2015 Bioneers Conference keynote speakers (l to r): Malik Kenyatta Yakini, Rinku Sen, Kim Stanley Robinson, Eriel Deranger
As we’ve been predicting for a few years, the shift is indeed hitting the fan. Changes that may have seemed impossible are in full swing, and this authentic revolution from the heart of nature will be in fine feather at Bioneers 2015.
We’re thrilled to announce this year’s 15 keynote speakers. The conference will feature a mind-bending kaleidoscope of visionary leaders and innovators across a diverse range of domains and communities. These luminous leaders offer us inspiring models and pathways that are birthing the world we want.
If you’ve been to the Bioneers conference, you know we never have a single theme, yet often meta-themes arise spontaneously from the zeitgeist.
This year, among the meta-themes that popped up:
- Real Climate Leadership Breakthroughs finally gain momentum
- The emergence of the paradigm-shifting Restorative Justice movement
- The deep, symbiotic links between the Arts and Social Change
- The rapid development of new, grassroots Technologies of Democracy
Climate Leadership Breakthroughs
- Paul Hawken will reveal the startling conclusions from Project Drawdown that has assessed the 100 top technologies to draw carbon out of the atmosphere. It’s a massive collaborative research project that will provide a pathway for immediate action on much larger scales to dial CO2 back toward 350ppm.
- Tom Hayden will paint the emerging landscape of how the California model of climate leadership is spreading rapidly both domestically and abroad with the formation of Green Blocs both at the state level as well as among nations. At the center is the resolution of environmental and social justice – the rich-poor divide.
- Henk Ovink has helped lead the way in the Netherlands to the nation’s incredibly sophisticated water management practices and policies in the face of rising sea levels and super-storms. Henk then brought his expertise to New York City, where HUD is funding breakthrough green infrastructure approaches. Now he is bringing it to California. Holland needs to open-source and spread these practices because only a global effort can mitigate the effects of climate disruption on coastal communities and help us adapt to catastrophic sea level rise.
- Andy Lipkis will update the astonishing policy advances his group TreePeople has helped lead for 40 years to build an integrated urban watershed for Los Angeles. With the epic drought bearing down, suddenly policy makers and public officials are not just listening – they are acting to make one of the nation’s most notoriously unsustainable cities into a green model of wise water management that integrates ecology, economy and justice.
- Eriel Deranger has helped lead Canada’s Idle No More movement to impressive successes in challenging highly destructive Tar Sands oil extraction in Alberta and in protecting Indigenous rights. This movement led primarily by Indigenous women uses a rights-based framework that could be a game-changer and replicated elsewhere.
- Rinku Sen of Race Forward will illustrate how the ongoing revelations of the ugly underbelly of racism and implicit bias in the US are creating a wave of teachable moments and how we have the potential to reach out across our differences to work toward a sense of shared kinship and beloved community.
- Sister Simone Campbell of “Nuns on the Bus” will speak to the exceptional role that faith-based communities can play in the converging movements for the restoration of nature and for social justice, including the role of women’s leadership.
- Jensine Larsen of WorldPulse will show how grassroots digital media are elevating the voices and leadership of women and changing the game on the ground all over the world.
- Adrianna Quintero, Director of Partner Engagement, NRDC and Executive Director, Voces Verdes, will discuss how to re-imagine environmentalism to build a far more welcoming, inclusive and successful movement, one that truly reflects our country's diversity, with a special focus on engaging and mobilizing the nation's Latino communities, often on the front lines of climate change.
- Malik Yakini will show how Detroit’s food justice movement is creating a global model of how distressed communities can retake agency and power to create an alternative food system, economy and consciousness that stands in a long and revered lineage of warriors for justice and equity.
Art and Social Change
- Science fiction legend Kim Stanley Robinson, who has suggested that at the time of its creation the US Constitution was, in a sense, a work of “science fiction,” will offer a sci-fi writer’s vision of what a future economy that embraces ecology, justice and imagination might look like.
- Mythologist and street angel Michael Meade and John Densmore, drummer of The Doors and longtime social change artist, will invoke the deepest shared myths of human survival and ancient Earth-based wisdom to help us navigate these perilous times by changing the archetypal story.
Technologies of Democracy
- Ben Knight of Enspiral in New Zealand will show how that group’s Loomio digital technology is supporting grassroots democracy movements worldwide to conduct vital and dynamic dialogue that leads to focused action sourced from the wisdom of crowds.
- Shannon Dosemagen will explain how a Citizen Science movement, rapidly growing across the US and the world, is enabling people to get accurate information about their environment and the polluting transgressions of corporations and governments, so they can take action directly to protect their communities.
Please join us at the 2015 Bioneers Conference this October to make the impossible inevitable. Look for ongoing updates for the entire program in the coming months.