What it Means to Pay-It-Forward

You’ll notice a registration option this year called “Pay-It-Forward.” That 3-day ticket costs $795, about double what some of our Early Bird discounts costs for the same pass.

Why on earth would you pay more, you ask? It’s simple: to make sure everyone who is an active and engaged member of our community is not left out for lack of ability to pay.

The $795 cost is the actual amount it costs us per attendee to put on the conference each year. By choosing this ticket, you are helping us cover costs and enabling us to make lower-cost tickets available to an entire class of engaged and active citizens whose voices and perspectives are crucially important.

Bioneers is fundamentally a populist enterprise. Our vision is one of equity and respect for all. Bioneers began 27 years ago as a grassroots idea, little more than a room full of brilliant folks from numerous fields who we believed should know more about each others’ work and projects. That inclusive spirit remains as true today as it was two decades ago. We strive to make sure that the right people are in the room, regardless of ability to pay.

The value and quality of the Bioneers Conference is greater than that of events that charge double or triple what we do. For example, the Living Futures UnConference is $1,000, Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) is $1500, TED is upwards of $10,000 and invite-only. From a business perspective, this makes sense — high-quality events are expensive. But from a community, equity and activism perspective, it’s a dead end.

When you choose Pay-It-Forward, you allow us to shift resources to our large youth scholarship program (400+ annually), our work/trade program and our deeply subsidized Student, Educator and Low-Income Senior scholarship rates, not to mention the 200+ speakers to whom we provide no cost registration each year (the least we can do for them).

In keeping with the egalitarian and generous spirit that runs throughout our event, we are straightforwardly asking those who have the means to pay a higher rate (which is still a very good deal!).

When we launched this ticket category as an experiment in 2015, we had no idea what would happen. We were overjoyed to see how many people opted to Pay-It-Forward — foundations and businesses with event budgets sending employees, donors maintaining their support and many whom we met for the first time last year who simply saw the opportunity to engage at a level that they were comfortable with. We remain incredibly grateful for your support.

We hope that if you are willing and able, you’ll consider joining us to Pay-It-Forward in 2016.

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