The Greening of Invention

| March / April 2003

Paul Stamets is part of a loose network of innovative researchers, inventors, and thinkers who examine the intricate workings of nature in search of groundbreaking and effective models for solving environmental, social, and economic problems. Many of these ?biological pioneers,? or Bioneers for short, gather each year at a conference that turns a San Rafael, California, convention center into an open-air think tank and visionary trade show.

Enlivened by passionate presentations and ad hoc strategy sessions, the Bioneers address issues ranging from alternative health care to organic farming to effective political action. Regular participants include Paul Hawken, pioneer of sustainable business; Anna Carter, the ?seed lady? of Watts; Fritjof Capra, author of The Tao of Physics and founding director of Berkeley?s Center for Ecoliteracy; Kevin Danaher, co-founder of the fair trade organization Global Exchange; chef Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone; impassioned activist Julia Butterfly Hill; and William McDonough, the celebrated green architect and industrial planner.

Founded in 1990 by Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons of the Santa Fe?based Collective Heritage Institute, the Bioneers conference is perhaps the nation?s most innovative and collaborative gathering of people seeking social change.

For more information on the Bioneers, write c/o the Collective Heritage Institute, 901 West San Mateo Rd., Suite L, Santa Fe, NM 87505 or call (toll free) 877/246-6337 or visit Their newsletter, Bioneers Letter, and radio show, Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature, are great sources of information on environmental innovations. Also see Kenny Ausubel?s book Bioneers: A Declaration of Independence (New Society Publishers).