Collective Heritage Institute, aka Bioneers, was founded in 1990, when Kenny Ausubel and Nina Simons assembled Bioneers for the first annual Bioneers conference, a gathering of scientific and social innovators who have demonstrated visionary and practical models for restoring the Earth and communities.
Bioneers was conceived to conduct 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.
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.