October 17, 2011

Top 10 Most Inspiring Moments That I’ll Take Away From Bioneers (and other things). {Bioneers}

After a whirlwind of a weekend, I’ve witnessed more than my fair share of mind-blowing talks by visionaries from all over the world.  An intense gratitude washed over me as I realized my last day at this incredible event was about to end.

It feels impossible trying to summarize my experience, so here is just a handful of the moments I’ll remember as I return to my “normal” life, equipped with new knowledge and awareness for a plethora of problems and, more importantly, solutions.

  1. Susanna Dakin, one of the top supporters of Bioneers suggested that “all politicians take off their clothes, and go into the ocean” to be “tested by the waters for [their] candidacy”.  
  2. Paul Stamets’ shout-out to Monsanto’s “piracy” of numerous seed varieties saying, “it’s better for me to have the patents than Monsanto”.
  3. Paul Stamets’ expose on slime mold and how the Japanese government was able to use the uber-efficient pathways of how the mold found its food source as a model to base Tokyo’s new subway system.  Just plain cool.

  4. Destiny Arts, a wonderful collective of Oakland-based youth that performed on Saturday via dance, theatre, and dialogue of diversity.  One mixed race, Latina and Euro-American student angry with the typical racial and ethnic stereotypes prevalent in the world, recited, “I am of my ancestors and I am also of Oakland”.

    Destiny Arts performance.

  5. Caroline Casey‘s dialogue on changing context and stories by changing language, and thus evoking a balanced equality of male and female energies in the collective story.  Maybe “protest” isn’t the word we want to be using?  To be “for” “testicles”?  Something to think about…
  6. Wallace J. Nichols, co-director of the Ocean Revolution and organizer for the Bluemind conference, spoke on the cognitive health connection to the health of our oceans.  Studies show that being near the ocean has a definite impact in reducing stress.  Since the causal relationships between stress and disease are well documented, conserving and restoring the health of the oceans is also now a matter of public health.
  7. The wonderful open-pollinated and heirloom variety Seed Exchange hosted by the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Tesuque Pueblo, Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library, and Sustainable Seed Company.

    Saturday evening's seed exchange.

  8. Arty Mangan‘s amazing collection of speakers and panelists in the Food and Farming category of the conference.  His commentary and wonderful open-heart is especially inspiring for a young farmer like me.
  9. The movie screenings of Queen of the Sun and Journey of the Universe.
  10. Every person, speaker, attendee, volunteer, and vendor that I was able to connect with over the last three days.  By hearing their stories and opinions, and knowing that I can come back next year and be inspired once again, is an incredibly hopeful reminder of the amazing solutions that people here and around the world are working to create in order to resolve the world’s problems.

Just a couple things to conclude:
  • One complaint: please please please, turn down the air conditioning.  It was not that hot and in an effort to save energy, it would “walk the talk” in a much more effective way.
  • Big thank you to the waste management team who so whole-heartedly resolved to help attendees compost and recycle everything we could.
  • Also, thanks to the AV/Video teams, the vendors, and all of Bioneers organizers.
  • The Elephant Journal team was also very pleased to know that all of the pass holders would all be reused again every year.
  • Lastly, thank you to the conference’s wonderful founders, Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons for continuing their work in this very substantial and multi-faceted field.  See you next year!
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Kate Hormel  |  Contribution: 1,100