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Bioneers Schedule and Speakers

Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference

Our third annual Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference on October 25-27, 2013 features interactive workshops, local food, renowned speakers, and more! View the schedule below, and be sure to check back for updates.

Friday, October 25

Time Event Location
6:30 p.m. Registration Round Room, Center for the Fine Arts (CFA)
7:00 p.m. Opening Ceremony and *Plenary Speakers

Between Earth and Sky: Trees as Silent Teachers
Nalini Nadkarni, professor of biology and director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Utah

The Biomimicry Network Effect: What Will We Solve Together?

Janine Benyus, biologist, innovation consultant, and author
Round Room

Saturday, October 26

Time Event Location
8:30 a.m. Registration
Outside Kresge Recital Hall, CFA
9:00-10:30 a.m. Morning "Wake Up" Activities
Tour of Growing Together (walk, around two miles round-trip) or bike (ride, bring bike!)
10:30 a.m.-
12:00 p.m.
*Plenary Speakers

The Nature of Innovation

Jay Harman, naturalist, entrepreneur, inventor, and founder and CEO of PAX Scientific and its subsidiaries

100% Clean Energy for and by the People
Billy Parish, founder and president of Mosaic, a marketplace for clean energy investing
Kresge Recital Hall
12:00-1:00 p.m. Local Lunch
Cornucopia will provide a lunch box for $5
Outside Kresge Recital Hall
1:00-2:15 p.m. Local Interactive Workshops

Confessions of a Neophyte Farmer 

Jim Dallmeyer, owner of Thistle Creek Orchard, will discuss the conversion from conventional farming to certified organic and the development of a viable business.

Community Gardens Promoting Local Food to New Heights
Dan Kenney, founder of DeKalb County Community Gardens, will talk about how it takes a community and determination to make things happen. In only a very short time, DeKalb County has begun to develop and integrate solutions to our "food problems" with energized and directed efforts.

Volunteering in the Community
John Hunigan, co-founder of the Knox Prairie Community Kitchen and The Lunch Spot and chair of the Community Relations Commission, will lead an interactive session, including a discussion on how to start your own 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Kids Making Stuff: Rubber Bands & Duck Tape
This session emphasizes creativity, color, and nature.
2:15-2:30 p.m. Break
2:30-4:00 p.m. *Plenary Speakers

Regrarianism: Re-booting Agriculture for the Next 10,000 Years

Darren Doherty, fifth generation Australian farmer and regenerative agriculture pioneer

Youth Food Bill of Rights
Maya Salsedo, 2012 Brower Youth Award winner
Kresge Recital Hall
4:00-4:15 p.m. Break
4:15-5:45 p.m. Local Interactive Workshops

National and International Trends in "Ecopreneurship" and the Sustainable Business Center's Position as an Innovation Hub

Led by Kristy Howell, director of the Sustainable Business Center

Eating Sustainably from the Oceans
Nic Mink, president of Sitka Salmon Shares and Butler Sustainable Foods Fellow, along with Marsh Skeele, Sitka commercial fisherman, will engage a discussion on eating sustainably from the oceans. Topics addressed will include overfishing, industrial versus small-boat fishing practices, renewable resource management, and how producers and consumers -- even here in the landlocked Midwest -- can each play roles to help ensure that the ocean's harvest remains both a sustainable economic engine for fishing communities and a vital food source for generations to come.
5:45-6:00 p.m. Break
6:00 p.m. Local Dinner
Many options available
7:30 p.m. Comedy
Earthman will bring humor to an often "doom-and-gloom" affair. When all is said and done, you will want to "go out and make some noise."
Round Room
9:00 p.m. Movies
Revenge of the Electric Car and Addicted to Plastic
Round Room

Sunday, October 27

Time Event Location
10:00-11:30 a.m. Morning "Wake Up" Activities
Walking tour of Growing Together and fruit tree planting
11:30 a.m. Brunch
Local options available
12:30-2:00 p.m. *Plenary Speakers

Stopping the Privatization of Nature and Commodification of Mother Earth
Tom B.K Goldtooth, executive director of the Bemidji, Minnesota-headquartered Indigenous Environmental Network

A Call from the Amazon
Daisy Zapata; Leila Salazar-Lopez, Amazon Watch program director; and Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch executive director and Yasuni ambassador
Round Room
2:00-2:15 p.m. Break
2:15-3:15 p.m. Local Interactive Workshops

Are Factory Farms Legitimate?

Karen Hudson, co-founder of Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water and a representative of the nationwide Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, will present information on the impacts of factory farms to human health, the environment, and the integrity of our food supply. She will also address citizen attempts to mitigate the impact of factory farms through the implementation of stronger laws and the adoption of socially responsible agricultural practices.

Forming a Food Hub in Galesburg: What Will it Take? Who Wants to Join in?
A community discussion organized by Growing Together

Social and Environmental Impacts of GMOs
Leslie Carman will talk about how genetically modified organism (GMO) use in agriculture has increased since the late 1980s with very little testing done on the impact to our health and environment. GMOs are patented and protected under U.S. law, allowing large companies like Monsanto to sue farmers whose fields have been contaminated by GMOs. Little is done in the U.S. to label GMOs, protect farmers, and to test the damage to human health and the environment.
Yoga Interactive Session
Led by Laura Bush
Auxiliary Gym
3:15-3:30 p.m. Break
3:30-4:30 p.m. Local Interactive Workshops

Flyover Country: The Ruin of the Rural Midwest and the Seeds of Rebirth

John Curtis, owner of Barefoot Gardens, will talk about the decline of rural Illinois and how local food can be the engine for a revitalization of our poor rural communities. He will describe and show images from his own community intensive CSA model, Barefoot Gardens.

The Role of Family Planning in Creating a Sustainable Society
Advocates for Choice will provide an overview of how family planning and reproductive health care affect the future of society. Impacts on population, education, economy, class structure, and more will be addressed.

Plans of Permaculture on the Campus
Led by the Garden Club
4:30-4:45 p.m. Break
4:45-6:00 p.m. *Plenary Speakers and Closing

The Womb at the Center of the Universe

Ilarion Merculieff, first Native commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce and Economic Development

Motherhood and Leadership
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green For All
Round Room

*Note: The plenary speakers will present at the National Bioneers Conference in California the week 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.
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