“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ― Buckminster Fuller This alluring quote from the American inventor and visionary Buckminster Fuller has sat uneasy with me in recent years. In 2017, I went from managing a progressive, community-owned food enterprise… Continue reading Rebuilding the food system: who do we engage with for a just transition?
This piece also appears on Ecohustler right here. The announcement of newborn Royalty this week quickly displaced a stark headline that reminded us about the unprecedented destruction of wildlife happening today. The latest global assessment, the most comprehensive to date, found that one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction within decades. Inextricably… Continue reading While living through unprecedented losses of wildlife, Knepp offers us hope
Many of the global challenges we face are highly complex and intractable. They can often feel daunting, frustrating and require mountains of patience to work on. The practice of systems thinking offers a way to understand and start tackling these challenges. Some academics talk about the most difficult challenges as being “super wicked” problems because: The… Continue reading Mindsets for changing systems
Okay, this piece might be a bit gloomy for some, but writing it was strangely therapeutic. It’s inspired and provoked by Debbie Urbanski’s An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried. A rough timeline of notable moments, told from the future, in reverse order. Here we go: Small pockets of human settlements endure, connected via primitive… Continue reading How It Ends: Another Incomplete Timeline Of Events
My new year resolutions often include an ambition to write more. This year, I’m keen to write shorter, more regular reflections on what I’m learning. Even if they are rough and perhaps unresolved thoughts. My current work and colleagues at Forum for the Future provide me with so much interesting sustainability fodder that I’ve been… Continue reading Christmas reflections, preparing for 2019
A version of this blog post appears here on Bioregional’s website. On a crisp, early morning a few weeks ago, I took a final stroll around BedZED, my home for the last four years. I’m excited to be moving to the Dorset coast. Yet there are many things I’ll miss about living here and it’s… Continue reading Leaving BedZED
In abandoning hope that one way of life will continue, we open up a space for alternative hopes. Tommy Lynch (2017). The week started with a bit of a downer. While we were sweating through the peaks of this summer’s heatwave, several articles about climate change were doing the rounds. Nathaniel Rich’s captivating novella “The Decade… Continue reading How to prepare for life in a hothouse
Over the last few years I’ve been working with my neighbours in Hackbridge to try and establish a 25 hectare ecology park on some disused fields, opposite to where I live at BedZED. The park will help connect people to Beddington Farmlands (a 400 acre nature reserve) and the wider green corridor of the Wandle Valley Regional… Continue reading Hackbridge Ecology Park
I’ve just spent a week trekking along Wainwright’s coast-to-coast route, walking the first section from St Bees to Penrith. The walk took us across the vast and stunning landscape of the Lake District, as described in Wordsworth’s poem ‘Daffodils’: I wander’d lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at… Continue reading Is it right to put a price on nature?
“Nothing less is required than a redesign of the whole food system to bring sustainability to the fore”. Foresight: The Future of Food and Farming, 2011 The abundance of food lining our supermarket shelves and providing millions of people with an affordable and reliable food source is a small modern-day miracle. However beyond the glistening… Continue reading Getting to grips with a “super wicked” problem: the future of food and farming
We are making incredible discoveries from observing nature every day. Just recently, scientists recorded two dolphins having a conversation for the first time. That’s mindblowing. For all the inspiration and love we feel for our fellow inhabitants, the 2016 ‘State of Nature’ report published today tells us the tragedy that 1 in 10 UK wildlife species faces… Continue reading It’s worth it.
Will there be no ice at the north pole by the end of this summer? I have a friend who believes this is the year it will happen. Looking at the data and taking into account positive feedback loops, it’s certainly possible. Whether or not it happens this year, when it does happen, the moment… Continue reading When the Arctic melts
We live on a planet under great stresses. Collectively, we are struggling to look after each other and the natural world we depend upon. Many of the environmental and social trends suggest we’re in for a tough time ahead. For many of us, we live with an uncomfortable gap between our everyday actions, and the actions required of… Continue reading Finding hope and optimism in a stressed world