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Tuesday, November 18, 2008



Bioneers, also known as the Collective Heritage Institute, is a New Mexico-based nonprofit organization promoting practical and innovative solutions to environmental and social problems based in a philosophy which recognizes the aliveness, interdependence, and intelligence of the natural world. Bioneers holds an annual conference each October in San Rafael, California. Plenary sessions from the main conference are also broadcast through satellite feeds to "Beaming Bioneers" conferences held simultaneously at sites in various locations throughout the United States and Canada. Collective Heritage Institute/Bioneers was founded in 1990.

Origin of name

Bioneer (root: "biological pioneer") is a neologism coined by filmmaker, author and eco-activist Kenny Ausubel.[1] It describes individuals and groups working in diverse disciplines who have crafted creative solutions to various environmental and socio-cultural problems rooted in shared core values, including whole systems, (anticipatory) thinking, a view of all life as interdependent, and sustainable mutual aid.

Annual conference

The first annual Bioneers Conference, organized by Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, took place in 1990. Currently the conference takes place annually in San Rafael, California on the third weekend in October. The conference highlights the work of scientific and social innovators and helps support, nurture and propagate their ideas and models. Conference speakers come from interdisciplinary fields: environmental and socio-political activism; "green" biology, chemistry, design, architecture and urban planning; organic and "beyond organic" farming and gardening; indigenous perspectives; biodiversity, bioremediation, and wildland preservation; alternative energy; engaged spirituality, literature and the arts; holistic and "ecological" medicine; ethnobotany; socially-responsible entrepreneurship, business and philanthropy; the environmental justice, women's and youth movements; independent media; etc.

In many cases the technological or social solutions to problems showcased are founded on emulation of natural self-organizing systems.

Beaming Bioneers

In 2002, Bioneers expanded with the addition of simultaneous satellite conferences, called "Beaming Bioneers," which model themselves after the conference in San Rafael. Beaming Bioneers sites screen satellite feeds of plenary speakers from the national conference, while also serving as conferences that focus on regional solutions and presenters.

Beaming Bioneers sites for 2007 will include:

* Anchorage, Alaska
* Baltimore, Maryland
* Bloomington, Indiana
* Boulder, Colorado
* Bozeman, Montana
* Carbondale, Illinois
* Cleveland, Ohio
* Cobleskill, New York
* Detroit, Michigan
* Grinnell, Iowa
* Houston, Texas
* Logan and Brigham City, Utah
* Marion, Massachusetts
* Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
* Santa Fe, New Mexico
* Seattle, Washington
* Spokane, Washington
* Traverse City, Michigan
* Turlock, California
* Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Other activities

Some of the non-profit's events and projects include: hands-on trainings in various aspects of organic agriculture; the building of a membership base; books; radio series; audio-tapes and DVDs; newsletters; reports; live satellite feeds of the conference to many locales; spin-off events around the country and internationally; film festivals; special youth organizing initiatives; etc.

The Bioneer Awards

Please help improve this section by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page or at requests for expansion. (May 2007)

The Collective Heritage Institute honors individuals who have done leading-edge work in its fields of interest with an annual Bioneer Award.

* Paul Stamets (1998), mycologist and bioremediation advocate.

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