Community Conversations: A New Monthly Offering from Bioneers

A New Monthly Offering from Bioneers

We’re excited to be in the midst of planning for the next season of Community Conversations. Sign-up below to be notified when the 2022 program is announced.


As Bioneers we are fortunate to be surrounded by a dynamic community – people who are discerning, engaged, committed and reflective. These new monthly Community Conversations hosted by Bioneers offer an opportunity to come together around topics that are deep, relevant, and engaging in order to discuss what has real meaning and value to us. 

Each conversation is stimulated by a brief ‘keynote’ or ‘conversation starter’ from a thought leader/luminary, guided through discussions by a skillful team, and captured by a creative ’synthesis’ from talented spoken word and musical artists. These community conversations offer a place to connect with others, as well as engage with and explore ideas in creative ways. 

Join us to connect, inspire and be inspired by the collaborative community of Bioneers.

Recordings for Community Conversations: All registrants for Bioneers’ Community Conversation will receive a recording of the Conversation Starter and the Poetic Harvest, as well as notes from the conversation (the conversation itself will not be shared itself, due to privacy). If you are unable to attend live, please register for the event in order to receive these recordings. Recordings will be sent by Tuesday of the week following the Community Conversation. 


Past Community Conversations

November 13

Global Warming Woman: Transforming Anger, Fire and Power

Bioneers brings together a very diverse, discerning, engaged and reflective community, and the curated conversations around crucial topics we’ve been hosting recently (“Community Conversations”) have proven highly popular and stimulating. Each session begins with a very brief presentation by a noted thought leader as a “conversation starter” to frame the topic, followed by structured group discussion. At the end, a talented spoken word artist “harvests” the essence of what was said in a poetic synthesis and performs it for the group.  

Global Warming Woman is a totem for our changing world—a fierce, protective warrior, deeply connected to Earth Mother, seeking balance on the Hoop of Life. Right now, she’s on fire, kindling the injustices of the past, demanding respect and blazing a passionate path for the future. Join us to look at the collective and generational history of suppression and misuse of power, and how it impacts our bodies, our health, our relations, and our Earth.

Together, we’ll explore strategies and practices for cooling the fire within, for conflict resolution, for addressing addictions, for safe anger release, and for reconciliation. With conversation-starter Ruby Gibson, Th.D. (Lakota, Ojibway, Mestiza), co-founder and Executive Director of Freedom Lodge and author of My Body, My Earth: The Practice of Somatic Archaeology. Facilitated by: Amy Lenzo, weDialogue and the World Café Community Foundation; David Shaw, Santa Cruz Permaculture and UCSC Right Livelihood College. Harvester: Jahan Khalighi, spoken word poet, youth educator and community arts organizer.

November 12

Being in Right Relationship—The Indigenous Wisdom of the Four Sacred Gifts

Bioneers brings together a very diverse, discerning, engaged and reflective community, and the curated conversations around crucial topics we have been hosting recently (“Community Conversations”) have proven highly popular and stimulating. Each session begins with a very brief presentation by a noted thought leader as a “conversation starter” to frame the topic, followed by structured group discussion. At the end, a talented spoken word artist “harvests” the essence of what was said in a poetic synthesis and performs it for the group.  

In this session, Anita Sanchez will start us off by drawing from her award-winning book, The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times, to explain how unity, healing, hope-in-action, and the ability to forgive the unforgivable are the key life-tools (the “four sacred gifts”) we must cultivate if we are to achieve our full potential as a collective life-giving force in the “One Hoop of Life.” We will then engage in facilitated conversation, as we seek to bring our most creative thinking forward, and weave our hearts, minds, and voices into a collective braid.      

With: Anita L Sanchez, Ph.D., (Aztec/Mexican American), deeply experienced trainer/coach, author, member of the Transformational Leadership Council, and Bioneers and Pachamama Alliance board member. Facilitated by: Amy Lenzo, weDialogue and the World Café Community Foundation; David Shaw, Santa Cruz Permaculture and UCSC Right Livelihood College. “Harvester:” Jason Bayani, author, theater performer, Artistic Director, Kearny Street Workshop.

October 14

Embracing Intuition, Embodiment & Grief for Navigating Through ‘Tween Times

Although so many of us have been culturally oriented toward strategy, action and goals, this time  of reinvention calls us to reclaim our inner authority by embracing and cultivating our innate gifts of intuition, body knowing, and honoring the sorrows and wisdom that come with grief and loss. Now is a time for revealing unconscious bias, and honing the strength-building and skills we need to navigate by the compass of our inner authority. 

How does your intuition communicate with you – through dreams, flashes of inspiration, waking visions? When your body knows something before your intellect does, how does it let you know? 

We so often orient ourselves towards beginnings, focusing on innovation, birth and progress, while avoiding and dealing fearfully and superficially with death, loss, tradition, ancestors and grieving. We’ve forgotten how to fully feel and honor our losses, both in the human and ‘more-than-human’ worlds. Let’s explore how we can honor the passage through grief that grows and deepens us as human beings. Perhaps one of the silver linings of this time is that it requires us to face loss, to be able to mature ourselves and our cultures to deepen our relationships with – and our reverence for – Life itself. 

September 9

Grandmother’s Teachings: Moving from Trauma to Sacredness

How do we repair generational wounds that haven’t yet been healed? What tools exist to mend rifts between cultures, genders, families and in ourselves?

By sharing the values and traditions that Jerry inherited from his grandmother (spending mornings in quiet contemplation and prayer, talking to her plants, watering them and using them on her family when they were sick), we will navigate how to incorporate and pass on values and traditions to the next generation. Our dialogue will also address those in disenfranchised populations dealing with a society that is often invalidating, unwelcoming, and even fatal.

Join us in exploring how traditions and cultural medicine can actually be a profound source of strength, healing, and repair in addressing divides in our culture/s. Explore how we can lift up the power of these positive medicines, tap the deep wisdom of our own culture/s, and heal our individual wounds along with society’s. And, ultimately, transform our traditions and access them as conduits for healing and interrupting wounded patterns.

Despite mainstream society’s false narrative that one’s value is based on monetary means, personal success, and power –join us in uncovering how each person’s rooted knowing that they are a blessing and have a sacred purpose can lead to recovery, discovery, and an uncovering of the Sacred in all our relations. 

August 12

Cultivating Intentional Communities in our Workplaces with Karla McLaren

All workers deserve to be treated as valued equals, and to work in safe, humane, and emotionally well-regulated workplaces. But the pandemic showed us that this wasn’t the reality, and we’re all viewing the workplace with new eyes now.

Are we cared for as workers? Or are we replaceable cogs in an uncaring hyper-capitalist machine? Is our workplace a compassionate intentional community? Or are we thrown together with no social or emotional support? Is our health and safety considered essential? Or do our employers have to be forced to care for us? 

In this troubled time, we’re seeing the ruthlessness that lives inside the modern workplace, in capitalism, and in our world economies; this pandemic has daylighted what had been swept under the rug of our constant activity and productivity.

This conversation is a step toward cultivating a nourishing and intentional workplace where inclusivity, social and emotional well-being, equality, and justice are available to everyone.

Through the lens of the emotionally well-regulated social structure, we can plot a course to a healthy social and emotional ecosystem where people and projects can finally thrive.

July 8

Climate, Justice, Indigenous Actions & Trauma: Healing One System for Thriving Life with Eriel Deranger

What a time. So many crises at once it’s hard to know where to put our attention.

How do we co-create the conditions to birth or reclaim systems for thriving life, from the mess we’ve been born into? How might we practice focusing our attention and energies on the opportunity we face now, each in our own ways, to halt the damage and transform the systems that created all this destruction?

How might trauma perhaps undergird all of it?  How might we simultaneously tend to our own healing, while growing our compassion and learning about the intergenerational traumas experienced by our relatives who are Biracial, Indigenous and other People of Color? How might we recognize the universality of trauma in response to cultures based upon violence, disregard for human dignity, greed, commodification and broken promises?

Remembering the connective tissue among these seemingly disparate issues may help us find our ways toward effectively co-creating a future that can work for all life. Join Eriel Deranger, climate justice leader and executive director of Indigenous Climate Action, (and Bioneers’ Board Chair) to explore together the web of connection, healing from trauma, and Indigeneity to Climate and Water Protectors. Together, they may illuminate pathways toward our social and ecological reinvention, reclamation and healing.

June 10

We Wish You Water – Blue Mind: Reconnecting People with Water for Life with Wallace “J” Nichols

It’s been a year. You know we all need more time near, in, on or under the water we love, now. Let’s talk about it. Let’s explore #bluemind science and practice. When we undervalue anyone or anything, bad things happen. We have undervalued each other and our waters. Fixing these value equations is important. We’re not good at creatively and collaboratively solving problems in a state of red mind (anxiety and fear). It leads us into a gray mind state (burnout and breakdown). Wild, domestic, urban and virtual waters put us in a blue mind state, known for calmness, coherence, compassion, connection, contentment and curiosity. 

What’s your water? When did you first fall in love with it? When we protect and restore the lakes, rivers and oceans of our blue planet the benefits are ecological, educational, economic AND emotional. A beautiful regenerative feedback loop occurs when we recognize, teach, share and activate the physical, social and emotional wellness benefits of healthy waters. Our physical, social and emotional health is the foundation of sustainability. Water time is medicine for our bodies, minds, hearts and souls. This is why we wish you water.

Keep Your Finger on the Pulse

Our bi-weekly newsletter provides insights into the people, projects, and organizations creating lasting change in the world.