Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


2012 Behavior Change for a Sustainable World Conference

Event Details

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Panel #25
The Happiness Factor: Learning to Give Thanks for Nothing
Sunday, August 5, 2012
10:40 AM–12:00 PM
Cartoon Room 1
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Ramon Esteban Armendariz (Comunidad Los Horcones)
ANNIE WARMKE (Blue Rock Station)
JAY WARMKE (Blue Rock Farm)

Conference attendees who plan to participate in this breakout session are asked to add this event to their personal schedules (below) to help with discussion planning.

Richard W. Malott, Ph.D., BCBA-D, teaches behavior analysis at Western Michigan Universit, where he works with students interested in becoming practitioners, rather than researchers. He trains students to work with autistic children and to apply behavior systems analysis and organizational behavior management to human-services settings. He concentrates on training BA and MA students as well as Ph.D. students. Every summer, he runs the Behavioral Boot Camp, an intense 15-class-hour-per week, 7.5-week, graduate-level, behavior-analysis seminar for students from WMU and around the globe. His students do 130 self-management projects and provide 13,500 hours of training to autistic children each year. To further those efforts, in 2008 he founded the Kalamazoo Autism Center. He also coauthored Principles of Behavior (the textbook previously known as Elementary Principles of Behavior.) Since 1980, he has been working on a textbook called I’ll Stop Procrastinating When I Get Around to It. He has presented in 14 countries and has received two Fulbright Senior Scholar Awards. In 2002, he also received ABAI’s Award for Public Service in Behavior Analysis. And in 2010, he was elected president-elect of ABAI. For more information, please see

Ramon Esteban Armendarez was born in Mexico at Los Horcones, a Walden Two style behavioral community founded in 1973 by his behavior analyst parents, uncle Fernando Armendariz, and the Juan A. Robinson family and where he has lived for 35 years. This community has always applied behavioral principles to the design of a cooperative, sharing, egalitarian, ecologically sustainable, and nonviolent environment. Since its beginnings, it has also offered applied behavior analysis programs for children with special needs, now mostly children with autism, who can take advantage of learning in a less institutionalized environment by participating in the everyday activities of the community in which their individualized programs are integrated.

Ramon grew up participating in their learning, and the study of behavior analysis and behaviorism has been part of his education since he was in elementary school at Los Horcones. Dr. Juan A. Robinson, one of the community’s founders, was the most influential in how to build and live in a behavioral community and how to apply behavior analysis to kids on the autism spectrum; Dr. Sidney Bijou, Dr. Fred Keller, Dr. B. F. Skinner, and Dr. Ivar Løvaas were personally involved in his early education in many ways. He later spent time in Kalamazoo, Michigan studying under Dr. Richard Malott and attending Dr. Jack Michael´s lectures.

He has also visited many intentional communities around the globe and attended several ABAI conventions. For the past 15 years, he has been director of the residential intensive behavioral intervention program for children with autism spectrum and other behavioral problems. Other members in the community are ABA therapists. Ramon Esteban also works as a behavioral consultant in local autism centers and institutions. In 1990, the Los Horcones community received the International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis Award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis. Los Horcones receives over 1,500 visitors per year; Ramon and other members give them lectures and a tour of the community, encouraging them to seek a more behavioral and sustainable lifestyle. For more information, please see

Annie and Jay Warmke. Writers, farmers, builders, and plucky pioneersthese are words that describe Annie and Jay Warmke. They gave up the corporate world to live in an intellectual dessert where they could share their resources with other like-minded folks. They live their dream at Blue Rock Station, a sustainable living farm in Ohio. Since 2005 more than 20,000 people have walked through their living room to share the experience of two unlikely revolutionaries. Their education (Annie has a degree in counseling and Jay has one in journalism from Ohio University) led them to adopt some principles that took them on a lifetime adventure: 1) Re-think almost everything you’ve been taught; 2) Focus on what you have in common with others; 3) Live without taking away from the future; 4) Work to live; 5) Share your resources with others. They built Ohio’s first Earthship as a summer home, during the course of several years starting in 1996. Then they developed a premiere green living farm as their business in 2005. They offer workshops, tours and skill-building experiences to people from around the world. Annie is the cheerleader, minder of people, and sometimes the brains, while Jay is the encyclopedia who is constantly thinking about what is happening in the world, and what it will mean to the future. Together they’ve written booklets describing how to make rammed-earth tire foundations, keep goats naturally healthy, and build a tiny straw bale cottage. They’ve also written the first textbook of its type, Green Technology Concepts and Practices. Their book When the Biomass Hits the Wind Turbine, was published this spring, and their book Thanks for Nothing: A Month Without Spending Monday will be released in time for the 2012 holidays.




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