Our Top Stories and Projects From 2022
What a year it’s been. We bounced between news that was either terrifying, deeply heartening, or both, but the one thing we collectively understand moving forward is that the connections between us are what will keep us all going. As Sarah Crowell, founder of legendary arts and dance troupe Destiny Arts, once said, “The way we’ll hold it together is to hold it—together.” From the bottom of our hearts here at Bioneers, we’re so deeply grateful to you, a community of leaders that we strive to represent and showcase in our programs, storytelling, and convenings. It is entirely due to your support that we’re able to continue the incredible work that makes such a difference each year.
In this newsletter, we’re celebrating the stories that you loved most in 2022 and the exciting Bioneers projects that are in the world thanks to your inspiration and support. Below, you’ll find fascinating scientific research, engaging interviews, practical information for creating a brighter future, historical analyses, and so much more.
As we look toward the beginning of a new year with nearly endless possibilities, we hope you’ll consider continuing your support or becoming a new supporter of Bioneers at whatever level is comfortable for you. We’ve got even more on the horizon for 2023! Bioneers exists to showcase and lift up the brilliance that is our community. Let’s continue to make waves together.
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Top Bioneers Articles of 2022
In what ways do men and women differ? Do we find the same differences in our fellow primates? Do apes learn sex roles, or is gender uniquely human? World-renowned primatologist Frans de Waal offers key insights into gender, drawing on his extensive experience observing chimpanzees and bonobos.
As awareness grows about the lasting impact of stolen land and slavery in the United States, some Americans are becoming increasingly conflicted about Thanksgiving. While many cherish the turkey and family gatherings associated with the holiday, they also recognize its dark history for Native Americans. Some Native Americans view Thanksgiving as a Day of Mourning, while others have more complex feelings about the holiday. Learn three ways to teach children about Thanksgiving.
Americans love to manicure their lawns. It is a sign of pride in homeownership deeply steeped in the “American Dream” to buy a house in the suburbs and raise a family. However, this “dream” belies deeper, nefarious roots in settler colonization and white supremacy. Read how and why it’s important to decolonize your yard.
With the surge of social dislocation, political unrest and illnesses resulting from climate change, it is apparent that our planet is inflamed, and that individual health is inseparable from planetary health. Physician and activist Rupa Marya explores how structural injustices affect both human and environmental health and calls for more holistic approaches to diagnosing imbalances in our bodies and communities to put us on a path of deep personal and collective healing.
David Solnit is a San Francisco-based carpenter; climate justice, anti-war, arts, and direct-action organizer; an author; puppeteer, and trainer. Learn more about his history and how he uses “artivism” to spread his messages in this Bioneers interview.
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Top Podcast Episodes of 2022
In the late 20th century, a handful of scientists proved that aquatic mammals have advanced communication capabilities and a consciousness strikingly similar to humans. Author and adventurer James Nestor leads us on a deep dive into the mystery of marine mammal consciousness, and the story of how a small band of freedivers, pushing the limits of human endurance, is finding that saving the whales may become the story of the whales saving us.
From local communities and states to federal policy, movements to dismantle monopolies are challenging the current system that can be summed up as: Make Feudalism Great Again. Although breaking up is hard to do, we’ve broken up monopolies before. In this second of our two-part program, we join Thom Hartmann, Stacy Mitchell, and Maurice BP-Weeks to survey the landscape of rising antitrust movements seeking to break the stranglehold of corporate power and level the playing field for a democratized economy.
California Indians have survived some of the most extreme acts of genocide committed against Native Americans. We discuss this brutal history with Corrina Gould, a member of the Lisjan/Ohlone tribe of Northern California and co-founder and Co-Director of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust. We talk about the importance of addressing that historical trauma, which caused deep wounds that still affect Indigenous Peoples today.
History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. From the historic Indigenous occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969 to the fossil fuel fights throughout Canada and the U.S. today, Indigenous resistance illuminates an activism founded in a spiritual connection with the web of life and the human community – featuring Julian NoiseCat, Dr. LaNada War Jack and Clayton Thomas-Müller.
This conversation among diverse transformational women leaders offers insight into the depths of what it means to restore the balance between masculine and feminine to bring about wholeness, justice, and true restoration for people and the planet. Join Alice Walker, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Nina Simons, Sarah Crowell, Joanna Macy, and Akaya Windwood to envision a future in which all of us and the planet can thrive.
Most-Watched Videos from 2022
True solidarity requires stitching together what appears separate into a powerful, magnificent whole. Angela Glover Blackwell, a renowned civil rights and public interest attorney, longtime leading racial equity advocate, and founder of PolicyLink, discusses transformative solidarity and why it’s necessary for a thriving multiracial democracy.
California is the world’s largest single destination of oil from the Amazon rainforest, and its extraction contributes to climate change, deforestation, ocean pollution, and the displacement of Indigenous peoples who are the best stewards of the Amazon’s remaining biodiversity. Two Indigenous Amazonian forest protectors, sisters Nina Gualinga and Helena Gualinga, work with Amazon Watch to appeal to Californians to demand corporate responsibility for people and the planet.
As climate change and environmental destruction accelerate, women are disproportionately affected but also often on the frontlines of the fight to protect our future. However, their work and leadership are often not recognized or supported. Daughters for Earth, a new initiative founded by female leaders in the women’s rights, environmental, and philanthropic sectors, seeks to address this marginalization. Zainab Salbi, a co-founder and leader of the initiative, is a widely celebrated humanitarian, author, and journalist. She previously founded Women for Women International, and now explores the connection between personal healing and addressing the challenges of climate change.
Nick Estes, Ph.D. is an Indigenous Rights activist, scholar, writer and author and a co-founder of The Red Nation organization. He speaks about the outsized impact frontline Indigenous communities are having in fighting climate change and resisting extractive industries, the importance and effectiveness of Earth-centered approaches to fighting for Climate Justice, and the overarching goal of being “good ancestors of the future.”
What if cities were designed so that they could absorb excess rainfall, neutralize floods, and turn their streets green and beautiful in the process? Kongjian Yu is doing just that, as he reports from China. This award-winning leader in ecological urbanism and landscape architecture, and founder of the planning and design firm Turenscape in Beijing, has become world-renowned for his “sponge cities” and other revolutionary nature-based solutions.
Bioneers Projects from 2022
In this multimedia series, we focus on the water scarcity facing arid regions, highlighting innovative designs and far-sighted strategies based on principles drawn from conservation hydrology, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, and keystone species restoration that demonstrate that there are existing strategies and practices we can implement to sustainably steward our most precious resource and ensure water security for all life.
Join Bioneers co-founder Nina Simons on an inspiring journey to shed self-limiting beliefs, lead from the heart and discover beloved community as you cultivate your own flourishing and liberation. Inspired and informed by Indigenous wisdom keepers who are leading the way towards a regenerative future, Nina invites women and people of all genders to, as Joanna Macy suggests, “see with new and ancient eyes.”
Where do psychedelics fit into modern medicine and societal traditions? Because psychedelics are currently generating so much interest and societal attitudes about them are undergoing enormous change, we decided this would be a propitious time to bring together some of the most interesting and topical material in this domain that has been generated under the auspices of Bioneers in the last few years in an easy-to-read and to-share format.
The Indigeneity Conversations podcast is a project of Bioneers Indigeneity Program, a Native-led Program that promotes Indigenous approaches to solving the earth’s most pressing environmental and social issues. We produce the Indigenous Forum, original media, educational curricula and catalytic initiatives to support the leadership and rights of First Peoples, while weaving networks, partnerships and alliances among Native and non-Native allies.