Dreaming New Mexico

ORGANIZATION NAME: Bioneers

LOCATION: New Mexico, USA

SUMMARY: Dreaming New Mexico is a bold, visionary and tangible methodology and tool kit for bioregional restoration applicable locally and globalocally. It addresses the systemic nature of restoration of natural and human systems, including governance and the restoration economy. Dreaming New Mexico helps facilitate ecological and social restoration at the state level by reconciling human and natural systems. It’s a systemic template, methodology and source of tools communities can use for place-based and bioregional planning. Its strategic premise: “Dreaming the future can create the future.” The primary tool of Dreaming New Mexico is the innovative tool of “future maps.” These maps envision the state’s future and revive a strong sense of and respect for place. Mapping provides any community an opportunity for collaborative design. It’s grounded in rigorous technical and strategic research, as well as multi-sectoral social mapping of networks and players.

PROBLEM SPACE: Today’s agrifood systems are dysfunctional and failing. No matter how large or small, local or global, climate change and growing population make it increasingly difficult to prevent hunger, save small and family farms, foster eco-friendly agriculture, and provide quality food. A more decentralized and equitable food system must emerge rapidly.

SOLUTION: Strategic premise: “Dreaming the future can create the future. The Dreaming New Mexico project facilitates ecological and social restoration at the state level by reconciling human organization with natural systems on energy and food systems. It provides visionary solutions, using systemic approaches for communities for place-based bioregional design and collaboration. DNM seeks whole systems transformation in energy and food systems at the state level through anticipatory design, broad cross-sectoral collaboration, bottom-up and top-down political action, and public education.

Through the “dreaming” process (“preferred state”), we stimulate citizens to ask: What would success look like? Questions include: What do we know? What do we want? What will we accept as do-able? DNM provides a refuge from everyday struggles to lift self-imposed limits on our sense of possibility.

Dreaming precipitates a collaborative effort to discover what we know and don’t know. The primary tool is innovative “future maps” and in-depth booklets envisioning the State’s future and reviving a strong sense of and respect for place.

Mapping provides a community an opportunity for collaborative design grounded in rigorous technical and strategic research, and multi-sectoral social mapping of networks and players. Combining what we know with our desires, DNM creates “do-able dreams” calibrated to pragmatic action.

The booklet depicts the "whole system”: components, connections, configurations, commons and players. A third tool arises: a "shadow think tank" of top local visionaries and actors who join a collaborative process as a core network that can implement the dreams. Radiating social networks penetrate trimtab constituencies to leverage change. The map/pamphlet serve as educational and organizing tools from grassroots to the canopy.

A final strategic element is the generative and distributive role of Bioneers, its internationally acclaimed conference, 18 satellite conferences, and network of networks with wide outreach including media. Bioneers promotes and networks the project nationally and globally as ecologically-oriented bioregional design, including DNM tools and an emerging methodology.

Both phase one and two (“Age of Renewables” and “Age of Local Foodsheds and a Fair Trade State”) have tangibly influenced State and municipal policy, cohered the NGO community, influenced philanthropists, and catalyzed specific projects and initiatives.

CONTACT: [email protected]

Images: