Bioneers Conference

Bioneers Conference

Hill, Pat
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On October 14-16, the third annual conference of the Northern Rockies Bioneers brings education and entertainment together in an innovative effort to help preserve the planet and the communities of humans that occupy it.

Founded in 1990, Bioneers’ stated goal is to “promote practical environmental solutions and innovative social strategies for restoring the Earth…” From politicians and policy-makers to farmers and shamans, the annual conference brings people together from across the board.

“It’s a mixed bag,” says Sam Porter, who helped organize the Bozeman chapter of Bioneers. “We work on everything from urban issues to farming. It’s really about community… we try to team up with everyone.”

From Anchorage and Vancouver, Canada, to Atlanta and Washington, D.C., Bioneers across the country will be teamed up via the Internet and satellite link for the three-day event, offering speakers at the plenary conferences a larger audience to share their ideas with. Porter says that Bozeman is home to one of 17 “Beaming Bioneers” satellite link-ups for this year’s event, helping to make the Northern Rockies Conference “the largest and most attended in the nation.”

“We’re pretty damn excited,” he says. “We’ll have a couple thousand people attend throughout the event… it’ll be a little different this year with a better approach.” The Bozeman conference gets a jumpstart on the main event at Montana State University on Wednesday, October 12, when student films will be screened, and National Public Radio pitches in on Thursday with interviews and broadcasts of past conference presentations contained in the award-winning radio series Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature. The action shifts to the Emerson Cultural Center on Friday, when the nationwide conference begins. Along with presentations from more than a dozen authors and activists, live music is also in the mix this year in Bozeman to help bring people together.

“The speakers provide the tool for us to catalyze positive movement ecologically,” says Porter. “Everyone mixing and socializing can lead to people working hard together for solutions… people walk away from the conference completely jazzed.” He says the Bozeman-area Bioneers gained around 75 new volunteers in the wake of last year’s conference, and Porter expects to garner even more input and ideas this time around.

“This movement for social justice is the largest movement on the planet,” says Porter. “We do the work for love, and the conference is a celebration of the solutions out there.”

To learn more, go to www.bioneers.org; information on Bozeman-area Bioneers and the Third Annual Northern Rockies Bioneers Conference, including speakers and scheduling, is available on the web at www.porterhouseproductions.com.
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