THE BIONEERS PULSE: Big Good News From Bioneers!
Greetings from Kenny and Nina! We hope you’re having a beautiful winter solstice and holiday season. As we prepare for the exciting year ahead — Bioneers’ 25th Birthday, we have so much to be grateful for, including you – our community of kin and supporters.
And we’re so elated about some Big Good News at Bioneers that we just had to email you!
The Big Good News!
As key members of our community, we want you to be among the first to know. We’re re-opening a San Francisco office, and we have two new spectacular additions to the Bioneers leadership team who will be based there, along with other staff.
We’re honored and elated to announce the arrival of Joshua S. Fouts as our Executive Director, and John DeCock as our Chief Operating & Outreach Officer. Both of these accomplished visionary leaders bring decades of creative, compassionate breadth and depth in leadership and innovation. They’re already helping us reach “full wing” in our 25th year in incredibly transformative ways.
Their addition to our great team is lifting Bioneers into the slipstream of spreading and scaling the visionary and practical solutions for restoring people and planet that we’ve been advancing for over two decades.
Although we live in Santa Fe, New Mexico and have had our primary office here, the Bay Area has been the “home” of Bioneers since we moved the conference there in 1993. So we are thrilled to deepen our year-round presence and be more closely connected with so many of our friends, allies and supporters. John is leading the search for our new San Francisco office, and we’ll maintain our office in Santa Fe, New Mexico where many of our program people are based.
This passage is a huge milestone for Bioneers and for us personally. It climaxes a restructuring of the organization that we began almost exactly three years ago. After creating a new Strategic Vision for Bioneers, we set out to build the organization that could meet our ambitious vision. First we strengthened the leadership of our amazing Program directors and core staff, who are the heartbeat of the work. Now we’ve added world-class executive leadership.
Joshua S. Fouts is a globally recognized media innovator and social entrepreneur known for his visionary work paving new inroads for meaningful understanding between cultures.
A digital anthropologist, Joshua studied art and documentary film production in college. He began his career as a documentary film producer, first in Boston and later in Washington, DC, where in the 1990s, he worked at the US State Department and began to experiment with new ways to use radio, television and Internet technology for cultural collaboration. He went on to launch two first-of-their-kind think tanks focused on digital media innovation and cultural collaboration at the USC Annenberg School in Los Angeles where he founded the first-ever blog about digital journalism and later created a new master’s degree in public diplomacy.
During his 20-plus years career in international and cultural relations, Joshua has personally worked with the peoples of Malaysia, Africa, and indigenous tribes of the Amazon. He has led or directed projects in over 20 countries on the planet.
Thanks to a connection Joshua made at Bioneers after a plenary speech he gave in 2011, he led an expedition to the Brazilian Amazon to better understand the impact of climate disruption on the Ashaninka People of the Amazon. An Invoking the Pause grant from social entrepreneur and longtime Bioneers supporter Maggie Kaplan made Joshua’s project possible.
“My personal commitment,” Joshua told us, “is to help strengthen peace and collaboration among the unique peoples and countries of the world, always with a deep respect and sensitivity for the diverse cultural modalities of this planet. My dream is to create ways to value and respect humanity’s diverse traditions and heritage in new ways, using new media tools to record these stories for the children of the future to better understand the roots of humanity.
“Bioneers is the great messenger toward this future: A grand humanitarian channel transmitting at the speed of light, rescuing and preserving ancestral stories and sending them directly to the future. The world today is an immense collective unconscious that has become nearly telepathic thanks to the power of digital networks, which provide real-time communication worldwide. And 2014, Bioneers 25th anniversary, will be the year of communication.”
In an incredible and happy synchronicity, Joshua recently discovered the autobiography of his great-great grandfather who was one of the early founders of San Francisco at the start of the 20th Century. The autobiography of this figure, who acquired near mythological status in his family, told the story of a successful entrepreneur who launched some of the earliest hydroelectric companies in the Bay Area. What struck Josh about the story was his forefather’s commitment to human rights, often at the expense of personal profit.
The book also contains a chapter dedicated to his relative’s fascination and delight in synchronicities he experienced in his life in San Francisco. Though our personal journey includes inevitable highs and lows, one can always find people who have the courage to envision a better future; messengers of love, affection and respect, always trying to communicate with the unique and different. Learn more about Joshua’s career on his LinkedIn page.
John Decock brings decades of deep leadership and strategic experience from a distinguished 28-year career at the Sierra Club, including nine years as Executive Director of the Sierra Club Foundation. He subsequently served as President and CEO of the Clean Water Action & Clean Water Fund. A resident of San Francisco for the past 40 years, John is deeply rooted in the community and skillful in connecting communities.
John’s deep connection to nature goes back to his earliest childhood memories. He grew up playing in the lush forests and swamps of Missouri and in the farm fields of Iowa. His interest in social justice was also sparked when he was a boy as he became aware of the civil rights movement.
John began working at the Sierra Club in 1981 and eventually served as Director of Outings, Deputy Conservation Director and Executive Director of The Sierra Club Foundation. As a volunteer, he led expeditions in Nepal, India, Kenya, Mexico, Guatemala and the United States.
In 2010, John was appointed President and CEO of Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund. He was among a group of environmental leaders who advised President Obama’s transition team on environmental matters. John and his family make their home in San Francisco and are avid outdoor enthusiasts with a special love for the ocean.
“I have a great feeling about being a part of Bioneers. It feels as my life and career experiences have been building my heart and mind to do this work,” Johns says. “It’s a privilege to spend my days joining with the Bioneers to help build a better world.” John likes to fill his world with family, music, books and light.
Recognized as an exceptional mentor and cultivator of young leaders and high-performance staffs, John’s exceptional savvy and wide-ranging experience running large organizations and systems dedicated to improving our world will help Bioneers move into our new era in a stable, dynamic and attentive way. He has a special affinity for two of our programs: the Beaming Bioneers local community network, which has many parallels to his work with Sierra Club chapters, and our new Community of Mentors youth program.
John is also a passionate musician, an accomplished mandolin and guitar player. Learn more about John’s career on his LinkedIn page. Learn more about John’s career on his LinkedIn page.
So we are unspeakably grateful and sincerely honored to now work in collaboration with this remarkable new Team Bioneers. Our Adaptive Action Plan focuses on three primary areas:
- Public Education & Media Outreach, radically expanding Bioneers’ media and communications reach and accessibility.
- Community Resilience, including building our Beaming Bioneers program into an action-oriented, interconnected living laboratory of communities of practice.
- Leadership Development, with primary focus on supporting the leadership of Women, First Peoples, and Youth and Mentorship.
Stay tuned for updates about our exciting Adaptive Action Plan and Programs in the New Year.
Celebrate these two new teammates with us!
We are investing in John and Joshua to help move us into the next 25 years of Bioneers to realize the shift to live on Earth in ways that honor nature, each other and future generations. We invite you to join with us with your year-end gift in supporting the co-creation of the world we want, the world the world wants.
Your generous gift will be doubled by a matching grant from heroic donors including the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, if you give by December 31!