Community Conversations: A New Monthly Offering from Bioneers

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.


Cultivating Intentional Communities
in our Workplaces

With Karla McLaren

August 12, 2021, 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon (PST)

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.


Conversation Starter

Karla McLaren

M.Ed researcher, educator, workplace consultant, and author of The Power of Emotions at Work, The Language of Emotions, and the developer of the online learning site


Jahan Khalighi

Bay-area based spoken word poet, youth educator and community arts organizer

Facilitation Team

Amy Lenzo

weDialogue and the World Cafe Community Foundation

David Shaw

Santa Cruz Permaculture & UCSC Right Livelihood College

Upcoming Community Conversations

September 9

Grandmother’s Teachings: Moving from Trauma to Sacredness
Conversation Starter: Jerry Tello
Harvester: Jason Bayani

October 14

Embracing Intuition, Embodiment & Grief for Navigating Through ‘Tween Times
Conversation Starter: Amisha Ghadiali
Harvester: Jason Bayani

Past Community Conversations

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.

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