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Bioneers enters its 18th year going strong




"Bioneers" is a word coined to mean pioneering and innovative people who focus on practical and visionary solutions for restoring the planet's threatened systems. Bioneers look to nature for instructions for how to live on Earth in a healthy way that lasts, in concert with natural principles such as diversity, kinship, reciprocity, food webs and community. The event is designed to explore, connect, discover and celebrate.

Now in its 18th year, this event usually sells out with over 3,000 participants. Do to overwhelming interest, the Bioneers have bloomed, now serving 18 satellite conferences in Alaska, Iowa, New York and beyond with a live feed from the Marin conference, slated for Oct. 19&–21. The morning plenary speeches are beamed from the Marin Center into the other places, which have their own local programs in the afternoon. Ten thousand people are projected to attend the various Bioneers gatherings this year.

Far from its progressive fringe beginnings, last year's conference was covered by the New York Times, and many of the Bioneers featured prominently in Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary The 11th Hour.

Among this year's keynoters are author Alice Walker (above), transformation expert Byron Katie speaking on what she has simply come to call "the Work," playwright Eve Ensler on the continued evolution and importance of her groundbreaking Vagina Monologues and author Edward Tick on "Modern War's Devastation and Healing." North Bay presenters include journalist Mark Dowie, the OAEC's resident biologist Brock Dolman, ethnobotanist Kat Harrison, psychiatrist Jean Shinoda Bolen and members of Farms Not Arms, a national group of activist farmers and veterans with a strong Petaluma chapter.

The organizers of Bioneers, who are based in Santa Fe, N.M., seek to inspire educate and connect. Many prominent groups co-sponsor the event, which also has numerous media partners.

Bioneers Conference runs Friday&–Sunday, Oct. 19&–21, at the Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael.

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