The 16th annual Bioneers Conference was held in San Rafael, CA last weekend. They also had concurrent conferences across the nation. I will be going to one next weekend in Atlanta. So what is Bioneers, you ask?
Founded in 1990, Bioneers is a nonprofit organization that promotes practical environmental solutions and innovative social strategies for restoring the Earth and communities.
They have a slogan: "It's all alive, its all intelligent, it's all connected, it's all relatives." They break it down this way:
It's all alive.
ONE OF THE BEAUTIES OF BIOLOGY IS THAT ITS FACTS CAN BECOME OUR metaphors, and these underlying codes serve as inspiring parables for how we can organize a more just, humane and authentically sustainable society. Life has the answers to our problems. -->
It's all intelligent.
INTERDEPENDENCE ALSO TEACHES US THAT THERE ARE NO SINGLE ISSUES because it's one whole that can be addressed only by bringing together all the parts. Bioneers gathers people at the crossroads of ecological restoration, human health and social justice. There is only one cause - it is all of them -->
It's all connected.
THE BIONEERS SPAN ALL FIELDS, CULTURES, AGES AND WALKS OF LIFE. The work ranges from science to spirit - local to global - academia to the grass roots - farm to city - business to public service - art to engineering. We celebrate the gift of life in all its diversity and mystery, conjuring a change of heart to renew our empathic connection with the web of life and the Earth, our home. We are one -->
It's all relatives.
They have a blog that people from different locations contributed to, with both words and images. (The pictures are for you, Steve!)
We ended the day with a closing circle, and Juanita Hull-Carlson led us in a prayer she found in Whole Earth Magazine:
I pledge allegiance to the earth, and all the life it supports. One planet, in our care, irreplaceable with respect and sustenance for all.I thought this summed up the weekend.
The conference reaches beyond the borders of California:
For the fourth year in a row, the speeches given during the Bioneers Conference plenary sessions will be broadcast live via satellite in schools and communities around North America. We work with partners in universities, nonprofits and community centers to develop locally relevant Bioneers satellite conferences. Each community organizes an event to complement the plenary sessions, with workshops tailored to the needs of specific bioregions.
It should prove to be entertaining as well as educational.