Bioneers 2022 Virtual Conference Schedule

Bioneers Virtual will feature a live HD multi-camera production featuring all the action on the main stage of the Palace of the Fine Arts (that’s the full morning keynote program + two featured panels each day) along with interactive Community Conversations and a full on-demand film festival. You’ll get access to on-demand recordings of each session shortly after the live event wraps up each day, and you’ll have exclusive access to those recordings for three weeks after the event.

Join us by registering today!

All times are in Pacific Daylight Time

Friday, May 13 (All Times PDT)

9:00 am: Program Begins: Opening Performance with Deb Lane, Michaelle Goerlitz and Mar Stevens; and Welcome Remarks

May 13th | 9:00 am to 9:15 am

9:15 am: Opening Ceremony by Gregg Castro

May 13th | 9:15 am to 9:23 am

Gregg Castro [t’rowt’raahl Salinan/rumsien-ramaytush Ohlone] has worked preserving his indigenous heritage for three decades as a writer-activist. He is Culture Director for the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone; the Society for California Archaeology’s ‘Native American Programs Committee’ Chair; and Adviser to the California Indian Conference, California Indian History Curriculum Coalition and American Indian Cultural District of San Francisco.

9:35 am: Nina Simons – Navigating the Nexus – Nature, Culture & the Sacred

Description of Keynote Address Coming Soon. 

May 13th | 9:35 am to 9:50 am

Nina Simons, co-founder of Bioneers and its Chief Relationship Strategist is also co-founder of Women Bridging Worlds and Connecting Women Leading Change. She co-edited the anthology book, Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, and most recently wrote Nature, Culture & The Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership.

9:55 am: Jason McLennan – From Reconciliation to Regeneration

Introduction by Beth Rattner, Executive Director, Biomimicry Institute

Sixteen years ago Jason F. McLennan launched the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most progressive and advanced green building program, to show that our buildings could serve as one of the key paths toward a regenerative future. Since then, numerous Living Buildings that demonstrate a better, more inspiring way of living and working have been built around the world. Although these projects create ripples of change and are living proof of regeneration in action, and in spite of these and other great models, we continue to build and live in ways that degrade the planet. Why? Jason McLennan explores why physical demonstrations of better solutions are not enough to create change when society has not grappled with its deeper systemic trauma. If we are to participate fully in regenerating the conditions for life on the planet, a deeper process of reconciliation is necessary. To heal the planet, Jason argues, we must fundamentally heal our culture.

May 13th | 9:55 am to 10:16 am

Jason McLennan, one of the world’s most influential visionaries in contemporary architecture and green building, is a highly sought-out designer, consultant and thought leader. A winner of Engineering News Record’s National Award of Excellence and of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Prize (which was, during its 10-year trajectory, known as “the planet’s top prize for socially responsible design”), Jason has been showered with such accolades as “the ‘Wayne Gretzky’ of the green building industry and a “World Changer” (by GreenBiz magazine).

10:16 am: Angela Glover Blackwell – Transformative Solidarity for a Thriving Multiracial Democracy

Introduction by john a. powell, Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute

True solidarity requires stitching together what appears separate into a powerful, magnificent whole. The honed, deliberate, transformative practice of solidarity produces an exhilarating recognition of our interconnectedness and interdependence—essentials for thriving democracy. Angela Glover Blackwell, a renowned civil rights and public interest attorney, longtime leading racial equity advocate, and founder (in 1999) of the extraordinarily effective and influential national research and action institute that advances racial and economic equity by “Lifting Up What Works,” PolicyLink, discusses transformative solidarity and why it’s necessary for a thriving multiracial democracy.

May 13th | 10:11 am to 10:32 am

Angela Glover Blackwell, one of the nation’s most prominent, award-winning social justice advocates, is “Founder-in-Residence” at PolicyLink, the organization she started in 1999 to advance racial and economic equity that has long been a leading force in improving access and opportunity in such areas as health, housing, transportation, and infrastructure.

10:58 am: Performance by Alixa García

May 13th | 10:58 am to 11:09 am

Alixa García, a Colombia-born, globally-raised, multi-disciplinary artist and cultural provocateur, is an award-winning poet, climate organizer and filmmaker, as well as a visual artist, musician, science-fiction writer and essayist. Her performance work with the duo Climbing PoeTree has been featured at hundreds of universities, conferences and festivals, and her visual work has been exhibited in major museums and public spaces, including in Times Square, NY, The Contemporary Museum of Art, L.A, and the Kunsthal Kade Museum, Netherlands, to name a few. García’s work has been published by Whit Press, North Atlantic, AK Press, & Hatchett.

11:10 am: #EndAmazonCrude—A Call to Action with Amazonian Indigenous Forest Protectors

California is the world’s largest consumer of oil from the Amazon rainforest. This extraction contributes to climate change, causes deforestation, pollutes the oceans, displaces Indigenous peoples stewarding the Amazon Forest’s last remaining biodiversity, and harms people at every end of the supply chain, including the marginalized communities living in the shadow of toxic refineries right here. We are honored to be able to offer our main stage to two leading Indigenous Amazonian forest-protectors, sisters Nina and Helena Gualinga, who work closely with our friends at Amazon Watch as they appeal to Californians (and all of us) to #EndAmazonCrude and demand corporate responsibility for people and planet.

May 13th | 11:10 am to 11:24 am

Helena Siren Gualinga, a youth activist of Kichwa-Indigenous and Swedish origin, is known for her advocacy for climate and environmental justice. Helena is a Young Women Project Lead for the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) and is also on the Steering Committee for WECAN’s ‘Women’s Assembly for Climate Justice.’

Nina Gualinga (of Swedish and Kichwa ancestry, from the Sarayaku community in the Ecuadorian Amazon), an international advocate for the rights of women, Indigenous peoples and climate justice, began advocating for Indigenous rights at an early age, after an oil company violently entered Sarayaku territory. She has been involved in local, national and international efforts to address the injustices occurring in the Amazon, particularly related to extractive industries and climate change. A spokeswoman for Mujeres Amazónicas, a collective of Indigenous women defending their lives and lands, Nina is currently culminating her studies in Human Rights at Lund University in Sweden and is a board member of Amazon Watch-Sweden.

11:28 am: Enric Sala – Protecting Our Life Support System: Challenges and Opportunities in Marine Conservation

Introduction by Zainab Salbi, co-founder, Daughters for Earth

The world-renowned National Geographic Explorer in Residence Enric Sala launched the National Geographic Pristine Seas project in 2008 to explore and help inspire the protection of the last wild places in the ocean, an absolutely critical last-ditch effort to prevent the complete unraveling of global marine ecosystems. Made up of an extraordinary team of scientists, conservationists, filmmakers and policy experts, Pristine Seas has helped protect 6 million square kilometers of ocean habitat (more than twice the size of India!). Partnering with 122 different organizations and agencies across 23 countries, its work has inspired the establishment of some of the largest marine reserves in the world. Enric will discuss the vital importance of healthy oceans to humanity’s future and what Pristine Seas hopes to accomplish in the years ahead.

May 13th | 11:28 am to 11:48 am

Enric Sala, Ph.D., a former professor who quit academia to become a full-time conservationist as a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, founded and leads Pristine Seas, a project that combines exploration, research, and media to inspire leaders to protect the last wild places in the ocean.

11:48 am: Kate Aronoff – Is “Responsible” Fossil Fuel Production Possible?

Introduction by Kenny Ausubel, Bioneers Founder

Between the Ukrainian crisis and the resulting fossil fuel shortages and price surges in Europe, compounded by the intensification of climate change terrifyingly visible all around us, the U.S. seems stuck in an impossible conundrum: More domestically produced oil and gas is needed in the short term, but the science couldn’t be clearer that production needs to rapidly wind down in order to avoid catastrophe. Drillers claim that over time new technology will allow them to decarbonize hydrocarbons, but there’s absolutely no reason or evidence to believe them. Fossil fuel companies have long sought to confuse and mislead the public and have intensely lobbied against any meaningful climate action. They need to be stopped, but business-as-usual climate policy offers few good options. As one of the nation’s greatest investigative journalists and experts on climate politics, Kate Aronoff explores how policymakers’ toolbox will have to be expanded so that we can carry out a managed, orderly decline and ultimate end of the fossil fuel era, while giving us all a stake in our energy future.

May 13th | 11:48 am to 12:10 pm

Kate Aronoff, a Brooklyn, NY-based staff writer at The New Republic, and a former Fellow at the Type Media Center whose work has appeared in The Intercept, The New York TimesThe NationDissentRolling Stone, and The Guardian, among other outlets, is the co-editor of We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism, American Style and the co-author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal.

2:45 pm: Panel – From Othering to Belonging

How can we, as a society, move from “othering” to belonging. What and whom does othering actually benefit? How can we expand the circle of human concern and concern for nature? How can we live into our innate interconnection to create true inclusivity and wholeness? How do we build the structures, institutions, policies, cultures and stories that will support that inclusivity? Join Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder-in Residence at PolicyLink, which works to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, and john a. powell, renowned law professor, activist, and founder of the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, for a deep one-on-one conversation about these critically important, existential questions.

Note: This remarkable dialogue will be preceded by a special private screening of “From Othering to Belonging: The Circle of Human Concern,” a cathartic episode from the new docu-series “Changing of the Gods” directed by Kenny Ausubel and Louie Schwartzberg. The episode is a transformative passage through the valley of the shadow of Othering that illuminates the complex dynamics of the human psyche, ruthless political manipulations by elites using “divide-and-conquer” strategies to maintain their wealth and power, and the rising social movements for truth, reconciliation and healing.

May 13th | 2:45 pm to 4:15 pm

Angela Glover Blackwell, one of the nation’s most prominent, award-winning social justice advocates, is “Founder-in-Residence” at PolicyLink, the organization she started in 1999 to advance racial and economic equity that has long been a leading force in improving access and opportunity in such areas as health, housing, transportation, and infrastructure. The host of the Radical Imagination podcast and a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, Angela, before PolicyLInk, served as Senior Vice President at The Rockefeller Foundation and founded the Urban Strategies Council. She serves on numerous boards and advisory councils, including the inaugural Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve and California’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery.

john a. powell, Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute and Professor of Law, African American, and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, was previously Executive Director at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State, and prior to that, the founder and Director of the Institute for Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He also formerly served as the National Legal Director of the ACLU, co-founded the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, and serves on the boards of several national and international organizations. Well-known for his work developing the frameworks of “targeted universalism” and “othering and belonging,” john has taught at numerous law schools including Harvard and Columbia University. His latest book is Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.

4:30 pm: Panel – Designing and Building a Regenerative/Restorative/Just World, One Building at a Time

Our laughably inefficient buildings account for some 40% of all U. S. primary energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, our built environment also very often sickens, oppresses and alienates the humans who inhabit it. In this historic session, Bioneers is thrilled to be able to bring together for the first time two of the most visionary architects of our time, who, coming on very different career paths, are both at the forefront of radically expanding our sense of what a truly healthy, nature-honoring and socially equitable built environment could look like. Deanna Van Buren the co-founder and Executive Director of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, is a leading figure in the movement to build “restorative” infrastructure that addresses in its very design the root causes of mass incarceration—poverty, racism, unequal access to resources, and the criminal justice system itself. Jason McLennan, arguably the most influential “green” architect of our era, has set a high bar, showing us what truly “living,” genuinely regenerative buildings can be. Can these two very different but equally imperative re-visionings of how we rethink the built environment be reconciled/synthesized? This conversation will be moderated/hosted by Dawn Danby, co-founder of Spherical.

May 13th | 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Jason McLennan, one of the world’s most influential visionaries in contemporary architecture and green building, is a highly sought-out designer, consultant and thought leader. A winner of Engineering News Record’s National Award of Excellence and of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Prize (which was, during its 10-year trajectory, known as “the planet’s top prize for socially responsible design”), Jason has been showered with such accolades as “the ‘Wayne Gretzky’ of the green building industry and a “World Changer” (by GreenBiz magazine).

Deanna Van Buren, M.Arch, is the co-founder and Executive Director of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, an architecture and real estate nonprofit that seeks to build infrastructure that addresses the root causes of mass incarceration: poverty, racism, unequal access to resources, and the criminal justice system itself. She has been profiled by The New York Times, and her TED Talk on what a world without prisons could look like has been viewed more than a million times. Van Buren is an alumna of the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Dawn Danby is co-founder of Spherical, an integrative design, technology and research studio offering “cosmovision remediation and ontological repair services.” Dawn’s celebrated ecological design work over two decades has traversed scales and industries, from green chemistry to green infrastructure. A long-recovered industrial designer, Dawn now investigates the paradoxical roles of technology in supporting the integrity of Earth’s living systems. Her team’s current work is dedicated to the ecological healing of urban watersheds in California.

4:30 pm: Interactive Session – Community Conversations: Farming is Medicine

Community Conversations

Bioneers brings together, online, 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, conversation starter Rupa Marya, MD, will draw from her work with Farming is Medicine (a program of the Deep Medicine Circle) to explain how food grown on stolen Indigenous land by exploiting labor cannot generate health and how we must begin to heal the wounds of colonialism to achieve genuine health and wellbeing. We will then engage in conversation about how we might work toward this transformation of a system of colonial capitalism into one that once again situates people in healing relationships to one another and to land. Facilitated by Amy Lenzo and David Shaw; with “harvester” Jason Bayani, spoken word poet, youth educator and community arts organizer.

May 13th | 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Saturday, May 14 (All Times PDT)

9:00 am: Program Begins: Opening Performance with Deb Lane, Michaelle Goerlitz and Mar Stevens; and Welcome Remarks

May 14th | 9:00 am to 9:22 am

9:23 am: Kenny Ausubel

Title and Description of Keynote Address Coming Soon. 

May 14th | 9:23 am to 9:41 am

Kenny Ausubel, CEO and founder (in 1990) of Bioneers, is an award-winning social entrepreneur, journalist, author and filmmaker. Co-founder and first CEO of the organic seed company, Seeds of Change, his film (and companion book) Hoxsey: When Healing Becomes a Crime helped influence national alternative medicine policy.

Title and Description of Keynote Address Coming Soon.

9:41 am: Frans de Waal – Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist

Introduction by Kenny Ausubel, Bioneers Founder

There has long been an intense debate about differences between men and women: Are these differences due predominantly to biology or to culture? Do we find similar differences among our fellow primates? Do apes learn sex roles, too, or is “gender” uniquely human? World-renowned primatologist Frans de Waal is one of the few scientists thoroughly familiar with both of our closest ape relatives: chimpanzees, predominantly male-dominated and prone to violence; and bonobos, female-dominated and far more peaceful. He argues that a distinction between “gender” (cultural) and “sex” (biological) can be very useful in helping us explore the interplay between nature and nurture in human life. He will draw from his groundbreaking new book, DIFFERENT, to offer new insights about the long-running debates about sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and the limitations of a strict binary.

May 14th | 9:41 am to 10:14 am

Frans B. M. de Waal, Ph.D., is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist widely renowned for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. C. H. Candler Professor Emeritus at Emory University, de Waal has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and was declared one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today by Time magazine in 2007. The author of numerous highly influential books including Chimpanzee Politics and Our Inner Ape, his most recent, just coming out new book is: Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist

10:15 am: Zainab Salbi – Daughters for Earth

Introduction by Nina Simons, Bioneers co-founder and Chief Relationship Strategist

As climate change and the destruction of Earth’s lands, waters and wildlife accelerate, women around the world are the most impacted, but they are also very often the frontline warriors fighting to protect our future.Unfortunately, their work and leadership are often not seen, appreciated, or funded. In order to address that marginalization, female leaders in the women’s rights, environmental and philanthropic sectors came together to found Daughters for Earth (under the auspices of the visionary philanthropic organization, One Earth). A co-founder and leader of this new initiative is Zainab Salbi, a widely celebrated humanitarian, author, thought leader and journalist. When she was 23, she began her trajectory by founding Women for Women International, a groundbreaking organization that helped hundreds of thousands of women survivors of conflicts. Now she has gone on to an illustrious career in media and activism, including Daughters for Earth. Zainab will explore the interconnection between our personal search for healing and how we face the challenges of climate change.  

May 14th | 10:15 am to 10:36 am

Zainab Salbi, a celebrated humanitarian, author, and journalist, co-founder of DaughtersforEarth.org, “Chief Awareness Officer” at FindCenter.com, and host of the Redefined podcast, founded Women for Women International, an organization to help women survivors of conflicts, when she was 23, and built the group from helping 30 women to reaching nearly half a million and raising tens of millions of dollars to help them and their families rebuild their lives. The author of several books, including the bestseller, Between Two Worlds and, most recently, Freedom Is an Inside Job, she is also the creator and host of several TV shows, including #MeToo, Now What? on PBS.

10:36 am: Kongjian Yu – “Sponge Cities”— Visionary, Nature-Based Urban Design from China

Introduction by J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Senior Producer

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 will report 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. These approaches are being implemented in well over 200 cities in China and beyond. Yu’s extraordinary city-wide systems of stormwater-retaining ponds, wetlands, and parks draw from both ancient Chinese hydrological wisdom and cutting-edge design to offer the whole world a model of inspired climate adaptation in an era of rising seas and extreme rainfall events.

May 14th | 10:36 am to 10:58 am

Kongjian Yu, a world-renowned, award-winning leader in ecological urbanism and landscape architecture, is the founder of the planning and design firm, Turenscape, in Beijing. Yu, who received a doctorate at The Harvard School of Design, founded the Graduate School of Landscape Architecture and the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Peking University. Especially known for his “sponge cities” and other revolutionary nature-based solutions for climate adaptation, his approach to urban planning and design has been implemented in over 200 cities in China and beyond, and has significantly impacted national policies for improving the environment in China. 

11:19 am: Performance by Jason Nious and Antwan Davis of Molodi

May 14th | 11:19 am to 11:29 am

Jason Nious, a performing artist and creative director whose background with high school step teams and NCAA gymnastics launched his career, has traveled extensively with Cirque du Soleil, Usher, Stomp, Step Afrika, and numerous theatre and film productions. As founder and Director of the Las Vegas, NV-based, award-winning body percussion ensemble, Molodi, Jason designs new touring productions and facilitates Molodi’s arts education program, reaching over 20,000 students per year. He also serves as an arts integration consultant with Focus 5, Cirque du Soleil, Cleveland Playhouse, and The Smith Center; and is an Artist-In-Residence with the Museum of Dance, Education Chair of the LAB LV Theatre Company, and regularly conducts in-school residencies through the Nevada Arts Council.

Antwan Davis, a multi-percussionist specializing in body-percussion, improv actor and stand-up comedian, co-founded the Las Vegas based performance arts company, Molodi, and has performed with the Las Vegas and North American productions of Stomp and toured nationally with Step Afrika. Antwan has been performing and teaching workshops in the U.S. and internationally for 14 years.

11:52 am: Clayton Thomas-Müller – Reparations, Healing and Reconciliation—A Battle Against the Winter Spirit, Witigo’ 

Introduction by Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, co-founder and Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action 

Cree legends talk about the nefarious winter spirit Witigo’ and how it can possess you to such an extent that you become an all-consuming cannibal stricken with insatiable greed and hunger. 350.org‘s Cree Campaigner and best-selling author of Life in the City of Dirty Water: A Memoir of Healing, Clayton Thomas-Müller, will discuss how this sort of possession offers us an excellent metaphor for the mindset that has brought us the ravages of ruthless extractive capitalism and the oppression of First Peoples and other historically disenfranchised groups; and he will propose some answers to the question: What is it going to take for us to move through and heal from the violence of colonization?

May 14th | 11:52 am to 12:13 pm

Clayton Thomas-Müller is a member of the Treaty #6 based Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, also known as Pukatawagan, located in in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Based in the prairie city of Winnipeg, Clayton is the ‘Stop It At The Source’ Campaigner with 350.org as well as a founder and organizer with Defenders of the Land.

2:45 pm: Panel – Rights of Nature: From Grassroots to Mainstream

The “Rights of Nature” movement seeks to protect rivers, mountains, and entire ecosystems and the life forms supported within them by recognizing and enshrining their rights in formal legal codes and constitutions. This legal framework offers a radically different worldview from current legal premises. Instead of being seen as property, nature as a whole and its various components would be formally recognized to have inherent rights to exist, persist, flourish and evolve, and these would be protected under the law. For over 15 years, the Rights of Nature movement has caught fire across the U.S. and the rest of the world in some of the most and least expected places, from tribal lands to “progressive” cities, to coal country, to Latin American nations. In this session some of the leading activist attorneys leading the movement in Indian Country and beyond will update us on their successes and the challenges ahead. With: Frank Bibeau; Thomas Linzey; Samantha Skenandore. Moderated by Alexis Bunten.

May 14th | 2:45 pm to 4:15 pm

Frank Bibeau, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, is an activist and tribal attorney who works extensively on Chippewa treaty and civil rights, sovereignty and water protection, including by serving as Executive Director for the 1855 Treaty Authority, representing the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and Honor the Earth (a Native-led, nonprofit environmental protection group), and litigating to stop Enbridge’s notorious Line 3 crude oil pipeline in Minnesota.

Thomas Alan Linzey, Esq. is Senior Legal Counsel for the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER), an organization committed to advancing the legal rights of nature and environmental rights globally. Co-founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), Linzey is widely recognized as the founder of the contemporary “Community Rights” and “Rights of Nature” movements. He co-founded the Daniel Pennock Democracy School, which has trained over 5,000 lawyers, activists, and municipal officials, and is the author or co-author of several books, including: Be The Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community; We the People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the United States; and the forthcoming Modern American Democracy and Other Fairy Tales.orious Line 3 crude oil pipeline in Minnesota.

Samantha Skenandore (Ho-Chunk/Oneida), Attorney/Of-Counsel at Quarles & Brady LLP, has vast knowledge and experience in working on matters involving on both federal Indian law and tribal law. Her extensive previous experience includes serving as a Tribal Attorney for the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice and clerking for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Indian Resources Section. She currently advises tribal and corporate clients in tribal governance, governmental affairs, corporate transactions, real estate, labor issues and litigation.  Samantha represents clients before members of Congress, congressional committees and agencies through federal lobbying services.

Alexis Bunten, Ph.D., (Aleut/Yup’ik), Co-Director of Bioneers’ Indigeneity Program, has been a researcher, media-maker, manager, consultant, and curriculum developer for organizations including the Sealaska Heritage Institute, Alaska Native Heritage Center, and the FrameWorks Institute. She has published widely about Indigenous and environmental issues, and is the author of So, how long have you been Native?: Life as an Alaska Native Tour Guide

4:30 pm: Panel – Daughters for Earth: Women and the Climate Change Movement

Women all over the globe, especially in the “developing world,” are the ones who most often bear the brunt of having to contend with the radical disruptions visited upon their families and communities by climate change and environmental degradation, yet women’s voices are far too often ignored. Furthermore, climate change and physical and psycho-spiritual health are almost always discussed as separate issues, but the personal and the political, the heart and the mind are not just interconnected, they are all one. In this session, a panel of leading women activists will explore the impact of climate change on women and how to assure their full inclusion in all climate solutions, how these struggles relate to the personal search for healing, and what it will take to create authentic global change. With: Zainab Salbi, co-founder, Daughters for Earth; Nina Simons, co-founder, Bioneers; Justin Winters, co-founder and Executive Director, One Earth; Kahea Pacheco, Co-Director, Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA); Helena Gualinga, co-founder of Polluters Out.

May 14th | 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm

Zainab Salbi, a celebrated humanitarian, author, and journalist, co-founder of DaughtersforEarth.org, “Chief Awareness Officer” at FindCenter.com, and host of the Redefined podcast, founded Women for Women International, an organization to help women survivors of conflicts, when she was 23, and built the group from helping 30 women to reaching nearly half a million and raising tens of millions of dollars to help them and their families rebuild their lives. The author of several books, including the bestseller, Between Two Worlds and, most recently, Freedom Is an Inside Job, she is also the creator and host of several TV shows, including #MeToo, Now What? on PBS.

Nina Simons, co-founder of Bioneers and its Chief Relationship Strategist is also co-founder of Women Bridging Worlds and Connecting Women Leading Change. She co-edited the anthology book, Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, and most recently wrote Nature, Culture & The Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership. An award-winning social entrepreneur, Nina teaches and speaks internationally, and previously served as President of Seeds of Change and Director of Strategic Marketing for Odwalla. (ninasimons.com)

Justin Winters, the co-founder and Executive Director of One Earth, a philanthropic organization working to galvanize science, advocacy and philanthropy to drive collective action on climate change, is focused on creating a vision for the world in which humanity and nature coexist and thrive together, based on three pillars: 100% renewable energy; protection and restoration of 50% of the world’s lands and oceans; and a transition to regenerative, carbon-negative agriculture. Prior to One Earth, Justin served as Executive Director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation for 13 years, where she awarded over $100 million in grants across 60 countries.

Kahea Pacheco (Kanaka ‘Ōiwi), an advocate for Indigenous people’s rights, intersectional environmentalism and climate justice, is Co-Director of the Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA), which she joined in 2011 as a Legal Research Intern after graduating from law school. At WEA, Kahea has over the years, among other achievements, facilitated legal advocacy partnerships for Indigenous women-led environmental campaigns and co-led a partnership with the Native Youth Sexual Health Network to develop the “Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies” report and toolkit.” Kahea, who has lived and traveled around the world, currently serves on the Advisory Council for 1t.org (the trillion trees platform of the World Economic Forum) and on the board of Planet Women, and is a Program Advisor to Jane Goodall’s Trees for Jane campaign.

Helena Gualinga is an Indigenous youth environmental and climate justice advocate from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku. She is a co-founder of Polluters Out and is a Young Women Project Lead with WECAN. Her work and story is featured in the recently released documentary, “Helena from Sarayaku,” which premiered at the DC Environmental Film Festival.

Sunday, May 15 (All Times PDT)

9:10 am:  Program Begins: Opening Performance with Deb Lane, Michaelle Goerlitz and Mar Stevens; and Welcome Remarks

May 15th | 9:00 am to 9:30 am

9:33 am: Karen Washington – 911 Our Food System Is Not Working

Introduction by Arty Mangan, Restorative Food Systems Program Director, Bioneers.

Many of us have reached a point in our work at which we realize the food system is not working. Leaders keep on relying on band-aid solutions, autocratic jargon and political hypocrisy to tackle the problems of hunger and poverty. Yet our society’s way of feeding and treating people just isn’t sustainable, especially when the United Nations predicts that by 2050 we will have an additional 2 billion people on this planet, most ending up in urban areas. The simple truth is that we can’t talk about a fair, just, and equitable food system without radical new thinking and putting in a lot work. What sort of work needs to be done and who will be the people to do it? Karen Washington, one of the most renowned and influential food activists of our era shares her wisdom and her analysis of why the food system doesn’t need to be fixed but has to be dramatically transformed.

May 15th | 9:33 am to 10:54 am

Karen Washington, co-owner/farmer at Rise & Root Farm in Chester New York, is a renowned activist and food advocate, who, among her many achievements, in 2010 co- founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS) an organization supporting growers in both urban and rural settings. In 2012, Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country, and in 2014 she was the recipient of the James Beard Leadership Award. Karen also serves on the boards of the New York Botanical Gardens, the Mary Mitchell Center, SoulFire Farm and the Black Farmer Fund. 

9:54 am: Nick Estes – The Age of the Water Protector and Climate Chaos

Introduction by Alexis Bunten, Co-Director of Bioneers’ Indigeneity Program

May 15th | 9:54 am to 10:16 am

Nick Estes, Ph.D. (Kul Wicasa/Lower Brule Sioux), is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico and a member of the Oak Lake Writers Society, a group of Dakota, Nakota and Lakota writers. In 2014, he was a co-founder of The Red Nation in Albuquerque, NM, an organization dedicated to the liberation of Native people from capitalism and colonialism. He serves on its editorial collective and writes its bi-weekly newsletter. Nick Estes is also the author of: Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance.

10:30 am: Samuel Myers, MD – Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves

Introduction by Nina Simons, Bioneers co-founder and Chief Relationship Strategist

Samuel Myers, a leading figure in the study of the impacts on human health of the accelerating disruptions to Earth’s natural systems, will share the guiding principles and implications of this newly emergent, rapidly growing field, recently dubbed “Planetary Health.” Every dimension of human health and wellbeing is under threat from our ongoing degradation of Earth’s life-support systems. Planetary Health research is providing rigorous evidence that urgently stabilizing our planet’s natural systems is essential if we are going to have any chance of safeguarding a livable future for humanity. Dr. Myers will explain the goals and work of the broad global coalitions around The Planetary Health Alliance (of which he is the founding director) coming together to drive home the inextricable links between human and environmental health and to develop policies and actions to protect our biosphere.

May 15th | 10:30 am to 10:52 am

Samuel Myers, MD, MPH, studies the human health impacts of accelerating disruptions to Earth’s natural systems, a field recently dubbed “Planetary Health.” A Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, he is the founding Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, the author of roughly 100 peer-reviewed research articles, and the lead editor of Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves (Island Press, 2020).

11:03 am: Performance by Jason Nious and Antwan Davis of Molodi

May 15th | 11:03 am to 11:13 am

Antwan Davis, a multi-percussionist specializing in body-percussion, improv actor and stand-up comedian, co-founded the Las Vegas based performance arts company, Molodi, and has performed with the Las Vegas and North American productions of Stomp and toured nationally with Step Afrika. Antwan has been performing and teaching workshops in the U.S. and internationally for 14 years.

Jason Nious, a performing artist and creative director whose background with high school step teams and NCAA gymnastics launched his career, has traveled extensively with Cirque du Soleil, Usher, Stomp, Step Afrika, and numerous theatre and film productions. As founder and Director of the Las Vegas, NV-based, award-winning body percussion ensemble, Molodi, Jason designs new touring productions and facilitates Molodi’s arts education program, reaching over 20,000 students per year. He also serves as an arts integration consultant with Focus 5, Cirque du Soleil, Cleveland Playhouse, and The Smith Center; and is an Artist-In-Residence with the Museum of Dance, Education Chair of the LAB LV Theatre Company, and regularly conducts in-school residencies through the Nevada Arts Council.

11:05 am: Youth Presentation: Alexandria Villaseñor – Working Together: Building Coalitions of Power in the Global Youth Climate Movement

Building power and achieving success in the global youth climate movement require international solidarity, communication, and organizing. Relationships with allied groups and organizations are key to making change. An international youth organizer since the age of 13, Alexandria Villaseñor shares the unique ways in which a multicultural, geographically distributed youth movement is building trust, negotiating compromises, distributing decision-making and centering the stories, experiences and leadership of those most impacted in each action and campaign. From grassroots movements to national organizations, Alexandria will show us how youth intend to win the climate fight by working together.

May 15th | 11:05 am to 11:15 am

Alexandria Villaseñor co-founded the U.S. Youth Climate Strike movement (part of the youth-led international Fridays for Future movement) at age 13. Now 16, Alexandria has become an internationally-recognized, prestigious award-winning activist, speaker, author and founder of several initiatives, including Earth Uprising International. A contributing author to All We Can Save, an anthology of women climate leaders, and a child petitioner for the groundbreaking international complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Children vs. Climate Crisis, Alexandria serves on the advisory board of Evergreen Action, is a youth spokesperson for the American Lung Association, and is the youngest Junior Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

11:16 am: Kevin J. Patel – Our Collective Ecosystems

May 15th | 11:16 am to 11:26 am

Kevin J. Patel is a social entrepreneur from Los Angeles, CA. He founded OneUpAction International, an organization that supports and empowers youth to implement climate solutions. Kevin has created the first-of-its-kind Youth Climate Commission in LA County to amplify youth voices on the climate crisis. Kevin is a UN Togetherband Ambassador for Goal 7, 13, & 14. He is a National Geographic Young Explorer. He also serves on the Youthtopia_World : Circle of Youth Council, the Ikea Ingka Young Leaders Forum, ClimatePower Creative Advisory Board and the Environmental Media Association’s Activist Board. Kevin is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Political Science at Loyola Marymount University.

12:09 pm: Closing Performance by Oakland’s Own Thrive Choir 

May 15th | 12:09 pm to 12:21 pm

The Thrive Choir, the musical voice of Thrive East Bay and the global Thrive Network (a community and movement devoted to love in action by building equitable social systems), is an Oakland, California-based highly diverse group of vocalists, artists, activists, educators, healers, and community organizers who seek to celebrate the confluence of their many cultures and identities through their music. They have shared the stage with many nationally-acclaimed “engaged” artists and leading progressive figures and inspired thousands at marches, conferences and festivals. The Choir lifts up the house at Thrive Sundays in downtown Oakland.

2:45 pm: Panel – Indigenous Pathways to a Regenerative Future

Indigenous Peoples already do “green jobs,” integrate cultural values into business activities, and protect 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity. In order to transform our economies through Indigenous-led solutions, we need to uplift movements and stories inspired by Indigenous resistance. To do this, we must change the culture of philanthropy and “impact investing,” which still largely circulates in privileged circles. In this panel, Sikowis (Plains Cree/Saulteaux), Nick Estes (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe), and Alexis Bunten (Unangan/Yupik) will discuss colonial-capitalism and how Indigenous-led strategies can offer us a pathway towards an equitable and regenerative future.

May 15th | 2:45 pm to 4:15 pm

Sikowis (aka Christine Nobiss) (Plains Cree/Saulteaux, George Gordon First Nation) grew up in Winnipeg but has been living in Iowa City for 16 years. She is the founder of the Great Plains Action Society, “a collective of Indigenous organizers of the Great Plains working to resist and Indigenize colonial institutions, ideologies, and behaviors.” She speaks, writes and organizes extensively on Indigenous rights, the climate crisis, environmental collapse and colonial capitalism.

Alexis Bunten, Ph.D., (Aleut/Yup’ik), Co-Director of Bioneers’ Indigeneity Program, has been a researcher, media-maker, manager, consultant, and curriculum developer for organizations including the Sealaska Heritage Institute, Alaska Native Heritage Center, and the FrameWorks Institute. She has published widely about Indigenous and environmental issues, and is the author of So, how long have you been Native?: Life as an Alaska Native Tour Guide

Nick Estes, Ph.D. (Kul Wicasa/Lower Brule Sioux), is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico and a member of the Oak Lake Writers Society, a group of Dakota, Nakota and Lakota writers. In 2014, he was a co-founder of The Red Nation in Albuquerque, NM, an organization dedicated to the liberation of Native people from capitalism and colonialism. He serves on its editorial collective and writes its bi-weekly newsletter. Nick Estes is also the author of: Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance.

4:30 pm: Interactive Session – Community Conversations – Architects of Abundance: Indigenous Food Systems and the Excavation of Hidden History

Bioneers brings together, online, 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. 

As a conversation starter, Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer Lyla June will share some reflections on pre-Columbian food systems in the Americas—their characteristics, corresponding land management practices and the value systems that upheld them—and how understanding the real story of our pre-colonial food systems can change how we envision the future of food. With: Amy LenzoDavid Shaw; and “harvester” Jahan Khalighi, spoken word poet, youth educator and community arts organizer.

May 15th | 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Bioneers 2022 Conference - A Window Through
Bioneers 2022 Conference - A Window Through