A chat with Sir Tim Smit – co-founder of the Eden Project

Today I had a chat with Sir Tim Smit, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of the Eden Project, ahead of his forthcoming presentation for the Planet Talks at WOMADelaide 2017.

In the prologue to his book, Eden, two sentences stand out, and they sum up the spirit of our chat: “Neither do I make any apology for being optimistic about the future. I am.”

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Creating hope – Simran Sethi at WOMADelaide

There could well be a serious outbreak of optimism at WOMADelaide 2015 when two of the world’s eco-heroes discuss “Creating Hope”. Simran Sethi will be in conversation with Sylvia Earle as part of WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks. Sylvia Earle was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998, and Simran Sethi was listed in The Independent’s 2007 top-10 Green List, along with the likes of Al Gore and Nicholas Stern.

I spoke to Simran Sethi this week for a preview.

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The hockey stick vs a sustainable economy

Australia’s Treasurer has wielded the hockey stick with great enthusiasm and inflicted many blows, but missed the goal of a stable and prosperous economy. However on an objective analysis I have to agree with him on the following: “We need to live within our means”, “We need to be sustainable”, “We don’t want to squander our children’s future” and there is a “moral dimension”.

He is not quite right about “the age of entitlement is over”. It isn’t; but it’s fair to at least head in that direction.

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Hugh Masekela – WOMADelaide

“There are no legends” were Hugh Masekela’s parting words from the main stage at WOMADelaide 2013, after the MC had declared “what a legend”, following the extraordinary performance from the 74-year-old giant of African music.

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Why I’m drinking fair trade organic Ethiopian coffee

Ah. The Aussie summer. Catching waves. Watching cricket. Fresh local fish. Friends. Sleeping in. Coffee.

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Super rewards – crowdfunding finale

There are just days till the New Internationalist digital outreach crowdfunding campaign finishes, so to go out with a flourish we’ve released three super rewards for those who make a new pledge.  Our supporters have done very well – thank you so much – but at just over $8,000 raised so far, we’re still a very long way from the $28,000 we need for full implementation of the project.

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The slow death of quality resources for schools

When, in 1992, I started to work in publishing for schools in the UK, the future looked bright. The Government had recently introduced a National Curriculum. So, for the first time, publishers could produce textbooks knowing that all schools in the UK would be covering the same subject matter. In the UK, there were around 4,000 secondary schools teaching around 4 million students and since it was the policy of most schools to buy ‘class sets’, there was a large market to target. Provided that publishers found the right format and approach, they could expect sales in their thousands. At the same time, technology was changing. Design was moving from the drawing board to the computer. Printing presses were becoming digitised, lowering costs. For the first time, printing textbooks in colour was becoming affordable even for small publishers.

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