Bioneers — Revolution from the Heart of Nature

The first time I ran across the word Bioneers, I was intrigued. It sounded like a cross between biology and pioneer. I pulled out my dictionary to review definitions.

  • biology – noun, 1. the science that deals with the origin, history, physical characteristics, life processes, habits, etc. of living organisms, as plants and animals, and of viruses: it includes botany, zoology, and microbiology; 2. animal and plant life, as of a given area; 3. biological history, principles, etc.
  • pioneer – noun, 1. a member of a military engineer unit trained to construct or demolish bridges, roads, trenches, etc., 2. a person who goes before, preparing the way for others, as an early settler or a scientist doing exploratory work, 3. a plant, animal, etc. that starts a new cycle of life in a barren area

As it turns out, I was on the right track.

What is Bioneers?

Bioneers LogoThe term Bioneers was coined by Kenny Ausubel when he and Nina Simons founded Bioneers in 1990.

“ Bioneers are social and scientific innovators from all walks of life and disciplines who have peered deep into the heart of living systems to understand how nature operates, and to mimic “nature’s operating instructions” to serve human ends without harming the web of life. Nature’s principles—kinship, cooperation, diversity, symbiosis and cycles of continuous creation absent of waste—can also serve as metaphoric guideposts for organizing an equitable, compassionate and democratic society.”

Bioneer Organization

Bioneers is a nonprofit organization. It began as a Bioneers conference in Santa Fe with 250 attendees. In 1993, the Bioneers conference expanded and moved to the California Bay Area while the organization remained in Santa Fe.

An excerpt from the Bioneers website “Our Mission” page explains its purpose:

“Bioneers is inspiring a shift to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations.”

Bioneers Conference 2011The Beaming Bioneers program was launched in 2002 to enhance collaboration and support regional Bioneers organizations that were forming across the country. During the annual Bioneers conference, plenary speakers and performers are beamed to local conferences via the wonders of technology and supplemented with local workshops, field trips, and other events.

Since its inception, Bioneers has expanded from an annual conference to include additional  programs and initiatives such as: Dreaming New Mexico, Restorative Food Systems, Education for Action, Indigenity, Women’s Leadership, and Youth Unity.

The Bioneers Radio Series, “Revolution from the Heat of Nature”, is heard via more than 450 communities worldwide in 13 nations, and has received numerous awards. Podcasts are available on the Bioneers website.

Visitors to the Bioneers website can learn about the annual conference and programs, sign up for a monthly newsletter, find volunteer opportunities, make a donation, read the blog, and purchase books, CDs, DVDs or a Bioneers t-shirt.

Are you a Bioneer or would you like to become one? The Bioneers website is a good place to start.

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Author: Linda Poppenheimer

Linda researches and writes about environmental topics to share information, spark conversation, and convince people to take action to keep earth habitable for all. She believes our individual actions do matter—it all adds up.

1 thought on “Bioneers — Revolution from the Heart of Nature”

  1. We attended the local Bioneers “Beaming” chapter last weekend and it was one of the most fascinating and inspirational events I’ve ever attended. Several of the top “pioneers” in the environmental movement spoke, as well as many profound advocates for economic and environmental justice. Wonderful music and performance art, “green” local vendors displayed in booths. My only regret was not being able to attend all the workshops offered due to overlap with field trips and other workshops.

    It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it! 🙂

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