An evening with Alex Steffen and Ellen MacArthur
Thursday October 20th 2011, from 7pm to 10pm
Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR
Further information and booking…
Alex Steffen, editor of the best selling book Worldchanging and leading futurist, will be giving an evening lecture around positive 21st century perspectives, in London on October the 20th, presented by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the University of Bradford. Alex will be met on stage by Ellen MacArthur for a thought-provoking chat following his talk.
About Alex Steffen
One of the world’s leading voices on social innovation and planetary futurism, Alex Steffen is a writer, public speaker and strategy consultant. Alex was co-founder and executive editor of Worldchanging.com, an award-winning online magazine on social innovation, from its creation in 2003 until it closed in 2010.
‘Clarity of thought, unrivalled ability to always think “big picture”, relentless pursuit of positive solutions and case studies: Alex Steffen’s voice has been crucial when it came to articulating a coherent vision during a decade awash with contradictory and guilt-inducing messages. Challenging the status quo and striving to look beyond misleading “quick fixes”, Steffen’s ideas manage to float above the contingencies of partisanship and give the word “future” its true meaning back.’
The New York Times has reported that “Alex Steffen, a designing optimist, lays out the blueprint for a successful century.”
Alex on systemic challenges and misconceptions attached to individual responsibility
“We have inherited a whole set of solutions by conventional wisdom, many of them surrounding lifestyle choices. Almost all of us believe that someone who buys local food, who drives a hybrid, who lives in a well-insulated house, who wears organic clothing and who religiously recycles and composts and avoids unnecessary purchases is living sustainably.
“They are not. As we’ve explored a bunch of times in different ways here on Worldchanging, the parts of our lives that actually fall within our direct control are the tips of systemic icebergs, and often changing them does nothing to alter those systems: not individually, not in small groups, not even in larger lifestyle movements. If we’re going to avoid catastrophe, we need to change those larger systems, and change them for everyone, and change them quickly.
“It’s quite clear that some of the “solutions” we embrace don’t actually motivate people to change at all. There’s hard evidence suggesting that most of the time, small steps do not actually motivate people to later take larger steps (most people adopt a small change or two and then feel they’ve done their part and stop). Other times, we ask people to pay attention to the wrong things.”
(From the Worldchanging.com archives)
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