Bioneers Resilient Communities Network

Bioneers Resilient Communities Network Locations

 

We don’t really need new ideas, we need to just take all the good
ideas and scale them. The next big intervention needed is at the level
of taking innovations and shortcutting them.

– Astrid Schulz, Ecotrust at Bioneers 2012

About the Resilient Communities Network

The Bioneers Resilient Communities Network will build “resilience from the ground up” at local and regional levels by serving as a hub for discovering, disseminating and implementing breakthrough environmental and social justice innovations, solutions, models and practices through vibrant network of partner organizations and communities.

A core Bioneers premise since the inception of the organization 25 years ago has been that the solutions to many major environmental and social problems are already in existence – the trick is daylighting, spreading and implementing them.

As climate change and population growth propel natural and human systems toward their tipping points of crisis, the growing trend toward decentralization and greater localization is an ecological, economic and political imperative. As we enter this epoch of ecological and social disruption, the grail is resilience. Building from the bottom up through communities, cities, counties, states and regions is among the most productive and realistic pathways to substantively advance resilience. It’s empirically where the most promising action on the ground is already occurring, and most people are connected and committed first and foremost to taking care of their own place.

The solutions already exist; it is time to short-cut innovation by replicating, scaling and connecting.

The Bioneers Resilient Communities Network is an evolution of the legacy “Beaming Bioneers” program into an active and engaged national network of communities of practice, focused on spreading, implementing and supporting breakthrough solutions. Launched in 2001, Beaming Bioneers partnered with nearly 100 communities across North American to bring the Bioneers Conference to town halls, community centers, educational institutions and similar gathering places.

Utilizing the frame of Resilient Communities, which implies an embedded systems approach and imperative to act, this refreshed program draws on the extensive expertise of the larger Bioneers community as well as current and future Bioneers Network members to identify innovative, replicable and scalable models, tools and projects.

Bioneers is building on its core strength and role as a national switchboard operator, connecting innovative ideas with the right people and communities. The design is focused on the purposeful support and pollination of new endeavors across the network, utilizing as much of the existing infrastructure of the program as possible. Through a combination of live videoconferences with principals from key projects, increased network support, broadbased partnership development and enhanced media offerings, Bioneers is supporting our network of communities to short-cut innovation by replicating, scaling and connecting.

There are three core program components:

Public Bioneers Events
As members of the Bioneers Resilient Communities Network, partner organizations and institutions are granted a license to organize events utilizing Bioneers media materials under the Bioneers name and brand.  Partners create their own events by combining Bioneers conference keynotes with dynamic original live programming keyed to local and regional issues and organizing priorities. Many partners have evolved from producing an annual local conference to being a hub of year-round activities and initiatives. In concert with similar efforts ongoing within Bioneers, emphasis will be placed on identifying and re-distributing high quality presentations and stories from throughout the Network via our various media platforms.

Applied Solutions Workshops
Providing direct, working access to the principals involved in top-level, relevant projects for Network members is a fundamental goal of the program.  Bioneers is producing and hosting live videoconference workshops throughout the year focusing on practical, how-to style presentations with ample time for discussion between Network members and representatives from key projects.  These workshops are designed support active engagement with specific initiatives and models that can be embedded locally.  Bioneers works closely with selected partner organizations to facilitate relationships and follow-up with communities where the proposed model, tool or project resonates with a local need and capacity. These distributed workshops are invitation-only and Network members are encouraged to invite key community leaders to attend. 

Identifying topics and projects to focus on is a collaborative effort between Bioneers and the Resilient Communities Network members.  Surfacing and spreading innovation from within the network is a significant component of the program.

We are currently finalizing the complete slate of 2014-15 events, including topics such as:

  • Governance Initiatives: A Community Bill of Rights (completed)
  • Energy Systems: Distributed Clean Energy Innovations and Publicly Owned Utilities
  • Water & Watersheds: Urban Systems as Watersheds
  • Food Systems: Food Policy Councils

Network Development, Infrastructure and Support
Network members have access to extensive support and resources related to program goals.  These resources include a full-time Bioneers program director, access to a network-wide intranet and listserv, substantial pre and post-event materials and follow-up for Applied Solutions Workshops, and a series of live video-conferences focused on operational support including fundraising, event production, programming and other topics as needed/requested.

Additional Benefits:

  • Opportunity for local speakers to featured and distributed on Bioneers.org and through other Bioneers social media channels.
  • Access to Bioneers media materials, including Collections
  • Two free passes to National Bioneers Conference and access to Network reception prior to Conference.
  • Product Discounts
  • Promotion of local events via National Bioneers media channels
  • Participation as a member of a national network of resilient communities

The Bioneers Resilient Communities Network licensing, registration, and partnership fee is $2,000 (with an early-bird discount of $200 until July 31st, for a total cost of $1,800). Special discounts for select educational institutions are available.

If you are interested in joining this national movement for change, please fill out the inquiry form. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Nikki Spangenburg, Program Co-Director, (505) 986-0366 ext. 112 or BRCN@Bioneers.org

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