Viable solutions already exist for most of our environmental and social crises. The solutions in nature consistently surpass our concept of what is possible. Where we don’t know what to do, we have a good idea what directions to head in. Once people discover these realities, it dramatically leverages pressure for change.
That vision ignited us in 1990 to found the Bioneers Conference to disseminate breakthrough solutions. In 2006, the landmark UN Millennium Ecosystem report concluded: “Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.”
The hour is dangerously late, yet there appears to be a worldwide awakening. The next ten years will be the make-it-or-break-it period to make a fundamental, large-scale shift.
Bioneers is inspiring a shift to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations.
Bioneers has two keystone goals to help make this shift successfully.
- Connect people with solutions by popularizing breakthrough ideas and practices.
- Grow social capital by catalyzing, connecting and strengthening strategic networks, including bioregional and community-based alliances.
As Bioneers celebrates our 20th anniversary, our ability to act as a fertile source for the urgent transition to a restored world is converging with an unprecedented receptivity in the world for innovative ways of thinking and acting.
There is as much cause for hope as for horror. As David Orr said, “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.”
Who We Are
Bioneers is a non-profit educational organization that highlights breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet. Since 1990, Bioneers has acted as a fertile hub of social and scientific innovators with nature-inspired approaches for the world’s most pressing environmental and social challenges. We connect people with solutions and each other. Our acclaimed 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 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.
- Moonrise. 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.
Bioneers has been officially honored and recognized by the California State Senate, Marin County Board of Supervisors (California), and Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, where Bioneers is based. The Bioneers Dreaming New Mexico project won second place in the prestigious international Buckminster Fuller Challenge Award in 2009 and is a semi-finalist in 2011. The Bioneers radio series has won dozens of awards including multiple Gold Medals in the prestigious international New York Festivals. Bioneers and founders and Co-CEOs Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons have received many awards and honors. Bioneers is a Knowledge Partner of the Tällberg Forum in Sweden.
What We Do
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.
Other programs include:
- Beaming Bioneers broadcasts live portions of the Bioneers Conference to partner sites, serving as a focal point for community organization around local issues.
- The Radio Series, Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature, features interviews and dynamic presentations from the Bioneers Conference archives. Each year, Bioneers provides thirteen half-hour programs free to public radio stations across the country and around the world. In 2003, the series won the prestigious Silver WorldMedal for Excellence in Environmental Programming from the New York's International Radio Programming Competition. In 2002, the series received a Bronze WorldMedal and was a finalist for the United Nations Department of Public Information Award. Each series is available for purchase on compact disk from Bioneers.
- The Bioneers E Newsletter is our monthly correspondence featuring updates from the Bioneers network.
- The Bioneeers Youth Program integrates young people into the Bioneers network, building year-round connectivity among young activists.