Founder & CEO
Bioneer since 1990.
Kenny Ausubel is an award-winning social entrepreneur, author, journalist and filmmaker. He is the Founder and CEO of Bioneers, the internationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to disseminating breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet. He launched the annual Bioneers Conference in 1990 with his business partner and wife Nina Simons, Bioneers Co-Founder and President.
Kenny is a writer, filmmaker and media professional. Since 2004, he has served as executive producer and co-writer of the award-winning international radio series The Bioneers: Revolution From the Heart of Nature. He acted as a central advisor to Leonardo DiCaprio's feature documentary, The 11th Hour, and appears in the film.
He has written four books and edited several volumes of the Bioneers anthology book series. His most recent book Dreaming the Future: Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature (Chelsea Green 2012) won the Nautilus Grand Gold prize in the Ecology-Environment category. He writes for the Huffington Post.
Kenny co-founded the national company Seeds of Change in 1989 and served as CEO until 1994 to restore “backyard biodiversity” into the food web through marketing organic, biodiverse heirloom seeds to gardeners.
His critically acclaimed feature documentary film Hoxsey: How Healing Becomes a Crime and related reportage were named for the Best Censored Stories award for investigative journalism. The film played in movie theaters and aired on HBO and international TV, and enjoyed a special screening for member of Congress at the Kennedy Center, reported on NPR. He later published the acclaimed book “When Healing Becomes a Crime.”
Apart from his ongoing work with Bioneers, Kenny is currently developing several film projects.
Co-Founder & Founding Director of Women's Leadership Initiatives
Bioneer since 1990.
Nina Simons is an award winning social entrepreneur and visionary thinker. In 1990, she co-founded Bioneers with her husband and partner, Kenny Ausubel. As President, she has helped to lead the organization through 23 years of identifying, gathering and disseminating breakthrough innovations that reveal a positive and life-honoring future that’s within our grasp, today.
Nina’s work currently focuses on writing and teaching about women, leadership, diversity, systems thinking and restoring the feminine in us all. She is the co-founder and co-facilitator of the Cultivating Women's Leadership Leadership trainings. Nina edited the anthology, Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, which contains 30 essays by over 40 contributors, who collectively help to redefine the leadership landscape. The book is being used by educators in college and graduate-school classrooms and has garnered passionate and positive reviews.
In 1990, Nina joined the entrepreneurial start-up company Seeds of Change as its marketing director and was subsequently promoted to president, helping to grow the company into an emerging national brand in a mere five years. In her capacity as president, Nina oversaw the marketing, operations, and finance departments, while also contributing to strategic business planning and fundraising.
Prior to her tenure at Seeds of Change, Nina was director of strategic marketing at Odwalla, the fresh juice company, during a time when it was expanding rapidly across the nation. She designed and implemented community-based approaches to marketing that were highly effective in establishing the brand and building customer loyalty.
Previously, she was director of strategic projects at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, where she launched a publication that increased the organization’s earned income significantly while strengthening relationships with the local business community. In her youth, she worked as a director and production stage manager at theaters in New York and Michigan, and managed several restaurants.
All of these professional experiences helped her to cultivate strong leadership and communication skills, which have been refined and strengthened in her seminal work with Bioneers and in her more recent work Cultivating Women's Leadership Leadership and restoring the feminine.
Bioneer since 2000.
Jeffrey Vasterling spent his youth in the Midwest and has an education in Anthropology and Psychology. He has previously worked as a professional in the healing arts and as an office manager in a small doctor's office.
For 19 years, Jeffrey has lived in the same house in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his best friend, Susan. He's a gardening and outdoor enthusiast, and he loves movies.
Bioneer since 2009.
Joshua Sheridan Fouts is a globally recognized media innovator and social entrepreneur known for his visionary work paving new inroads for meaningful understanding between cultures.
An anthropologist, Joshua studied art and documentary film production. He began his career in Washington, DC in the 1990s where 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 relations 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 various intellectual projects in collaboration with governments and universities in over 20 countries on the planet.
Joshua was raised in the world of arts and social good. His parents spent their entire career running a non-profit dedicated to defend the rights of animals. He has deep familial roots focused on holistic development and the courage to rethink a better future for the world as a whole. Joshua brings this to his work as an executive, social entrepreneur, and a communicator for peace between the diversity of cultures, peoples and living beings on the planet.
In a happy synchronicity at this moment in Joshua's career, he recently rediscovered the autobiography of his maternal great-great grandfather who was an early resident of San Francisco. The autobiography told the story of the challenges of a bold entrepreneur who invested in launching the earliest hydroelectric companies in the Bay Area, and who was an early visionary in defending workers rights. This discovery happened just as the opportunity to join the Bioneers team appeared, precipitating a move back to his roots from New York to San Francisco, just as Bioneers too decided to re-open offices in the Bay Area.
“My personal commitment,” Joshua says, “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.”
CHIEF OPERATING AND OUTREACH OFFICER
Bioneer since 2013.
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.