Bioneers, 25 Years of Inspiration
By Hannah Apricot Eckberg
environmental journalist and social entrepreneur
This year marks the 25th Anniversary Bioneers conference in Marin, California.
I remember my first Bioneers ten years ago when I was a student at New College of California. Bioneers was a perfect addition to our sustainability curriculum. The quality of the speakers, the variety of important topics, and the amazing networking opportunities have brought me back several times over the past decade.
Social entrepreneurs, environmental crusaders, native elders, and scientific luminaries are converging at the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium and the Marin Center Fairgrounds Friday October 17 until Sunday the 19th,. The 2014 theme is “Growing the Movement: The World We Want, How to Get There.” Plenary speakers include author Terry Tempest Williams, scientist Wallace Nichols, mushroom expert Paul Stamets, and Vagina Monologues’ Eve Ensler.
Every year I have attended, I have been moved to tears, both of joy and concern. The keynote speakers give so much food for thought, that no one is left hungry for inspiration. However, it is in the strong youth presence that has touched me the most, truly giving me hope for the future that can otherwise look so bleak. The young leaders that Bioneers is helping to cultivate will have ripple effects throughout the world as these change-makers get a chance to share their gifts over time.
Never fear if you are not able to be one of the over 3,000 attendees this year. For you can still experience Bioneers in many ways. The Bioneers.org web site hosts links to their award winning multi-media productions. Amongst these is The Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature public radio series found on NPR, and the Bioneers Essentials video series broadcasted on Link TV and Free Speech TV.
Twelve communities across the country have joined the Bioneers Resilient Communities Network and host their own events with rebroadcasts this year’s plenary talks. Afterwards, local artists, activists, students, farmers, politicians, and other community members gather to do projects, plant gardens, host workshops, and other fun family events.
We are lucky on the Central Coast to have one of these Resilient Communities in San Luis Obispo. This year’s local event will be held at the SLO Grange Hall on October 24th and 25th and will offer fun for the whole family . For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.ecologistics.org/centralcoastbioneers