Call to Action: Bioneers

Written by Cafe Campesino on Feb 1, 2006 in Call to Action, NEWSLETTER |
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In this new column, Café Campesino shines the spotlight on like-minded individuals or organizations that are putting their beliefs into action for the betterment of all. This month, we introduce you to Bioneers.

Some people have to follow a dream and for Kenny Ausubel, that dream was saving the environment. In 1990, he founded The Collective Heritage Institute, aka Bioneers, to conduct educational and economic development programs on ways to conserve biological and cultural diversity, traditional farming practices, and environmental restoration. Bioneers’ broad vision of environment encompasses the natural landscape, cultivated landscape, biodiversity, cultural diversity, watersheds, community economics, and spirituality. They seek to unite nature, culture and spirit in an Earth-honoring vision, and create economic models founded in social justice.

Bioneers are biological pioneers who are working with nature to heal nature and ourselves. They come from many cultures and perspectives, and all walks of life. They are scientists and artists, gardeners and economists, activists and public servants, architects and ecologists, farmers and journalists, priests and shamans, policymakers and citizens. They are everyday people committed to preserving and supporting the future of life on Earth. Uniting nature, culture, and spirit, Bioneers embody a change of heart — a spiritual connection with the living world that is grounded in social justice. Their pragmatic strategies effectively address many of our most pressing ecological and societal challenges.

Above all, Bioneers represent a culture of solutions. Their stories demonstrate that just as people have created the environmental and social problems we face, people can solve them — through a reciprocal partnership with nature. Over and over, they show how great a difference the actions of one individual can make.

Every year since 1990, Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons have been assembling Bioneers for an annual conference, a gathering of scientific and social innovators who have demonstrated visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth and communities. Live portions of the conference are broadcast by Beaming Bioneers to partner sites around the world.

The radio series Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature features interviews and dynamic presentations from the Bioneers Conference archives. Each year, Bioneers provides thirteen half-hour programs free to public radio stations across the country and around the world. In 2003, the series won the prestigious Silver WorldMedal for Excellence in Environmental Programming from the New York’s International Radio Programming Competition. In 2002, the series received a Bronze WorldMedal and was a finalist for the United Nations Department of Public Information Award.

In addition, the group publishes the Bioneers Buzz, a monthly electronic newsletter featuring updates from the network and the Bioneers Letter, a biannual member newsletter featuring news and updates on the activities of the Bioneers. They also organize the Bioneeers Youth Initiative, which integrates young activists into the network, and the Wisdom at the End of a Hoe workshops, which teach farmers and gardeners advanced ecological growing methods.

Bioneers motto says it all — It’s All Alive, It’s All Intelligent, It’s All Connected. To learn more about this fascinating organization, visit their website at www.bioneers.org.

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