2023 Talks

Bioneers 2023 Conference Media Hub

The big wheels of massive change are turning. Climate disruption bears down daily, and there’s a widely felt morning-after awakening that it’s going to crash the economy and bring civilization to its knees. Although the shift to renewables is now an accelerating inevitability, it’s going to take relentless political action. Meanwhile, movements of the past decade for liberation, justice and multicultural democracy are swelling to challenge right-wing populist and neo-fascist forces underwritten by cynical plutocratic elites.

Especially in these darkest of times, we come together to celebrate. At Bioneers 2023, we were welcomed with open arms to a new location by thousands of new friends. We heard from extraordinary leaders who are – as Kim Stanley Robinson says – doing real work.

Please enjoy and share this collection of media from the 2023 Bioneers Conference: videos of the amazing keynotes, performances, and more.

There’s more to come! We’ll be posting more from the conference throughout the coming months, so check back often for updates.

Keynote Addresses

Kenny Ausubel

May the Farce Be With You

Bioneers’ founder takes us on one of his renowned, tour de force surveys of the current zeitgeist, this time masterfully tracking the diabolical machinations of the fossil fuel industry and oligarchs seeking to derail global economic decarbonization, but offering us genuine pathways to building a green and just world together, if we put our shoulders to the wheel.

Jade Begay

Strengthening Indigenous Leadership During Collapse

Jade Begay, one of North America’s most effective Indigenous Rights activists, shares her insights on how far Indigenous leadership has come and what we can do to strengthen and embolden this leadership that is so needed if we are all to survive on planet Earth.

Yuria Celidwen

The “Ethics of Belonging” of Indigenous Traditions

Yuria Celidwen, of Nahua and Maya descent and born into a family lineage of mystics, healers, and poets, shares two core guiding principles from her scholarship, Kin Relationality and Ecological Belonging. She explains how these concepts can help us access an ever-expansive unfolding of a path of meaning and participation rooted in honoring Life.

Ilana Cohen

The Time for Fossil-Free Research is Now

Industry funding for climate research has distorted public knowledge and contributed to greenwashing. Ilana Cohen explains how a burgeoning international grassroots movement of students and academics, known as Fossil Free Research, is seeking to combat the industry’s pernicious influence, and how you can get involved in the fight.

Laura Flanders

Community Wealth Building: The Most Important Global Economic Movement of our Time

In recent years a new global movement, Community Wealth Building, has been pushing back on neo-liberalism, fighting to democratize the economy and build wealth for the many, not just the few. Renowned journalist Laura Flanders explains why this growing movement for a democratic economy may be the most important economic movement of our time.

Shane Gero

Preserving Animal Cultures: Lessons from Whale Wisdom

As whale pods lose mothers and grandmothers, they lose wisdom inherited across generations on how to survive. In this talk, whale researcher Shane Gero shares some of what he has learned from the thousands of hours he has spent in the company of sperm whales, including how fundamentally similar their lives are to our own.

Opening by Corrina Gould (Lisjan Ohlone)

Corrina Gould (Lisjan Ohlone) is the chair and spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan and co-founder and Lead Organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change. Her life’s work has led to the creation of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, a women-led organization in the Bay Area that seeks to heal and transform legacies of colonization and genocide.

Amara Ifeji

Storytelling for Social Change

Having come to realize that her passions for the environment and racial justice were completely intertwined, Amara Ifeji shares how this awakening shaped her subsequent work as a remarkably effective organizer and advocate who centers storytelling to realize environmental justice, climate education, and outdoor learning for ALL youth.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

The Theory of Change: How We Achieve Real, Meaningful Policy Victories

In this personal video message to the Bioneers community, Rep. Jayapal discusses her theory of change that she developed as an organizer and has employed as a legislator. She highlights an “inside-outside” approach to building power and enacting meaningful change and policy shifts at national, state, and local levels.

Saru Jayaraman

The Great Revolution: What A Worker Power Moment Can Mean for Climate Justice

Saru Jayaraman is one of the most creative and effective labor organizers of our era. In this talk, she describes her work organizing restaurant and other low-wage workers over the last 20 years and the incredible moment of historic worker revolt currently underway in the United States, one that could have enormous implications for both climate justice and for our democracy.

Danny Kennedy

The Charging 20s

The 2020s will be the decisive decade in the climate justice fight. As we race to the finish line of the transition away from fossil fuels, visionary “green” entrepreneur Danny Kennedy presents a plan to build out the full 3D potential of clean energy—not just distributed energy, but decentralized in ownership and democratized in control.

Erin Matariki Carr

The Resurgence of Māori Law: The Constitutional Transformation Movement in Aotearoa NZ

Erin Matariki Carr, from the Māori tribal nations of Ngāi Tūhoe and Ngāti Awa, describes the inter-generational movement of Māori resistance that is now surging towards constitutional transformation.

john a. powell

Belonging without Othering: The Story of our Future

Western culture emphasizes our separation from ourselves, the other, and the Earth, but in reality, we’re deeply connected to each other. According to john a. powell, we now need to look deeply at ourselves and our social structures to overcome these separations and rediscover our fundamental connection to each other and the entire web of life.

Kim Stanley Robinson

What I’ve Learned since The Ministry for the Future Came Out in 2020

Kim Stanley Robinson’s visionary 2020 novel, The Ministry for the Future, projects how a possible climate-disrupted future might unfold and how the world might respond. It’s also chock full of brilliant science and wildly imaginative ways humanity steps up. In this talk, Stan offers us his overview of where we currently stand in relation to the climate crisis.

Nina Simons

Weaving the World Anew

With sublime clarity and heart-warming passion, Nina Simons describes Bioneers’ history and its core values rooted in reverence for the natural world and biological and human diversity, stressing the need to balance the inner and outer in our quest to give birth to a new civilization based on relationships rather than the possession of things.

Rebecca Solnit

Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility

What the climate requires of us could mean ushering in an age of abundance rather than austerity. Drawing from the new anthology she co-edited, Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility, Rebecca Solnit talks about the hopeful stories emerging from science, Indigenous leadership, good organizing, and visionary thinkers.

Leah Stokes

The Future is Electric

A massive influx of clean energy investments is poised to transform the American economy during this decade. The U.S. could be on track to reach 80% clean power by 2030, but success is far from guaranteed without widespread action. In this talk, Dr. Leah Stokes dives deep into clean energy policy and the tools we have to realize our electric future.

John Warner

The Materials Metabolism – Rethinking our Molecular Relationship with Nature

Most of what we produce is fundamentally unsustainable and dangerously incompatible with living systems. However, John Warner, one of the founding progenitors of the entire field of “green chemistry,” explains how we can embrace and emulate nature’s “materials metabolism” to create the products we need without endangering the web of life.

Akaya Windwood

Getting Our (Third) Act Together

Longtime activist and renowned leadership educator Akaya Windwood explains the work of Third Act, a place where people over 60 can bring their life experience to the work of social change, while supporting the next generations in creating a world that is healthy, equitable, and whole.

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Performance by Jason Nious of Molodi

Jason Nious, a performing artist and creative director whose background with high school step teams and NCAA gymnastics launched his career, has traveled extensively with Cirque du Soleil, Usher, Stomp, Step Afrika, and numerous theatre and film productions. As founder and Director of the Las Vegas, NV-based, award-winning body percussion ensemble, Molodi, Jason designs new touring productions and facilitates Molodi’s arts education program, reaching over 20,000 students per year. He also serves as an arts integration consultant with Focus 5, Cirque du Soleil, Cleveland Playhouse, and The Smith Center; and is an Artist-In-Residence with the Museum of Dance, Education Chair of the LAB LV Theatre Company, and regularly conducts in-school residencies through the Nevada Arts Council.

Performance by Rising Appalachia

Rising Appalachia, an internationally touring Appalachian and world folk ensemble founded by Atlanta-raised, New Orleans-based sisters Leah and Chloe Smith whose soulful folk-roots sound traces back to their open-minded musician parents and to grassroots music communities in the hills and valleys of the Deep South as well as urban Atlanta, has consistently used its platform to activate, organize and support frontline justice work and community organizations. Fifteen years into an adventure that has taken this self-made, stubbornly independent band around the globe, they have recently released a new master-work, their seventh album, Leylines, recorded in California in a studio overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Closing Performance by Oakland’s own Wildchoir

Wildchoir, formerly known as “Thrive Choir,” is an Oakland, CA-based, politically and socially engaged diverse group of vocalists, artists, activists, educators, healers and community organizers who join together in harmony. They have performed with nationally-acclaimed artists for social change including Rising Appalachia, Climbing PoeTree and MaMuse. They also frequently share the stage with progressive leaders, including Bernie Sanders, Ericka Huggins, Joanna Macy, and Fania Davis. Their music has inspired thousands at marches, conferences and festivals across California.

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