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Bioneers, under its parent foundation, Collective Heritage Institute, is a nonprofit organization based in New Mexico and California that promotes practical and innovative solutions to global environmental and bio-cultural challenges. The organization operates within a philosophy that recognizes and cultivates the value and wisdom of the natural world. Official Programs include Moonrise Women's Leadership, Restorative Food Systems, Indigeneity (Indigenous Forums,) Education for Action, and the award-winning Dreaming New Mexico community resilience program. Bioneers is also widely recognized for producing innovative media covering subjects such as environmentalism, rights of nature, social justice, sustainability and permaculture. Bioneers Radio is broadcast on local radio stations across the U.S., as well as having segments featured on national NPR stations. The organization also produces the annual National Bioneers Conference each October in San Rafael, California. The history of National Bioneers Conference presenters includes Michael Pollan, Dr. Andrew Weil, Gloria Steinem, Jane Goodall, Philippe Cousteau, Eve Ensler, Bill McKibben, Paul Hawken, and more. Plenary (Keynote) sessions from the national conference are also webcast to Beaming Bioneers satellite conferences held simultaneously in various locations throughout the United States and Canada. Bioneers | Collective Heritage Institute was founded in 1990.
Bioneer (root: "biological pioneer") is a neologism coined by founder Kenny Ausubel. It describes individuals and groups working in diverse disciplines who have crafted creative solutions to various environmental and socio-cultural problems rooted in shared core values, including whole systems, (anticipatory) thinking, a view of all life as interdependent, and sustainable mutual aid.
The first National Bioneers Conference, organized by Co-Founders Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, took place in 1990. Currently the conference takes place annually in San Rafael, California, on the third weekend in October. The national conference highlights the work of scientific and social innovators and helps support, nurture and propagate their ideas and models. Conference speakers come from interdisciplinary fields: environmental and socio-political activism; "green" biology, chemistry, design, architecture and urban planning; organic and "beyond organic" farming and gardening; indigenous perspectives; biodiversity, bioremediation, and wildland preservation; alternative energy; engaged spirituality, literature and the arts; holistic and "ecological" medicine; ethnobotany; socially responsible entrepreneurship, business and philanthropy; the environmental justice, women's and youth movements; independent media; etc.
In many cases the technological or social solutions to problems showcased are founded on emulation of natural self-organizing systems.