Organic pioneers

The efforts by Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons

Jurriaan Kamp | November 2004 issue

Filmmaker, author, and business entrepreneur Kenny Ausubel organized the first Bioneers conference in 1990 to bring together people who were seeking inspiration about how we can create a sustainable economy and society. He was looking something beyond the environmental movement, which took a much-needed stand against pollution and depleting natural resources but offered few alternative models about how to make the transition to a new kind of economy.

The initiative caught on, and over the past 15 years the annual Bioneers conference has brought together growing numbers of “organic pioneers” both at the main event held in San Rafael, California, every October, and at satellite conferences with live video in 15 communities around North America.

Nearly all the people and initiatives detailed on these pages have played a role at the conferences. Bioneers has blossomed into an inspiring, growing and ever more influential network of practical idealists who look to nature as a source of innovation and invention, which will help us move past the Industrial Age into the Organic Age. The relationships nurtured through the Bioneers are central to this emerging organic vision: between people themselves and between people and nature.

The Bioneers organization, which Ausubel runs together with veteran communications strategist Nina Simons, also produces a radio program that is aired nationally in the United States and has published two recent titles with Sierra Club Books, Ecological Medicine: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves and Nature’s Operating Instructions: The True Biotechnologies. – JJK

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