Leaf Litter

In This Issue

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice marks the return of light after a season of darkness. It is a time to reflect on the past, but also to recharge for the work ahead of us. Light can seem elusive as we face the formidable gloom of a changing climate, rapidly declining biodiversity, ongoing struggles for equity, and so many other pressing issues, but it is there. One of its brightest beacons is a diverse and intergenerational community of visionary, solutions-oriented thinkers and doers known as Bioneers.

By Amy Nelson

Article Index

Some members of this community are world-famous. Several have been featured in past issues of Leaf Litter. Many more are described by Bioneers Co-Founders, Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons, as “the greatest people you’ve never heard of.” What they all have in common is a reverence for the natural world and a dedication to creating and disseminating breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet.

Activist, entrepreneur, and author Paul Hawken is a longtime Bioneer

Bioneers also recognize that the climate crisis is inextricably linked with other issues, such as environmental justice, public health, and the rights of women, indigenous peoples, immigrants, and nature.

Indigenous leaders of the upper Amazon’s Ceibo Alliance on the Bioneers stage. Photo by TrimTab Media

For those of us in conservation, ecological restoration, and regenerative design, Bioneers can serve as a powerful source of support, connection, and inspiration. For that reason, we are pleased to dedicate this issue of Leaf Litter to Bioneers.

Ecologist/conservation strategist Carly Vynne, eco-epidemiologist/wildlife biologist Anne Laudisoit, and marine ecologist Madhavi Colton on a Bioneers panel

What exactly is Bioneers? It is a hub, a network of networks, or as the organization refers to itself on the Bioneers website, “a seed head for game-changing social and scientific vision, knowledge and practices.” To peer into that seed head, we provide an overview of the nonprofit organization behind it and chat with its co-founders. We profile several Bioneers and share video of their keynote talks at the 2019 Bioneers Conference, an event described by participants as “transformative.”

Erin English, Keith Bowers, and Amy Nelson at the 2019 Bioneers Conference

Speaking of participants, we’ll introduce a high school senior who just attended her first Bioneers Conference and tell you how the experience is influencing her climate activism and her journey toward becoming an environmental engineer. Biohabitats practice lead, Erin English also attended this year’s event (along with me and Biohabitats president, Keith Bowers) and she shares a personal reflection on her association with the organization. For a sense of who else attends a Bioneers Conference, catch a glimpse of some attendees we happened to meet during one break between sessions.

As always, we invite you to check out the latest news about the Projects, Places, and People of Biohabitats.

As we shift from the liminal space between seasons to the year ahead of us, we’d be wise to consider looking to the light of Bioneers. On behalf of all of us at Biohabitats, I wish you a happy and peaceful Winter Solstice.

Bioneers Photo by Republic of Light





Amy Nelson, Editor-In-Chief


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