Thursday, October 06, 2011

Why Should You Spend $220 for the Bioneers Conference Oct. 14-16?

Why you should:

Because, as someone on the video linked below says, you'll engage "the hottest topics our culture doesn't want to talk about."

  • Clean Energy Opportunities for Alaska by Chris Rose

Because as the world struggles out of the old human era of fossil fuels and predatory capitalism [hey, I'm not saying all capitalism is predatory, I'm identifying the kind of capitalism on the loose these days as embodied by big banks and telecommunications companies with all sorts of hidden gotchas that suck up your money in ways you didn't know they could] we need to be creating the new era where we live in harmony with nature and with each other. 

  • Alaska Food Challenge by Saskia Esslinger & Matt Oster

And one of the organizations that I've had my eye on as doing this well is the bioneers.  Their weekly show on KSKA and KNBA (here's a national list of stations) offers a practical consciousness of how to envision better social and economic alternatives.  So if you've got the money, pay the full fare or more to help support this organization.

Why You Shouldn't

1.  Because they have discounts

If you've already cut out $5 beers and $3 coffees, or you've gotten rid of your car for a bus or bike because your budget is shrinking uncontrollably, then you should look at other ways to get to this conference. 

  •  Transitioning your Neighborhood: Building Resilience into your Community by Cindee Karns

If you're really desperate, you can contact them to work for attendance.

If you sign up online, the full show is only $180.  Besides an intensive two and a half days of stuffing your mind, meeting others who are thinking like you are, they also serve lunch on Saturday and Sunday.  So if lunch is $10, then you're down to $160.  (You were going to eat anyway, right?)

You don't have to go to the whole thing.  Daily prices are Friday:  $15;  Saturday $100;  and Sunday $65  (if you buy online, walk-in is a little more.)  So, just check out Friday and decide then if you want more. 

  •  Tumbleweed-inspired houses: Building and Living in a Tiny House on a Trailer by Kevin Cassity & Dave Mortensen

If you're a student, a senior (can't find the cutoff), or have special needs, you get a discount.  Of course, there are financially comfortable students, seniors,  as well as those who need help.  I think special needs probably stretches to cover anyone who really wants to go, but can't afford to.  Call them and negotiate, but don't be a cheapskate.  If you can afford it, pay it.  They need to cover their bills for the conference and if they have some left over for their regular expenses that would be good. 

  • Ancestral Celtic Knowledge for Today’s Sustainable Communities by Nancy Lee-Evans PhD

Register in advance (up to October 12) here.

Expensive is Relative 

People pay $10 or more for a two hour movie.  Plus more for popcorn and drinks.  And how much do you pay to spend a few hours in a bar?  Eight hours Sunday is $65 in advance and it could change your life as you see an alternative to the gloomy scenario we get from the media, a way to get to the next step in human social/economic evolution.  Meet people who are committed to making the world a better place. 

  •  What are On- Line Food Cooperatives? By Andrew Crow.

Here's a video from 2008 by some of the local folks who have been working on this.  The production quality is low.  I'd say this is probably the best the local folks have.  If the conference is like the video, then you should ask for your money back.  Or better yet, volunteer to make them a better video.  (I don't know the person who made the video, but I applaud him for documenting what he did.  But it's not a good ad for the conference.)  The Anchorage group is small and stretched.  But in addition to local speakers, there is a panel of national speakers you'll be watching with other conference attendees around the country.

OK, I just can't bring myself to post the video here.  If you really need to see it, click here.

But here are details from some of their online listed workshops. 

Clean Energy Opportunities for Alaska by Chris Rose
Alaska is at an energy crossroads. Villagers in small, remote villages that rely almost exclusively on oil for heat and electricity are paying some of the highest energy prices in the country. In the Upper Cook Inlet where more than half of the state’s population lives supplies of already discovered natural gas are diminishing quickly. In June 2011 the local Anchorage heating and electric utilities announced that they are preparing to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the world market, beginning in 2014. But Alaska also has vast renewable energy and energy efficiency resources. This presentation will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with developing these clean energy resources, and what Alaskans can do to expedite a clean energy future. Chris Rose is the founder of REAP, and has served as its Executive Director since October 2004. He is an attorney, mediator, and activist. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa and received his J.D. from the University of Oregon, with a certificate in environmental and natural resource law
Alaska Food Challenge by Saskia Esslinger & Matt Oster
Matt and Saskia are four months into a challenge to eat all Alaskan for an entire year. Come find out what they’ve learned about growing, foraging, and sourcing local food, as well as how this challenge has affected their finances, time, and health. We will discuss the larger implications of this project and how all Alaskans might become more food secure. Saskia is a certified Permaculture designer and teacher, and has a master’s degree in Regenerative Entrepreneurship from Gaia University. She co-owns Red Edge Design with her husband, Matt, and offers edible gardening workshops, consultations, and designs. Matt is a general contractor and certified home energy rater, and has helped over 1000 homeowners in Alaska save money and live more comfortably in their home. He is certified in Permaculture design and utilizes systems thinking to analyze homes and their outside environment.
Transitioning your Neighborhood: Building Resilience into your Community by Cindee Karns
Have you heard of the Transition Town movement but never took the time to read Rob Hopkinsʼ book? Have you always felt like you should connect more with your neighbors? How DO we ride the slide with grace in a post peak world? This workshop will give you the basic ideas you need to start a transition neighborhood of your own. Be prepared to practice the tools/methods needed to be successful. Cindee Karns is owner and operator of the AlaskanEcoEscape Permaculture Center, Alaskaʼs only Bioshelter, and has been involved in Anchorageʼs Transition Movement for 2 years.

Tumbleweed-inspired houses: Building and Living in a Tiny House on a Trailer by Kevin Cassity & Dave Mortensen
In this workshop Kevin will share his experience designing and building a tiny house on a trailer, dealing with municipal requirements, and living in the house. Kevin’s house is an original design inspired by the well-known Tumbleweed Tiny houses and built with some extra attention to using non-toxic components and finishes and minimizing negative environmental impact. This workshop will include slides of the house in progress and a house tour if this can be arranged. Kevin has been an itinerate river/wilderness guide and private music instructor. He lives in a 150 sq. ft. moveable cabin on a trailer on the Anchorage hillside, getting to know the area and preparing to build a more permanent dwelling.
What are On- Line Food Cooperatives? By Andrew Crow.
Many communities in the lower 48 have turned to on line cooperatives as a way to increase access to local food. This workshop will describe how on line food cooperatives have been organized, how they function, and will give suggestions to anyone interested in setting up an on line food co-op
Ancestral Celtic Knowledge for Today’s Sustainable Communities by Nancy Lee-Evans PhD 
Cheap oil has produced many layers of separation in our lives – from family, traditional knowledge, the land and our spiritual connection to all of life. Expensive oil will of necessity force us back together into more locally close, interdependent systems. While we mayhave the technical means for sustainability, how we negotiate the social aspects of that reconnection will have a great deal to do with the level of ease with which we live with our sustainable solutions.Nancy Lee-Evans PhD, author, Celtic scholar, permaculturist, holistic healer and director of The Anam Cara Program teaches classes on wild plant lore, the sacred relationship with all life, ancestral knowledge and lifeways that are central to indigenous traditions and which support the social fabric of sustainable communities and lifestyle.
 These are just the 9am Saturday workshops. 

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