Shortlisted this year for The Observer Ethical Awards ‘Campaigner of the Year’, internationally respected peace and environmental activist Satish Kumar has been gently setting the agenda for change for over 50 years.
Since settling in the UK in 1973 Satish has been the guiding spirit behind a number of ecological, spiritual and educational ventures. He has founded the Small School – a pioneering secondary school dedicated to bringing ecological and spiritual values into its curriculum – and Schumacher College, which educates its students in eco-consciousness and the means for effective change.
2013 sees Satish celebrate 40 years as editor of Resurgence (now Resurgence & Ecologist) – the magazine which has long been the most articulate champion of ecological awareness and of a reverent way of life characterised by a philosophy of non-violence and humane spiritual values.
Satish has just released his latest book Soil, Soul, Society: A New Trinity of Our Time in which he explains the idea that we need to create a new consciousness that reveres nature, and how as a global society we need to embrace diversity and become pilgrims on this earth not tourists. Drawing on the teachings of Buddha, Ghandi and Tagore, Satish offers a spiritual vision of sustainability:
The inner landscape of spirituality and the outer landscape of sustainability are intricately linked. We need to cultivate compassion, seek truth, appreciate beauty and work for self-realisation. The contemporary environmental movement, in the main, follows the path of empirical science, rational thinking, data collection and external action. This is good as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. We need to include care of the soul as part of the care of the planet.
I hope to be able to provide a full review of Soil Soul Society in the new few weeks, but in the meantime I thought you may enjoy this short interview with Satish and Maria. In 2011, Satish came to Brazil, where he was the keynote speaker at the Strategy Execution Summit, an annual summit organised by Maria, and she took this opportunity to speak to Satish about his thoughts on Brazil, asking him what his main message was for Brazil, what a spiritual business would be like, and also, what it means to Satish to be happy.
Soil Soul Society
Available September 2013