Nature's Operating Instructions

The True Biotechnologies

By Kenny Ausubel (Editor); J. P. Harpignies (Editor); Paul Hawken (Foreword by)
(Sierra Club Books, Paperback, 9781578050994, 236pp.)

Publication Date: October 2004

List Price: $16.95*
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Archiving corn strains to guard against genetic pollution Coating chainsaw blades with mushroom spores to speed forest regeneration Growing crops that literally suck heavy metals out of damaged soil ... These are not utopian fantasies but proven strategies developed by experts who have discovered how to exploit the innate intelligence of living systems to create true biotechnologies.”
The Bioneers (biological pioneers”) are a network of scientists, writers, economists, artists, and other leaders with practical and visionary solutions for our most pressing environmental and social challenges. Their annual conference draws global attention, and its most inspiring presentations become source material for books in the Bioneers series.
In this volume, Bioneers founder Kenny Ausubel gathers reports from leaders in the fields of biomimicry (mimicking nature to restore environments and transform production processes), living technologies” that break down toxics biologically; and ecologically sound design for buildings and industries. These are set alongside essays by such writers as Paul Hawken, Terry Tempest Williams, and Michael Pollan that underscore the need to work in harmony with natural systems. Unlike corporatized genetic manipulation, the true biotechnologies” explored here illuminate a future of hope by wedding human ingenuity to the wisdom of the wild.

About the Author
Kenny Ausubel is an award-winning social entrepreneur, author, journalist and filmmaker. He is co-CEO and cofounder of Bioneers, a nonprofit dedicated to disseminating practical and visionary solutions for restoring Earth's imperiled ecosystems and healing our human communities. Ausubel launched the celebrated annual Bioneers Conference in 1990 with his Bioneers cofounder and wife, Nina Simons, and serves as executive producer of the Bioneers plenary series airing on Free Speech TV and Link TV. He acted as a central advisor to Leonardo DiCaprio's feature documentary The 11th Hour, and appears in the film. He also cofounded Seeds of Change--purveyors of organic, biodiverse heirloom seeds.

In addition to Dreaming the Future: Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature (2012), Ausubel has written three books--When Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative Therapies (2000); The Bioneers: Declarations of Interdependence (1995) and Seeds of Change: The Living Treasure (1994).

He also founded and operates Inner Tan Productions, a feature film development company, has written two screenplays, and has also produced several documentary films about alternative medicine.

Kenny has served as executive producer and principal writer of the award-winning radio series Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature, heard in more than 200 communities across the U.S. and Canada, and more globally--reaching 70 million listeners worldwide.

He lives in the mountains outside Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife and their two dogs.

J.P. Harpignies is a Brooklyn, NY-based consultant, conference producer, copy editor and writer. He is the author of several non-fiction books, including DOUBLE HELIX HUBRIS (1997), POLITICAL ECOSYSTEMS (2004), DELUSIONS OF NORMALITY (2009), and ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS (2014); co-writer of The Magic Carpet Ride (2011); editor of the collection, Visionary Plant Consciousness (2007); and associate editor of the first two Bioneers books: Ecological Medicine and Nature's Operating Instructions. He has also been the associate producer of the Bioneers Conference ( since the early 1990s; co- founded the Eco-Metropolis Conference (2004/05); has served as a senior member of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge review team since 2011; and was formerly a program director at the New York Open Center (in the early/mid 1990s). J.P. also taught t'ai chi chuan in Brooklyn for 25 years.

Paul Hawken's bestselling books include Blessed Unrest, Natural Capitalism, and The Next Economy. He has also written dozens of articles, op-eds, and papers concerning the responsibility of business to the natural environment. His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Inc magazine, the Boston Globe, the Utne Reader, and more than a hundred other publications.
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