Ecological Literacy Education | Environmental Education and the Role of Educational Systems

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Green Chemistry: Biomimicry and Molecular Psychology

Introduction by Paul Hawken, Author and Social Entrepreneur
It’s time to create the green molecular building blocks that make green technology truly clean, from raw materials and production to social justice. World-renowned green chemist John Warner discusses how we can create a new generation of biomimetic and green molecular building blocks that will help us reach the “world we want.” One of the founders of the field of Green Chemistry, he has published over 200 patents, papers and books. He is founder, President and Chief Technology Officer of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, and of Beyond Benign, a non-profit dedicated to sustainability and green chemistry education.

Mishkos Kenomagwen:
The Teachings of Grass
Introduction by Melissa Nelson, The Cultural Conservancy

Indigenous peoples worldwide honor plants, not only as our sustainers, but as our oldest teachers who share teachings of generosity, creativity, sustainability and joy. By their living examples, plants spur our imaginations of how we might live. By braiding indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) with modern tools of botanical science, Robin Kimmerer, professor of Environmental Science and Forestry of Potawatomi ancestry, explores the question: “If plants are our teachers, what are their lessons, and how might we become better students?”

CHLOE MAXMIN- Youth Leadership
Lessons from the Grassroots Climate Movement

An activist since age 12, Chloe co-founded Divest Harvard to pressure her college to disinvest from fossil fuel holdings, gaining international recognition for her effective activism.


Toward a Nontoxic Industry and Economy
What would a nontoxic industrial economy look like, and how do we get there? From green chemistry and biomimicry to mobilizing women and challenging corporate power, innovators are connecting the clean technology space with social movements. With: John Warner, co-founder of Green Chemistry; Erin Switalski, Executive Director, Women’s Voices for the Earth; Jeanne Rizzo, President/CEO, Breast Cancer Fund, founder Cancer-Free Economy project.

Intelligence in Nature: The Vegetable Mind
Contemporary science is validating traditional knowledge about the vast pervasive intelligence in nature, and in plants in particular. What is intelligence? How do we learn nature’s languages? Hosted by Melissa K. Nelson, President, The Cultural Conservancy. With: Robin Kimmerer, Director, Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at SUNY-ESF; Monica Gagliano, renowned Australian marine biologist and evolutionary ecologist whose research Michael Pollan reported in the New Yorker.

The Frontlines of Greening Educational Systems: Achieving Environmental Literacy for All
Schools, colleges, and universities can become community models for sustainability, inspiring innovation and teaching environmental literacy for the next generation. Learn from leaders and practitioners how to achieve political, financial, and student success. Hosted by Deborah Moore, founder, Green Schools Initiative. With: David Orr, renowned eco-educator and author, Senior Adviser to the President of Oberlin College; Jennifer Seydel, Executive Director, Green Schools National Network; Nik Kaestner, Sustainability Coordinator, and Elishama Goldfarb, Environmental Literacy Specialist, San Francisco Unified School District.

Education for Sustainability
Connect with kindred educators in an emerging community of practice in this participatory session offering frameworks and tools for designing an effective Education for Sustainability (EfS) initiative in your community and/or school. Hosted by Kirk Bergstrom, filmmaker, educator, social entrepreneur, founder and Executive Director of WorldLink. With: Jaimie Cloud, President, Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education; Linda Booth Sweeney, award-winning author and systems educator.

Food Literacy as a Catalyst for Social Change
Breakthrough food literacy initiatives are transforming communities, bringing people together in meaningful conversations. Learn how to design an effective food literacy program for your community, organization or school. With: Kirk Bergstrom, Executive Director, Nourish Initiative; Alyson Wylie, Health Education Specialist, Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion, California State University, Chico; Jered Lawson, co-founder and Co-Director, Pie Ranch.

Citizen Science: DIY Knowledge To and From the People
Activists, scientists and grassroots groups are leveraging new technology and collaborative networks to accurately monitor the quality of the environment, expose governmental and corporate abuses, and enable large-scale ecological research to understand the web of life in the age of climate disruption. Hosted by Teo Grossman, Bioneers Director of Strategic Network Initiatives. With: Severine v T Fleming, Farm Hack; Shannon Dosemagen, founder/President, New Orleans-based Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science; Brian Haggerty, co-designer, USA National Phenology Network, a multisectoral climate change research program using citizen scientists to monitor seasonal behavior of U.S. flora and fauna.

Citizen science ecology walk
Participate in national climate change research by observing the seasons and tracking nature's pulse. With Brian Haggerty, California Phenology Project, USA National Phenology Network.

Eco-Regional Design: Place Is the Space
How do we align political governance with ecological realities rooted in watersheds, foodsheds, culturesheds and regional economies? Hosted by: Kirsten Schwind, Bay Localize. With: Kristen Sheeran, Ecotrust, co-founder/Director, Economics for Equity and Environment Network; David Orr, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College; Louise Bedsworth, Deputy Director, California Governor's Office of Planning and Research; Greg Watson, Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture.

Resilient Landscapes, Climate-Smart Conservation: The Art and Science of Restoring the World We Want
Learn how insights from avian, aquatic and terrestrial science can help us recreate resilient land and seascapes. Hosted by Mary Ellen Hannibal, award-winning author of The Spine of the Continent: The Race to Save America’s Last, Best Wilderness. With: Ellie Cohen, President/CEO, Point Blue Conservation Science, focused on nature-based, climate-smart conservation solutions; Robin Grossinger, historical ecologist who directs the “Resilient Landscapes” project at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, guiding adaptive landscape-level restoration strategies in California.

Designing a World for the 100%, by the 100%
Leading women designers gathered by the Buckminster Fuller Institute (BFI) explore the principles of participatory design—inclusion, cooperation, community, regeneration—and how we can design a human world that meets everyone's needs without harming the biosphere. Hosted by Elizabeth Thompson, BFI Executive Director. With: Erin Meezan, VP of Sustainability, Interface, Inc.; Jane Harrison, co-founder, PITCHAfrica/Waterbank Schools; Dawn Danby, Senior Sustainable Design Program Manager, Autodesk, Inc.

Design Thinking for Bioneers
Come learn and apply a creative, research-based method to help catalyze your visionary ideas, reframe challenges collaboratively to generate a new spectrum of solution possibilities, and use design thinking to find inspiring new pathways to transformative action. With: Marilyn Cornelius, Ph.D. and Zanette Johnson, Ph.D., d. cipher facilitators. (Interactive)

Youth: Stepping Up to Leadership—Strategies and Advice for Young Activists
Award-winning young environmental leaders share stories, challenges and successful strategies for environmental justice. Learn practical tips: how to initiate community environmental campaigns, rally support and resources, and make real change for a more sustainable future. With 2014 Brower Youth Award winners.

Youth Leadership: Map Your Future
How is your community vulnerable to climate disruption? Learn how to assess local vulnerabilities and assets and develop a career building community resilience. Learn how to use a Community Climate Assessment Tool, work with planners, and take concrete steps to build resilience in your community. Led by Bay Localize: Colin Miller, Program Manager; Corrine L. Van Hook, Communications/Outreach Manager.

Wiser Together Café: Igniting Possibilities through Intergenerational Partnerships
Join a participant-driven conversation around themes emerging at the conference. How can we collaborate, connect diverse perspectives, share talents, and shape the future? With: David Shaw, Common Ground Center, UCSC; Dana Pearlman, The Lotus, and Global Leadership Lab.

Leadership Lessons from the Living Earth
Join this experiential session to meet mentors from the natural world and discover biomimicry-based leadership practices grown from life's operating principles. With: Toby Herzlich, founder, Biomimicry for Social Innovation. (Interactive, experiential)

Council. Cultivating 21st Century Earth Stewardship in a Power-Imbalanced World: Global Citizens, First Peoples & Spaceship Earth
We are pushing Earth’s life support systems to the edge, enacting of a paradigm of “ infinite growth” and taking. Common sense and indigenous wisdom traditions affirm that a life lived with balance leads to a more harmonious coexistence. Coupled with a need for reconciliation across gender, race and other social divides, 21st Century Earth and community stewardship require partnerships beyond boundaries. Join with fellow Bioneers to engage an ethos for stewardship fit for the 21st Century. Rooted in the wisdom traditions and best practices of First Peoples, and the planetary perspective of Global Citizens, we will explore models and practices of living reciprocity as if our lives depended on it—because they do. With Ilarion Merculieff, Aleut traditional messenger and Sharon Shay Sloan, council trainer and community steward. Bioneers of all ages strongly invited to attend. (Interactive, experiential)

Networking: Educators’ Meet-up

With Kami McBride and Autumn Summers (Interactive, experiential)


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