The Great Lakes Bioneers Traverse City kicks off this week and includes three days of speakers, workshops, music, food and more centered around the concept of the interdependence of people and nature. From October 15-17, 2010, speakers, workshops, things for kids and events will be held at Northwestern Michigan College, the State Theater, Inside Out Gallery and more. All are designed to be informative and celebratory of the Bioneer’s wholistic approach to finding the balance between nature and man, as well as a philosophy that approaches solving the world’s problems as a whole instead of chasing after the parts.

Speakers that will be beamed into NMC’s Milliken Auditorium include Jessy Tolkan one of the nation’s most effective youth activists, Dr. James Hansen who is among the world’s top climate scientists, Elizabeth K. Lindsey, an award-winning filmmaker and anthropologist, and many more. Workshops, music events, great food and children’s events round out a fabulous three-days. Here’s the line-up for three-days packed with information and inspiration.

Schedule of Plenary Speakers

Beamed in from California during the Conference, this speaker lineup will be viewed in Milliken Auditorium on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City on the afternoons of October 15, 16, and 17.

Friday Plenaries 1:30pm-5:00pm

JOHN FRANCIS, gave up using motorized vehicles after witnessing the devastating effects of an oil spill in San Francisco Bay in the early 1970’s. Since, he has served as a goodwill ambassador for the UN Environmental Program, contributed to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and founded Planetwalk, an environmental education nonprofit. Author of Planetwalker, John will explore the environmental crisis as a reflection of worldwide social and economic inequity.

JESSY TOLKAN is among the nation’s most effective youth activists. In 2006, she was named one of the REAL HOT 100 Women in America for her work registering 130,000 young voters. Today she serves as Political Director of Green For All, seeking climate justice and green jobs for low-income communities and communities of color. She will outline what’s required to get us to a clean energy future that’s green for all.

DR. JAMES HANSEN is among the world’s top climate scientists, he describes the dire urgency for dramatic global climate action, including the immediate end to new coal plants. Since 1981 he has served as head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He will share his personal odyssey into climate action, including civil disobedience.”

MALLIKA DUTT is founder and Executive Director of Breakthrough, an innovative international human rights organization using the power of popular culture, media and community education to transform public attitudes and advance equality, justice, and dignity. She has conceived and led Breakthrough’s award-winning campaigns on violence against women and immigration reform that have reached millions. She’ll share this organization’s journey of transforming hearts and minds to build cultures that respect dignity for all.

PETER WARSHALL, Ph.D. is the Co-Director of Dreaming New Mexico (DNM) and a world-renowned water steward, maniacal naturalist, research scientist and former public official, portrays this inspiring systemic model of place-based restoration. DNM (a Bioneers project) produced a statewide vision of all aspects of a region’s food system. DNM provides a “globalocalized” model for envisioning and implementing do-able dreams to leverage the way we produce, market and eat food.

Saturday Plenaries 1:30pm-5:00pm

ELIZABETH K. LINDSEY Ph.D., is an award-winning filmmaker and anthropologist committed to ethnographic rescue and the conservation of vanishing indigenous knowledge and tradition. The first female National Geographic Fellow and a descendant of Hawaiian chiefs, English seafarers and Chinese merchants, she was raised by Hawaiian elders who prophesied her role as a steward of ancestral wisdom. She will describe her 2010 186-day expedition by seaplane, and present her findings.

ANDY LIPKIS is one of the nation’s great leaders of community-based urban environmental initiatives. He has led a highly successful and visionary integrated watershed management process in Los Angeles that resulted in the first major urban Department of the Watershed. Andy will share cutting-edge efforts in cities that integrate urban forests and natural ecosystems with wise human engineering.

MARY GONZALES, a Mexican-American Chicago native, is a legendary community organizer and California Director for Gamaliel Foundation, an international institute building faith-based organizing (and which trained Barack Obama as a community organizer). She will discuss the Enironment and Its Relationship to Equity and the Economy.

JOHN WARNER is a seminal founder of Green Chemistry, he co-founded the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, and was formerly a professor of Community Health and Sustainability and of Plastics Engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Author of over 100 patents, papers and books including Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice, he will explore the opportunities to learn from nature about materials and the very process of innovation and creativity.

GARY HIRSHBERG, CEO of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s largest organic yogurt company that he helped start 27 years ago. In 2005, he was named managing director of Stonyfield Europe, a joint venture with Groupe Danone (France). He’s also Chairman and co-founder of O’Naturals, a chain of natural fast-food restaurants. A visionary sustainability activist for over 33 years, Gary is working with large companies to reduce their health-care costs by motivating employees to adopt self-care practices.

Sunday Plenaries 1:30am-5:00pm

LYNNE TWIST, visionary co-founder of The Pachamama Alliance, will explore the origin, evolution and scope of this cutting-edge group’s work, including its most recent accomplishments assisting the Ecuadorian government to embed the rights of nature in its national Constitution, the first in the world. She’ll also report on the Four Years Go campaign to help catalyze dramatic global transformation.

JOHN A. POWELL, an internationally recognized authority in civil rights and liberties, structural racialization, ethnicity, housing, poverty and democracy, is Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State. He holds the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties at the University’s College of Law. He founded the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota; was National Legal Director of the ACLU; co-founded the Poverty & Race Research Action Council; and has taught at numerous law schools including Harvard and Columbia.

GLORIA FELDT A bestselling author, her newest book, No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power offers practical tools for leading and living unlimited. Former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and board member of Women’s Media Center, she teaches “Women, Power, and Leadership” at Arizona State University. Gloria Feldt shares her personal journey from timid teen to nationally prominent women’s rights leader.

Dr. ANTHONY CORTESE, a groundbreaking leader in transforming higher education, is Founder and President of Second Nature, supporting senior college and university leaders in making healthy, just and sustainable living the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education. He is a principal organizer of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, as well as co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Anthony will survey some of the most promising developments in education, and what still needs to happen.

JANE GOODALL, Ph.D, DBE. Fifty years ago, Dr. Goodall, who is today a world-renowned primatologist, conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace, first set foot on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in what is now Tanzania’s Gombe National Park. The chimpanzee behavioral research she pioneered there has produced a wealth of scientific discovery, and her vision has expanded into a global mission to empower people to make a difference for all living things. Dr. Goodall will reflect – both personally and professionally – on the meaning of the past five decades, the extraordinary changes the world has seen since 1960, and the impact these changes have had on people, animals and the environment we all share.

Local Workshops at Northwestern Michigan College

Friday Morning, October 15, 2010 10:15 am-11:45 am

Understanding Grant-Making from the Inside
Janus Rm, Dennos MuseumJoin keynote speaker Marsha Smith, Executive Director of Rotary Charities of Traverse City, and Debbie McKeon, Executive Director of NorthSky Nonprofit Network, for a simulation workshop where you become the foundation executive. Examine proposals, develop grant-making criteria and balance your available funds. Explore strategic leveraging of resources to make tough decisions and gain an insider’s perspective to the world of foundations and philanthropists.

Milliken Auditorium
Underwritten by The Larkin GroupThis is a special Children’s Concert for local elementary students, and for as many Bioneers as we can fit! Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Joe Reilly returns to Bioneers, singing his messages of hope and peace. His unique and powerful voice is rooted in Native American, folk, blues, jazz, liturgical, and classical music, academic studies of environmental justice and racism, and his spiritual roots in Catholicism and Native American religions. His creativity and honesty call for holistic healing of society for the benefit of future generations. Joe has written, arranged, recorded, and published over 30 songs on three albums; he has built a career sharing his music with a diverse audiences across the United States through recording, community-based performances, educational and instructional workshops, and tours. Come for a morning of laughs, songs, and a whole lot of feelin’ great.

Reducing Cancer Risk
Beckett Building, Rm 146Katherine Roth, MD, facilitates this workshop that will help people identify sources of environmental cancer and provide ways to reduce those risks through natural approaches.

Chicken TV and Neighborhood Resilience
Scholars Hall, Rm 102The three families (ages 6 to 74) of Homestead Co-op in Benzie County will share their experiences forming and operating a rural neighborhood co-op centered around raising chickens, but also now growing veggies and stewarding a piece of forest land. This fun workshop will look at how chickens can be a force for building resilient, local communities.

Transition Towns 101: Grassroots Resilience
Scholars Hall, Rm 101Planning for a future with economic disruption, dramatically lower energy consumption, and climate instability, the Transition Town movement encourages re-localization of decision making and seeks to ‘unleash the collective genius of our communities’ to create networks of mutual support. Presented by Marilyn and Dana Johnson, founding board members of Transition Van Buren-Allegan.

Working Together: Local Governments, Businesses, Citizens
Scholars Hall, Rm 109This workshop will give insight into how participants can get involved and help transform their communities by working with local governments and businesses. Patty O’Donnell, regional planner for the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, will use several local examples as case studies to explore working strategies including the Sustainable Business Forum, non-motorized transportation planning, and energy efficiency in local government.

Water Policy in the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed
Scholars Hall, Rm 207
Learn about four local water quality issues and discuss both regulatory andnon-regulatory approaches to addressing them. The workshop will address existing laws and regulatory structures, the success of these approaches, and ideas for other strategies. Ellen Kohler, a practicing attorney in environmental, land use, and natural resources law for 17 years,  will facilitate.

Advocacy on the Verge: Affecting Change in Your Community
Scholars Hall, Rm 217Join Bill Palladino, long-time organizational leadership consultant currently with Krios Consulting, and analyze the fundamental structures used by governmental entities in order to affect real change within your own community and beyond. Learn in detail what can be expected, what should not be expected, popular myths or misconceptions, how to measure effectiveness, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.

Connecting Children to the Natural World
Scholars Hall, Rm 205Participants will engage in several fun, sensory-rich activities specifically designed to help children ages 4-7 build a stronger connection with the natural world. The activities will be easily reproducible and children are absolutely welcome! Jana Lanning has presented this workshop many times at the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Conference for Family Literacy; Rachael Birgy, another specialist in early childhood development, will join her.

Working Better Together: Holism for Small Groups
Scholars Hall, Rm 204Join Seamus Norgaard, life coach, spiritual guide, peace activist, and history professor, for an interactive workshop inviting folks to role-play and practice using tools for nonviolent communication, spiritual democracy, and group creativity in order to foster healthy human dynamics and rewarding interactions.

Personal and Planetary Resilience
Beckett Building, Rm 147Our own personal sickness and contamination is related to the health and toxicity of our community, family, and planet. Permaculturally speaking, we need to take care of Zone Zero – ourselves – within the larger world and we need to see ourselves as part of a larger system. We build our own resilience by tapping into and learning from nature’s resilience. Diane Osborne, a healing and transformation adventurer, leads an experiential workshop awakening instinct, insight, and intuition.

Friday Afternoon, October 15, 2010 1:15 – 2:15 pm

Turning Youth into Bioneers
Scholars Hall, Rm 217Join Bill Watson, Director of Youth Development for SEEDS, (see Saturday workshop) for a fun interactive and participatory afternoon session. Learn tricks to engage people of all ages in non-competitive games, methods for building and gaining trust and why getting people to laugh breaks down barriers.

Learning from Wild Plants
Scholars Hall, Rm 101When you learn the name of a plant and something about its nature, you enter into the beginnings of a relationship with that plant. Meg Louwsma has been studying plants for 7 years following in the Wise Woman tradition. Her workshop will introduce you to dozens of native and non-native naturalized plants, their history, folklore, and culinary and medicinal uses. How do plants interact with one another? And how can humans learn good governance by observing the laws of nature?

A Handmade Life: Woodworking for Homesteaders
Scholars Hall, Rm 204Learn to build utilitarian wooden projects for the home and homestead and become more self-sufficient. Matt Joppich, who has been working with wood since the age of six and now earns his living building wooden furniture, will teach participants how some simple hand tools can allow you to satisfy your soul

Saturday Morning, October 16, 2010 10:15 am-11:45 am

Derek J. Bailey & Chris Bzdok
Milliken AuditoriumJoin Derek Bailey, Chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, and Chris Bzdok, Mayor of Traverse City, for an informal question and answer session following their keynote presentation.

As Local As Possible
Scholars Hall, Rm 209Practicing direct linkage between producer and consumer reminds us that we have collaborative power to change the way things are. Bruce Odom, owner of Odom Re-use Co, a used building material retail, salvage, and deconstruction business, will lead a discussion exploring methods for putting control of a region’s economic health directly in the hands of its inhabitants.

Biosand Filtration for Safe Drinking Water
Scholars Hall, Rm 101
Aqua Clara biosand filtration can provide biologically safe drinking water for citizens at low cost. A family-size water purifier can be made from locally available materials for under $15, requires no electricity or moving parts, and is capable of providing 40 liters of drinking water per day for 8-10 years. Ted Loudon, PhD, PE, and Professor Emeritus from MSU, has worked with on-site wastewater treatment for thirty years. Bob McDonald, PhD, retired as a Dow Chemical executive and started tackling the need to produce inexpensive clean water globally as President of AquaClara International.

Life in Fish-Bowl Earth: Energy and Governance
Scholars Hall, Rm 202Energy is a key ingredient in all our societal systems. Ric Evans, owner of Paradigm Energy Services, helps participants gain a better understanding of their personal relationship to energy from the ‘macro’ to the ‘micro’. With ‘true cost’ accounting, he argues for a shift away from ‘ancient sunlight’ (petrol/carbon based fuels) and a return to ‘current solar income’ sources. Learn about practical do-it-yourself efficiency projects and current incentives.

Affecting Local Governments
Scholars Hall, Rm 109Government is ‘us’ and it can be expected to serve the needs of the people. Participants will gain a practical understanding of how to participate and affect decision-making at the local governmental level. Gordon L. Hayward, a retired land use planner of 35 years, will present two case studies of public participation making a decisive impact on local policy.

Climate Change 2010
Scholars Hall, Rm 22Presenting the latest information on climate change including impacts on the Great Lakes region, Peter Sinclair, an award winning graphic artist, illustrator, and animator running Greenman Studio in Midland, MI, will host an engaging ‘must see’ session. By clarifying and dispelling the misinformation about global climate change, Sinclair empowers participants to urge their representatives to take action on renewable energy and sustainable development.

A Handmade Life: Woodworking for HomesteadersSee Friday Afternoon Workshops

Turning Youth into Bioneers
Scholars Hall, Rm 217SEEDS staff will share their experiences launching a very Bioneer-ish after school program and changing the lives of students – and their families – in 5 counties. Participants will leave compelled to get involved, become youth mentors and help us come up with new programming and collaboration ideas. This workshop will be facilitated by Bill Watson, Director of Youth Development for SEEDS, who has worked with youth for over a decade, spearheading creative partnerships that transform youth and their communities together.

Creating a Culture of Self Repair
Scholars Hall, Rm 205We are admonished to ‘consult your doctor’ for virtually every symptom one can imagine, as if it were not possible to get well without first seeing a physician. This workshop will focus on stepping out of this victim culture and stepping up to our responsibility to govern our own health. Flora Biancalana, MD, Board Certified in Holistic Medicine, and Anne Hughes, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Master Herbalist, will explore the concept of self-healing and the way that body chemistry is altered by perceptions and emotions.

Saturday Afternoon, October 16, 2010 2 -3:30 pm

Build a Biosand Filtration System for Drinking Water
Scholars Hall, Rm 102A hands-on companion to their morning workshop, join Ted Loudon and Bob McDonald as they guide you in the construction of an Aqua Clara biosand filtration system. This system can provide biologically safe drinking water for a family for under $15 without electricity or moving parts.

A Question Leads to a Story
Scholars Hall, Rm 205Nadia and Sonja Daniels Moehle, young sisters who started the Books for Walls Project, will facilitate a family-friendly interactive workshop about reading and sharing ideas through storytelling. A culture of effective listeners and communicators is key in a healthy civilization – and sharing stories is a great way for people of all ages to practice being both.

Sunday Morning, October 17, 2010 10:15 am-11:45 am

Ecological Governance: What and How
Milliken AuditoriumSustainability requires governance that is based on ecological laws, principles, and mandates and may bring a community together in a new way. Look beyond current cultural, political, and economic divisions. Explore the implications of ecologically informed politics, law and policy with keynote speaker, David Haenke, a leader in bioregionaI movements for over 40 years and a sustainable forester in the Ozarks.

The Economics of Happiness: Ladakh, Tibet
Scholars Hall, Rm 205Deb Van Poolen, a program coordinator for the International Society for Ecology and Culture, will share her experiences in Ladakh (an autonomous area of Tibet under Indian jurisdiction). This workshop will look at contrasts between bioregional and industrial traditions.

Reclaiming Public Rights of Way
Scholars Hall, Rm 101We have chosen to ‘write-off’ much of our public space, devoting it to the automobile. Reclaiming our streets for people while keeping the auto can inspire us to get involved in local planning. Join Gary Howe, photojournalist, world explorer, and creator of the blog He will lead a series of group projects to re-imagine streets and strategize implementation.

Water Work: A Right and a Responsibility
Scholars Hall, Rm 207This workshop will deal with the issue of water privatization, the notion of the commons, and how ordinary citizens can – and must – act to protect their local waters from corporate theft. Terry Swier of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, will lead an interactive discussion.

Sew a Button, Revamp Your Clothes
Scholars Hall, Rm 209This hands-on workshop will start with a basic introduction to fabrics including a fashion show of recycled and revamped clothing. Participants will learn to thread a needle, knot thread, sew two kinds of buttons and also modify pants and other clothing. Some techniques for patching and fabric repair will be taught as well, so participants can bring their own project! Victoria Velting Luebke has been sewing since third grade and has been making a living from it for nine years.

Planning a Green Burial
Scholars Hall, Rm 113This presentation will prepare attendees to create ‘last wishes’ documents allowing for green burial. Returning from a standing-Rm-only workshop last year, Kimberli Bindschatel and Tom Nelson have been developing a conservation cemetery in Leelanau Cty slated to open in spring 2011.

Tibetan Sound Methods: Remaining Peaceful in the Center of the Storm
Scholars Hall, Rm 202This interactive and experiential workshop will focus on Tibetan methods for accessing peaceful and contented states of consciousness at will. Sound vibrations, using Tibetan singing bowls and harmonic chants, are tools for self control and the healing process that is so needed when dealing with high stakes issues. Mark Handler, MSW, is a licensed social worker and an Amrit yoga instructor.

Changing the World, Eight Women at a Time
Scholars Hall, Rm 204In 2009 the Dalai Lama boldly announced, ‘The world will be saved by western women’. Whoa – excuse me? What is it about women that they could better address the ills of our time? And why western women in particular? For all genders, participate in a discussion about how women may be biologically, psychologically, and spiritually equipped to lead us into a new world model. Lisa Franseen, PhD in psychology and four-time Great Lakes Bioneers presenter, will help participants look at these qualities within themselves and ’see’ them in others.

The Traverse Transition Initiative
Scholars Hall, Rm 217By proposing sensible, coordinated, participatory responses to the predicaments of climate change and the peaking of oil production, the Transition Initiative movement grounds citizen action in the everyday realities of meeting basic human needs more locally and within the terms of governance set by the ecosphere. Join Penny Krebiehl, certified permaculture instructor, and Stephanie Mills, bioregionalist author and Post Carbon Institute Fellow, for an exploration of the movement worldwide and in Traverse City.

Special Events

Chris Dorman CD Release Party
Thursday, October 14 · 7:00pm – 11:30pmHigher Grounds Trading Co. (806 Red Drive, ) Traverse City, MI

This show will be his first release of Sita in Traverse City and will feature an all star backing band featuring Darlene, Seth Bernard, May Erlewine, Mike Shimmin and Steven Leaf. Tickets are $10 at the door. Doors Open at 7 pm Show starts at 8 pm. Gifts and Creatures will open the show.This show is a benefit for Run Across

Earthwork Music Collective’s Good Governance Groove ConcertFriday Oct 15th – 8pm @ Milliken Auditorium

Soothe your ears and excite your soul as the Earthwork Music Collective, treat us to a concert of Michigan roots music in the spirit of collaboration. May Erlewine and Seth Bernard, Bioneers ambassadors-at-large, along with a collection of other Earthwork musicians will inform, delight, and inspire. The Earthwork Music Collective believes in the intrinsic and historical power of music to raise both community and self-awareness and serves to facilitate and encourage original music in the state of Michigan and beyond.

Mad City ChickensSaturday Oct 16th – 8 pm show @ The State Theatre

Film to be hand picked by Great Lakes Bioneers for the occasion! Head on over to downtown Traverse City’s historic State Theatre at 233 East Front Street to enjoy the plush seating as you watch the Great Lakes Bioneers documentary film choice for 2010.

Saturday Night Mixer @ Inside Out GalleryOct 16th – $5 donation at the door – Doors open at 8pm

The Red Sea Pedestrians are a one-of-a-kind, full-blown, instrument-swapping fusion between tradition and the here-and-now. We’re talkin’ high-energy americana and world-beat, hypnotic laments from the earth, songs of celebration and wonder. A warped and beautiful blend of cultures and eras. 

Make a Weekend of the Great Lakes Bioneers! Find a hotel…Rent a cabin…Find restaurants…Check out Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore