As we enter into a permanent emergency, it’s much easier to see what’s dying than what’s being born. But since the beginning, Bioneers has been about what’s being born.
For our 31st – and first ever virtual – conference, “Beyond the Great Unraveling: Weaving the World Anew,” Bioneers showcased many of the most visionary and practical solutions afoot today, and many of our greatest visionary innovators, including the greatest people you’ve never heard of.
Please enjoy and share this collection of media from the 2020 Bioneers Conference: videos of our amazing keynotes, transcripts of our talks, and more.
A world where humans live in right relationship with each other and the planet is possible, but only if we dismantle the interlocking forces of patriarchy, white supremacy, colonialism and extractive capitalism. Women of color and transgender people of color have a unique insight into how to do this, if we would only listen to them.
Thom Hartmann, the nation’s leading progressive radio talk show host, bestselling author and among our most penetrating socio-political thinkers, shares his passionate conviction that democracy is the organizing principle of all life, as most Indigenous cultures have been trying to tell us for millennia.
In a world on fire with multiple, epochal crises, how do we nurture hope, build power and contribute meaningfully? Though the problems seem larger than life, our greatest power may in fact lie in our closest communities, in small daily acts of courage and conviction, in small groups of unstoppable world-changers, and small gardens that revitalize communities and reconnect us to nature’s operating instructions.
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, one of the nation’s most innovative thought leaders in ocean and coastal conservation, shares her vision of how emerging forms of honest, heart-centered leadership can help humanity address the greatest crisis it has ever faced.
Through the lens of the new book, Democracy Unchained: How We Rebuild Government For the People, co-editor Bakari Kitwana reflects on the question: What is the future for Black Americans in U.S. Democracy? Bakari discusses sites of traction, hope and new possibilities.
Mari Margil and Thomas Linzey of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights, leading figures in the global movement to recognize the legal rights of ecosystems and nature, share exciting recent developments in that effort. They highlight breakthroughs in tribal nations, communities, and countries around the world.
Jamie Margolin, the 18-year old co-founder of one of the most dynamic and effective international youth climate justice organizations, Zero Hour, describes how prioritizing her mental health, happiness, social life, and a variety of passions enabled her to approach her activism in a far healthier and more balanced way.
We cannot achieve bold, long-lasting legislation without support from rural America. Hear from Chloe Maxmin, a young progressive from rural Maine who in 2018 flipped a Maine House Seat with a 16% Republican advantage, and in 2020 challenged the highest ranking Republican in Maine for the Maine State Senate…and won!
Renowned longtime farmer, educator, author, and food sovereignty activist, Leah Penniman, explains the deep roots of African-American farmers’ land loss and food injustice and shares the work she at Soul Fire Farm and others around the country in Black and Brown farming communities are doing to reclaim ancestral rights, renew ties to the land, achieve genuine agency in the food system, and advance food sovereignty.
Bridging or breaking? That is the sharp choice we face today as a society and as individual citizens. john a. powell illuminates how we can bridge to transform and heal these destructive impulses and the current toxic political atmosphere, building social structures conducive to Belonging and Breathing.
Leading Indigenous educator Cutcha Risling Baldy provides a three-step approach to re-imagining climate and environmental justice in California and beyond, focusing on concrete actions that challenge us to dream better futures together.
Bioneers Co-founder Nina Simons shares insights into how she’s navigating this time of loss and dissolution, and then expands upon how her commitments to nature, the feminine and wholeness have led her to deepen her commitment to allyship with Native Peoples.
Should psilocybin mushrooms come to market as People’s Medicine or Profit Medicine? Paul Stamets, one of the world’s leading authors, inventors, educators and entrepreneurs in the field of mycology, shares his thoughts on the latest research and the rapidly evolving landscape of psychedelic medicine.
With: Soul Fire Farm Program Director Naima Penniman; farmer and author Leah Penniman; Mohawk seed keeper and farmer Rowen White; and Rev. Heber Brown, founder of the Black Church Food Security Network.
With: Dustin Thomas, Artist and Creative Strategist for Come to Life; Alfred Howard, a prolific spoken-word artist, writer, and co-founder of The Redwoods Music; Leah Song of the renowned group, Rising Appalachia; Raury, hip-hop artist, founder of “The Woods” movement; Luke Wallace, Canadian activist and singer-songwriter.
With:Hosted by Monika Bauerlein, Co-Editor of Mother Jones.David Orr, founder of the State of American Democracy Project; Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onandaga nation, Haudenosaunee; Maine State Senator Chloe Maxmin.
With: Thom Hartmann, author, broadcaster and scholar; Stacy Mitchell, Co-Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, author, and formidable campaigner to break up Amazon; Maurice BP-Weeks, Co-Executive Director of ACRE (Action Center for Race and the Economy). Hosted by Kenny Ausubel, Bioneers CEO and co-founder.
With: Liz Kennedy, Communications Director and Research Fellow at Lead to Life; Cory Greene, Co-Founder and Healing Justice Coordinator for How Our Lives Link Altogether (H.O.L.L.A.); Jadyn Fauconier-Herry, a recent graduate of New York University, where she earned her BA in Social and Cultural Analysis; Olka Baldeh, Communications Manager for the Essie Justice Group.
With: Gar Alperovitz, co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative; Isaiah Poole, Vice President of Communications; Johanna Bozuwa, Co-Manager of the Climate & Energy Program; Thomas Hanna, Director of Research and specialist in public ownership.
With: Mari Margil and Thomas Linzey of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights; Guy Reiter, Executive Director of Menikanaehkem – Community Rebuilders.
With: Natalia Linares, New Economy Coalition; Michelle Mascarenhas-Swan, Movement Generation; Doria Robinson, Cooperation Richmond & Urban Tilth; Najari Smith, Cooperation Richmond & Rich City Rides.
With: Bioneers co-founder Nina Simons; Terry Tempest Williams, author/activist/educator; Rachel Bagby, author/vocal artist/land steward; Alixa Garcia, poet/musician/artist/activist/educator.
With: Vien Truong, CEO of Truong & Associates; Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, founder of Ocean Collectiv and Urban Ocean Lab; Julian Brave NoiseCat, Vice-President of Policy and Strategy at Data for Progress; Sikowis (aka Christine Nobiss), a member of the Plains Cree/Saulteaux of the George Gordon First Nation in Canada, founder of the Great Plains Action Society.
One Earth: Integrating Climate Action and Biodiversity Conservation into a Blueprint for a Livable Planet
With: Justin Winters, Co-Founder and Executive Director of One Earth; Carly Vynne, Strategic Partner at RESOLVE; Oscar Soria, Campaign Director at AVAAZ; Karl Burkart, Managing Director of One Earth; and Angela Amanakwa Kaxuyana, part of the senior leadership of the Brazilian Coordination of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon (COIAB).
With: Kerry Fugett, Leadership Institute Manager of Daily Acts. With: Trathen Heckman, founder and Director of Daily Acts; Lil Milagro Henriquez, founder and Executive Director of Mycelium Youth Network; Brett KenCairn, Boulder, Colorado’s Senior Policy Advisor for Climate and Resilience.
With: Cara Romero, Bioneers Indigeneity Program Director; Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca), Crystal Echo Hawk (Pawnee), and Naelyn Pike (Chiricahua Apache).
With: William B. Karesh, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance, President of the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) Working Group on Wildlife Diseases and chair of the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group; Howard Frumkin, Professor Emeritus, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington School of Public Health; J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Senior Producer.
With: Bakari Kitwana, Executive Director of Rap Sessions, Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard; LaTosha Brown (Black Voters Matter), who considers our urgent need for a Department of Democracy that would protect voters, the cornerstone of our democracy; Mutale Nkonde (AI for the People), who thinks out loud about the ways technology works against Black and Brown Americas via protests, political engagement, social media and criminal justice; and Greisa Martinez Rosas (United We Dream), who challenges us to think broadly about the ways that reinstating DACA is the floor and not the ceiling for bringing justice to the 11 million undocumented immigrants who call this country home.
With: Paul Stamets, one of the world’s leading mycologists and the foremost expert on psilocybin mushrooms; Katsi Cook, a groundbreaking figure in the revitalization of Indigenous midwifery and a longtime participant in peyote ceremonies; Françoise Bourzat, a leading expert on psychedelics as healing agents who did 35+ years’ field work with the Mazatec in Mexico; and J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Senior Producer.
Hosted by Rick Reed, Philanthropic Advisor. With: Sarah Thomas, Senior Advisor to the Funder Collaborative on Oil and Gas; Rebekah Hinojosa, Sierra Club’s Gulf Coast Campaign Representative.
Naima Penniman offers her interpretation of the conference theme, “Beyond the Great Unraveling.”
A multicultural group of teens creating original performance art combining hip-hop, dance, theater, martial arts, song, and rap.
A performance by Alfred Howard, an accomplished spoken-word artist, writer, and co-founder of The Redwoods Music, a San Diego record label and collective.
Leah Song and Chloe Smith of Rising Appalachia perform their song “Resilient.”
Alejandro Fuentes-Mena, Motus Theater’s Undocumented Autobiographical Monologist, offers a reflection on true value.
The Thrive Choir, an Oakland-based singing group, and MaMuse, a 12-year old musical duo rooted in folk and gospel traditions, join to perform MaMuse’s song “We Shall Be Known.”