreby, Keith Helmuth, Margaret Mansfield, David Ross, Leonard Joy, Ed Snyder, George Lakey, Stephen Loughlin.

Report published by QIF as Focus Books #5, 2012.

Ed Dreby, Keith Helmuth & Margaret Mansfield, Editors. It’s the Economy, Friends: Understanding the Growth Dilemma. Paperback, 105p.

Integrating Ecology and the Economy, 2011-2012

Participants & authors: Ed Dreby, Keith Helmuth, Pamela Haines, Stephen Loughlin, J. Tucker Taylor, David Watkins, Burt Dallas, David George, Hollister Knowlton, Margaret Mansfield, Dan Turner.

Report published by QIF as Focus Book #6, 2012.

Ed Dreby & Judy Lumb, Editors. Beyond the Growth Dilemma: Toward an Ecologically Integrated Economy. Paperback, 109 p.

Food Systems and Climate Change, 2012-2014

Participants & authors: Judy Lumb, Phil Emmi, Mary Gilbert, Leonard Joy, Laura Holliday, Shelley Tanenbaum.

Report published by QIF as Focus Book #8, 2014.

Climate, Food, and Violence: Understanding the Connections, Exploring Responses. Paperback, 107 p.

Right Relationship with Finance, 2014-2016

Participants & authors: Pamela Haines, Ed Dreby, David Kane, Charles Blanchard

Report published by QIF as Focus Book #9, 2016

Toward a Right Relationship with Finance: Debt, Interest, Growth, and Security. Paperback, 

141 p.

A Life-Centered Economy, 2017-2019

Participants & authors: John Lodenkamper, Paul Alexander, Pete Baston, Judith Streit.

Report published by QIF as Focus Book #12, 2019

Toward a Life Centered Economy: From the Rule of Money to the Rewards of Stewardship. Paperback, 107 p.

The Practice of Communal Discernment Applied to Research by Quaker Institute for the Future, 2012-2014

Participants: Gray Cox, Charles Blanchard, Geoff Garver, Keith Helmuth, Leonard Joy, Judy Lumb, Sara Wolcott.

Report published by QIF as Focus Book #7, 2014.

Gray Cox, with participants. A Quaker Approach to Research: Collaborative Practice and Communal Discernment. 83 p.

 Renewable Energy Development for Household and Small Scale Adoption: Technology, Efficiency, and Ethics, 2016-2018

Participants: Robert Bruninga, Judy Lumb, Frank Granshaw, Charles Blanchard

Report published by QIF as Focus Book #11, 2018.

Robert Bruninga, with participants. Energy Choices: Opportunities to Make Wise Decisions for a Sustainable Future. 119 p.

QIF Circles of Discernment: Active

1) Bridging Polarity. This circle was started in response to the question of how Quakers can join others in responding to intense polarization in the US and other parts of the world. Here are links to individuals and groups who are engaged in similar activities.

• “America, we need to talk” – A video by Resetting the Table

• “Faith, Compassion, and Healing Our National Divides” – A program of the National Institute for Civil Discourse

• “Common Table” – A program of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Here is a slideshow about the CoD presented at the 2022 SRS Bridging Polarities

2) Regenerative Agriculture. Participants have begun preparing a Focus Book that addresses key questions. What is regenerative agriculture? Why is regenerative agriculture different from other types of alternative farming? What are the links of soil health to human, community, and global health? What is the historical and economic context?

3) Artificial Intelligence. This Circle of Discernment has been meeting regularly and has begun preparing written material for a Focus Book. How can we work to insure that ethics and ecological wisdom are built in to artificial intelligence (AI) systems that increasingly manage our corporations, schools, farms and national defense? How might the kinds of intelligence embodied in individual humans, natural organisms, communities, and machines be similar and/or different – and in what ways might the life of the spirit animate them and their relations? What can we, as Quakers, do to nurture the prospering of the divine and of Truth in all the diverse forms of intelligence that inform the natural, social and technological aspects of our planet?

Quaker Institute for the Future