Sonoma Biochar Initiative hosted the 2012 US Biochar Conference
For more on their work visit the SonomaBiocharInitiative.org website.
We are committed to the presentation of scientific and other scholarly papers and have received over 70 abstracts in response to our first Call for Papers. Thank you—they are now under review. Our goal for the 2012 conference is to enhance the typical conference model in format as well as substance. Please consider the following topics in developing your abstract for this Second Call for Papers. We have received a few excellent abstracts that address these issues but would like to see more.
Biochar Finance and Entrepreneurship: We are looking for papers that address the real-world problems and solutions of start-up companies, designers, inventors and investors in the biochar industry. What have we learned to date about barriers to entry and successful technology development? One presentation format we are considering in this regard we have termed "Financial Speed Dating." In this breakout session we plan to encourage stimulating interaction between those seeking financial support and those interested in providing such financing: angel investors, venture capitalists, other investors, etc. We want the maximum exchange of ideas and resources for building new biochar enterprises and growing existing ones. In particular, we are looking for facilitators for this conversational event as well as for focused presentations that fit in here.
Biochar Case Studies: We want your story of practical application or implementation of biochar projects around the world. Of course, scientific results and hard data have their important place, but we also want the stories and lessons from people and projects on the ground. What have we tried that has worked? What have we tried and learned how to do better next time?
Biochar Policy Perspectives: Where is the biochar effort going, locally, nationally and globally? (How) can we fulfill the goals of economic development and ecological balance and stewardship? What is our relationship with existing (rather new in some cases) standards regimes: IBI standards, USBI policies, organic certification, adoption by other schools of agricultural practice, air quality regulatory requirements, carbon trading, renewable energy generation, agricultural yields improvement, water conservation?
Biochar: Small is Beautiful: Have no concern that your project or your enterprise or your experience is too modest to present to the biochar world. This 2012 conference is designed to present and speak to every scale and every level of experience, especially decentralized successes. Some of the most important insights may come from the most humble beginnings.
Biochar Art and Culture: Our screening of the widely anticipated film "Symphony of the Soil" by Deborah Koons Garcia ("The Future of Food") will be the cultural centerpiece of the 2012 conference. Other artists have submitted inspiring works related to biochar that will be featured in various formats and venues. Your conference organizers see these contributions not as mere adjuncts to the conference: they are powerful and essential statements and comments that go directly to the core of what we need to understand about how our efforts relate to the ecosystem and the human role in it. We encourage submittal of even more such statements, in any form or medium, to include in the fabric of the conference.
Biochar "FarmOut" Sessions: We are arranging four special breakout presentations to take place at the sites of local Sonoma farming operations that are involved with biochar. We have already lined up a USDA Certified Organic CSA, a farm/market operation that is "beyond sustainable," a permaculture design and demonstration center, and a vineyard. Each such FarmOut session will comprise a biochar discussion by one of our submitting presenters along with a presentation by the grower at each of these unique farm operations, together the two intended to facilitate a thorough exchange between biochar conferees and four growers on the ground.
If you think that your submittal lends itself to presentation in the field or in the barn at one of these operating farm or vineyard locales, please let us know. We are reading through the many abstracts received to date to identify those that might fit, but all four of these slots are still open, including to second call submitters.
Our Second Call for Papers closes March 10th. If you are one of the over 70 people that have previously submitted an abstract you may submit a second using these guidelines.