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The National Bioneers Conference, established in 1990, is the original whole-systems forum of innovation and collaboration for social, cultural and environmental resilience. Serving the sustainability, environmentalism and social justice communities, BioCon speakers and presenters have included Bill McKibben, Jane Goodall, Gloria Steinem, Philippe Cousteau, Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva and Paul Hawken, among many other luminaries. The conference also prides itself on introducing audiences to some of the most innovative voices yet to be discovered.
During this annual three-day event—Oct. 18-20 at the Marin Center in San Rafael, CA—visionaries and change-makers will propose, debate and initiate solutions to global bio-cultural and socio-ecological issues. The theme of this year’s conference is Turning Vision Into Action. It opens on Friday with Jason McLennan, visionary founder of the Living Building Challenge, chronicling the transformative influence of “green building” on designers, builders, communities and educational systems. Whole-systems thinking continues with presentations and panels covering Women as Democracy Builders, Recognizing the Rights of Nature, Building Community Resilience, Creating Peace Through Understanding and more—including new interactive networking sessions for attendees and presenters.
Bioneers Founder and CEO and award-winning author Kenny Ausubel explains the appeal of diversity in conference programming, “Most people are passionately interested in one or two topics or issues. These become points of entry because the beauty of the conference is that then you find out how they’re connected to everything else.” It is indeed an integrated whole-systems approach for Turning Vision Into Action.
Weekend programming begins with acclaimed biologist, innovation consultant and author Janine Benyus presenting The Biomimicry Network Effect: What Will We Solve Together? Permaculture expert Darren Doherty will speak about Re-booting Agriculture for the Next 10,000 Years. Actor, activist and filmmaker Danny Glover will dive into social justice with his keynote talk on Reimagining Citizenship, Democracy and Nature. Beloved Bioneers Elder Joanna Macy will receive the Bioneers Lifetime Achievement Award. Macy will deliver a keynote address on Sunday, Oct. 20.
The National Bioneers Conference is the home of the acclaimed Bioneers Indigenous Forum, which features exciting workshops and discussions on major issues, struggles and successes in Indian Country and in indigenous communities globally. Co-produced by Bioneers, The Cultural Conservancy and Indigenous Environmental Network provides a space for in-depth explorations of “Indigeneity” and “Re-Indigenization” in a format that encourages all of us to re-indigenize ourselves and examine the history of colonization within our own roots. The event focuses on educating the global community about key issues and the resiliency First Peoples are developing to address cultural survival, human rights, land and biodiversity preservation.
The Cultural Conservancy Executive Director, Melissa Nelson (Anishinaabe/Métis); Indigenous Environmental Network Executive Director, Tom Goldtooth (Dakota/Diné); and Bioneers Indigeneity Program Director, Cara Romero, host this networking space and sanctuary for Indigenous participants.
Now in its 24th year, BioCon offers business leaders, community leaders, civic leaders, educators, activists, students and all global citizens access to inspiring keynotes, provocative panels and workshops, and networking sessions with others who are committed to progressive action in restoring people and planet.
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