Thursday, April 6th
People over 60 were instrumental in creating social change in their youth, and their wisdom and energy are greatly needed today. Third Act is a place where those who’ve been around awhile can bring their life experience to the work of social change, while supporting the next generations in creating a world that is healthy, equitable, and whole. Longtime activist and renowned leadership educator Akaya Windwood explains the work of Third Act, co-founded by Bill McKibben, and how we can participate in this exciting new movement.
April 6th | 12:12 pm to 12:22 pm | Zellerbach Hall
According to a recent World Wildlife Fund report, since 1970 we have lost, on average, roughly 70% of the global populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish. Scientist activists working tirelessly to reverse this catastrophic trend share their strategies. With: Dave Phillips, co-founder of the Earth Island Institute and Director of its International Marine Mammal Project; Brock Dolman, Co-Director of the WATER Institute and Permaculture Design and Wildlands programs at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, and a leader in CA beaver reintroduction; Michelle Lute, Carnivore Conservation Director for Project Coyote. Moderated by Maureen Nandini Mitra, Editor of Earth Island Journal.
April 6th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Berkeley Ballroom, Residence Inn
3:00 pm: Young Activists on the Frontlines, with Brower Youth Award Winners
Presented in collaboration with Earth Island Institute’s New Leaders Initiative
The Brower Youth Awards are among the most prestigious prizes in the U.S. for young eco-activists. In this session, three recent winners share their exemplary and inspiring work and strategies. With 2022 winners Amara Ifeji, a leader in climate education policy-making in Maine; Ilana Cohen, a leader of the successful Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard campaign and co-founder of Fossil Free Research; and 2021 winner Peter Pham, San Jose-based transit justice and climate activist at the local, regional and state levels. Moderated by: Alexia Leclercq, co-founder, Start:Empowerment.
April 6th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Crystal Ballroom, Hotel Shattuck Plaza
4:45 pm: A Historic Opportunity for Urban Forestry: Climate Action as Regenerative Community Development
The rapid increase of extreme heat events in cities is one of the stark indicators of global warming, and the effects of these events vividly expose the grotesque injustice caused by dramatic differences in neighborhood environments. In most major cities, historically “redlined” low-income communities and communities of color typically have less than half the amount of urban forest cover that wealthier communities possess. Lack of urban canopy contributes to an array of inequities including radically disparate outcomes in public health, economic opportunity, education and life expectancy. Today a coalition of NGOs, cities, scientists and community-centered initiatives has converged to create a moment of historic change, leading to massive public investment in urban forestry at 10X the scale ever before seen. Designed as equity-centered community development focusing on jobs and local enterprise creation, this new vision of urban forests will build climatic AND community resilience. Hear from four leaders in this dynamic emergent field: Julia Hillengas, co-founder and Executive Director of Philadelphia’s PowerCorpsPHL; Samira Malone, 27, first-ever Director of the Cleveland Tree Coalition; Amos White, founder and Chief Planting Officer of 100K Trees for Humanity; and moderator Brett KenCairn, Boulder, CO’s Senior Climate and Sustainability Coordinator.
April 6th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | Campanile Room, Hotel Shattuck Plaza
Indigenous peoples across the Pacific have a deep knowledge of the ocean and its ecosystems acquired from hundreds of generations of observation. Today, commercial farming, overfishing, resource extraction and global warming are destroying the ocean systems and exacerbating the climate crisis. In this panel, three leaders with intimate knowledge of the relationships between land and ocean will discuss how to restore balance to the Pacific and to the planet. Moderated by Alexis Bunten. With: Loa Niumeitolu; Kiana Frank; Andrea Kealoha.
April 6th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | Goldman Theater, Brower Center
Friday, April 7th
9:43 am: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal – The Theory of Change: How We Achieve Real, Meaningful Policy Victories
Before Rep. Pramila Jayapal was elected to Congress and later became the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, she was an organizer and activist, and an enthusiastic Bioneers participant. In this personal video message to the Bioneers community, Rep. Jayapal will discuss her theory of change that she developed as an organizer and has employed as a legislator. She highlights an “inside-outside” approach to building power and enacting meaningful change and policy shifts at national, state, and local levels.
April 7th | 9:43 am to 9:57 am | Zellerbach Hall
Introduction by Teo Grossman, Senior Director of Programs and Research at Bioneers
A massive influx of clean energy investments is poised to transform the American economy during this decade. Opportunities abound to take advantage of new climate incentives. If we get this right, the U.S. could be on track to reach 80% clean power by 2030, leading to deep decarbonization across other sectors including transportation, buildings and manufacturing. Nevertheless, success is far from guaranteed without widespread action from the grassroots to the canopy. What did it take to pass a historic $370 billion climate deal in Congress? How can American households and businesses take full advantage of it? What does effective, equitable implementation look like? Join award-winning author, political scientist, and climate expert Dr. Leah Stokes for a deep dive on clean energy policy and the tools we have to realize our electric future in this decade and beyond.
April 7th | 9:58 am to 10:20 am | Zellerbach Hall
Climate activists have made landmark progress on fossil fuel divestment. Now we need to evolve the divestment movement to the next level by holding universities and academia broadly accountable to fully separate from Big Oil’s influence. This means getting such institutions to reject industry funding for climate research, which has distorted public knowledge and policy, while contributing to greenwashing. Ilana Cohen will explain how a burgeoning international grassroots movement of students and academics, known as Fossil Free Research, is seeking to combat the industry’s pernicious influence, and how you can get involved in the fight!
April 7th | 10:21 am to 10:30 am | Zellerbach Hall
11:39 am: Kim Stanley Robinson – What I’ve Learned since The Ministry for the Future Came Out in 2020
Introduction by J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Senior Producer
In our opinion, Kim Stanley Robinson is our greatest living science fiction writer. His more than 20 award-winning books over four decades, translated into some 26 languages, have included many highly influential, international bestselling tomes that brilliantly explore in a wide range of ways the great eco, economic and socio-political crises facing our species, yet nothing had prepared him for the global explosion of interest in his visionary 2020 novel, Ministry for the Future, which projects how a possible climate-disrupted future might unfold and how the world might respond meaningfully. It’s also chock full of brilliant science and wildy imaginative ways humanity steps up. Among other results, he was invited by the UN to speak at COP-26 in Glasgow. Stan will offer us his overview of where we currently stand in relation to the climate crisis.
April 7th | 11:39 am to 12:03 pm | Zellerbach Hall
Amara Ifeji mobilized a grassroots effort to address racism in her high school in Maine, at age 14. She also developed a love for the mountains and woods around her, but she saw her passions for the environment and racial justice as distinct until she heard youth of color like herself share their experiences working at this intersection and realized these struggles were completely intertwined. She will share how this awakening shaped her subsequent work as a remarkably effective organizer and advocate who centers storytelling to realize environmental justice, climate education, and outdoor learning for ALL youth.
April 7th | 12:03 pm to 12:11 pm | Zellerbach Hall
This panel of community leaders from Aotearoa/New Zealand will share their on-the-ground insights, from initiatives that demonstrate paradigm shifts for “rights of nature” legal protections for land and people, cultural capability and education, and convening multi-stakeholder land stewardship. Underpinning all these stories, the unique natural, cultural and legal history of Aotearoa and the Māori worldview reminds us of the value of humility, courage and connection. With: Jan Hania, Principal of Strategy Development, Biome Trust; Lara Hania, educator, storyteller; Erin Matariki Carr, Project Lead, RIVER. Moderated by Chelsea Robinson, Open Lunar Foundation.
April 7th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Golden Bear Room, Hotel Shattuck Plaza
The dominant culture that brought us colonialism, patriarchy, white supremacy and capitalism has led us to the brink of global ecological, economic and social collapse. In this session we will hear from women leaders who are lifting up frontline women around the world. They will share what they see as emergent directions in movement-building, healing and transformative change. They will describe inspiring examples of grassroots women’s Climate Justice initiatives offering equitable and vibrant solutions. They’ll show how it’s essential to amplify and invest in BIPOC and grassroots women climate leaders globally. With: Osprey Orielle Lake, founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network International; Leila Salazar Lopez, Executive Director of Amazon Watch; Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, author of Freedom is an Inside Job; Amira Diamond, co-founder and Co-Director of Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA).
April 7th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Freight & Salvage
4:45 pm: “Brazil is Back, but…”—The Lula Administration’s First 100 Days: What Is the Situation Regarding Human Rights and Amazon Protections?
Presented in collaboration with Amazon Watch
After narrowly defeating the rightwing extremist Jair Bolsonaro last year, Lula da Silva began his third presidential term by reaffirming Brazilian democracy, the rule of law, and reinstating critical socio-environmental protections to reverse the Amazonian catastrophe unleashed by his predecessor. Despite these very positive steps, Lula’s administration faces a myriad of challenges as entrenched interests work to undermine its agenda. What does this scenario portend for the future of the world’s largest rainforest? Moderated by Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch. With: Christian Poirier, Program Director, Amazon Watch; Indigenous youth activist and media maker Eric Terena (aka DJ Eric Marky); Priscila Tapajowara (Tapajó I Brazil) an Amazon-born Indigenous rights and climate activist, photographer and documentary filmmaker; Ana Paula Vargas, Brazil Program Director at Amazon Watch.
April 7th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | Magnes Museum
On the one hand, the global ecological, socio-political and economic news is indisputably grim: accelerating climate catastrophes, plummeting biodiversity, increasingly authoritarian regimes and movements on the rise planet-wide, the specter of a classic “Thucydides’ trap” in U.S.-China relations, entrenched capital undermining every effort at decarbonization, etc. On the other: the radical awakening and rising up of younger generations, the emergence of some genuinely impactful large-scale “green” initiatives and policies, the exponential growth of clean energy technologies; the recent successful rebuff of several right wing leaders and parties in key countries, etc. Is the human enterprise precariously perched on the knife-edge between catastrophic unraveling or the birth of a new, life-affirming civilization? It is hard to imagine two more appropriate interlocutors to explore the current zeitgeist: Kim Stanley Robinson, our greatest living science-fiction writer, who has fascinatingly and rigorously envisioned scenarios of human adaptation to the climate crisis in many of his novels; and Leah Stokes, a professor of environmental politics who is one of the nation’s most brilliant experts on energy, climate and public policy; and who many consider to have been a key behind-the-scenes prime mover in shepherding the giant IRA climate bill through Congress. Hosted/moderated by J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Conference senior producer.
April 7th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | Berkeley Ballroom, Residence Inn
Nothing is more central and visceral to the human experience than eating. Recent decades have seen a sea change in awareness about the crucial importance of what we eat, how and where our food is grown, and by whom. Making radical changes to our entire system of agriculture and to societal attitudes toward plants, animals and the entirety of the natural world will give us the chance of emerging from our current crises and ushering in the birth of a life-affirming civilization. With: Alice Waters, legendary, highly influential chef who has been a leader in radically improving American cuisine’s social and ecological impacts, as well of course as its gustatory and nutritional qualities; in conversation with Nikki Silvestri, Founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow, former ED of Green for All and the People’s Grocery, recipient of numerous awards, including ELLE Magazine’s Gold Award and OxFam America’s Act Local, Think Global Award.
April 7th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | Freight & Salvage
Saturday, April 8th
Introduction by Kenny Ausubel, Bioneers CEO and Founder
The energy transition race is on. Fossils fuels have peaked. What do we need to get renewables to prevail as fast as possible, and can we make that victory good for everyone? The 2020s will be the decisive decade in the climate justice fight. Where and how we create the new energy economy, who gets to lead it, who owns it and who works in it now matter more than ever. We must prepare for a large pulse of eco-industrial activity the likes of which the world has never known. As we race to the finish line of the transition away from fossil fuels, visionary “green” entrepreneur and founder of New Energy Nexus Danny Kennedy will present a plan to build out the full 3D potential of clean energy—not just distributed energy, but decentralized in ownership and democratized in control. Highly decentralized global grassroots entrepreneurship is central, as the pathfinding work of New Energy Nexus is demonstrating.
April 8th | 9:56 am to 10:15 am | Zellerbach Hall
Introduction by Osprey Orielle Lake, founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
How we imagine what’s possible, what matters. Who we are shapes what we do, and what we do in the present shapes the future. In addition to the many practical, scientific and material aspects, the climate crisis has cultural aspects with which we need to engage in order to meet this emergency. Drawing from the new anthology she co-edited, Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility, Rebecca Solnit will talk about the stories emerging from what science, Indigenous leadership, good organizing, and visionary thinkers are giving us. These stories offer the grounds for hope and the work hope does. What are the ways that what the climate requires of us could mean ushering in an age of abundance rather than austerity?
April 8th | 11:59 am to 12:21 pm | Zellerbach Hall
3:00 pm: [CANCELLED] Climate Grief, Racial Trauma and Collective Action: How To Tap Into the Power of Belonging To Face the Great “Poly-crisis”
The world seems to be unraveling—the ever-worsening climate crisis; slews of ethnic and religion-based violent conflicts; the erosion of democratic structures around the world, etc. We are confronting what some are calling a great “poly-crisis.” In this presentation, climate scientist, Buddhist Zen priest and grief ritual facilitator Kritee Kanko will explore how climate grief and intersectional traumas resulting from legacies of white supremacy and heteropatriarchy shape our nervous systems and shrink our ability to act wholeheartedly. She will explain how “difficult” emotions and traumas around injustices can be “composted” so that they fuel our movements for climate justice, and she will share strategies on how to draw power from vulnerability to heal, build resilience and belonging, and act collectively for a better world.
April 8th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Golden Bear Room, Hotel Shattuck Plaza
3:00 pm: Climate Justice Through Power-Building
Presented in collaboration with the Othering & Belonging Institute
The rise of regenerative social movements and civil society hold the greatest power for successfully navigating the “Great Unraveling” engulfing our world, but building on a long history of social struggles, the immense racial justice protests of 2020 demonstrated that “creating the world anew” is impossible without also building power where communities feel the most pain. People power, governing power, and narrative power have to go hand-in-hand to have any chance of overcoming the inevitable, intense backlash from entrenched reactionary forces. Join some visionary activists who will share their strategies to forge alliances at the intersections of issues and communities to bring more people into the beautiful work of transforming our world, creating new ways of governing and achieving climate justice. With: Adam Mahoney, climate and environment reporter at Capital B; Claudia Jimenez, longtime community organizer,Richmond, CA City Council Member; Tamisha Walker, Executive Director, Safe Return Project (a campaign to secure the freedom of formerly incarcerated individuals); Christine Cordero, Co-Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN).Moderated by: Emnet Almedom, researcher at the Othering and Belonging Institute.
April 8th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Berkeley Ballroom, Residence Inn
California’s $48 billion Climate Commitment in 2022 plus the Federal IRA represent a once in a lifetime opportunity to onshore the supply chains and build the infrastructure needed to transform our economy to carbon neutrality, while creating jobs and justice for the 100%. How can California and tribal nations such as the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians partner for an equitable clean energy future rooted in a circular regenerative economy? What would it look like to have the original landowners at the helm of a place-based industrial strategy to onshore an advanced battery and EV manufacturing supply chain to Inland Southern California? With: Jesus Arguelles, Economic Development Director of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians; Rebecca Lee, New Energy Nexus; Bryan Vega, New Energy Nexus. Hosted by: Danny Kennedy, CEO, New Energy Nexus.
April 8th | 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm | Freight & Salvage
4:45 pm: Climate Grief and Our Intersectional Traumas: An Interactive Session to Get a Taste of How We Can Access Belonging
Climate grief along with intersectional traumas resulting from legacies of social injustice shape our nervous systems and can shrink our ability to act wholeheartedly, but our hope in these complex, chaotic times lies in the fact that if we can “compost” our “hard” emotions (grief, rage, fear and confusion) and traumas, we can harness the resulting energy to fuel our movement for climate justice. The very fear and grief that can incapacitate us can be transformed into creativity and courage if we can ignite the power of vulnerability in our quest for belonging, healing, resilience and effective collective action. This interactive session is intended for those who desire a direct embodied experience of what it might mean to be witnessed or to see and hear another as we “compost” our grief and anxieties in the presence of a receptive, committed and compassionate community. Facilitated by Ladybird Morgan.
PLEASE NOTE: Because of the nature of this session, we will be closing the entrance door at 5 minutes after the start time.
April 8th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | San Pablo Room, Residence Inn
4:45 pm: Solving the Climate Crisis in One Generation
Presented in collaboration with One Earth
According to the groundbreaking, highly influential organization, One Earth, the solutions to the climate crisis already exist, and there are three pillars of collective action we need to embrace to implement them: a just transition to 100% renewable energy; protection and restoration of half the world’s lands and oceans; and a shift to regenerative food and fiber systems. These goals are daunting, but the good news is that millions of people and organizations around the world are already driving this transformation. How are all these movements connected? How does work in each area grow and thrive with a coherent understanding of the larger systems of change? Join leaders in the three key fields outlined above in a vibrant conversation to explore how both big-picture thinking and slews of on-the-ground practical projects can play a role in solving the climate crisis in time. Hosted by: Justin Winters, co-founder and Executive Director of One Earth. With: Samuel Gensaw III (Yurok) Director of the Ancestral Guard; Cynthia Daley, Ph.D., founder/Director of the Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems at Cal State Chico; and Danny Kennedy, entrepreneur and founder of New Energy Nexus.
April 8th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm | Freight & Salvage
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