I learned about Paul Stamets from Gunter Pauli at a ZERI training in Durango, CO.
In the process of implementing my own ZERI project, Mana Mushrooms, I went out to study with Paul at Fungi Perfecti in Washington state. Ever since I've been a mycophile; I love and am fascinated by mushrooms.
Most folks who aren't familiar with much more than the mushrooms found on thin crust pizza or at the salad bar (these are agaric or 'button' mushrooms) are missing the bigger picture. Mushrooms play an important role in our ecosystem, share more DNA with humans than you would believe, communicate through mycelial networks, and have medicinal properties. I'm not talking about hallucinogenic mushrooms, but the HIV-fighting capacity of more familiar species like Shiitake and reishi.