Why Some Questions Have No Answers

Professor Catherine Rowett’s will be talking to UNA at 1pm at the Friends Meeting House on Friday 16th September .  It should be a fascinating talk .  She is going to talk about “What’s the relevance of Christian ethical teaching when it comes to international crises? And why some questions have no answers”.
Its a gem of a subject and should make for a good talk and discussion – do try and attend!2016-september-poster-pdf

Join the Global to Local movement in London this month


This month in London, we’re holding two special events to help people break out of the depressing paradigm of globalisation, and take a closer look at how to build an ‘economics of happiness’ in the UK and beyond.

So many of our current crises—financial, social and ecological—are fueled by the scale of the economy. But as awareness of globalisation’s disastrous impacts grows, so does the chance for meaningful change.
At each event, you will hear from renowned speakers including environmental economist James Skinner; eco-philosopher Rupert ReadDiego Isabel La Moneda, Director of the Global Hub for the Common Good; Stephen Hinton, co-founder of a Swedish eco-village; and Molly Scott Cato, a Member of the European Parliament.

Discussion topics will include:

  • Beyond Brexit: Policy and Grassroots Change for a New UK Economy
  • Urban Growth and Sustainable Food Systems in London
  • Trade Treaties and Other Mechanisms of Globalisation
  • Ushering in a Culture of Peace and Happiness


Details about tickets, speakers, and schedules can be found on the event pages below.
The Economics of Happiness:
Creating a More Equitable World

Wednesday, 14th September, 10am – 5:30pm
24 Greencoat Place, London SW1P 1RD

Speakers include Helena Norberg-Hodge, Stephen Hinton, Diego Isabel La Moneda, and Michael Smith.

Co-hosted by Local Futures, Initiatives of Change UK and Global Hub for the Common Good
Towards a Localised Future:
A New Economy Convergence

Saturday, 17th September, 9am – 5pm
173-177 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ

Speakers include Helena Norberg-Hodge, James Skinner, Molly Scott Cato, Rupert Read, Bruno Lacey and Charlotte O’Connor.

Co-hosted by Local Futures and Green House

Starting To Think About How A Progressive Alliance Could Actually Work

It is clear that Labour alone are not going to win an absolute majority in Westminster in 2020.

That is probably the deepest reason why there is more and more talk about the possibility of some kind of ‘progressive alliance’, to deliver real democracy and to pose an alternative to endless, un-green right-wing rule in the UK.

So, how do we get there? Plenty of us believe that progressive parties need to start to discuss – to at least consider the possibility of – some kind of electoral pact. A ‘popular front’ to avoid fragmenting the vote among ourselves in winnable seats looking towards electing a Parliament in 2020 that would have a progressive majority for democratic change. For mending our broken democracy…

…continued at www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

​Towards a Localised Future: A New Economy Convergence

9am-5 pm on Saturday 17th September 2016 at Friends House, London View Map

From : Cairo, Egypt Title Of Photo : Music is Life Category : Community Location : El Moez Street , Cairo , Egypt Taken :26/6/2014

The full programme is now available for this one-day workshop with Helena Norberg-Hodge, Rupert Read, James Skinner and Molly Scott Cato. 

We will look at the social, economic and environmental problems associated with globalisation such as international trade treaties and monoculture thinking.

We will discuss post-growth and how to support localisation in local communities as an alternative to neoliberal globalisation. 
There will be a specific focus on role of local food production and consumption with examples in London. 
We will finish with a panel discussion about policy and grassroots change for a new UK economy in the context of Brexit. 

Take back real control! A Green response to Brexit

The winning Brexit slogan was ‘Take Back Control’. But leaving the EU will only increase the power of corrupt elites unless the UK reforms its own democratic governance, combats the excessive power of corporations, upholds the rights of all its citizens, decentralises its economy, and forges progressive alliances with its European partners.

The loss of the referendum is likely to be a big setback for Green and Left political voices in England and Wales – unless creative ways of responding to it are found. In this short piece in the ecologist, Victor Anderson & Rupert Read explore ten such ways.


Designing Sustainable Economies: Translating ideas and research into policy and practice

I’ll be a guest speaker at this workshop at the University of Sheffield, 28-29 July 2016

This workshop brings together scholars, activists, policy practitioners, civil society, and representatives of intergovernmental institutions to discuss the challenge of aligning economic development and environmental sustainability in the 21st century. Debates feature a wide range of concepts: sustainable development, green economy, green growth, harmony with nature, degrowth, steady state economy, circular economy, and many others. There is evidently no single vision for a sustainable economy, and this workshop aims to promote fruitful dialogue by bringing together people with different perspectives. The event provides a setting to share our experiences of promoting ideas and agendas for more sustainable economic development, and to reflect on the value of collaboration across academia, civil society, and government institutions.

This event is generously funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK)

Venue: Leopold Hotel | Leopold Street, Sheffield, S1 2GZ


Designing Sustainable Economies – Programme

Should nature have a price or is it priceless?

Anglia Ruskin University and the University of East Anglia have won a joint funding bid from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to examine and debate the “natural capital” of the East of England.

The World Forum on National Capital define natural capital as including “the food we eat, the water we drink and the plant materials we use for fuel, building materials and medicines”.

The concept of putting a “value” on different aspects of the natural world has become influential in policy making and is expected to be at the centre of the UK Government’s new “25 Year Plan for Nature”, due out next month.

The funding will enable UEA’s Dr Rupert Read and Dr Aled Jones and Prof. Victor Anderson, from Anglia Ruskin’s Global Sustainability Institute, to set up a network where academics from a range of disciplines, together with the business community and policy makers, can discuss the implications of looking at the East’s natural world through the prism of natural capital.

Dr Rupert Read of UEA, Principal Investigator on the project, and Dr Aled Jones, Director of Anglia Ruskin’s Global Sustainability Institute, said in a joint statement: “Essentially the question we’ll be trying to answer is this: If we say that nature is priceless, do we end up in effect treating it as valueless? Or is being unwilling to price nature the best protection we have against it being packaged up, owned, bought, sold or used up? By 2018, as a result of this network’s creation, we will hopefully be closer to being able to decide whether nature ought to be evaluated primarily in terms of the price that can be put on it, or in terms of its ‘pricelessness’ “.

The 18-month project will formally begin with a workshop at UEA, in early 2017.

I’ve changed to backing REMAIN: Here’s why

I’ve changed my mind.

Not on the grave shortcomings of the EU. Still less on the utter foolishness (not to mention the constitutional impropriety) of calling a referendum in this way, on this topic, when the real issue that precipitated calling it was merely a split within the Conservative Party.

No: what has changed my mind is quite simply the exponentially increasing awfulness of the Leave campaign, and the results that this is now leading to.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been deeply unimpressed with most of the Remain campaign; but the lies, vitriol, xenophobia and even racism of leading lights in the Leave campaign represent a new low for British politics. Its hateful rhetoric has consequences, which have been horrifically visible in the last week. I can no longer sit by and let this take place. So I join so many others in standing in solidarity against it.

Some, especially on the Leave side, might attack my change of heart. They might use words like “flip-flop”. If they do, I don’t mind. My conscience is clear. My mind has been changed by the way that they, the Leave-rs, have driven us into the appalling situation where xenophobia is rendered publicly ‘acceptable’, and serious – and even deadly – street-violence is among the consequences.

Such rhetoric as theirs should never be rewarded. Imagine how grim it would be to have the leading Leave-rs crowing over victory, given that this would be how they have achieved it.

I hope and believe that Britons can and will choose better than this. That we in the UK ARE better than this.

So there is, I believe, only one path left to us, and it is a clear one.

Vote Remain.