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Majors & Minors > Environmental Studies

Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference


Peter Schwartzman

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Canoes sit on the shore of a lake at the Green Oaks Biological Field Station.

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The Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference combines nationally recognized plenary speakers -- social and scientific innovators who have practical and visionary solutions for the world's most pressing environmental and social challenges (rebroadcast at Knox on a large theatre screen) -- with presentations by local experts on sustainability, traditional agriculture, modern agriculture, community activism, and more.

2014 Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference

Friday, November 7 - Sunday, November 9
Ford Center for the Fine Arts (Campus Map)
Interactive workshops, local food, renowned speakers, and more!
Free for all participants
Register for the Conference

contact Peter Schwartzman, Knox College Department of Environmental Studies, or 309-341-7142.

View the Complete Schedule

Keynote Address

Saturday, November 8, 7:30 p.m.
"The Future of Buildings: The standard of the past and the hope for the future"
Jim Hallock '69, Founder and CEO of Earth Block International
Jim Hallock '69Earth, the dirt, has the lowest embodied energy and constitutes the only plentiful building material available. Incidentally, it provides the most energy efficient shelter and actually creates a healthy interior space. Jim has been building with Earth for 20 years and on three continents. Come find out what buildings will be around in 2400. Yes, you can build virtually any type of living or working structure with DIRT!

Prairie Fire Bioneers 2014 Conference Schedule

Friday, November 7

6:45 p.m.

Registration -- Round Room, Center for the Fine Arts (CFA)

7:00 p.m.

Opening Ceremony and Plenary Speakers* -- Round Room

Kenny Ausubel & Nina Simons (opening thoughts)

"Millions of Acres: Young Agrarians Needed" -- Severine T Fleming

"Beloved Community: Interbeing, Race, Class & Person 'Hood" -- John A. Powell

"Youth Leadership: Our Generation Was Born to Change the World" -- Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

9:00 p.m.

Movie & Discussion -- Round Room

GMO OMG -- Learn more about the film (sponsored by Cornucopia Natural Foods and Billy's Bakery)

Saturday, November 8

8:45 a.m.

Registration -- Outside Kresge Recital Hall, CFA

9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Morning "Wake Up" Activities

Admiring Nature Walk with Peter Schwartzman -- Meet at Kresge Hall

Yoga With Laura Bush (Starts at 9:30) -- Aux Gym

10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Plenary Speakers* -- Kresge Recital Hall

"A Love That is Wild: Why Wilderness Matters in the 21st Century" -- Terry Tempest Williams

"Transactions, Transformations, Translations: Movement-Building for the Next America" -- Manuel Pastor

"The Rise of the Canadian Native Rights-Based to Protect Our Commons" -- Clayton Thomas-Muller

12:00-1:00 p.m.

Lunch -- Time to explore local eateries; a list of options will be provided with directions

1:00-2:15 p.m.

Local Interactive Workshops -- CFA

"Creation of and Edible Landscape" -- John Curtis, Barefoot Gardens

"#@&! The Food System" -- diana Mackin, Leslie Carman, & Jessi Taylor

"Ten things you had NO idea were unsustainable" -- Froggi VanRiper, Knox College

More Workshops TBA

2:15-2:30 p.m.


2:30-4:00 p.m.

Plenary Speakers* -- Kresge Recital Hall

"How Mushrooms Can Help Us Survive 'Extinction 6x'" -- Paul Stamets

"Message from the Amazon" -- Patricia Gualinga

"This Changes Everything: Capitalism v. the Climate" -- Naomi Klein

4:00-4:15 p.m.


4:15-5:45 p.m.

Local Interactive Workshops -- CFA

"Cover Crop Issues" -- Woody Woodruff, Illinois Stewardship Alliance

"Community Schools 101". What it means to be a community school, and strategies to work toward and extended school day. -- Abby Clayton

"The Garden House Project: A Venture In Campus Homesteading" -- William Terrill & Allison Razo

"Loss in the Midwest & Hope" -- John Curtis, Barefoot Gardens

5:45-6:00 p.m.


6:00 p.m.

Dinner -- Time to explore local eateries; a list of options will be provided with directions

7:30 p.m.

Keynote Speaker -- Round Room
"The Future of Buildings: The Standard of the Past and the Hope for the Future" -- Jim Hallock '69, Founder and CEO of Earth Block International

Sunday, November 9

10:00-11:30 a.m.

Morning "Wake Up" Activities -- Bike Ride to Lake Storey; meet in front of the Gizmo (organized by COG)

11:30 a.m.

Brunch -- Time to explore local eateries; a list of options will be provided with directions

12:30-2:00 p.m.

Plenary Speakers* -- Round Room

"Eve's Revolution" -- Eve Ensler

"The Botanical Dimension of Our Human Evolutionary Next Steps" -- Jeffery Bronfman

"Green Chemistry: Biomimicry and Molecular Psychology" -- John Warner

2:00-2:15 p.m.


2:15-3:15 p.m.

Local Interactive Workshops - CFA

"Traditional Agriculture -- Local Food as Culture" -- Margarito Cal, Sustainable Business Center

"Peak Phosphorus: What It Means For You" -- Froggi VanRiper, Knox College

"What Aesop Taught Me about Community Activism" -- Jamie Lane

"Transaction Approved: How Your Consumer Choices Affect the World" --Knox Advocates for Recycling and Environmental Support

3:15-3:30 p.m.


3:30-4:30 p.m.

Local Interactive Workshops - CFA

"DIY Natural Living Products" -- Elysse Helms, Growing Together, Inc.

"Investing with Impact: Socially Responsible Investing for Individuals and Institutions" -- Eric Dilts, Morgan Stanley

"Understanding the US Food System" -- Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University

"The Future of Fish" -- Nic Mink, Sitka Salmon Shares

More Workshops TBA

4:30-4:45 p.m.


4:45-6:00 p.m.

Plenary Speakers* and Closing -- Round Room

"Youth Leadership Lessons from the Grassroots Climate Movement" -- Chloe Maxmin

"Why People Need to Get Arrested: The Climate Crisis Requires Bold Action" -- Arielle Klagsbrun

Nina & Kenny's Closing Thoughts

*Note: The plenary speakers will present at the National Bioneers Conference in California prior to the Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference. Their presentations will be rebroadcast for our audience on a large theatre screen.

The Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference is sponsored by the Knox College Department of Environmental Studies.

Canoes at the lake at Green Oaks.
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Printed on Friday, September 04, 2015

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