Bioneers 2006

This is a special edition of Creative Business Ideas. The focus isn’t on business-as-usual, but rather my notes and sketches (something I’ve learned about my listening style is that I can remember talks better if I’m sketching while listening) from the various sessions I attended at the Bioneers Conference held in San Rafael in October. I was inspired by all the presenters to do more, to care more, to think more about people, our planet, and how we inter-relate.

If you have any questions about any of my notes, please contact me.

If you want to listen or watch the presentations for yourself, click here

fishturtleKenny Ausubel

Paul Stammets 

Paul Stammets

  • Kingdom -> Kindom
  • 30% of human DNA is the same as fungi
  • fungi are 90-100 million years old
  • 1 cu in of soil has 8 miles of mycelium cells
  • mycelium are sentient – aware of surroundings
  • 1 cell wall thick – catch water and filter micro nutrients/spongy
  • mycelium network similar to internet model
  • first land-based life
  • “microzoic fungi will inherit the earth”
  • Largest living thing on earth is 2400 acres/2200 year-old fungi
  • Strong enough to push through asphalt
  • Initiator of habitat restoration
  • has patent that can eradicate any queen-based insect colony using 1cent of material
  • Friend of Dr. Weil
  • Bioshield Department – NPR interview
  • Fumitopsis officianis (can treat smallpox) only found in old-growth forest -> save old-growth for national defense
  • 51 years old
  • “Life Box” – The way to re-green the planet. Cardboard box which has mycelium impregnated. Add soil, water, seeds. 6-8 weeks later harvest!
  • First got turned on to nature in kindergarten, watching a planted sunflower plant’s leaves turn to the sun.
  • “Myconol” – using mycelium to break down carbs + yeast = alcohol (fuel)
  • Wants to make Healing Arts Centers (aka Mushroom Centers)
Sarah Crowell
  • People learn using words, numbers, movement, sound, images, and spaces
  • Project Destiny – 18 years old, working with 15 schools in East Bay
  • Satisfaction study, in 1956 US pop peaked in satisfaction.
  • Need real personal contact
  • Spend <-> Distract cycle of consumerism
  • Project Destiny is a “stew” – it takes years to build trust
  • Fear is naturally easier to tap into than Bliss (“Emotion Game”)
Michael Pollan 

Michael Pollan

  • America is in “Deep Fat”
  • 3/4 of the sewers in America are at 1/2 capacity, clogged with fat (from fast food?) which produces increasing number of sewage spills
  • Stonyfield yogurt – blueberries come from Canada, Strawberries from China, and Milk powder from New Zealand
  • The difference in experience/community between shopping at a farmer’s market and a supermarket
  • 17% of the energy use in US is for Food distribution
  • Farmer Market size has doubled twice in the last 10 years
  • Get local support for the Farm Bill = Food Bill. No more corn/soybean subsidies.
James Hillman 

James Hillman

  • We are paralyzed by too much self-awareness
  • Need to separate mind from action
  • Math should be considered a foreign language in school – lots of learning issues
  • Capitalism, by its very definition, is no guarantee of security
  • The job of “education” is long-term job placement
Lois Gibbs 

Lois Gibbs

  • Love Canal
  • Found out that poisoning people is not illegal (if you have a permit)
  • Corporate license – allowed to take babies vs. hunting license (not allowed to hunt babies)cost benefit analysis includes cost of human life
  • Science is not enough
  • Anti-pvc campaign ( (movie)
  • Precautionary principle: If safer, must use technology
Joan Blades 

Peggy O’Mara

Gary Ruskin Joan Blades and Peggy O'Mara

  • Traits of healthy families: appreciation on a regular basis, commitment (to each others’ welfare), communication (free-flowing), time with each other, spiritual wellness, and coping ability (ask for help)
  • Traits are undermined by consumerism, materialism, (lack of) health insurance, not enough money, and lack of paid (family) leave
  • calculates a mother’s worth is $131,000/year
  • Genius is a happy accident. Parents are amateurs
  • No evidence-based health-care
  • Joan Blades ( /, Berkeley Systems, Mediate Your Own Divorce, Motherhood Manifesto
  • breastfeeding symbol contest
  • Many mothers are one sick child away from being fired
  • Gary Ruskin – Commercial Alert
  • Marketing-related diseases (33% of children in US are obese/overweight)
  • “Born to buy”
Rachel Naomi Remen 

Rachel Naomi Remen

  • Mastery -> Mystery
  • Read Hippocratic Oath Prayer
  • Tikkun Olam
  • Bless (out load) others (including strangers)
  • Grandmother Spider – web of connection
  • Kabbalah – “Everything has a dream in itself”
  • All life needs from us is our faithfulness
  • Anger is a tool of change
  • Lamed-Vav (36) – # of people capable of carrying the suffering of the world. Since no one knows who they are, need to have compassion for everyone
  • Commitment to future patients – “May you find in me a mother’s healing”
  • Wholeness of world one heart at a time
Maria Elena Durazo 

Maria Elena Durazo

  • Cesar Chavez
  • Apollo Alliance
  • Attempting to unionize truck drivers for ports
  • Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class — And What We Can Do About It
Spencer Beebe 

Spencer Beebe

  • Ecotrust
  • Natural Capital Center, Portland (1st environmental bank)
  • “Bumble” – dog’s name
  • Fire on raft floating down the Columbia (to make s’mores)
  • Competitive advantage: bioregions > nation-state
  • Should copy nature – there’s no other model!
  • Jane Jacobs
  • Tom Linzey
  • New Mythology
  • Local movements: forest, banking
  • “Follow The Fish” -> Salmon Nation
  • Progress Traps
  • 5 year-olds know more than experts?
  • We live in an “orange society” (segment everything) – should live in an “apple” society
  • “To Save the Environment — Stay Home”
  • “If you’ve come here to save me go home now. If you see yourself in me, maybe we can work together”
Sofia Quintero 

Sophia Quintero

  • Women earn 2/3 of men in business, yet only 1/4 in the arts
  • Hip-hop fiction
  • “Black Artemis”
  • “Divas Don’t Yield”, “Picture Me Falling”, “Burn”, etc.
  • Chica Luna – the F Word (Feminist)
  • Invisible or targeted choices?
  • Can engage people on diff levels: individual, collaborate, or entrepreneurial
  • Commercial consciousness
  • I’m not here
  • Need to meet people where they are to take them someplace better
  • Wants to create a “Sundance Festival” for women of color
Paul Hawken 

Paul Hawken

  • Positive Social Change
  • “Blessed Unrest”
  • Van Jones
  • Enlightenment is not the goal – Charity is
  • NGO
  • Golden Rule
  • All life is sacred
  • Committee responsible for our children
  • Salmon Nation
  • Create conditions that are conducive for life
  • Can no longer import our lives
  • Spiritual awakening (Karen Armstrong)
  • A tree cut down by a logger should affect a black child as much as a black child cut down by a gun should affect a logger
  • Powerful words (Rosa Parks): There comes a time…
  • Compassion
  • Environmental/Social Justice Movement
  • Immune system response
  • We are born with altruism
  • We have a quadrillion cells

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