Great Lakes Bioneers Chicago
Presents a Bioneers Network Event
November 1-3, 2013 * Roosevelt University
430 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

What is Bioneers?
"... The leading edge of the world we want to create".  
-David Orr, National Bioneers and Oberlin Project

Listen to keynote David Orr's November 1, 2013 interview with Jerome McDonnell, host of WBEZ's Worldview. Learn about the Bioneers movement and the Oberlin Project, a public / private partnership, designed to make the City of Oberlin climate positive by 2040.


Thank You, Sponsors!
Click on images below and here for more.


Radio Interviews
Listen to Mike Nowak's recent interviews with Sandra Steingraber and Albert Bates.

Sandra Steingraber and the Fight to Ban Fracking in Illinois

Who Participated This Year? Take A Look!
Scroll over each image for name and organization. Then click for links to workshops. Watch for updates ...

kathy-kelly Amy Coffman Phillips, The B-Collaborative Randy Neufeld Mike Nowak, The Mike Nowak ShowShore, Debra Rohlfing, Colin Kelleher, Dennis Kelly MitchellRevBilly(3)_-_Copy D Savitri Davis, Naomi Farr, DougHickey, Michelle 1Zelechowski, Elise  Weigert, Karen King, WesArbaugh, Steve Wasserman, Kim Klehm, Nance Nathan Kipnis Boyd, Martha Johnson, Mike Clair, Joseph Wenscott Katy Hogan Blake Davis Hatley, Earl Kabbes, KarenPonce, Jamie Albrecht, Lisa Edel, John Tabitha Tripp Patchett, Jim Williams, Orrin Duffy, Kathleen Don WashingtonHoel, Robert Viands, Angie Dolan, Brian Trendler, Jodi Michaud, Debra Stainsby, Macdonald Rau, Bill Carroll, Emily Eng, Monica Oppenheimer, Lara William Buccholtz, Playing from Spirit Repkin, Mike Leki, Pete Walker, Naomi Southorn, Debbie Richart, Lan
Becka, Jami Evans, Terry Joel Freehling Swenie, Rachel Barkley, Traci Faith, William Ho, Kelvn Kass, AmandaKelsang, Dorje Marre, Elena Medearis, Lisa

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Saturday, 9:00 am - OPENING and Welcome

SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
9:00 am to 9:15 am
Congress Lounge


Bill Buchholtz
Playing from Spirit

Bill educates people about the history, spiritual significance, culture, and traditions of the Native flute and is widely known and respected in the inter-faith community in Chicago, including the United Methodist Church’s Native American Ministry of Presence and the Anawim Center.

Bill will provide musical interludes throughout the weekend, helping both center and guide us towards holistic, restorative action.

Albert Bates

SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
9:30 am to 10:30 am
Congress Lounge

Cool! – Ecovillage Responses to Climate Change
We take as a starting point that a confluence of factors – overpopulation, climate change, peak net energy, limits to growth and economic malaise – is auguring a wide-ranging crisis in human civilization, and concomitantly, a search at the margins for alternatives.

Among the fruits of these explorations are flourishing local communities and neighborhoods all over the world, having a high degree of self-determination and diversity in culture, “green enterprise” and built environments. A significant fraction of these are self-described “ecovillages;” numbering at first order of approximation some 20,000 in 2013. Ecovillages have been making strategic investments in adaptive responses to the global crises that also mitigate the damage by marginally reducing, or even reversing, the transfer of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, including:

  • Carbon farming
  • Biochar
  • Holistic management
  • Integrated aquaponics and waste remediation
  • Organic no-till
  • Keyline management
  • Remineralization
  • Soil-food-web microbiology
  • Agroforestry; and
  • “Permafuels” for transportation and district heating

This talk describes the integration of cultural master planning goals through a holistic re-inhabitation approach; re-balancing human ecosystems with in-fashioned patterns of cool living.

Albert Bates
Albert Bates 
Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology

Albert Bates is author of many books including The Biochar Solution, The Post Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook, and Climate in Crisis. He is the cofounder of Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology (which he has headed for 35 years) and the Global Ecovillage Network.

Current projects include a peace-through-permaculture project in Palestine and the Sail Transport Network, moving fair trade goods along coastal routes.

In 1980 Albert shared the Right Livelihood Award (considered an “Alternative Nobel”) for work in preserving indigenous culture.

His first book (Honicker v Hendrie, 1977) is considered by many environmentalists to mark the turning point in nuclear power’s ascent. Of his latest book, Huffington Post, said, “Bates has woven together a highly engaging interdisciplinary answer to climate change … a lively page-turner that blends clear-headed analysis with nuts-and-bolts advice … enough danger to wake us up, but enough opportunity to emerge feeling hopeful.”

John Michael Greer

KEYNOTE ADDRESS, John Michael Greer
SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
10:30 am to 11:30 am
Congress Lounge

Beyond the Same Old ‘New’ Ideas
One of the least recognized and most pervasive challenges we face in moving toward a saner relationship between natural systems and human communities is the way that a set of repeatedly failed ideas about the future keep being recycled in the popular imagination.

By recognizing these stereotyped “new ideas” for what they are – business as usual under another label – we can step past some of today’s least useful controversies and engage creatively with the emerging deindustrial future.

John Michael Greer
John Michael Greer 
Author, visionary and blogger 

John Michael Greer is a scholar of ecological history and an internationally renowned Peak Oil theorist whose blog, “The Archdruid Report,” has become one of the most widely cited online resources dealing with the future of industrial society. He is the author of more than 30 books including The Wealth of Nature and The Long Descent.

As well as being a certified Master Conserver and devoted organic gardener, Greer continues to practice a myriad of skills honed during the appropriate tech movement of the 1970s. He has been active in the contemporary nature spirituality movement for more than 25 years.

Saturday, 1:00 pm - Performance by Reverend Billy

“SERMON” by Reverend Billy
SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
1:00 pm to 1:45 pm
Congress Lounge

Reverend Billy Talen 
Writer and Secular Preacher
Church of Stop ShoppingIn 1994, author, actor / director and activist Billy Talen moved to New York to begin his performance career in as “Reverend”, joining other sidewalk preachers on Times Square. Specializing in exorcisms of sweatshop companies, and opposing the Disneyfication of the neighborhood, he set up his portable pulpit at the door of the Mouse.  Soon, “moral soap operas,” also called “Retail Interventions” were staged inside the chain stores, principally Disney, the GAP, Nike, and Starbucks.  The preacher was soon accompanied by singers, and began staging whole “Worships” in the tradition of ritual-based interactive plays of the day such as Tony and Tina’s Wedding, Late-Nite Catechism, Blue Man Group and de la Guarda.  The Reverend’s developing theology became the “Church of Stop Shopping,” founded on a resistance to consumerism and a defense of independent shops, community gardens and local economies.

Under the direction of Savitri D, the Reverend and Choir have toured in Europe, Africa, South America and throughout North America. William Talen has won the OBIE Award, The Dramalogue Award, The Historic Districts Council’s Preservation Award (for leading demonstrations to save Manhattan’s Poe House) and has been jailed more than 50 times.

Creative Activism

SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Creative Methods of Non-Violent Direct Action As a Tool for Change
Real change, especially the changes needed at this moment in history, will not come easily from within the systems that hold tightly to the status quo. Indeed, those systems are largely structured to perpetuate the status quo. Non-violent direct action has a long and rich tradition and has repeatedly been shown to be an essential tool for effecting change. At the same time, in a world where public expression of first amendment rights of dissension are increasingly met by institutional force justified on the basis of national security, new and creative modes of action are surfacing.

In this interactive panel discussion, we will talk with four professionals experienced in the use of creative methods for non-violent direct action. How important is direct action in today’s social-political context? How has the legal landscape changed? Is broader public acceptance and participation possible? What are some practical considerations in mounting an effective action? Conference participants will leave with a better understanding of the role non-violent direct action can play in today’s social struggles and be encouraged to learn more and participate where appropriate opportunities arise for its use.

Kathy Kelly
Voices for Creative Non-Violence

Kathy is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, American peace activist, pacifist and author, one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness, and currently a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence.

As part of peace team work in several countries, she has traveled to Iraq twenty-six times, notably remaining in combat zones during the early days of both US-Iraq wars. She has been arrested more than sixty times at home and abroad, and written of her experiences among targets of U.S. military bombardment and inmates of U.S. prisons.

D Savitri
Savitri D 
Director, Performances and Direct Actions
The Church of Stop Shopping

Savitri is director of the concerts and the nonviolent direct actions of 40-voice company called “Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir.”

Using the form of a revival meeting, on sidewalks and in chain stores, Reverend Billy and his gospel choir exhort consumers to abandon products of large corporations and mass media; the group also preaches a broader message of economic justice, environmental protection, and anti-militarism, protesting sweatshops and the Iraq War.

Kelly Mitchell
Kelly Mitchell 
Climate and Energy Campaigner

Kelly is a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace, based in Chicago. Since 2006, she has worked with citizen activists and organizations across the country to confront corporate polluters and transform US energy policy.

She currently leads Greenpeace’s campaigns to stop coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest and shut down the remainder of Edison International’s aging Midwestern coal fleet.

Southorn, Debbie
Debbie Southorn 
Peace Building Program
American Friends Service Committee, Chicago

With the Wage Peace program of the American Friends Service Committee in Chicago, Debbie works on a variety of peace and social justice initiatives, including the “If I Had a Trillion Dollars” national youth film festival.

Debbie uses creative tactics to pressure elected officials to invest resources into human needs, not militarism and corporate welfare.

Richart, Lan
Lan Richart, Moderator 
Eco-Justice Collaborative

Lan Richart is Co-Director of Eco-Justice Collaborative, a Chicago area not-for-profit, providing popular education, grass roots organizing and advocacy around issues of environmental sustainability.

An ecologist and former president of a Chicago area land use and environmental planning firm, he left the consulting field to more actively focus on issues of social and environmental justice. His appreciation for non-violent direct action as a tool for social change has been shaped by experiences in places as diverse as Chiapas, Mexico; Bogata, Colombia, Ft. Benning Georgia and his own city, Chicago.

Management Is Far Too Important to Leave to Managers

SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Workplace Democracy
We live in a representative democracy. We spend more than 50% of our time awake at work. Why not more democracy at work!

A business owned by the employees and/or the community can be an integral part of a strong local economy. Cooperative business principals encourage a company to make decisions based not only upon rates of growth and profit , but also upon the effect on employee owners, customers and the surrounding community of stakeholders.

Kelleher, Dennis
Dennis Kelleher 
Center for Workplace Democracy

Dennis is a co-founder of Center for Workplace Democracy. A worker ownership development center in Chicago. He is working on developing a Worker Cooperative Institute that will provide training on general business skills and cooperative skills to groups of people interested in forming worker cooperatives. He hopes to transform economics in Chicago through cooperation.

Duffy, Kathleen
Kathleen Duffy 
Board Member
Center for Workplace Democracy

Kathleen Duffy founded the Dill Pickle Food Co-op in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood in 2005 and served on the board of directors for 6 years.  She is now a member of the board of the Center for Workplace Democracy, works with nascent food coop groups in the Chicagoland area as a cooperative developer, and is a happy resident of the Sol House Cooperative in Logan Square.

Voices from the Frontlines: Extreme Energy Expansion

SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Voices from the FrontlinesExtreme Energy Expansion and Alternatives to Hydraulic Fracturing & Silica Sand Mining in Illinois  
The recent hydraulic fracturing boom and the accompanying increase in silica sand mining has been spreading across the country. Illinois is caught in the crosshairs of this extreme energy expansion with oil and gas companies buying up leases to land in central and southern Illinois and with the uptick in mining for silica sand. Not even our precious few natural areas are immune to this threat with a sand mine adjacent to Starved Rock State Park and the Shawnee National Forest vulnerable to hydraulic fracturing.

Hear stories and see photographs that depict North Dakota’s oil boom from photographer Terry Evans and learn more about local threats from community members on the frontlines in Illinois. Hear how Illinoisans are working to protect their communities and hear their thoughts about how to create solutions to these problems.

Tripp, Tabitha
Tabitha Tripp 
Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment

Tabitha Tripp, a life long Illinois resident, has been a volunteer with SAFE (Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment) for nearly two years. She became engaged in the fracking debate after learning about risks to water supplies and the devastation the industry causes to rural communities. She lives in unincorporated Union county with her two children and spouse on a fourth generation family farm, where their only source of water is a deep well.

Viands, Angie
Angie Viands, Session Leader
Rising Tide Chicago

Angie works as a Urban Conservation Educator in the Science Action Center at The Field Museum. There she assists teachers and youth with developing service-learning projects that address local environmental issues. She has over ten years of experience working with youth in both classroom and informal educational settings.

In her free time,Angie works with Rising Tide Chicago, a group that uses education and direct action to address the root causes of climate change. Angie holds a B.A. in History from the University of Florida and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education with a concentration in Science and Environmental Education from Antioch University New England.

Rau, Bill
Bill Rau 
Professor Emeritus
Illinois State University

William Rau is Professor Emeritus, Illinois State University. After graduating from Northwestern University he volunteered for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference 1965 Summer voter registration drive in the South and stayed through a pivotal 1966 primary election campaign in Birmingham, Alabama.

His understanding of the interconnections between climate change and fossil fuel addiction has driven his involvement with Vision 2020, a Transition Town initiative in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois; his campaign for approval of municipal aggregation in the two towns (with both choosing 100% renewable energy) and his involvement in the Illinois People’s Action’s anti-fracking campaign.

Evans, Terry
Terry Evans 
Terry Evans Photography

Terry Evans has photographed the prairies and plains of North America and the urban prairie of Chicago, combining aerial and ground photography. Her work explores the virgin prairie, working steel mills, Greenland ice sheets, a small town in the Kansas Flint Hills and now the oil boom in North Dakota. She delves into the intricate and complex relationships between land and people.

Evans is a Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of an Anonymous Was a Woman award. Fractured: North Dakota’s Oil Boom, a collaborative exhibition with writer Elizabeth Farnsworth, runs from June 7, 2013 to January 20, 2014 at The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

Saturday, 2:00 pm - SKILL SHARE / The ABCs of Time Banking: An Alternative Economics Practice

Discounted three-day passes available.
SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

The ABCs of Time Banking: An Alternative Economics Practice
A time bank is a web-based social networking skill pool where the currency is time and everybody’s time is equal. There are 276 time banks active in the US, with members building resilient community through creative exchange of services in such fields as health care, home maintenance, food production and the arts.

This workshop will present the relationship between natural economies of abundance (mycelial networks, mother trees) and human sharing economies. We’ll share exercises to identify our gifts and needs and offer ways to connect to the mycelial network a.k.a. the Chicago Time Exchange right now!

Becka, Jami
Jami Becka 
Chicago Time Exchange

Jami Becka bases her powerful organizational, programmatic, and development work in the social services on the belief that we have everything that we need if we use everything with have.
Jami has helped the Chicago Time Exchange grow, change, and develop since 2008.

She is the Director of Resource and Program Development at The Black Star Project and the Board President of Global Explorers Kids.  She writes about her learning adventures at

Oppenheimer, Lara
Lara Oppenheimer 
Artist and Coordinator
Chicago Time Exchange

An artist inspired by myth, language, nature and relationship, Lara Oppenheimer believes that when we voice our needs and share our gifts, we inspire growth in each other and manifest resilient community.

Her current obsession is grounding the Chicago Time Exchange in the arts with the goal of defining a creative economy.  A LinkUp resident at Links Hall, she is creating a performance with members of the Time Exchange to be presented March 2014.

Saturday, November 1 - WORKSHOP / Sustainable Local Fuel and The Power of Mushrooms and How to Grow Them

SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
2:00 pm to 2:45 pm

Sustainable Local Fuel
This workshop will cover opportunities to salvage and grow sustainable fuel for stationary engines (power generation) and space heating.  We will examine high efficiency wood burning equipment, and how to develop and maintain a reliable, sustainable fuel source for them.  We will look at using brownfields to grow energy crops locally. And we will be investigating the opportunities for coppicing with hybrid poplars (rapid tree growing) and for growing oil plants for engine fuels.

Blake Davis
Blake Davis 
Adjunct Professor
Illinois Institute of Technology

Davis teaches about sustainability and facilitates undergraduate research projects at IIT. His students developed the aquaponics facility at The Plant.

2:45 pm to 3:30 pm

The Power of Mushrooms and How to Grow Them
This session will give you the inspiration, and starting skills to grow mushrooms and become part of the movement to bring this DIY, local, highly nutritious food into your diet and learn about other uses such as soil detoxification.

Swenie, Rachel
Rachel Swenie 
The Plant

Rachel Swenie created the mushroom farm at The Plant, where she works to produce healthy and fresh food using locally available resources. She is passionate about eliminating mycophobia and invoking the power of fungi in an urban setting.

Sustainable Urbanism

SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
3:45 pm to 5:15 pm

Dismantling Barriers to Ecological Plans, Places and Buildings
This fast interactive session will immerse you in cutting edge ecological design practice and engage you in how to acceleration its adoption. Doug Farr seeks feedback on how to overcome barriers to cutting edge ecological design at three scales: the plan, the place and the building. Three Peccha Kuchas will highlight implementation barriers. Each will be followed by 15-20 minutes of quick discussion. Get inspired and contribute your insights!

Farr, Doug
Doug Farr, AIA, LEED AP 
President and CEO
Farr Associates

Doug Farr is the founding principal of the architecture and urban design firm Farr Associates. Based in Chicago, the firm is widely regarded as one of the most sustainable practices in the country, recently certifying its seventh LEED Platinum building.

Doug was the founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Core Committee 0 the interdisciplinary group of professionals that created this first-ever rating system for sustainable land development. Based on the firm’s pioneering sustainable design practice and insights gained from chairing LEED-ND, Doug authored the urban planning best-selling book “Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature” in 2008.