We're privileged to have a live satellite feed from the Bioneers Conference in California during the weekend and we've wrapped that package in colorful, powerful panels and discussions to bring the words and deeds of sustainability home, rooted deeply in place.
The events kick off Thursday evening, Oct. 13, with an Opening Party at the Telluride Elks Lodge, 4-6 p.m. We're honored to have seven senators from the Czech Republic visiting this region. Come, meet the senators and stay for the Celebratory Dinner that follows from 6-9 p.m., catered by La Cocina de Luz with award-winning Sutcliffe Vineyard wines, all for a modest $30. With the exception of the dinner, all events are free and open to all.
The Politics of Money
Is money an issue for sustainability? It isn't far from anyone's mind here in Telluride where the working class works very hard indeed: if you aren't working three jobs, you're working four. We're delighted to have Dr. Bernard Lietaer as a keynote speaker on Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Opera House. (Just before the KOTO party). His book The Future of Money explores current currency systems, alternative and community currency (barter) systems. He is developing the idea of a monetary system designed for sustainable abundance rather than for competition and scarcity.
Get ready for Friday night with wakeup coffee and muffins at the Sheridan Opera House before diving into a full day. Ideas Festival panels are designed as here and now, think and do tanks. Local and regional experts will be onstage with audience participation key to developing action agendas for sustainability now. These panels will wrap around the live feed from Bioneers sessions in California. In addition to panels and presentations there will be ample opportunities for informal discussions on many topics at lunchtime roundtables and Saturday evening's Marketplace of Ideas at local restaurants.
Friday's Ideas Festival panels include Powering the Future, Everybody Eats/Waste Not, Want Not, Sustainable Business (with a special report from Telski), and Life in the Mountains: the Next Generation. Our short stories will include a look at Telski's marketing "Rugged, Refined, Real," plus a guest appearance by one or several of the visiting Czech senators. Lance McDonald will give us a brief report on our successful work on air quality in the valley. It's not often we can give ourselves a pat on the back, but this is deserved.
Bioneers on Friday will include Janine Benyus, who coined the term and is a major researcher in the field of Biomimicry learning to use the techniques nature has developed over millions of years to fulfill human needs with style and grace and far fewer environmental impacts. Urban food production and wilderness wildlife protection fill out the morning session.
Saturday will start off with two more short stories sustainability through an artist's eye, and what does a sustainable community look like; can it really happen? Bioneers topics for the morning include predators, the precautionary principle, greening the inner city and communication. What's the situation really like here at home? We'll hear from our own communicators, regional elected officials have an Ideas Panel after lunch. We'll get a Birdseye View of the Watershed when Dan Collins presents his three dimensional map of the San Miguel Watershed, and we can discuss how that tool can help in our efforts toward sustainability.
The afternoon continues with How Green is Your Valley? with representatives from the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Sheep Mountain Alliance, Nature Conservancy and San Miguel Conservation Foundation, talking about our natural landscapes and how we can protect and preserve them.
A key panel for the region happens Saturday at 4:30 p.m. when we'll hear the Sustainability Story So Far. Tom Wirth and Nina Kothe will give us an update on the Sustainability Inventory process underway in the Telluride Region. We're about to get a great deal of information that is key to planning our future. Will we know what to do with it? Also on that panel will be Bob Delves to speak about the Watershed Coalition's "Report Card" another means to measure where we are and where we're going. ZERI graduate, Shannon Carman, from the LaBoca Center for Sustainability in Ignacio will be present to let us know what's happening over the pass in Durango and points south.
Bioneers topics on Saturday evening include "unreasonable women" as a force of action, the power of the feminine and Bill McKibben on global warming.
Sunday's sessions cover community gardens and organic farming, the ancient council as a means of sustaining indigenous peoples, reviving the nature of our cities and David Orr on ecological design intelligence, ending with a powerful performance by Bernice Johnson Reagon.
The Telluride Institute is particularly proud to welcome Telluride's special guest Alicia Benford, relocated from New Orleans, who will be present at a Marketplace of Ideas discussion Saturday evening. San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters and Emergency Management Planner Jennifer Dinsmore will also be participating. We'll ask ourselves: how well we are prepared for a local disaster?
There's much to talk about and much to do! This collaborative event is put on by the Telluride Institute and Telluride's Beaming Bioneers with support from many organizations, including Sheep Mountain Alliance, Out Loud Lecture Series and a Town of Telluride's CCAASE grant. The weekend will provide mental fodder for the coming winter months and spur people to action! Ideas into action, like spreading ripples from a drop in a pond or the myriad of interconnections of a mycelial web. Updated schedules will be posted throughout town and always available at the door of the Opera House. Remember everything (except Thursday's dinner and your own lunches and dinners) is free! Don't miss this energetic, intense event. Our present and our future are in our own hands. We can make it as magnificent as our mountains rich, deep, nurturing and sustainable Now!