Festival of What Works Banner

After the Fire: Community Wisdom Following Devastation

Date & Time
Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

In 2018, the town of Paradise, California and surrounding communities were destroyed by fire. In less than a day, most members of the community lost their homes; some lost their lives. In 2021, close to two million acres of land burned in California alone as the wildfires continued to rage. Members of the Paradise Community share what they’ve learned since then. How does an individual—and community—begin to rebuild after such destruction? What are the qualities that support rebuilding? What should other, small communities—especially those affected by wildfires—prepare to support each other? Survivors of Camp Fire offer us an invitation to stay curious, live with hope and do it together. We recommend watching this short film in advance of attending: A Message From the Future of Paradise

For those who are interested, there will be an additional 30 mins at the end of this session for those who would like to have a more informal conversation. 

This session has limited space and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please arrive on time to ensure you will have access. 

This session is participatory and will include breakout groups for discussion. 

Session Type
Session Tags
Truth & Storytelling, Health & Healing, Wildfire, Community Disaster Recovery, Grief


Allen Myers was born and raised in Paradise California as a third generation member of the ridge community. He left Paradise and gained a global perspective. He traveled the world for a number of years, living and working with communities as he documented those stories and lessons in an art project called, Nomadsight. He is a storyteller and founder and director of The Earth Day Film Festival. Myers is also a founder and director of Regenerating Paradise (www.regeneratingparadise.org), an emergent community group seeking to reweave the social fabric of Paradise post Camp Fire. He cares deeply for his community. He lives on a small homestead in Grass Valley, CA. in the Yuba river watershed.
Allen Myers
Jenn Meilleur is a systems change facilitator, sense-maker and strategist. Her passion is for cultivating bold, creative, and participatory leadership to create the conditions for happier, healthier, and more environmentally and socially just and resilient communities and workplaces. She has two decades of experience supporting and leading initiatives at the intersections of social and environmental health and wellness, community development, organizational development, and systems change. She has extensive experience supporting and leading collaborative networks and working with local governments, non-profits, cooperatives, philanthropy and community groups. She is also the Executive Director of NewStories. Jenn finds her inspiration in nature on the unceded traditional lands and waters of the K’omoks Nation on what is known as Vancouver Island with her husband, two children, and many four-legged friends.
Jenn Meilleur
Bob Stilger, PhD, is an activist-scholar who explores social change, leadership and community building in these times of collapse and regeneration. Bob’s first work with collapse was in Zimbabwe in the early part of this century. He has worked extensively with communities in Japan where people are creating a “new normal” after the devastating Triple Disasters – earthquake, tsunami and nuclear explosions – of March 11, 2011. Bob’s book, AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin was published in Japanese in 2015 and then in English in 2017. Bob has worked with First People’s from across the world who have been forcibly displaced by climate crises. He’s carried this work into Northern California, after the fires and now with the nonprofit, NewStories, which he founded, has launched a regional initiative in the Northwest called Regenerating Communities.

Visit https://newstories.org/team/bob-stilger/ for more of Bob’s story.
Check-out www.AfterNow.Today
E-mail him at bob@newstories.org
Bob Stilger