New Bedford Attracts its Largest Downtown Convention ….x5!

The 4th annual Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change, a national environmental and social justice conference, will take place this year for the first time in historic downtown New Bedford, from Oct. 23 to 26.
Founded in 1990, Bioneers is a nonprofit organization that promotes practical environmental solutions and innovative social strategies for restoring the Earth and communities.
The conference is moving downtown this year because they outgrew their space at UMass-Dartmouth; up to 4,000 attendees from across the Northeast are expected, and local New Bedford businesses are urged to participate—not only for the exposure, but for the “green” education.
“Not only will this conference serve to educate many people about Green and Sustainable businesses, but it can also serve your company to send representatives to learn from Green Entrepreneurs and successful Green businesses,” said Desa Van Laarhoven, Executive Director of the Marion Institute, a conference host.
“One of the central themes of our conference is buying local and supporting our local economy, which is why we would like to invite New Bedford’s many wonderful businesses to be prominently featured at our conference.”
The annual conference is a three-day gathering that seeks to inspire, motivate, and connect everyday citizens to restore the Earth and its people. Bioneer conferences seek to educate and galvanize business owners, writers, artists, biologists, educators, and farmers, combining ecological approaches with social, spiritual and political strategies.
“The Bioneers by the Bay Connecting for Change Conference presents a great opportunity to showcase New Bedford as a ‘green city’ to a national audience,” said Mayor Scott W. Lang of New Bedford.
Bioneers is also hosted by the Center at Westwoods, UMass-Dartmouth, Bioneers and Chelsea Green Publishing.
“We are looking forward to all of the technical expertise, educational opportunities and innovative ideas that this conference will bring to our city,” Mayor Lang said.
Van Laarhoven said business owners will learn all about “the Three P’s: People, Planet and Profit.”
“The general public has realized that the environment, and people, should be valued by businesses,” she said. “Many people, including myself, look at spending money as voting—I try and spend my money at places that align with my value system.”
“Local business owners will also learn about greening their company and saving money, ideas, innovations and exposure to a crowd that wants to support what they are doing,” Van Laarhoven said.
Featured expert speakers include: Gary Hirshberg, CEO and Founder of Stonyfield Farm; John Perkins, Economist and New York Times best-selling author; John Abrams, builder of green and affordable houses; Van Jones, green jobs leader; Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx; and David Orr, Lynne Twist, John Perkins, Eliot Coleman, Rha Goddess, John Abrams, Dr. Thomas Rau, Peter Barnes and Riki Ott.
In addition to the conference program, Bioneers also offers a Youth Initiative; a vibrant Farmers’ Market; a Film Festival; a media room; delicious seasonal and local food; pod-casts; an Exhibit Hall, and a “Village Green”– an open space environment for dialogue and networking.
For more information on how to participate, become a partner, sponsor, exhibitor or register please visit our website at If you have any questions, comments or ideas please contact Desa VanLaarhoven at or call call (508) 748-0816.

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