Theme: Nature/Culture/Spirit

Thursday, November 11th

For millennia Indigenous communities have been guardians of their environments, protecting flora and fauna, using their traditional knowledge and wisdom passed down over generations to live in balance within their ecosystems. Today Indigenous peoples safeguard 80% of the biodiversity left in the world, and protecting those lands and waters is crucial to mitigating the climate crisis, because those biodiverse areas are among the planet’s major carbon sinks. Indigenous peoples are the ancestral owners of nearly half of the intact forest left across the entire Amazon Basin. Nemonte Nenquimo, a leader from the Waorani community in Ecuador and a founding member of Indigenous-led nonprofit organization Ceibo Alliance and its partner, Amazon Frontlines, will discuss why respecting Indigenous people’s internationally recognized rights to decide the future of their territories, cultures and lives is critically urgent for the protection of our world’s most important rainforest, our climate, and life on our planet.

November 11th | 11:15 am to 11:32 am

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Keynote


Nemonte Nenquimo
Co-Founder
Ceibo Alliance and Amazon Frontlines

Trauma has perhaps never been more widely prevalent than it is now, nor more varied in its causes: personal stress, familial history, racial discrimination, poverty, oppression, climate disaster, etc. These times are really stretching our capacity to endure, so they require ever more effective healing and self-care modalities that include the taking of our personal inventory and adjusting our beliefs and lifestyles. Join two master Somatics practitioners and teachers as they share insights and explain their methods. With: Dr. Ruby Gibson (Lakota, Ojibwe, Mediterranean), author, educator and healer, co-founder and Executive Director of Freedom Lodge; and Staci K. Haines, educator, advocate, healer, co-founder of Generative Somatics and author of The Politics of Trauma.

November 11th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Staci K. Haines
Co-Founder
Generative Somatics
Ruby Gibson
Executive Director
Freedom Lodge

Friday, November 12th

The psychedelic community owes enormous debts to the Indigenous cultures that, over millennia, developed the use of consciousness-modifying substances, which laid the basis for the now ever-expanding interest in and use of these medicines. Indigenous peoples are also very often the best protectors of what’s left of global biodiversity, so finding effective, concrete ways to help support these groups’ struggles to defend their lands and rights is of utmost importance to all of humanity. So far, though, while the psychedelic world is replete with romanticized language about Indigenous worldviews, it has done very little to offer genuine, large-scale tangible support that actually reaches frontline communities, and as enormous amounts of venture capital are now pouring into the psychedelic domain, this is the time to act. The Chacruna Institute’s Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative (IRI) was created to fill that void. Come hear about this exciting new project from Joseph Mays, the IRI’s Program Director; Bia Labate, Chacruna Institute co-founder and Executive Director; and cultural anthropologist Daniela Peluso, who has extensive experience working with Indigenous communities in Peru and Bolivia. The session will also feature several videos of statements by Indigenous leaders from frontline communities throughout the Americas who are partnering with the IRI.

November 12th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Bia Labate
Executive Director
Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines
Joseph Mays
Program Director
Chacruna Institute’s Indigenous Reciprocity Initiative
Daniela Peluso
Emeritus Fellow in Social Anthropology
University of Kent

As ecological destruction, climate destabilization, the global pandemic, and all forms of historical and current injustice are converging to initiate a near-death experience for our species, join a group of wise women to discuss why the combination of honoring, respecting and learning from nature, being motivated by a deep quest for justice, and cultivating the leadership of women can provide a potent, three-pronged strategic path for getting us to a world we want. With: Osprey Orielle Lake, founder/Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International, author of Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature; Amisha Ghadiali, a UK-based intuitive therapist, meditation and yoga teacher, host and founder of the podcast and community, The Future Is Beautiful, and author of Intuition; Naelyn Pike, renowned young Chiricahua Apache activist. Hosted by: Nina Simons, co-founder of Bioneers.

November 12th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Amisha Ghadiali
Podcast Host
The Future Is Beautiful
Osprey Orielle Lake
Founder and Executive Director
Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
Naelyn Pike
Activist and Fighter for Indigenous Rights
Apache Stronghold
Nina Simons
Co-Founder and Chief Relationship Strategist
Bioneers

Life is made up of an elegant web of interdependent relationships and ecosystems. While we may have been taught that “competition” is the way of the wild, in fact most relationships in the natural world are dedicated to cooperation and mutual benefit. How does nature create and sustain these enduring partnerships? What is life’s secret code for collaboration? This session will reveal deep patterns from the natural world that can teach us about co-evolving for mutual benefit and offer us opportunities to apply nature’s “Four Key Criteria for Enduring Partnerships” to our own collaborative ventures. Come ready to workshop nature’s insights in order to improve partnerships in your own life or work, and to cultivate an attitude of mutuality that can help us achieve a healthy, just, regenerative world. With Toby Herzlich, Biomimicry for Social Innovation, and Brandi Mack, BSI Faculty, as dialogue partner.

November 12th | 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

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Panelists


Toby Herzlich
Founder and Director
Biomimicry for Social Innovation
Brandi Mack
Director of Community Engagement
Designing Justice+Designing Spaces

Bioneers brings together 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, Anita Sanchez will start us off by drawing from her award-winning book, The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times, to explain how unity, healing, hope-in-action, and the ability to forgive the unforgivable are the key life-tools (the “four sacred gifts”) we must cultivate if we are to achieve our full potential as a collective life-giving force in the “One Hoop of Life.” We will then engage in facilitated conversation, as we seek to bring our most creative thinking forward, and weave our hearts, minds, and voices into a collective braid.           

With: Anita L Sanchez, Ph.D., (Aztec/Mexican American), deeply experienced trainer/coach, author, member of the Transformational Leadership Council, and Bioneers and Pachamama Alliance board member. Facilitated by: Amy Lenzo, weDialogue and the World Café Community Foundation; David Shaw, Santa Cruz Permaculture and UCSC Right Livelihood College. “Harvester:” Jason Bayani, author, theater performer, Artistic Director, Kearny Street Workshop.

November 12th | 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm

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Panelists


Jason Bayani
Artistic Director
Kearny Street Workshop
David Shaw
Founder
Santa Cruz Permaculture and UCSC Right Livelihood College
Amy Lenzo

weDialogue and the World Café Community Foundation

As we continue to face global uncertainty and move into the darker months of the year, divine darkness itself offers an invitation to our collective. While the receptive yin, the elementally dark aspect of nature, is not celebrated as much as the active, forceful yang principle, receptivity invites life into unity. From a place of receptivity, we can listen deeply to life and to each other. We can bring the complex and even contradictory aspects of our human experience into a unified field, welcoming diverse opinions, perspectives and needs beyond polarization and binary perception. Receptivity is the path of shared power rather than power over.  Consider Mother Earth herself, the very archetype of receptivity: an all-powerful magnetic force with a north and south pole, holding together the atmosphere, the oceans, and all expressions of life under the unified field of Gaia consciousness. Join Deborah Eden Tull as she draws from the wisdom of Engaged Buddhism, Relational Intelligence and the natural world to offer us a profound experiential teaching on the power of receptivity.

November 12th | 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

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Panelists


Deborah Eden Tull
Author
Relational Mindfulness

Weaving Earth’s educational pedagogy critically engages inherited stories of separation and domination, while also responsibly recollecting a deeper human inheritance: stories of interrelationship, belonging, dignity and respect. In this interactive/experiential session, three leading Weaving Earth facilitators will engage in practices and dialogue that nurtures a felt sense of interrelationship with the living planet. With an emphasis on the language of the birds, pattern awareness and practices that nurture the regeneration of intuition, this session seeks to instigate a “community of practice” centered in enchantment, “attention liberation” (adrienne maree brown), and eco-social repair.  With tayla shanaye; brontë velez; and Lauren D. Hage.

November 12th | 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

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Panelists


Lauren D. Hage
Executive Director and Co-Founder
Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education
tayla shanaye
co-director and educator
Weaving Earth
brontë velez
educator
Weaving Earth

Saturday, November 13th

Suzanne Simard is one of the planet’s most influential, groundbreaking researchers on plant communication and intelligence. As Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia and the author of the bestselling book, Finding the Mother Tree, she has revealed the highly complex ways trees interact and communicate, including using below-ground fungal networks that contribute to forests’ resiliency, adaptability and recovery. Her research has far-reaching implications for how to manage and heal forests from human impacts, including climate change. In this dynamic presentation, she will discuss the dire global consequences of logging old-growth rainforests, and nature-based solutions that combine Western science and Indigenous knowledge for preserving and caring for these invaluable forest ecosystems for future generations.

November 13th | 11:11 am to 11:28 am

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Keynote


Suzanne Simard
Professor of Forest Ecology
University of British Columbia

We humans tend to look mostly around, sometimes up, and occasionally down, but even then, only at the surface of things. It turns out, however, that all of life on Earth actually depends on the extraordinarily dynamic life hidden beneath our feet, in the incredibly complex interrelationships of plants, bacteria, fungi, insects and minerals that make our continued existence above ground possible. In this session three of the world’s leading specialists on different aspects of those underground ecosystems will share their cutting-edge research. With: Suzanne Simard, Ph.D., Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia, one of the planet’s leading experts on the synergies and complexities of forests, and a highly influential, world-renowned pathfinder on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence, and author of the current best-selling Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest; Anne Biklé and David R. Montgomery, a wife and husband team of scientific researchers whose groundbreaking work on the microbial life of soil has revealed its crucial importance to human wellbeing and survival. Dave, a professor of Geomorphology, is the author of the seminal Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, and Anne, a biologist and science communicator, co-authored The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health. Their latest collaboration, What Your Food Ate, to be published spring 2022, tells the sobering and inspiring story of how agriculture can help restore health to the land—and ourselves. Moderated by Bioneers’ Restorative Food Systems Director Arty Mangan

November 13th | 12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

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Panelists


Suzanne Simard
Professor of Forest Ecology
University of British Columbia
Anne Biklé
Biologist, Avid Gardener and Author
David R. Montgomery
Professor of Geomorphology
University of Washington
Arty Mangan
Restorative Food Systems Director
Bioneers

In this experiential, restorative session, Sarah Amsler, Associate Professor of Education, University of Nottingham (UK); and Sonali Sangeeta Balajee, founder, Our Bodhi Project, will help us expand our awareness about how making place for deep rest in our intensely capitalist society can be a powerful, vital practice for healing. Drawing metaphorically from Suzanne Simard’s world-renowned research into the nurturing and “teaching” role “mother trees” play in forest ecosystems, Sonali and Sarah will support us in exploring our own sources of wisdom through experiential, creative practices, opening up new possibilities to what rest and healing can look like in our lives, our communities and our activism. 

November 13th | 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

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Panelists


Sarah Amsler
Associate Professor of Education
University of Nottingham
Sonali Sangeeta Balajee
Founder
Our Bodhi Project

Although we’ve all been taught that “being professional” means suppressing our honest emotions while we’re at work, research shows that this actually leads to a loss in productivity, diminished creativity, and crushing job dissatisfaction. The workplace kicked out the emotions more than a century ago, and as a result has built unhealthy and dysfunctional environments ever since. Because of this, most of us have only worked in “unintentional communities” in which our social and emotional needs are not respected, as well as our needs for basic respect and self-determination. As we all grapple with our pandemic and post-pandemic reality, it’s high time to welcome the genius of the emotions back into the workplace so that we can create respectful, naturally motivating and emotionally well-regulated environments where people and projects can thrive. With: Karla McLaren, M.Ed., social science researcher, founder/CEO of Emotion Dynamics LLC award-winning author of several books, including: The Power of Emotions at Work: Accessing the Vital Intelligence in Your Workplace.

November 13th | 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

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Panelists


Karla McLaren
Founder and CEO
Emotion Dynamics LLC