Bioneers 2023 Conference

Join Us for the 35th Anniversary Bioneers Conference!

Peak Movements – Vision in Action

As Bioneers rolls into our 35th Anniversary Conference, “The shift is hitting the fan,” as the filmmaker Tom Shadyac has put it. 

We’re on a collision course between the state of nature and the nature of the state. The climate emergency and the inequality crisis are one notion indivisible. As the iconic climate scientist James Hansen has warned: “We cannot fix the climate until we first fix democracy.” How do we do both? 

The ground truth is that decisive majorities of Americans support policies ranging from serious climate action and environmental protections, to strengthening democracy, taxing corporations and the rich, living wage jobs, abortion rights, racial justice, Medicare for all, and gun safety. Among young people, the majorities are a whopping two thirds to three quarters. Our most pressing deficit is a democracy deficit. 

At the same time, we’re already in biospheric overtime. We can’t sugarcoat the magnitude of existential crises we face – from climate breakdown and obscene inequality to rising autocratic and neo-Fascist movements, the deliberate fanning of racial animus and misogyny, industrial-strength disinformation and propaganda, and retrograde geopolitical hostilities that can lead to oblivion. 

How can we accelerate the transformational change imperative to begin to heal and regenerate people and planet? This crucible heightens our commitment to double down on building power. We need to scale the constellation of brilliant social movements co-arising around the world to reach critical mass so that we can enact the kinds of breakthrough systemic solutions we’ve highlighted and cultivated here at Bioneers for decades. 

It’s Now O’clock. How can things go right? That’s what we’ll be exploring at the 2024 Bioneers conference with an electrifying program of vision in action.

The State of Nature v. The Nature of the State

Fortunately, human problems have human solutions. We have an embarrassment of viable solutions related to equity, justice and democracy already on the table or in play. To realize them, we need peak movements.

As we enter this Age of Nature, there’s also an upwelling of inspired nature-based solutions that solve for pattern to respond to climate breakdown and the destruction of the biosphere. At the same time, we’re at the beginning of a leapfrog clean tech revolution that will make our current way of living look like the Dim Ages. 

Nature has a profound and mysterious capacity for healing and self-repair. As Bioneers has shown since 1990, the solutions residing in nature surpass our conception of what’s even possible. We can work with nature to help nature heal, and heal ourselves in the process.

At the same time, PTSD is now Permanent Traumatic Stress Disorder. We’re all feeling it, and in order to take effective, clear-eyed action, we also need to tend to our own well-being and take care of each other. At Bioneers, we’ll also be delving into how to manage climate anxiety, process grief, and develop our own personal leadership to help elevate love, belonging and inclusivity, while overcoming othering and division.

In many places, this is the last stand to stand for the land – to protect and save every last inch, while radically amplifying nature-based solutions for Earth repair, healing and regeneration. The Rights of Nature movement is now the fastest growing environmental movement in history, with Indigenous Peoples at the forefront of leadership. It flips the paradigm from nature as property to nature as rights-bearing. In reality, nature is exercising her rights whether we recognize them or not.

The green fertility and climatic stability of Mother Earth are the value proposition from which all wealth flows – not looting the joint. As the late senator Gaylord Nelson, principal founder of Earth Day, said, “The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.”  Real wealth creation is founded on replenishing natural systems and transforming the built environment, especially our infrastructure and cities. It’s based on investing in our communities and workforce.

The climate emergency simultaneously demands entirely new forms of democratic governance, calibrated to biospheric realities and to social justice and equity. Together, we can realize the promise of a multi-racial, gender-equitable democracy.

It’s all hands on deck. Together, we can and must bend the arc of the moral universe, building the power and the beloved community necessary for transformational change. In community lies our resilience.

Toward A Declaration of Interdependence

Since 1990, the Bioneers conference has served as a trellis on which this visionary and diverse movement of movements has grown and co-evolved around authentic “solve-the-whole problem” solutions. This historic shift to become an ecologically literate and just civilization heralds a Declaration of Interdependence.

Never has it been more vital that we come together around the council fire. We’ll share what we’ve learned, nourish our hearts and vision, link arms, and align ourselves to prevail for the long haul. 

Especially in these darkest of times, we come together to celebrate. Our salvation lies in community and solidarity. It’s times like these when the nobility of the human soul swells to meet the moment. As the legendary songwriter and lead guitarist for The Band Robbie Robertson put it, “Get your heart  beating in the right direction, that’s when you make a real connection.”

We invite you to get your heart beating in the right direction at Bioneers. Come connect with the Bioneers community of leadership in this time when we’re all called upon to be leaders. The best way to predict the future is to create it. See you at Bioneers 2024! Keep the faith…