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Visiting Teachers

Many of the world’s greatest thinkers and doers come to teach at Schumacher College. They come from all walks of life including business, academia and independent charitable organisations. All are highly experienced in their specialist subject, and several regularly contribute to the Schumacher College programme. Alongside the teachers, in order to create a supportive learning environment and a positive dialogue between teachers and participants, the courses are assisted by one of our highly skilled facilitators.

Click here for details of our faculty, including Satish Kumar, Stephan Harding, Julie Richardson and Philip Franses >>

Past teachers at Schumacher College

James Lovelock

James Lovelock is the author of approximately 200 scientific papers, distributed almost equally among topics in Medicine, Biology, Instrument Science and Geophysiology. He has filed more than 50 patents, mostly for detectors for use in chemical analysis. One of these, the electron capture detector, was important in the development of environmental awareness. It revealed for the first time the ubiquitous distribution of pesticide residues and other halogen bearing chemicals. This information enabled Rachel Carson to write her book, Silent Spring, often said to have initiated the awareness of environmental disturbance. Later it enabled the discovery of the presence of PCB’s in the natural environment. More recently the electron capture detector was responsible for the discovery of the global distribution of nitrous oxide and of the chlorofluorocarbons, both of which are important in the stratospheric chemistry of ozone. Some of his inventions were adopted by NASA in their programme of planetary exploration. He was awarded by NASA three certificates of recognition for these.

He is the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis (now Gaia Theory) and has written many books on the subject: Gaia: a new look at life on Earth, The Ages of Gaia, _Gaia: the practical science of planetary medicine, Homage to Gaia and The Revenge of Gaia.

Fritjof Capra

Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist, is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California. The Center advances schooling for sustainability; its recent book on this growing movement in K-12 schools is Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability (2009). Dr. Capra is on the faculty of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program of the University of California, Berkeley. He also teaches at Schumacher College, an international center for ecological studies in England, and frequently gives management seminars for top executives.

Dr. Capra is the author of several international bestsellers, including The Tao of Physics (1975), The Web of Life (1996), The Hidden Connections (2002) and The Science of Leonardo (2007). He coauthored Green Politics (1984), Belonging to the Universe (1991), and EcoManagement (1993), and coedited Steering Business Toward Sustainability (1995). His most recent book, Learning from Leonardo, was published in Italy and Brazil in 2012 and will be published in the United States in 2013. He is currently working on a multidisciplinary textbook, The Systems View of Life, coauthored by Pier Luigi Luisi and to be published by Cambridge University Press. Please see the bibliography for full details about publications.

Brian Goodwin

Brian studied biology at McGill University and emigrated to Britain under a Rhodes scholarship to study mathematics at Oxford. He obtained his PhD at the University of Edinburgh where he carried out research in embryology under the biologist Conrad Waddington. He taught mathematics at Oxford University and later at Sussex University until 1983, when he became a professor of biology at the Open University.

In 1994, he published his most popular book, How the Leopard Changed Its Spots: the Evolution of Complexity. Brian’s work was in the tradition of Sir D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, whose 1917 book On Growth and Form inspired a new “structuralist” biology to explore the notion that organisms are irreducible wholes that give rise to structures that cannot be understood on the basis of genes alone. After teaching on a course at Schumacher College in 1995, Brian worked with the College to develop the pioneering MSc in Holistic Science, and remained on staff here until shortly before his death in July 2009.

Vandana Shiva

Vandana is an Indian physicist, philosopher, feminist and tireless environmental activist. She was involved in the women’s campaign against the destruction of the Himalayan forests, the famous Chipko movement, and now works in the movement to protect biodiversity and prevent the patenting of seeds in India. She has a PhD in the Philosophy of Science and has written many books including Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development, Monocultures of the Mind, Biopiracy, Water Wars and most recently, Soil Not Oil. In 1993, she won the Alternative Nobel Prize (the Right Livelihood Award). In 1984, she founded Navdanya, an organisation which works for organic farming methods, biodiversity, the Earth and India’s small farmers. Bija Vidyapeeth, Navdanya’s residential course centre, was inspired by Schumacher College.

Richard Heinberg

Richard is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost Peak Oil educators. A journalist and musician, he has lectured widely, appearing on national radio and television in many countries. He is a member of the core faculty at New College of California and Research Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. His monthly Museletter has been in publication since 1992, and he is an award-winning author of seven books, including Party’s Over, Peak Everything, Powerdown, Blackout: Coal, Climate and the Last Energy Crisis_and most recently, _The End of Growth.

Mphatheleni (Mphathe) Makaulule

Mphathe is a dynamic community leader from South Africa, where she is engaged in a process of rediscovering ecological knowledge and practices cultural identity with the elders and youth of her community. She is currently involved in supporting a legal challenge with other custodians of sacred natural sites of the Venda people. As with other traditions, these sites are understood as vital in maintaining the ecological and energetic equilibrium of ecosystems. Mphathe’s father was a chief and a traditional healer. Mpathe grew up mostly in a traditional way, with a great love of nature, culture and her traditions. Her inspiration is to revive Africa’s wisdom traditions.

Jonathon Porritt

Jonathon is Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, i an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. Established in 1996, Forum for the Future is now the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, with 70 staff and over 100 partner organisations including some of the world’s leading companies.

In addition, he is Co-Director of The Prince of Wales’s Business and Sustainability Programme which runs Seminars for senior executives around the world. He is a Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water, and of Willmott Dixon Holdings. He is a Trustee of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, and is involved in the work of many NGOs and charities as Patron, Chair or Special Adviser.

He was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90); co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83) of which he is still a member; chair of UNED-UK (1993-96); chair of Sustainability South West, the South West Round Table for Sustainable Development (1999-2001); a Trustee of WWF UK (1991-2005); a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency (1999-2008).

Jonathan’s books include Capitalism As If The World Matters (Earthscan, revised 2007); Globalism & Regionalism (Black Dog 2008); and Living Within Our Means (Forum for the Future 2009).

Malini Mehra

Malini is the founder & CEO of the Centre for Social Markets in India. In 2007, CSM launched Climate Challenge India, the country’s first national mobilization campaign on climate change promoting a fiercely pro-active, leadership agenda. A political scientist and gender specialist by training, Malini has worked on sustainability issues in civil society, business, and government for more than 20 years. In 2009, she was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos). Prior to founding CSM in 2000, Malini worked on international trade, environment and human rights for NGOs including Oxfam and Friends of the Earth. She has been involved in climate issues since the United Nations’ conference in Kyoto (1997) where she coordinated the input of Friends of the Earth International.

Andrew Simms

Andrew Simms is the author of several books, including the bestselling Tescopoly. He is a nef Fellow and was nef’s policy director for over a decade, also founding its work programme on climate change, energy and interdependence.

He trained at the London School of Economics and was described by New Scientist magazine as, ‘a master at joined-up progressive thinking.’ Andrew is a long-standing campaigner who coined the term ‘Clone Towns’ in nef’s work on local economic regeneration, co-authored the ground-breaking Green New Deal, was one of the original organisers of the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel poor country debt, co-founded climate campaign and devised ‘ecological debt day.’

After witnessing at first hand over two decades of failed international efforts to solve critical problems ranging from extreme poverty to climate change, his latest book Cancel the Apocalypse: the new path to prosperity (2013) is the result of a search for something better. You can read Andrew’s blog on Guardian online here

Hazel Henderson

Hazel is president of Ethical Markets Media, is a futurist, evolutionary economist and author of award-winning Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, among other books. She has a forthcoming monograph, “Transitioning to the Solar Age: from Economism to Earth Systems Science,” from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and Tomorrow’s Company. Her editorials are syndicated by InterPress Service and articles appear in journals worldwide. She leads the Transforming Finance initiative, created the Green Transition Scoreboard®, co-developed with Calvert the GDP alternative now renamed the Ethical Markets Quality of Life Indicators and co-organized the Beyond GDP conference for the European Commission. In preparation and subsequent to the EC conference, Ethical Markets has funded three Beyond GDP surveys, finding strong support worldwide for ESG metrics in national accounting. In 2010, 2012 and 2013, she was honored as one of the “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” by Trust Across America. In 2012, she was named to the Post Growth Institute (En)Rich List as a top 100 luminary inspiring global prosperity beyond economic wealth; and, honored for her lifetime achievement with the Award for Natural Law and Order from the Maharishi University School of Management and with the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Development of ESG & Investing at TBLI Europe.

Stuart Kauffman

Stuart studied medicine and then moved into developmental genetics of the fruitfly, holding appointments first at the University of Chicago, then at the University of Pennsylvania from 1975 to 1995, where he became Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. He rose to prominence through his association with the Santa Fe Institute (a non-profit research institute dedicated to the study of complex systems), where he was faculty in residence from 1986 to 1997 and where he continues to be an external professor. From 2004 to 2009 Kauffman held a joint appointment at the University of Calgary in Biological Sciences and Physics and Astronomy. He was also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. In January 2009, he became a Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) at Tampere University of Technology, Department of Signal Processing. In January 2010, he joined the University of Vermont faculty where he is continuing his work with UVM’s Complex Systems Center.

Michael Pawlyn

Michael is an architect and specialist in Biomimicry. He has lectured widely on the subject of sustainable design in the UK and abroad and in 2007 was elected as a committee member of ‘The Edge’, a think-tank dedicated to addressing important political, social and professional issues. He has been commissioned by RIBA to write a book on Biomimicry in Architecture, due out in 2011. He was responsible for leading the design of the Eden Project Biomes and proposals for a third major climatic enclosure. He initiated and developed the Grimshaw environmental management system resulting, in December 2000, in the company becoming the first firm of European architects to achieve certification to ISO14001.

Ann Pettifor

Ann’s work and writing has concentrated on the international financial architecture, the sovereign debts of the poorest countries, and the rise in sovereign, corporate and private debt in OECD economies. She is well known for her leadership of Jubilee 2000, an organisation that placed the debts of the poorest countries on the global political agenda, and brought about both substantial debt cancellation, and radical policy changes at national and international levels. In 2003 she edited The Real World Economic Outlook with a prescient sub-title: The legacy of globalisation: debt and deflation. In 2006 Palgrave published her book: The Coming First World Debt Crisis. In 2008 she co-authored The Green New Deal and in 2010 co-authored an essay with Professor Victoria Chick: The economic consequences of Mr. Osborne. She is co-founder of a new macroeconomic think tank called PRIME (Policy Research in Macroeconomics, which is a network of economists challenging mainstream economic theory. She was featured in The Observer magazine as one of six pioneers in green thinking.

Johannes Jaeger

Johannes is an evolutionary and developmental biologist, and an alumnus of the Schumacher MSc in Holistic Science. He was trained as a geneticist at the Biocenter in Basel, received his PhD from Stony Brook University in New York, worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University Museum of Zoology in Cambridge, and is now a group leader at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG; in Barcelona. He and his research team are trying to understand how complex multi-cellular organisms develop from egg to adult, and how this affects the course of evolution. Insights from this (and related) research are currently crystallising into a new and extended evolutionary theory, which shifts emphasis away from genes to the level of biological systems and organisms. Hopefully, this shift will provide an important contribution to a more holistic (and wholesome) view of humanity’s place in the universe.

Tessa Tennant

Tessa is Executive Chair of The Ice Organisation, an environmental rewards programme. Tessa co-founded the UK’s first equity investment fund for sustainable development in 1988, the Merlin (now Jupiter) Ecology Fund. She was Chair and co-founder of the UK Social Investment Forum and of the Carbon Disclosure Project where she is now a Trustee. In 2001 she co-founded and was first Chair of ASrIA and remains on the Board. She is the SRI adviser to Oxford University’s Endowment Fund. She is also Chair of the Global Cool Foundation In 2003 she received the Sustainability Leadership Award by SAM/SPG of Switzerland and in 2004 was joint winner of the City of Goteborg International Environmental Leadership Prize. She is a Schumacher Fellow.

Bruce Lipton

Bruce is a pioneer in the new biology, and an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. A cell biologist by training, Bruce was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and later performed groundbreaking stem cell research at Stanford University. He is the bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and the more recent Spontaneous Evolution, co-authored with Steve Bhaerman. Bruce received the 2009 prestigious Goi Peace Award (Japan) in honor of his scientific contribution to world harmony.

Bill McKibben

Bill is a well known environmental author and activist, and the founder of When he’s not busy organizing, Bill is an active writer on the climate crisis and other environmental issues. His 1989 book The End of Nature was the first book to warn the general public about the threat of global warming.

Bill is a frequent contributor to The Guardian and various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine. He has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships, and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. He is currently a Scholar in Residence at Middlebury College

Wolfgang Sachs

Dr. Wolfgang Sachs was born in 1946 in Munich, Germany. He studied theology and social sciences in Munich, Tübingen and Berkeley. From 1980-1984 he was member of the research group “Energy and Society” at the Berlin Technical University. From 1984 until 1987 he worked as the editor of the magazine “Development” in Rome. During 1987-1990 Wolfgang Sachs served as a professor at Pennsylvania State University, USA. From 1990-1993 he was a research fellow at the Institute for Cultural Sciences at Essen University. Since May 1993 he works for the Wuppertal Institute. He lectures widely nationally and internationally and is a regular scholar-in-residence at Schumacher College, England. His publications on development, environment, and globalisation have appeared in many languages and include: Development Dictionary, Planet Dialectics and Greening the North. His most recent book is Fair Future: Resource Conflicts, Security and Global Justice. 1993-2001 he was chair of the board of Greenpeace Germany. 2002-2008 he served as the senior co-ordinator of the key project on globalisation and sustainability at the Wuppertal Institute.

Manfred Max-Neef

Manfred is a Chilean economist who has gained an international reputation for his work and writing on development alternatives. In addition to a long academic career, Max-Neef achieved an impressive minority vote when he stood as candidate in the Chilean Presidential election of 1993. He was subsequently appointed Rector of the Universidad Austral de Chile in Valdivia. The book for which he is best known, From the Outside Looking In: Experiences in Barefoot Economics, describes his experiences as an economist attempting to practise ‘economics as if people matter’ among the poor in South America. In the same year he set up in Chile the organisation CEPAUR (Centre for Development Alternatives) dedicated to the reorientation of development in terms of stimulating local self-reliance and satisfying fundamental human needs. In Human Scale Development, Max-Neef and his colleagues at CEPAUR outline a new development paradigm based on a revaluation of human needs.

Gunter Pauli

Gunter has created ten companies, including Ecover, and is author of a dozen books, translated into 15 languages. He is head of the Zeri (Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives) Foundation, which pioneers initiatives that will set the stage for a new economic model that responds to the needs of everyone on earth – not only people. Zeri is currently involved with the Biomimicry Guild, UNEP and IUCN in a collaborative project called Nature’s 100 Best, a mixture of innovations at various stages of commercialization from the drawing board to imminent arrival in the marketplace.

Clare Short MP

Clare was Secretary of State for International Development from 1997 to May 2003. The Department for International Development (DFID) was a new Ministry created after the 1997 general election to promote policies for sustainable development and the elimination of poverty and it manages Britain’s programme of assistance to developing countries. Clare entered the House of Commons in 1983 as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Ladywood. From 1996 until the 1997 General Election she was Opposition spokesperson on Overseas Development. She was Shadow Minister for Women from 1993 to 1995 and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport from 1995 to 1996. She has been Opposition spokesperson on Environment Protection, Social Security and Employment. In November 2004, her book An Honourable Deception? New Labour, Iraq, and the Misuse of Power was published as an attempt to explain why Tony Blair did what he did on Iraq so that lessons about foreign policy can be learned.

Peter Senge

Peter is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), a global community of corporations, researchers, and consultants dedicated to the “interdependent development of people and their institutions.” He is the author of the widely acclaimed book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization and his latest book, The Necessary Revolution, co-authored with Bryan Smith, Nina Kruschwitz, Joe Laur and Sara Schley was released in June, 2008. He has lectured extensively throughout the world, translating the abstract ideas of systems theory into tools for better understanding of economic and organizational change. His areas of special interest focus on decentralizing the role of leadership in organizations so as to enhance the capacity of all people to work productively toward common goals.

Iain McGilchrist

Iain is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and former Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at the Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospital, London. He now works privately in London. He was a Research Fellow in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. He has published original articles in a wide range of papers and journals on topics in literature, medicine and psychiatry, has published research on neuroimaging in schizophrenia, the phenomenology of schizophrenia, and other topics, and contributed to TV documentaries. His latest book, published by Yale University Press in November 2009, is The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World.

Jonathan Robinson

Jonathan is a writer, strategist and entrepreneur working in the field of social innovation. His ideas have taken form in Johannesburg, New Delhi, Oslo, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Toronto and London. He is co-founder and executive director of The Hub, a multi-sited incubator for social innovation currently located in London, Bristol and Johannesburg.

Jonathan is also co-author of the book Careers Un-Ltd and works with agencies including The Tate Modern, UNICEF, Barcelona City Council, FT Prentice Hall and the London Development Agency. He thrives on collaborations with a multi-disciplinary team of architects, scientists, investors, filmmakers and activists.

Tim Jackson

Tim is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and Director of the Research group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment (RESOLVE). Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the aim of RESOLVE is to explore the links between lifestyles, societal values and the environment. In particular, RESOLVE aims to provide evidence-based advice to policy-makers in the UK and elsewhere who are seeking to understand and to influence people’s energy-related behaviours and practices. Since 2004 Tim has been Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission and is the author of their controversial and groundbreaking report, now updated and expanded in the book Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet (Earthscan 2009). In addition to his academic work he is an award-winning playwright with numerous radio-writing credits for the BBC.

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