Sunday, October 19, 2014

BIONEERS: Restoring the Earth and its People

Bioneers is a fertile hub of social and scientific innovators with practical and visionary solutions for the world's most pressing environmental and social challenges.

It arose from three principal streams of work: Biological and cultural diversity, Biomimicry, Natural medicine

Founder Kenny Ausubel coined the term Bioneers in 1990 to describe an emerging culture. Bioneers are social and scientific innovators from all walks of life and disciplines who have peered deep into the heart of living systems to understand how nature operates, and to mimic "nature's operating instructions" to serve human ends without harming the web of life. Nature's principles—kinship, cooperation, diversity, symbiosis and cycles of continuous creation absent of waste—can also serve as metaphoric guideposts for organizing an equitable, compassionate and democratic society.

Since 1990, Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons have been assembling Bioneers for an annual conference, a gathering of scientific and social innovators who have demonstrated visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth and communities.

Bioneers' Founding Perspectives
Natural Medicine. Nature has a profound and profoundly mysterious ability for self-repair. The primary source of healing lies in nature. In environmental restoration as in medicine, the role of the practitioner is to support nature to heal itself. This principle became foundational to Bioneers.
Nature’s Solutions. Nature has solved all the ecological challenges we’re trying to address. Practitioners such as John Todd, Amory Lovins, Wes Jackson and Donald Hammer, as well as traditional indigenous practices, were a primary inspiration. In 1997, naturalist and author Janine Benyus gave this emerging science a name in her landmark book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, the same year she first spoke at Bioneers. Biomimicry has been a core focus since Bioneers’ inception.
Biocultural Diversity. In nature, diversity is the very fabric of life. Because change is the only constant in nature, diversity is the source of resilience to adapt to change in both natural and human systems. Successful adaptation requires keeping open the greatest range of biologically and culturally diverse options.

From the Mission Statement of Bioneers:

"Founded in 1990 in Santa Fe, New Mexico by social entrepreneurs Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, Bioneers has acted as a fertile hub of social and scientific innovators with practical and visionary solutions for the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. A celebration of the genius of nature and human ingenuity, Bioneers connects people with breakthrough solutions and each other. Our acclaimed annual national and local conferences are complemented by extensive media outreach including an award-winning radio series, book series, and role in media projects such as Leonardo DiCaprio’s film The 11th Hour. Our programs further focus on Women’s Leadership, Indigenous Wisdom, Community Resilience Networks, and Leadership Development and Youth.

Our work has evolved into six programs:

Changing the Mindscape. A Public Education program that features the Bioneers conference(s) and extensive media production and outreach, including an award-winning radio series, book series, satellite and TV broadcasts and a consulting role for third-party films, press and media. Watch for the new Media component on our web site this year.

Education for Action. A Formal Education program that acts as a hub for educators and students, and brings Bioneers Education for Sustainability (EfS) materials to schools and colleges. We work with specific groups and institutions to leverage educational systems for social transformation.

Resilience from the Ground Up. A Localization program that works through the award-winning Dreaming New Mexico project to bring a practical toolkit and methodology for effective systemic change at the municipal and state level, and that other communities can customize.

Every Woman's Leadership Initiatives. A whole systems approach to diverse Women’s Leadership that provides experiential education and media to strengthen women’s capacity to be bold, congruent and effective leaders on behalf of a healthy, just and peaceful future. The program encourages all people toward “full-spectrum leadership,” with flexible access to all of our feminine and masculine qualities.

Becoming Native to Place. An Indigeneity program that educates people about the essential practices of indigenous and traditional knowledge. We invite people to learn with leadership from First Peoples how to re-indigenize our societies as citizens of planet Earth and our local address.

Bioneers Global. An international program to connect social and scientific innovators for the purposes of network cultivation, cross-pollination and the transfer of effective practices, models, technologies and key ideas."

Link to Bioneers:

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