Ecologistics® Presents:

2023 Central Coast Bioneers Conference,
A Bioneers Pollinator Event

Saturday, September 23rd

Historic Octagon Barn, 4400 Octagon Way, San Luis Obispo

Thank you to the attendees, speakers, and exhibitors who were part of the 2024 Central Coast Bioneers Conference.  Thank you to those who donated to our scholarship fund and to the creation of the new music video for “It’s a Beautiful Thing.” 

By popular request, we are putting up the information PowerPoint presentation of afternoon presenter Craig Lewis on Renewables-driven Microgrids: They Key to Future Energy Systems.

Our Photo Gallery

Pre-Conference Field Trip

Morro Bay Eco-Paddle with Mandy Davis of Wildheart Coastal Adventures

Come join us for a 2-hour multi-habitat visitation on the Morro Bay Estuary. We will stop by the mid-Estuary grassy island, Fairbanks Point, then proceed north to the harbor, including a visit with the seal lions.  After shooting the South T Pier do a “drive-by” of Morro Rock with a discussion of the human history and geology of the Estuary.

Kayakers will see sea otters, sea lions, harbor seals, local nesting birds and a variety of raptors.

Meet at 9:45 am at 501 Embarcadero, Morro Bay.  Paddle will end at noon. The fee for this tour is $25 with all proceeds going to Pacific Wildlife Care. Bring your own kayak or rent one from Central Coast Paddlesports on site – $50 for a single kayak or $60 for a double kayak.

Mandy Davis is a professional naturalist and guide and a certified paddling instructor.  With decades of guiding experience in multiple sports, and a wealth of naturalist information accumulated over a lifetime, Mandy is uniquely qualified to deliver a fun, informative and professional tour for all ages.

Bioneers Keynotes as Recorded at the 2022 National Bioneers Conference in Berkeley

Strengthening Indigenous Leadership During Collapse

Introduction by Cara Romero,
Director of Bioneers’ Indigeneity Program

By now, we have all heard the statistic that Indigenous Peoples protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity, despite being 5% of the world’s population. This simple fact alone should position Indigenous, Native, and Tribal Peoples as not only leaders but experts on resource management and climate mitigation and adaptation. Yet, in many spaces, political and institutional, Indigenous knowledge and expertise are seen as supplemental, and at worse, romantic. So how can we move beyond just acknowledging Indigenous Peoples to working to ensure that their rights are centered and strengthened in climate action at the local, national and global levels? Jade Begay, one of North America’s most effective Indigenous Rights activists will share her insights on how far Indigenous leadership has come and what we can do to strengthen and embolden this leadership that is so needed if we are all to survive on planet Earth.

The Future is Electric

Introduction by Teo Grossman,
Senior Director of Programs and Research at Bioneers

A massive influx of clean energy investments is poised to transform the American economy during this decade. Opportunities abound to take advantage of new climate incentives. If we get this right, the U.S. could be on track to reach 80% clean power by 2030, leading to deep decarbonization across other sectors including transportation, buildings and manufacturing. Nevertheless, success is far from guaranteed without widespread action from the grassroots to the canopy. What did it take to pass a historic $370 billion climate deal in Congress? How can American households and businesses take full advantage of it? What does effective, equitable implementation look like? Join award-winning author, political scientist, and climate expert Dr. Leah Stokes for a deep dive on clean energy policy and the tools we have to realize our electric future in this decade and beyond.

What I’ve Learned since The Ministry for the Future Came Out in 2020

Introduction by J.P. Harpignies,
Bioneers Senior Producer

In our opinion, Kim Stanley Robinson is our greatest living science fiction writer. His more than 20 award-winning books over four decades, translated into some 26 languages, have included many highly influential, international bestselling tomes that brilliantly explore in a wide range of ways the great eco, economic and socio-political crises facing our species, yet nothing had prepared him for the global explosion of interest in his visionary 2020 novel, Ministry for the Future, which projects how a possible climate-disrupted future might unfold and how the world might respond meaningfully. It’s also chock full of brilliant science and wildy imaginative ways humanity steps up. Among other results, he was invited by the UN to speak at COP-26 in Glasgow. Stan will offer us his overview of where we currently stand in relation to the climate crisis.

The Charging 20s

Introduction by Kenny Ausubel,
Bioneers CEO and Founder

The energy transition race is on. Fossils fuels have peaked. What do we need to get renewables to prevail as fast as possible, and can we make that victory good for everyone? The 2020s will be the decisive decade in the climate justice fight. Where and how we create the new energy economy, who gets to lead it, who owns it and who works in it now matter more than ever. We must prepare for a large pulse of eco-industrial activity the likes of which the world has never known. As we race to the finish line of the transition away from fossil fuels, visionary “green” entrepreneur and founder of New Energy Nexus Danny Kennedy will present a plan to build out the full 3D potential of clean energy—not just distributed energy, but decentralized in ownership and democratized in control. Highly decentralized global grassroots entrepreneurship is central, as the pathfinding work of New Energy Nexus is demonstrating.

Belonging without Othering: The Story of our Future

Western culture has for the last several centuries built a society founded on three strong separations: our separation from ourselves, our separation from the other (or the person we call the other), and our separation from the Earth. But, according to john powell, one of our nation’s longtime leading experts on civil rights, structural racism, poverty, and democracy, Director of the groundbreaking Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, the reality is that we’re not separate. We’re deeply connected to each other. Our challenge is that in order to emerge from the existential crises we face and to birth a far more humane civilization, we now need to look deeply at ourselves and our social structures to overcome the separations that have been inculcated into us for so long and rediscover our fundamental connection to each other and the entire web of life.

Afternoon Program

Bright Ice Initiative – Preserving Glacial Ice While Doing No Harm

Dr. Leslie Field

Global temperatures are on the rise. The long-predicted consequences of climate change are happening today, claiming lives, homes, and livelihoods. One of the most devasting effects of the warming is glacial melt.  Bright Ice Initiative is focused on increasing the reflectivity, aka albedo, of ice to slow the disastrous impact of glacial melting. Working in regions of critical need, Bright Ice’s approach is to codevelop and evaluate solutions with and for communities living under the greatest threat, offering hope to them and ultimately, to the planet.  By interrupting the harmful cycle of the melting/warming process and restoring reflectivity to key sections of glacial ice, it is possible to slow temperature rise, sea level rise, and the loss of ecosystems and species.  Bright Ice founder Dr. Leslie Field will explain the organization’s safe, simple solutions to inhibit glacial melting by adding a safe, reflective material to the surface of dirty ice and water to brighten it.

Future Expansion of the Carrizo Plain National Monument

Neil Havlik

Carrizo Plain National Monument is noted for its diverse wildlife and unusual habitat types, including numerous rare or endangered species.  The Plain and adjacent mountains contain grassland, shrub, and woodland habitats.  One of the shrub habitats, known as Upper Sonoran Sub-Shrub Scrub (“USSSS”), is restricted mainly to the Temblor Range, making it one of the rarest vegetation types in California. When the Monument was established in 2001, the eastern boundary was drawn along the ridge line of the Temblor Range, unfortunately leaving the richest portions of the USSSS and associated wildlife habitat outside the Monument.  Neil Havlik will discuss the efforts of several conservation organizations to add 16,000 acres into the Monument, adding more of the Temblor Range, which would protect more of the USSSS; improve habitat enhancement opportunities; and protect archeological and historical artifacts in the additional area.

Renewables-driven Microgrids: The Key to Future Energy Systems

Craig Lewis

A Community Microgrid is a coordinated local grid area served by one or more distribution substations and supported by high penetrations of local renewables and other distributed energy resources (DER), such as energy storage and demand response.  Community Microgrids represent a new approach for designing and operating the electric grid, relying heavily on DER to achieve a more sustainable, secure, and cost-effective energy system while providing indefinite, renewables-driven backup power for prioritized loads. Community Microgrids provide communities unparalleled economic, environmental, and resilience benefits.  Craig will explain renewables-driven microgrids and how they are key to future energy systems.

California Beyond Pesticides: Accelerating the SPM Roadmap for a Toxin-Free Future

Jan Dietrick, MPH, and Ron Whitehurst, PCA, lead a compelling discussion on efforts to eradicate toxic pesticides from California’s farms, residences, schools, and workplaces.  They shed light on the Sustainable Pest Management (SPM) Roadmap as a comprehensive framework for transition adopted by the state this year. As President of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, a supplier of beneficial insects for biological pest control and winner of the 2016 Global Regenerative Business Prize, Jan Dietrick raises awareness about the hazards of toxic pesticides. Meanwhile, Ron Whitehurst’s role as a Pest Control Advisor emphasizes his successful guidance in transitioning farms and communities to eco-friendly pest control practices. They share the broad scope of the California SPM Roadmap by which agencies and schools support a new knowledge base and practices. They propose a California Beyond Pesticides Campaign with diverse segments building the political will to speed up the transition to a healthier and regenerative California.

Denise Dudley

Our Mistress of Ceremonies
Since our founding in 2010, Denise Dudley has been “the voice of the conference” and a constant source of support and energy. She volunteers her time for us and keeps everything running smoothly throughout the event. Thank you, Denise, from the Ecologistics board of directors!

Closing Drum Circle Ceremony

Attendees who wish to participate may bring their own drum or percussion toys or borrow from the extra instruments provided. A few minutes of instruction from Francesca, our facilitator, will precede playing. The rhythm will be spontaneous, improvised and appropriate for experienced musicians and total beginners as alike.  We will set an intention that our Circle will be sending our collective energy towards the healing of our Community and our Earth and implementation of the many constructive solutions we have learned and shared during the event.  Dancing is also highly encouraged.


Breakfast will be provided by Coastal Peaks Coffee.

Lunch will be provided by Bear City Social – Farm to Street Mobile Kitchen


Featuring Volumes of Pleasure

The Central Coast Bioneers Conference bookshop since 2010.

Bioneers Pollinator gatherings/events are independently organized and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of the Bioneers organization. For more information, visit: