October 26, 2011

Five Things I Plan on Doing at Bioneers and Why ~ Meredith Potter

Photo: Earthworm

My participation in big conferences has been pretty limited my whole life. Something about the herds of people, and preaching on products or ideas has never appealed to me. I have never been to Bioneers though, and from what I gather there may be hope for big conferences!  This is a green, earth-focused event, slightly different from the conferences of my past.

Just after this weekend is Halloween.  I could spend the weekend preparing my costume, and will probably whip up a last minute homemade creation instead.   Instead of sewing to look sexy on Halloween, I will be attending an event at CU-Boulder with other earth healing and loving folks who are committed to education, community, and how to live a better life on Earth.

Five Things:

1. Mandala Workshop with Justin Mayans

date: Friday, October 28. time: 3:00-4:20. place: room 145.

Hands on? Art? Ummm….yes please! Anything involving interactive, experiential learning is a big plus in my world. To keep a balance with presentations where I sit and listen, this workshop sounds appealing. When I engage in multiple learning styles, I tend to get more out of it. I learn best by kinesthetic (doing) and visually. Listening and retaining information is not always a strong point, and I am glad to see a Mandala making offering.

“Experience self discovery through individual and/or group mandala creation. Participants get the opportunity to learn about historical and cultural significances of the symmetry, layout, symbology, color, and the transformational effects of mandala creation process in this hands-on workshop. An expressive workshop to explore the art and meaning behind mandalas with Justin Maynes.”

2. The Future of America’s Honey Bee, and the People who Keep Them with Hannah Nordhaus

date: Friday, October 28. time: 6:10-6:30 in the evening. place: Humanities 1B50.

I am curious to learn what has happened over the past few years in the world of bees. Are there more than 5 years ago? I have seen more bees in the past year while out hiking. Are they on a come back…I hope? Can’t wait to find out more about honey bees.

“Award-winning journalist and author Hannah Nordhaus discusses the role of honey bees in American agriculture, the reasons for their recent, frightening decline, and some of the more heartening developments that have happened in the five years since bees began disappearing from the nation’s hives.  Her book will be available for sale and signing following the presentation.”

3. Joy of Movement: Breathe, Move, Stretch with Maren Waldman

date: Saturday, October 29. time: 8:00-8:50 in the morning. place: Outdoors or Humanities 190.

As I mentioned, I love getting out of the chair and into movement. One of the reasons I moved to Boulder from Montana was for the wide variety of dance and yoga offerings. I’m looking forward to preparing my body for learning and focus.

 “This workshop invites you to relax through deep breathing techniques and supportive postures. By inviting relaxation, we move freely into a dance-centered warm up that focuses on moving the body to prepare it for learning and focus. We move alone and in relationship to each other, creating a sense of connection and play among class participants. We also begin to address the relationship between body and earth.  Please wear comfortable clothing for movement.”

4. The Emerging Imagination Age with Joshua Fouts & Rita King

date: Saturday, October 29. time: 9:00-11:30 in the morning. place: Humanities 1B50.

I have no idea what they are going to say, which is why I want to go. Imagination has always seemed like a vital element in life, something I like to encourage in children I nanny and tutor for. It’s hard for me at times to see beyond some of the downfalls with technology, like more “friends” and fewer thoughtfully cultivated relationships. I am curious to hear how media and technology can enhance life and support a “hopeful new global culture and economy.”

“Visionary media innovators Josh Fouts and Rita King call this time The Imagination Age. From sudden revolutions in the Middle East to “unimaginable” natural and human-made technological and economic disasters, our world is in a state of radical transformation and readjustment. At the same time, powerful new media are emerging that could presage a hopeful new global culture and economy. Josh and Rita illuminate how extraordinary new tools – virtual worlds, games and the worldwide web – can leverage global cultural empowerment and educational reform, amplified by creativity, collaboration, art and music.”

5. “Mother: Caring for 7 Billion” Film Screening and Discussion with Director Christophe Fauchere (Director/Producer) and Joyce Johnson (Producer)

date: Saturday, October 29. time: 6:30-8:00 in the evening. place: Humanities 1B50

I like movies, and love documentaries. This one sounds rich and informative.

 “Mother, the film, breaks a 40-year taboo by bringing to light an issue that silently fuels our most pressing environmental, humanitarian and social crises – population growth. The population is turning 7 billion in 2011, a startling seven-fold increase since the first billion occurred 200 years ago.  Population was once at the top of the international agenda, dominating the first Earth Day and the subject of best-selling books like “The Population Bomb”. Since the 1960s the world population has nearly doubled, adding more than 3 billion people.  At the same time, talking about population has become politically incorrect because of the sensitivity of the issues surrounding the topic–religion, economics, family planning and gender inequality. Yet it is an issue we cannot afford to ignore.  Today, nearly 1 billion people still suffer from chronic hunger even though the Green Revolution that has fed billions will soon come to an end due to the diminishing availability of its main ingredients–oil and water.  Compounded with our ravenous appetite for natural resources, population growth is putting an unprecedented burden on the life system we all depend on, as we refuse to face the fact that more people equals more problems.

The film illustrates both the overconsumption and the inequity side of the population issue by following Beth, a mother and a child-rights activist as she comes to discover, along with the audience, the thorny complexities of the population issue.  Beth – who comes from a large American family of 12 and has adopted an African-born daughter–travels to Ethiopia where she meets Zinet, the oldest daughter of a desperately poor family of 12.  Zinet has found the courage to break free from thousand-year-old-cultural barriers, and their encounter will change Beth forever.

Grounded in the theories of social scientist Riane Eisler, the film strives not to blame but to educate, to highlight a different path for humanity.  Overpopulation is merely a symptom of an even larger problem – a “domination system” that for most of human history has glorified the domination of man over nature, man over child and man over woman. To break this pattern, the film demonstrates that we must change our conquering mindset into a nurturing one. And the first step is to raise the status of women worldwide.

“Mother: Caring for 7 Billion” features world-renown experts and scientists  including biologist Paul Ehrlich, author of “The Population Bomb;” economist Mathis Wackernagel, the creator of the ground-breaking Footprint Network; Malcolm Potts, a pioneer in human reproductive health; and Riane Eisler, whose book “The Chalice and the Blade” has been published in 23 countries.

Join the discussion following the film with Director Christophe Fauchere (Director/Producer) and Joyce Johnson (Producer).”

For the complete schedule for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday go here.  Bioneers will take place October 28-30 at CU-Boulder.

For some inspiration about Bioneers, check this out.  Or look at coverage from Bioneers in California, 2011.




Meredith J. Potter lives in Boulder, Colorado. She enjoys biking, yoga, art, hiking, and exploring her environment. She works on supporting local agriculture, movement toward a healthier life for the planet, and joyful celebration of life! A background in education and yoga inform her current perspectives and lifestyle.


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