2018 Bioneers Conference Videos, Articles and More

The 2018 Bioneers Conference left us feeling inspired and full of hope. We’re hopeful about our future and our community, ready to walk the walk and take steps toward a more just, equitable future. Join us. On this page, you’ll find a regularly updated collection of media from the 2018 Bioneers Conference: videos of our amazing keynotes, transcripts of our talks, and more.


Nina Simons – Roots and Branches: Stabilizing, Centering and Receiving Guidance From Past Toward Future, and From Below and Above

Monica Gagliano – Plant Intelligence and the Importance of Imagination In Science

Bioneers co-founder and Chief Relationship Strategist Nina Simons, renowned for deeply intimate, poetic talks about how to find inner balance in the midst of our struggles to resist injustice and save the biosphere, explores here what trees can teach us about rootedness in community, embracing light and “branching out” effectively, even in the midst of challenging conditions. She describes how the long history of resilience of women and Indigenous and other oppressed peoples, including her Jewish ancestors, has helped her find perspective and fortitude, and how the extraordinarily dynamic women and youth-led movements that have been rising up these past few years are filling her with hope.

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TAKE ACTION: Support Bioneers

Monica Gagliano, Research Associate Professor in Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Western Australia, has courageously illuminated the revolutionary new field of Plant Bioacoustics. She’ll share startling cutting-edge research and show how contemporary science has finally begun lifting the veil of our assumptions by beginning to attune its ears to vegetal “voices.”

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Jacqueline Martinez Garcel – Latino Leadership & the Power of Love in Philanthropy

Intrinsic – A Performance by Climbing PoeTree

Social Justice warrior Jacqueline Martinez Garcel leads a foundation with the largest network of civically engaged Latino philanthropists. Driven by change and impact, not charity—Jacqueline shares how the work of LCF is radicalizing the power dynamics that have crept into the field of philanthropy and have held the sector captive in an oppressive and counterintuitive cycle. The ultimate objective for Jacqueline is to liberate capital and invest in grassroots movements and leaders that will drive us closer to a more just and representative democracy.

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TAKE ACTION: Learn more about the Latino Community Foundation

These two Brooklyn-based poets-artists-activists-educators-musicians-performers may be the most brilliant socially engaged spoken word duo in the known universe. They perform material from their recent kickass album, “Intrinsic”.

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May Boeve: Climate Change is Changing the World – Now We Too Must Change

Rupa Marya – Health and Justice: The Path of Liberation through Medicine

As Executive Director of 350.org, the groundbreaking grassroots international climate change campaign whose innovative organizing and mass mobilizations have uniquely helped generate a mass global sense of urgency and action, May Boeve shares her eagle’s-eye perspectives on the current state of the climate struggle. She illustrates 350.org’s learnings and strategies moving forward, including ways of learning about and incorporating justice and equity. She illuminates pathways our species must take to keep 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground and radically accelerate the shift to 100% clean energy.

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TAKE ACTION: Join 350.org’s fight for a fossil-free world

Health visionary Rupa Marya, Associate Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco and Faculty Director of the Do No Harm Coalition, urges us to radically re-envision and expand our concept of medicine to encompass and address the health impacts of poverty, racism and environmental toxicity.

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TAKE ACTION: Take the Justice Study survey


Jayden Lim – My Culture Is Not a Costume

Michael Pollan – Psychedelics and How to Change Your Mind

Award-winning young Pomo activist Jayden Lim of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center’s Tribal Youth Ambassadors program will illuminate the hidden history of California and how she has had to grapple with stereotypes and historical trauma to find her identity as a Native youth.

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Michael Pollan’s new book “How To Change Your Mind” surveys the highly controversial terrain of the renaissance of both the science and popular usage of psychedelic substances. As one of our most brilliant and clear-eyed explorers of such topics as plant intelligence and how we feed ourselves, Michael will share his luminous insights from what began as investigative reportage and became a very personal interior journey into the mystery of consciousness and the nature of spirituality.

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Kenny Ausubel – Dung Beetle Medicine

Rebecca Moore – Google Earth and Using Big Data to Map Solutions

Bioneers founder, filmmaker and author Kenny Ausubel delivers one of the best of his inimitable tour-de-force talks that veer from dark humor to gleaming inspiration, as he plumbs the depth of our current political nightmare and ecological crisis but then shares his certainty that with the emerging resistance of unstoppable women and youth-led movements, a new era built around a “Green New Deal” will pave the way to a truly pluralistic commonwealth and an “Earth Community”… but only if we turn to nature for guidance-in this instance emulating surprisingly skillful dung beetles, who really know how to navigate their way through crap.

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TAKE ACTION: Support Bioneers

Google Earth Outreach founder Rebecca Moore says the signs are all around us, telling us that our life-support systems are in critical condition, and only recently has it become possible to monitor the health of Earth’s life-sustaining resources in a manner both globally consistent and locally relevant. She’s showing how satellite data, cutting-edge science and powerful cloud computing technology such as Google Earth Engine allow us to achieve an unprecedented understanding of our changing environment and put this data into the hands of those who can take action.

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TAKE ACTION: Learn about Google Earth Outreach


Justin Winters – One Earth: Envisioning a Future where Humanity and Nature Coexist and Thrive

The Ceibo Alliance – Protecting the Amazon Rainforest from Industrial Development

With contributions from scientists and partners around the world, One Earth, an initiative of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), has developed a bold, new plan to avert a climate crisis and protect our biosphere. Justin Winters, LDF’s Executive Director, explains the three goals humanity needs to achieve by 2050.

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TAKE ACTION: Support the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s climate action

In response to catastrophic assaults on their lands and cultures by corporate industrial civilization, the First Peoples of the Amazon have formed unprecedented alliances to protect lands and peoples. These four extraordinary Indigenous leaders, who help guide the Ceibo Alliance of several ancestral peoples of Ecuador’s northern Amazon, traveled far from their homes to share their stories of resistance and solutions.

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TAKE ACTION: Support the Waorani People in resistance to Oil Block 22


Destiny Arts Performance

Third Annual Biomimicry Global Design Challenge Ray of Hope Prize

A performance by Oakland’s own incomparably dynamic and uplifting Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company.

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This annual competition was founded by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and the Biomimicry Institute to stimulate biomimetic solutions to humanity’s greatest challenges. The winner of the prize, focused this year on climate change solutions, will be announced and awarded on Bioneers’ main stage.

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Kevin Powell – Re-defining Manhood: A Message to Men, to Boys, to Us All

Edna Chavez – We Are The Future: Youth Leadership & Community Activism

In this brutally honest and provocative talk, Kevin Powell offers his own life journey to illustrate how we can transform our concepts of manhood. Kevin has become a solution-oriented writer, activist and speaker seeking to re-define manhood around nonviolence, peace, love, healthy self-expression, and as an ally to women and people of all gender identities.

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TAKE ACTION: Read the Book

This inspiring 18-year old activist from South Central Los Angeles, who has lost many friends and family member to gun violence, was a key participant in the March for Our Lives event and has become a leading gun control advocate and voter registration organizer.

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TAKE ACTION: Join the March for Our Lives movement


Gar Alperovitz – Replacing Corporate Capitalism: Why We Need a Next System

Joshua Fouts – A Prisoner of Hope

Gar Alperovitz, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative and co-chair of its Next System Project, will show how we can begin to build together for the systemic change we need to save both democracy and the planet. As a political economist, author, former legislative director in the House and Senate, nonprofit innovator and scholar, Gar will share breakthrough models for community-based political-economic development and new institutions of community wealth ownership.

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TAKE ACTION: Learn more about the Next System project

Bioneers Executive Director Joshua Fouts describes in this heartfelt, but humor-filled, talk how the dire global political situation had been plunging him into despair and how he started to find some solace in such disparate sources as Star Wars, teachings from Joseph Campbell, Rebecca Solnit’s sense of historical perspective, and humiliations the natural world inflicts on us when we persist in arrogance. Ultimately he shares how the shining examples of current youth activism and the observation of his own teenage son and his son’s peer group’s far more enlightened attitudes than previous generations’, brought him back to trusting that indeed “the arc of the moral universe does bend toward justice.”

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TAKE ACTION: Support Bioneers


Ashton Applewhite – We Are All Aging, So Let’s End Ageism

Alex Eaton – Smallholder Farmers as Climate Change and Food Security Leaders

What’s a surefire way to make activism more effective? Make it intergenerational. What’s the biggest obstacle? An ageist culture that pits old against young and bombards us with messages that wrinkles are tragic and old people useless. Debunking myth after myth about late life, author and activist Ashton Applewhite passionately urges us to come together at all ages – and dismantle ageism in the process.

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TAKE ACTION: Follow This Chair Rocks

Alex Eaton, co-founder of Sistema Biobolsa, will share how this groundbreaking social business is creating a movement toward regenerative agricultural practices among small farmers in Latin America, East Africa and India. He’ll illustrate how small farmers around the world can work together to increase global food production, while turning their farms, homes and soils into carbon sinks by using waste-to-energy technology, capacity building and innovative financing.

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TAKE ACTION: Learn more about Systema Biobolsa


Patrisse Cullors – Women of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

Intrinsic – A Performance by Climbing PoeTree

Patrisse Cullors, a performance artist and award-winning organizer from Los Angeles, explores the contributions women have made to the movement for Black lives historically and in the present; the institutional racism that still permeates our society, causing mass incarceration and high rates of maternal mortality in African-American communities; and the diverse ways women have been criminalized and have fought back to change the course of history.

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TAKE ACTION: Get involved in the #BlackLivesMatter movement

These two Brooklyn-based poets-artists-activists-educators-musicians-performers may be the most brilliant socially engaged spoken word duo in the known universe. They perform material from their recent kickass album, “Intrinsic”.

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Charlie Jiang – Climate Change Activism and a New American Dream

Elizabeth Dwoskin – Online Privacy and What We’ve Learned About Tech Giants

Climate change, racism, and rising inequality threaten our communities. Charlie Jiang, a son of immigrants and a leading SustainUS youth delegate to the 2017 United Nations climate negotiations, will offer a vision of active hope, arguing that out of the compounding crises we face, we have a singular opportunity to mend the wounds of our past and usher in a brighter future.

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TAKE ACTION: Learn more about the Environmental Defense Fund

Elizabeth Dwoskin, the Washington Post’s Silicon Valley correspondent, is that paper’s eyes and ears in the world of tech. She’ll shine a light on our growing awareness of the dark side of Silicon Valley, and how that awareness is reshaping public policy, our understanding of democracy, and the way tech is used and built.

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Lyla June – Nihimá Nahasdzáán: Healing Women and Nature Through a Diné (Navajo) Lens

Closing Performance by Oakland’s Thrive Choir

Lyla June — poet, musician, anthropologist, educator, public speaker and community organizer of Diné, Cheyenne and European lineages — has inspired audiences around the world with a message of personal, collective and ecological healing. She’ll explore the links between environmental destruction and “rape culture” and how we can heal and transform ourselves and our society.

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The Thrive Choir, an Oakland-based singing group affiliated with Thrive East Bay, a purpose-driven community focused on personal and social transformation, is composed of a diverse group of vocalists, artists, activists, educators, healers, and community organizers directed by musicians Austin Willacy and Kyle Lemle. They have performed their original fusion of gospel, soul and folk in a wide range of settings, including: marches, conferences and festivals across California.

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This is your last chance to purchase discounted tickets to the 2018 Bioneers Conference before prices increase for good.
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