Bioneers Part II

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bioners_sidebarTompkins Weekly – October 4, 2010

By Hilary Lambert, Nick Vaczek and Danielle Klock

Last week’s Signs of Sustainability column focused on the 2010 Finger Lakes Bioneers We Make Our Future Conference first-day events. This week’s column follows up with a summary of activities for Saturday, Oct. 23 and Sunday, Oct. 24.

Saturday begins with more Breakfast with the Bioneers from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Cinemapolis. Watch presentations on indigenous ecological knowledge, local foodsheds, biomimicry and more by Elizabeth Lindsey, Peter Warshall, Mary Gonzales, John Warner and Andy Lipkis from the 2010 Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California. Tickets are $5 for the entire morning and proceeds benefit Cinemapolis and 7th Art Cinema.

Saturday morning also marks the fall conference of the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network (CLWN), which is partnering with Finger Lakes Bioneers to offer an examination of water-focused issues that are challenging area municipalities. Bill Kappel of the U.S. Geological Survey will discuss “Hydrofracking and Municipal Decisions, Susan Riha of Cornell University will present “Stormwater Issues and Climate Change” and Liz Moran of EcoLogic, LLC will present “Status Update: Dredging Cayuga Inlet for Recreational Access and Flood Control.” The CLWN conference is free and open to the public and will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Unitarian Church Annex, 306 N. Aurora St. For more information, visit

Then, at 1:30 p.m. at the Women’s Community Building, Rob Morache of New Earth Strategies, George Frantz, a local planning consultant and Gay Nicholson, president of Sustainable Tompkins, present “Tompkins Transitions” – a customized version of the City Game that Sustainable Tompkins has developed with Medard Gabel of Big Picture/Small World. Gabel worked with Buckminster Fuller for 12 years, and has developed a number of role-playing simulation games to help citizens learn the value of systems thinking and cooperative problem solving.

In the Tompkins Transitions game, attendees will be assigned to one of 15 teams representing various neighborhoods in Ithaca or the outlying villages and hamlets, conservative and liberal media, nonprofits working on social, economic, or environmental problems and the government. Over the course of 3 rounds of play, the nonprofit teams present the problems to be solved to the place-based teams who must then negotiate with the government and each other to find solutions.

“Tompkins Transitions” is designed to give citizens, students and community leaders, including elected officials and planning board members, a chance to explore the complexity of solutions to community problems and the barriers to economic, political, and social change. Role-playing can be deeply instructive, leading to discoveries and insights into the motivations of those defending the status quo and new frameworks for winning the cooperation of others.

We hope that Tompkins Transitions will provide a useful portal for citizen engagement as the City of Ithaca launches its first comprehensive planning effort since 1972 in the coming months.

Saturday evening’s special presentation is an invitation to experience how “water is always fully engaged in speaking water” through its many elemental forms. Expert video documentarians David Brown and Lang Elliot and attuned vocalists Jayne Demakos, Alice Saltonstall and friends will explore and translate this interwoven language for us – via a harmonizing of imagery, voice and instruments. The reward might just be rejuvenation. It will be a chance to conjure up an in-depth immersion in the richness and potency of our local and planetary liquid solvency. This program will start at 8 p.m. at the Women’s Community Building and the audience is invited for refreshments.

On Sunday, Oct. 24, return to Cinemapolis for even more Breakfast with the Bioneers, featuring famed primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall. Make sure you catch the presentation by Lynne Twist before heading up to Ithaca College’s Phillip’s Hall to experience the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium at 1:30 p.m. Twist’s Pachamama Alliance developed the symposium as a way to engage and empower participants to be fully aware of our connections to the Earth and all of it’s inhabitants, and act as change agents through tapping into their personal gifts as a call to action.

The Finger Lakes Bioneers 2010 We Make Our Future Conference will close with a Service Swap, hosted by Share Tompkins organizers Shira Golding, McKenzie Jones-Rounds and Danny Bowers at the Tompkins County Workers Center, above Autumn Leaves Used Book Store on the Commons. From 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Come and be inspired, and discover your own capacity to inspire others!

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