Event: Bioneers Conference in San Francisco, October 14-16th.

Via Lindsey Block
on Oct 3, 2011
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From Breakdown to Breakthrough: Transforming Civilization in the Age of Nature.

elephant has been covering the Colorado Bioneers conference for years. Each October, the conference takes over the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Humanities building and quad with tented booths, yummy organic food samples, and speakers and discussions to drool over. And every year, I’m continually blown away by the big ideas.

This year, elephant journal’s Waylon Lewis and I will attend the 22nd Annual Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California as press.

If unfamiliar, Bioneers represents “an emerging culture [of] social and scientific innovators from all walks of life and disciplines who have peered deep into the heart of living systems to understand how nature operates, and to mimic “nature’s operating instructions” to serve human ends without harming the web of life. Nature’s principles—kinship, cooperation, diversity, symbiosis and cycles of continuous creation absent of waste—can also serve as metaphoric guideposts for organizing an equitable, compassionate and democratic society.” The Bioneers Conference is a leading forum dedicated to environmental innovations and sustainable business models with a focus on “solving our world’s most urgent problems.”

So, what’s on our schedule? I’ve once again been impressed by the speakers and topics.

Here’s a sneak peek:


No Women, No Democracy: From the Streets of Cairo to Your Family Across many parts of the world, women’s leadership is ascendant. Ecological sustainability, economic development, public health, social stability and education all benefit from the trend. Discover strategies and stories about what’s working, including global collaboration and cooperation among women. With: Gloria Steinem; Jensine Larsen, founder of Worldpulse; and three of Worldpulse’s “Voices of Our Future” international female citizen journalists.

The Choir and Beyond: The Dual Role of Environmental Media The U.S. environmental and social justice movements lack a choir—and need one. At the same time, it’s imperative to reach beyond the choir. How? Four leaders across different media share their insights. Hosted by Thomas Ermacora, Dano-Italian film-maker-videographer-social media innovator. With: Imogen Heap, world-renowned singer-songwriter-musician noted for her creative use of technology; Ken Rother, V.P. of Planet Green for the Discovery Channel, and President & COO of the website, TreeHugger.com; and Kim Spencer, the award-winning producer of over 50 documentaries and television specials and Chief Content Officer for Link TV.


Coming Back to Life: Restoring Large-Scale Ecosystems Restoration all-stars Paul Stamets and John Liu jam at the edges of accelerated, large-scale ecosystem restoration. They explore innovative practices gleaned from nature’s principles to produce the rapid renewal of landscapes and the linked human communities and economies.

Reinventing Fire: The Endgame of Oil Amory Lovins offers a detailed breakdown of the Rocky Mountain Institute’s new roadmap to get us completely off oil and coal by 2050. Using the latest innovations in technology, design, policy and competitive strategy, Armory shows us what exists and what works, what makes sense and makes money, in order to change the world.

Toward a National Security Sustainability Strategy and Network As the onset of climate change pushes all systems toward their tipping points, national security will hinge greatly on environmental security. What does national defense then mean? From the Department of Defense to local governments and large companies, a consensus is arising that the U.S. needs a National Security Sustainability Network to radically decentralize food and energy systems and build resilience for the coming shocks. With: Amory Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI); Colonel Puck Mykleby, former Special Strategic Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; David Orr, co-founder of the 2008 Presidential Climate Action Plan. Moderated by Mark Hertsgaard, author of Hot.


Ocean Blues: What Mother Ocean Is Dreaming Through Us Mother Ocean, one of the primary ecological governing forces of all life, is severely threatened. At the same time, extraordinary scientific and social breakthroughs are emerging worldwide to turn the tide. Modern neuroscience is further revealing the mysterious intersection of the human brain and our oceans, the cognitive source of our deep emotional connection with Big Blue. With: Philippe Cousteau, on how science, media, education and action are resulting in a basic shift toward sustainability; Wallace J. Nichols, Co-Director of Ocean Revolution, Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences, a member and former Regional Vice Chair of the IUCN Marine Turtle Specialist Group, organizer, Bluemind cognitive neuroscience conference. Moderated by Chris Andrews, Director of the Steinhart Aquarium, and Chief Operations Officer, at the California Academy of Sciences.

Biomimicry Education: Applying Nature’s Genius to Business, Government, Policy, and Design In 2008, the Biomimicry Institute launched a two-year Professional Certificate Program in biomimicry with 16 students: four biologists, four designers, four engineers, and four business professionals. The program’s creator, Dayna Baumeister, and graduates from the certificate program’s first cohort, describe projects in the U.S., Africa and Europe: how biomimicry differs from other innovation methods; what it takes to fledge a biomimic; how deep inquiry into biomimicry can enrich lives and professional perspectives; and why enterprises around the world are turning to biomimicry for paradigm-shifting innovation. With: Claire Janisch, Genius Lab and Biomimicry South Africa; Lisa Schmidtke, Clark Nexsen Architecture & Engineering; Marie Zanowick, U.S. EPA Region 8; Theresa Millard, Kohler Co. and Biomimicry Iberia.

Love That Works: Developing an Ecology of Love and Unlocking the Mystery of Transformative Intimacy The skills that build a healthy and sustainable intimacy and create an atmosphere in which love can thrive can all be learned. With attention and education, anyone can master them. Wendy Strgar, author and founder of Good Clean Love, explores the art of love through practices that nourish the aspects of intimacy that make love, passion and intimacy endure and thrive.


Soap, Drugs, and Rock and Roll (7 mins.) This is the incredible true story of the Germ and Soap Company that teamed up to fight drug charges. David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps shows how natural soaps test positive for the date rape drug GHB using police field kits while detergent based fake soaps always test negative.

Queen of the Sun: What Are The Bees Telling Us? (82 mins.) In person: Emmet Brady, Gunther Hawk, and Michael Thiele with director Taggart Siegel Director Taggart Siegel (The Real Dirt About Farmer John) examines the dire global bee crisis through the eyes of biodynamic beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. On a pilgrimage around the world, the film unveils 10,000 years of beekeeping, highlighting how our historic and sacred relationship with bees has been lost due to highly mechanized industrial practices. Featuring Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, Gunther Hauk and beekeepers from around the world, this engaging, alarming and ultimately uplifting film reveals a dramatic story about the problems and solutions in renewing a culture to be in balance with nature. www.queenofthesun.com
Sounds amazing, right?  Check out Bioneers for the full conference program.


About Lindsey Block

Lindsey Block spends her weekdays as part of the Elephant Journal crew and her weekends hiking or picnicking at the park with a book. She's been a vegetarian for most of her adult life and delights in cooking up a new recipe (even though she really just wants to make tacos). She currently lives in Southern California.


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