Avenue of the Flags
San Rafael, California 94903

What is Bioneers?

The Collective Heritage Institute, aka Bioneers, was founded by Kenny Ausubel in 1990. Bioneers was conceived to conduct educational and economic development programs in the conservation of biological and cultural diversity, traditional farming practices, and environmental restoration.

Our vision of environment encompasses the natural landscape, cultivated landscape, biodiversity, cultural diversity, watersheds, community economics, and spirituality. Bioneers seeks to unite nature, culture and spirit in an Earth-honoring vision, and create economic models founded in social justice.

Restoration addresses the premise that "sustainability" is problematic in the context of an environment that is already depleted. As Paul Hawken has noted, sustainability is simply the midpoint between destruction and restoration. The goal of Bioneers is restoration, addressing the interdependent array of economics, jobs, ecologies, cultures, and communities.

Bioneers are biological pioneers who are working with nature to heal nature and ourselves. They have peered deep into the heart of living systems to devise strategies for restoration based on nature's own operating instructions. They come from many cultures and perspectives, and all walks of life.

Bioneers are scientists and artists, gardeners and economists, activists and public servants, architects and ecologists, farmers and journalists, priests and shamans, policymakers and citizens. They are everyday people committed to preserving and supporting the future of life on Earth. They herald a dawning Age of Restoration founded in natural principles of kinship, interdependence, cooperation, reciprocity, and community.

For a comprehensive overview of Bioneers' work in 2004, download our annual report.
Uniting nature, culture, and spirit, Bioneers embody a change of heart - a spiritual connection with the living world that is grounded in social justice. Their pragmatic strategies effectively address many of our most pressing ecological and societal challenges.

Above all, Bioneers represent a culture of solutions. Their stories demonstrate that just as people have created the environmental and social problem we face, people can solve them - through a reciprocal partnership with nature. Over and over, they show how great a difference the actions of one individual can make.


Added by raines on March 25, 2006



In the huge endeavor to foster in new components of our ever evolving challenge to live on this planet, we tend to break down what we see as our roles in the project. Of course we all have special interests and talents and in putting our efforts forth it is wise to not over extend ourselves into areas in which we have little effect. My role, or the way I have chosen to see it, is in the area of social growth, specifically within the area of community building (literally) designs that will support the needs of very young adults that are failing to thrive within our social systems today. If anyone here has a shared interest in talking about a wholistic approach to creating community I would very much like to hear from them. I have a vision of co-creating an intentional community that would - in regard to available options for young people, open a door that is not available to them today. It has to do with spirit, not religion, with living within a flowing system of daily activity that teaches interdependence, responsibility and self empowerment. A leap forward and a nostalgic gaze back in our way of being here on this planet. I draw heavily on the past reviewing what works and what seems to be damning and damaging in social changes. There are truisms that have been a common thread in successful social orders that have been all but forgotten in the effort to mainstream ourselves to "success" today. People like me wonder how, why many of the components of what could/should be the glue of vital communities have all but disappeard. The results are very easy to see as I watch our children grasp for those ideals. We have taught them what to honor and in many of our communities and famililes the things that they seek do not exist. They are left to wonder why they must live a lie instead of reaching for the ideals that we supposedly hold dear to ourselves. Do we need to throw away our social conciousness to gain ground in the great race to...?