Three Social & Environmental Leaders Join Bioneers Board
We are deeply honored and grateful to welcome Professor john a. powell, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and Scott Spann to the Bioneers Board. At this critical moment in human history, these three leaders bring exceptional wisdom, skill and resources to our shared work.
john a. powell
At this transformational moment when the politics of hate, extremism, exclusion and othering threaten the very fabric of our country, john a. powell elegantly makes the connections among the climate crisis, structural racialization, inequality and corporate power. We believe his work is among the most important in the country today.
john is an internationally recognized expert in civil rights and civil liberties, race, structural racialization, structural inclusion, ethnicity, housing, poverty, and democracy. He’s the Executive Director of the esteemed Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley. The Institute brings together researchers and scholars, community partners, strategic communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable world. In addition to being a Professor of Law and Professor of African American Studies and Ethnic Studies, john holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion.
john has given two keynotes and other talks at the Bioneers conference, and we collaborated to help support the landmark “Othering and Belonging” conference he founded two years ago, and which will take place again this spring. The event is a “don’t-miss” – a profoundly important gathering and platform. Bioneers is also a signatory to the New Social Compact created by the Haas Institute.
Previously, john served as Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. He founded and directed the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He has taught at numerous law schools, including Harvard and Columbia University. He is the author of several books, including “Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.” He has worked in nations across the globe, including South Africa, France, the U.K., Taiwan, and Sweden, among others.
Bioneers has long been committed to empowering, cultivating and supporting youth leadership and youth voices. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez’s work at Earth Guardians is giving voice to the current generation and generations to come who are committed to protecting our planet. We are honored that one of Earth’s preeminent and most inspiring youth leaders and defenders is joining our board.
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a 16-year old indigenous climate activist and hip-hop artist, and a powerful voice on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement. At the early age of six, Xiuhtezcatl began speaking about the need for action on climate change. Since then he has spoken around the world, from the Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro to addressing the General Assembly at the United Nations New York. He is the Youth Director of Earth Guardians, an organization of over 2,000 young activists, artists and musicians from across the globe who are stepping up as leaders and working together to create positive concrete action in their communities to address climate change. His work has been featured on PBS, Showtime, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Upworthy, The Guardian, Vogue, CNN, MSNBC, HBO and many more outlets.
Xiuhtezcatl is also a plaintiff in the ground-breaking lawsuit against the federal government for its failure to protect against the dangers of climate change. “Our Children’s Trust” includes 21 youth, aged 9-20, along with renowned climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen; their case asserts that the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, and has failed to protect essential public trust resources.
Scott Spann is a master of applied networks, who worked with us on the Bioneers Resilient Communities Network project. We’re excited to bring Scott’s expertise to bear on operationalizing the Bioneers network of networks to create transformational change that honors people and nature.
Networks are nature’s favorite form, and social networks are going to be the primary organizational form for the 21st century. Our archaic societal systems, institutions and structures will continue to fail against the magnitude and complexity of the wicked problems the modern world faces.
Scott’s work through his company, Innate Strategies, draws on his experience as a systems thinker and modeler; his work as a trauma and developmental psychotherapist; developments in chaos, complexity and network theory; and emerging understanding from neuroscience, anthropology and ethology.
Scott is working to create deep, lasting impact in business and in society. Most recently, he’s helped create effective networks for projects as diverse as the restoration of the Mississippi River Basin and the Dead Zone in the Gulf, Vermont’s Farm to School Network, and the Minnesota Child Welfare System. He also serves as Chair of International Rivers, which recently received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.
His work is inspired by his experience with business leaders – trying to do the right thing in complex, competitive situations; his work with social leaders in NGO’s and government – seeking to satisfy diverse stakeholders in ways that benefit the whole; his career as a Rolfer and trauma and developmental psychotherapist – witnessing people recover from the injuries that life and humanity too often deal us; and his time in nature as a cowboy, hunter and sailor.
Scott’s experiences range from consulting with Arthur Andersen & Co. to launching the Texas office of the Nature Conservancy; leading the Rolf Institute as Executive Director; as Vice President for ARC, International, a global consulting firm specializing in leadership development and cultural change; and working for Stone Yamashita Partners, a leading branding and strategy firm.
At this world-changing juncture in human civilization, we are grateful beyond words to have these three visionary leaders join our circle. We look forward to navigating these uncharted turbulent waters together, to bring peace, justice, compassion and ecological wellbeing into reality.