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News from Bioneers | January 24, 2012

In this Issue!
A Bow of Gratitude
"Corporations Are Not People" by Jeffrey Clements
Cultivating Women's Leadership Intensives 2012 (with application deadlines)
Bioneers & Pachamama Alliance Collaborate

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Nina Simons & Bioneers Moonrise  

at the United Nations


ninaNina has participated in the UN Conference on the Status of Women for
the past two years as a delegate of the NGO Pathways for Peace, at the invitation of author and Jungian psychologist Jean Shinoda Bolen. There Nina has met with women leaders from around the globe, and spoken on panels to spread the stories and ideas of Bioneers and our Moonrise Women's Leadership program.


On February 27 and March 1, 2012, Nina
will again speak on two panels. The first addresses "Ethics, Rural Ecology and Poverty," which she is hosting in collaboration with the NGO Temple of Understanding. The second, "Women and Ecological Health," is hosted by Pathways
to Peace, and will feature Jean Shinoda Bolen and others. The panels are open to the public; click here for further information.


At the UN meeting in 2010, Nina was electrified upon hearing Pam Rajput, Ph.D., speak about founding the first Women's Parliament of India, and subsequently invited Dr. Rajput to offer a plenary at Bioneers last fall. When "Dr. Pam" shared her vision of forming a Global Women's Parliament, it kicked up a storm of interest in advancing such a model in the US.  


Here's hoping...



Bioneers Founders Named
Jurors for Buckminster
Fuller Challenge 


The esteemed 2012 Buckminster Fuller Challenge is open for business (green, that is), and Bioneers Founders Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons are deeply honored to have been selected as jurors.


Launched July 12th, 2007 on the occasion of what would have been Buckminster Fuller's 112th birthday, the Buckminster Fuller Challenge awards a $100,000 prize each year to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity's most pressing problems. Thus, the Challenge seeks, within a broad range of human endeavor, strategies that exemplify the trimtab principle and embody what Fuller called comprehensive anticipatory design science. The Challenge was recently named Socially Responsible Design's Highest Award by Metropolis Magazine.  


Bioneers' own Dreaming New Mexico program was sole runner-up for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge in 2009 (energy systems) and a semi-finalist in 2011 (food systems).  



Ramona Ausubel's First Novel

Daughter of Bioneers Founder Kenny Ausubel


No One Is Here Except All of Us 

Ramona Ausubel

Published by Riverhead Hardcover

February 2, 2012

An isolated village tries to save itself from a war through sheer force of imagination -- all at the suggestion of a girl.


In 1939, the families in a remote Jewish village in Romania feel the war close in on them. Their tribe has moved and escaped for thousands of years -- across oceans, deserts, and mountains -- but now, it seems, there is nowhere else to go. Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless. At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger who has washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world: deny any relationship with the known, and start over from scratch.


Destiny is unwritten. Time and history are forgotten. Jobs, husbands, a child, are reassigned. And for years, there is boundless hope. But the real world continues to unfold alongside the imagined one, eventually overtaking it, and soon our narrator -- the girl, grown into a young mother -- must flee her village, move from one world to the next, to find her husband and save her children, and propel them toward a real and hopeful future.


Click here for information about Ramona's upcoming February book tour to Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Portland, OR, Palo Alto, Oakland, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Santa Fe.




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What People Are Saying
About Bioneers:



The Bioneers community has had  
a significant impact on my work.
The Bioneers were instrumental  
in helping me frame and find sources... indispensible. 


Michael Pollan, Author
The Omnivore's Dilemma 

Bioneers has been a venue where leaders of color within the environmental justice movement are bridging historical racial gaps in the environmental movement. 

Carl Anthony, Environmental Justice Leader, former Ford Foundation Officer

By highlighting the 'Rights of Nature' work and making direct personal connections, Bioneers helped catalyze the world's first 'Rights of Nature' provision in the national Constitution in Ecuador that our Pachamama Alliance helped to happen there. It's now spreading in Latin America and the world.  

Lynne Twist, Pachamama Alliance
Co-Founder, Soul of Money Institute President & Bioneers Board Member

Bioneers is a hybrid: one part global salon for an ongoing conversation among the like-minded but otherwise isolated practitioners and visionaries at the forefront of civilizational change; and one part catalytic organization that takes the many conversations up to a higher level and down to Main Street. Bioneers has helped give birth to a new enlightenment. 

David Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College & Bioneers Board Member  

Bioneers is deeply grateful  

to the following sponsors:



RSF Social Finance
Portfolio 21  



Cafe MAM  

Injustice anywhere is
a threat
to justice everywhere. 


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Letter from Birmingham Jail   

April 16, 1963




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A Bow of Gratitude to Our Community

We offer deep appreciation to each of you who helped Bioneers meet our
$250,000 year-end matching challenge. We did it! Or more accurately, you did it.
We're making sure your investment in Bioneers is going to yield high returns of transformation as the world moves from Breakdown to Breakthrough: Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature.


Indeed, 2011 was a watershed year for Bioneers. We undertook a basic strategic restructuring of our programs and the organization itself. At the same time, we sustained and advanced our existing work, and began manifesting several new bodies
of work. Building the plane while flying it, as they say.


Over the coming months, we'll be reporting here on some exciting new projects,
while updating you on other breaking news and of course the 2012 Bioneers
conference program.


For instance, we're busy creating a new media site called BioneersNet as a digital oasis that offers something akin to the knowledge platform of the Bioneers conference year-round online. We'll soon be releasing the oft-requested Methodology for Dreaming New Mexico that describes how you can map and shift the energy and food systems in your state or community.


We'll be piloting the Community of Mentors project to hook up young and emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds with Bioneers elder-mentors. We'll also be releasing the first several editions of the Bioneers Media Catalog.  


And of course we're already producing the 2012 radio series, Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature, for a June release. Drawing on a treasure trove of compelling conference presentations and interviews, we've already completed shows such as:
"Not Fate But Choice: Reinventing Fire for the Clean Energy Era" with Amory Lovins; "Escaping Control: Linking Gender, Democracy and Social Movements" with Gloria Steinem; "Working With Nature to Heal Nature: Landscapes of Hope" with John Liu on large-scale ecosystems restoration; and "A World That Works For All: Fireflies, Dumpsters and the Design Science Revolution" with the Buckminster Fuller Institute and BFI's Challenge Award projects.  


In 2011, the 2010 series won 12 national and international awards, and the series aired on over 400 stations in the US and 11 other countries.


And naturally, we're burrowed away conjuring up the 2012 Bioneers conference. It's already getting really, really interesting. Again the emphasis will be on action, networking and game-changing initiatives and strategies.



23rd Annual Bioneers Conference

Friday - Sunday, October 19-21, 2012  

Marin Center, San Rafael, California


So stay tuned! And we wish you a most happy new year in a world that moves from breakdown to breakthrough through a change of both heart and mind -- really fast! We are honored to work alongside you in this revolution from the heart of nature and the human heart. Keep the faith.


New Book From Bioneers Presenter Jeffrey Clements  


Corps Aren't People   


   Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights   

   Than You Do and What You Can Do About It

   Jeffrey D. Clements

   Foreword by Bill Moyers

   Berrett-Koehler Publishers



"How to fight back is the message of this book... What Clements calls 'the People's Rights Amendment' could be our best hope to save what Alexis de Tocqueville called 'the great American experiment.'"  Bill Moyers


As we enter the 24/7 2012 election feeding frenzy of insatiable corporate media buys and impossibly expensive "free" corporate speech, you have to ask: If this is the best government money can buy, can we please trade it in? An insanely timely new book
goes to the heart of the matter, and shows how.


At the 2010 Bioneers conference, Massachusetts-based attorney Jeff Clements joined several colleagues on a panel titled: "I AM a Person! Challenging Corporate Power."
In particular, Jeff and John Bonifaz, who co-founded Free Speech for People with Jeff, discussed launching a movement to enact the 28th Amendment to the Constitution to revoke corporate "free speech" and other corporate "rights." Many who attended the panel have since joined the campaign.


One attendee asked if Jeff would expand the argument in a book that could be a "tool kit" for those who wanted to take back our rights and government for people, not corporations. The result is on bookshelves now: "Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About It."  As Jeff wrote us: "The book is among many things that Bioneers helped 'birth,' as I was asked to write it by a Berrett-Koehler editor who attended the 2010 Bioneers where we spoke about this issue. I hope it is worthy of its beginnings."


Worthy it is, with a foreword by Bill Moyers. "Corporations Are Not People" is a practical guide to how you can help overturn the Citizens United court decision and build the movement to create "The People's Rights Amendment" to the Constitution. This is the hard-core stuff, real practical information and organizing tools and strategies. Start dusting off your anti-colonial duds and get ready to make history!
Read this book to learn how to join the work for the People's Rights Amendment.


You can find out more at Jeff's blog:



Applications now being accepted for the 2012 Intensives.


Westerbeke Ranch, Sonoma, California, June 10-15, 2012
Application Deadline: Monday, April 23, 2011


Ocamora Retreat Center, Northern New Mexico, August 24-29, 2012

Application Deadline: Friday, July 6, 2011     


2011 California participants
2011 California participants

Connect, Learn, Strengthen Yourself

Cultivating Women's Leadership assembles women of diverse cultures, ages, perspectives and backgrounds to learn from and with each other. These 6-day residential retreats offer each woman an opportunity to:  

  • Clarify her unique assignment or sense of purpose
  • Connect deeply with other women across differences that often divide us
  • Investigate challenges with self-limiting stories and internalized oppression
  • Appreciate her own unique leadership gifts and talents amidst a remarkable community of peers

What participants have said about their experience at the intensive:


"Do you have any idea the powerful impact this training has had on our personal  

lives -- and the enormous ripple effect on our families and the diverse communities  

we serve? What a transformative process this has been for all of us!"  


"This workshop provided a profound, meaningful forum to lovingly explore our  

blind spots, prejudices and assumptions, along with celebrating our common  

ground and the brilliant tapestry in which our lives are interwoven."


"The training created a space where I, as a woman of color, felt valued and wanted  

to value others different than myself. This eco-equity vision is essential for the  

work of the environmental movement to become a universal reality."   


Click here for more from past participants.       


Facilitators Nina Simons, Toby Herzlich, and Sarah Crowell
Facilitators Nina Simons, Toby Herzlich, & Sarah Crowell


Cost: $1450 (includes tuition, lodging and meals). We aim to attract a diverse circle of women with no barriers related to ability to pay. If you are interested in attending but the cost is an obstacle, contact us about strategies to help you cover the expense. 


Learn more about the intensives here.


Register online or contact us at
505-986-0366 ext.129 for more information.
Pachamama Alliance and Bioneers Collaborate   

We're honored and delighted to announce a budding collaboration between The Pachamama Alliance and Bioneers. Called Awaken > Learn > Connect > Act,  the
project will allow us to create synergy by leveraging our closely aligned work.   

By joining forces, we'll pool complementary media resources and tools to cross-pollinate our existing networks and audiences, and engage specific new networks and public audiences. The twin purposes are to expand our educational outreach, and to offer specific tools and pathways for people to become engaged to take action, or sharpen their actions. In the next few months, we'll report on the specifics of the project and its launch later this year.


The Pachamama Alliance mission is to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture, and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just
and sustainable world.


The Pachamama Alliance is well known for its acclaimed Awakening the Dreamer trainings. The ATD symposiums have reached over 100,000 people worldwide, and are led by more than 3,500 trained volunteers globally. A growing number of young people are now leading the "Wake-Up," an adaptation of the Symposium geared to people 12 to 30 years old, which is becoming more prevalent on campuses.


The group also leads guided Pachamama Journeys to the Amazon rainforest to learn about the inestimable value of the "lungs of the planet" and to learn from the indigenous peoples how we in the North can act to help assure a sustainable and socially just world for all. The program has resulted in important projects in the Amazon, including green economic initiatives that bring income to the tribal communities.


The Pachamama Alliance's remarkable efforts in Ecuador helped lead to the groundbreaking creation of the first national Constitution in the world to give legal standing to the Rights of Nature.


Interestingly, there's a close Bioneers connection. The Bioneers conference has been highlighting the remarkable work of Tom Linzey, Mari Margil and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) for many years. CELDF initiated Rights of Nature legal measures in US local communities. After Kenny encouraged the Rainforest Action Network's founder and long-time renowned activist Randy Hayes to attend CELDF's Democracy School, Randy passed the connection along to the Pachamama Alliance. It led to CELDF's engagement in Ecuador to help create the legal structures for the Rights of Nature constitutional provisions.


More recently, Pachamama founded the "Four Years. Go." campaign. 4YG is a global action campaign that engages people, groups, companies and institutions to "take a stand" publicly with a "my stand" commitment of action in the next four years. The 2011 Bioneers conference hosted a "Campaign Connection" session on 4YG that had people hanging off the rafters and ready to take a stand.


This new collaboration between The Pachamama Alliance and Bioneers is a dream come true that was seeded about two years ago when Pachamama Alliance Co-Founder Lynne Twist and Bioneers Founder Kenny Ausubel fell into a lengthy conversation and realized that the two groups' work was profoundly well aligned in vision, values and strategy.


Lynne subsequently joined the Bioneers Board, and this project is the threshold evolution of our mutual desire to help leverage each other's work. Our shared purpose is to create a whole greater than the sum of the parts to accelerate and amplify global transformation.


Bioneers' relationship with Pachamama actually pre-dates the Alliance's founding! In 1991, John Perkins first spoke at the Bioneers conference (then in its second year, in Santa Fe, New Mexico). John, now best known as the author of "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man," put out his first public call to lead a trip to the Amazon to meet with the Shuar and Achuar peoples with whom he had been studying.


John's indigenous allies had taught him that "The world is as we dream it, and we can change the dream." They told him the most important thing he and others could do on their behalf and on behalf of the rainforest would be to change the materialistic dream of the North. Among those who took one of the early Amazon journeys were Lynne and Bill Twist, and the rest is history. The three formed Pachamama Alliance in 1996.


Kenny then wrote a chapter about John Perkins and this work in his 1995 book, "The Bioneers: Declarations of Interdependence" (Chelsea Green). Both Lynne and Bill have presented at Bioneers for about ten years.


"We are deeply honored and immensely excited to enter into this formal partnership with Bioneers," said Lynne Twist. "After so many years of collaborating at many levels, now we are truly partnering to share our unique media resources with one another in a way that will benefit each of our audiences. It is just the beginning of many more collaborations with Bioneers."


To be continued...