Northland Bioneers Conference aims to be a catalyst for green policy making


Organizers expect more than 600 people from the five-state area to attend the second annual Northland Bioneers Conference at St. Paul’s United Auto Workers Ford Training Center on November 2-4. The conference will feature more than 30 workshops on issues such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, sustainable agriculture, crafting messages for making change, and empowering multicultural youth leaders.

Workshops will be facilitated by local volunteers, including politicians, eco-entrepreneurs, environmental and labor activists, and college students from the Higher Education Consortium of Urban Affairs (HECUA) environmental studies program.
The conference, hosted by local non-profit Northland Sustainable Solutions, is a satellite of the national Bioneers group founded in 1990 in New Mexico. The 18th annual conference will take place simultaneously in 22 cities across the country. Each city’s conference will feature broadcasts of addresses made by speakers at the October 19-21 Bioneers conference in San Rafael, CA. Those speakers include Eve Ensler, author of “The Vagina Monologues” and Minnesota indigenous activist Winona LaDuke.
“This will be very different from last year’s conference,” says Minnesota conference director Vonda Vaden. “We’ve made it our intention to bring a very diverse group of people to the conference-business people, scientists, every-day workers, and just people who want to make a better planet.”
Friday night’s session will focus on the issue of environmentally conscious food, including a moderated discussion with a panel of local restaurant owners and catering companies specializing in meals made from organic and locally-grown ingredients. Among them is Danny Schwartzman, co-founder of the newly opened Common Roots Café in uptown Minneapolis.
For conference information, go to