Skip to main content

It's been 20 years since I attended the first Bioneers, back in the day when I was the first environmental columnist in the county, writing about worm composting and recycling and interviewing David Brower aboard a small yet sturdy yacht docked along the Sausalito waterfront. I remember that day, the crises we discussed and his stern admonition that what we needed to do, as we had reached the abyss, the point where there was no forward movement possible, was to turn back.

It all seemed so possible twenty years ago. Bioneers, which began as Seeds of Change in Santa Fe, New Mexico, moved its venue to San Rafael, CA in 1993.

Back then, I recall writing stories full of hope and inspiration. People were sure that we had everything we needed in place to make the changes we needed to 'save the world,' to turn things around

Now, 20 years later, and I am finally returning back to cover Bioneers. Some of the same folks are there: Kenny and Nina. But one look at the schedule says a lot about the opportunity we missed. Because we kept moving forward.

Anybody else planning on attending? I'll be there. I'll be reporting. A special space has been set aside for live blogging. Maybe we could meet?

Where We Are Now

In 2006, the world began to experience a "global ecological Enlightenment," in David Orr’s words. We’re finding a vastly greater receptivity to the kind of ideas, solutions and practices Bioneers has been highlighting for 20 years. In particular, government and the business community are now searching for solutions and showing a new openness. Change has finally come.

We are grateful Bioneers exists to meet this historic moment of crisis and opportunity.

We look forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary with you in 2009. Please join us in this ongoing co-creation story. The world is at stake. The Bioneers Creation Story

Bioneers Schedule 2009

Conference Highlights
How visionaries are creating the healthy, diverse, and more equitable world we want to live in—our legacy for future generations. The films being shown this year include Dirt, The Movie; The Yes Men Fix the World; and A Sense of Wonder.
The Bioneers Food & Farming program is devoted to seeding sustainable, local food systems. Here are the highlights related to food and farming for the 2009 Bioneers Conference.
an Indigenous Tent featuring native workshops, workshops in other conference venues, a special multimedia exhibit on Indigenous responses to climate change, and other cultural activities.

Bioneers 2008 Flashback Moment

2008 Naomi Klein at Bioneers
Imagine, she said, that after all the struggles of trying to fund whatever project you are working on, you wake up one day to discover that you own the banks.

In this audience I understood the joke about taking all the toxic debts—the weapons of mass financial destruction—to Washington to blow it up. To blow up what's left of our social services government. Everyone under 40, she said, has been told that the government is the problem not the solution.

We are now witnessing a mass intervention on the part of the government. There was never a free market, of course, it was just a cover story for transferring wealth from the state to the private sector with all those no-bid contracts of crony capitalism and this bailout was meant to transfer the debt of the private sector to the public. This is the final gift of this administration. Paulson's plan A failed; the market gave it a vote of no confidence, so they had to go to the Brown plan of partial nationalization same as Britain.

Her message which has now become a mission, is that this market catastrophe has given us the demobilizing argument of our time to all those times the state said they could do nothing. What we have to watch out for is the fine print and we have to say no to turning the government into a hedge fund by outsourcing the treasury to companies.

Things are happening so fast, we are living dog years here, she said, quoting a Polish woman she spoke to during their meltdown.

We must demand control of these banks in return (with the right to vote like stockholders). We must demand a People's IMF and demand structural adjustments on the banks.

The Republicans have already gotten past their ideology of no intervention in the market so we must mobilize and make sure we have ideas lying around to take advantage of this and put privatization on trial. The argument has been made for us by reality. So let's close the tax havens, remove structural adjustments on loans to developing countries.

99% of the people who called their congressman about the bailout said no to it.

So basically what Naomi is saying is that the Emperor Has No Clothes and we have to keep pointing that out until the politicians are forced to put on the clothes that we want them to put on, by having firm in our minds the plans that we want implemented.

Naomi charmed the pants off us and got us on the road to thinking along these lines of taking back the government for the people. Then she waved goodbye and ran off to catch a plane to continue her book tour which is now a handy vehicle for her message. "


Bioneers 2009Oct. 16-18, San Rafael CA


Traditional Welcome to his people’s ancestral lands by Chairman Greg Sarris of Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Coast Miwok/Southern Pomo Nations

Opening remarks from Co-founder:
Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons

Basins of Relations: A Reverential Rehydration Revolution

Youth Redefining Environmentalism, Reclaiming our Futures

From Small Steps to the Energy Revolution

Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: Report from the Arctic


In Defense of Food: The Omnivore’s Solution

Plenaries I am attending

 Changing the Story: Using Media for Social Transformation
Land is life: Indigenous Peoples Respond to Climate Change:

Building a Green Agenda
For Racial and Economic Justice Movements in the Bay Area....


Morning Schedule
Musical Performance

Opening Remarks by Jim Garrison, President of State of the World Forum
Clip from Hidden Beauty introduced by filmmaker Louis Schwartzberg

Living Buildings: The Future of Architecture

The Rwanda Healing Project: Bringing Hope through Art and Creative Action

The Electric Pulse of Women Transforming Our World

Performance by award-winning Kenyan activist-artist

Presented by Charles McGlashan & Jim Farley
Changing the Axis: Drawing from Mexican and Latin American Cultures to Create a Sustainable Future
Environmental Health, Environmental Medicine

A man jumps into a polluted coastal bay in Paranaque city, south of metro Manila April 10, 2008. The 4th global conference on oceans, coasts and islands which began on Tuesday is a forum for developing and poor countries, many of which would be worst affected by climate change and nations will discuss how to preserve fisheries, protect coastlines and limit pollution.

My Plenaries
Mother Jones Presents
Morph or Die— The Transformation of Journalism and Media


Musical Performance
Joanna Macy
The Hidden Promise of Our Dark Age: Discovering Our Wisdom, Strength and Beauty in the Midst of Crisis

Who speaks for the Trees? Driving Nature’s Rights into Law

Biocultural Conservation in the Amazon: How an Amazon Tribe Has Combined Traditional Knowledge with Science and Technology to Save its Rainforests and its People
The Color Of Green: The Next Inconvenient Truth


The Story of Stuff

My Plenaries

Education for Innovation

Collective Healing
Transforming Trauma and Despair

The seriousness of our ecological and social crises often fill us with fear and despair. Yet facing and working with difficult emotions is precisely what can heal us, increase our resilience and help us navigate through the massive transformations underway. Four highly diverse pioneers of community-based healing modalities describe powerful processes for transforming grief and trauma into a profound connection to the Earth.

Inner Transformation and Engagement
For Environmental and Social Justice:

Beaming Bioneers

Locations of this year's beaming conferences
Photo Credits
~~ Tribute to Philippe Ramette / Hommage a Philippe Ramette  Blueju38
Naomi Klein 2008 Bioneers by Earthworm
Over the mountains and the sea by Katarina 2353
Climate Change by John Javellana

Originally posted to boatsie on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:22 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "And the dream lives on" Edward M. Kennedy

    by boatsie on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:22:53 AM PDT

    •  You do Beautiful Work. (0+ / 0-)

      I told you I would read more of your diaries. Thank you for reading mine. I especially liked the one about post traumatic stress disorder.

      You have such beautiful photos. I think I could get lost a long time going down the winding roads of your pages. I plan to read a lot more. You are very interesting.

      I'll keep looking for good resources. I'm so glad I met you.

      The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools. (Herbert Spencer) Peace, Love and Harmony rebel ga*

      by rebel ga on Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 10:23:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's going to be a crazy weekend! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marge, stagemom, raincrow, rb137, princesspat

    Particularly tomorrow, when my local transition group is hosting an evening movie .... I desperately need a photographer or at least a camera! Things aren't the way they once were when you could bring along a photograher. Now you have to do it all yourself!

    "And the dream lives on" Edward M. Kennedy

    by boatsie on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:30:05 AM PDT

  •  i live in SR, but am in so cal for alz assoc (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    alz assoc memory walk.
    sorry to miss it!

    "I can haz healthcare?"--S. Mom "Let Freedom Ka-Ching"--S. Colbert

    by stagemom on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:30:14 AM PDT

  •  They should move Bioneers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, rb137

    to someplace where there is decent public transit.

    I won't be attending, because I am an environmentalist and don't own a car. And getting all the way up to San Rafael is difficult. Last time is was there we were shocked to see there wasn't an organized place to park bikes, which is pretty standard stuff in the Bay Area these days.

    Seems like an environmental conference surrounded by a parking lots full of cars is a bit of a contradiction, no?

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 10:38:59 AM PDT

    •  you can organize carpools (0+ / 0-)

      or use the GGT 40 bus from El Cerrito Del Norte BART, and connect from there.

      I'm carpooling from Berkeley with my cohousing neighbor tomorrow; it helps that she works right there.


  •  I love that Kai Eckhardt will be there (0+ / 0-)

    He's an amazing bassist and human being!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site