The 2012 Schumacher Lectures

The very first BIG Green Week festival programme featured one hundred events over nine days in Bristol, from Saturday 9th to Sunday 17th June 2012 – and seven of those days had a Schumacher Lecture as the main event of the evening – making this the largest Schumacher Lectures ever. In the words of Festival chair Jonathon Porritt, ‘the Big Green Week has been designed to inspire and empower people, to give them a feel for so much of the creative thinking and practical action that is going on all around the country.’

The speakers included friends both new and old. Two authors joined us for the first time – Australian Clive Hamilton explored a very powerful question: are we capable of managing the planet? And Patrick Curry talked about ecological ethics. Two TV stars, both very committed to a greener future, joined us – Deborah Meaden of Dragon’s Den and Kevin McLeod of Grand Designs. We welcomed back Polly Higgins – just before she went to Rio to present her proposal for a new international law against ‘Ecocide’; and Juliet Davenport, one of a number of speakers who are leading change in the business world. Many leaders in the green movement were with us – among them Caroline Lucas, Ed Mayo, Tony Juniper, Rob Hopkins and (on video) Bill McKibben.

Saturday, 9th June 2012 – Council House, 7.30pm – 9.00pm

Who says we can manage the planet?


To begin our week, Jonathon Porritt introduces one of the foremost thinkers of our time. Australian Clive Hamilton believes we must now begin to ask ourselves the deepest question: Are we, 21st century humans, capable of managing the planet? Or,
by aspiring to become masters of the Earth, are we destined to destroy it?

Monday 11th June 2012 – Council House, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Behaviour change, warts and all


Today we look at community and at what motivates us to change our approach. Ed Mayo outlines the ways to ‘move your money’ in more ethical directions. Solitaire demonstrates a positive approach to marketing, and Clare introduces the TreeSisters map of 5 choices, a new framework that explores the role of the feminine in supporting behaviour change.

Tuesday 12th June 2012 – Council House, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink


Described by The Independent as ‘the most effective of Britain’s eco-warriors’, Tony Juniper joins us to focus our attention on the importance of water – where it comes from and where it goes to. Andy Wales from the brewery Sabmiller and Aimee Sayer from Wessex Water will join the debate, which of part of the ‘Water Challenge’ programme of this year’s European Green Week 2012.

Wednesday 13th June 2012 – At-Bristol, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Regeneration for real – on the ground and in your mind


All three of tonight’s speakers personify regeneration – bringing new life. Through Kevin’s work we experience a continuous flow of innovation in design; Rob has brought us the model of the resilient community; and Tim has created one of the most inspiring public projects in the country.

Thursday 14th June 2012 – Council House, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

No more business as usual


Three top thinkers address the crucial role that business has to play. All three have been leading innovators – Andrew Simms in the many programmes he has led at nef, Deborah in her passionate role as a Dragon, and Juliet in setting up Britain’s foremost renewable energy company.

Friday 15th June 2012 – At-Bristol, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

The politics – and ethics – of change


Britain’s first and only Green Party MP will give us a rare insight into how our major environmental issues are faring in the real world of politics. And Polly Higgins will update us on the major piece of global law making she has initiated with her campaign to eradicate ecocide.

Saturday 16th June 2012 – Council House, 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Moving to a zero society – meet the zeronauts


John Elkington is one of the UK’s true environmental pioneers. His new book, The Zeronauts, introduces a new breed of innovator, determined to drive problems such as carbon, waste, toxics, and poverty to zero. And two of the Zeronauts will be joining us – Felicity Hartnett, sustainability manager for the London Olympics and Michael Pawlyn, a lead architect on the Eden Project. All wrapped up by our beloved poet, Matt Harvey.