Activism & Leadership

Is Ecology Relevant? Panel Discussion With Satish Kumar, Craig Bennett FoE & Molly Scott Cato MEP

Video with Satish Kumar, Craig Bennett, Molly Scott Cato on Friday 20th October 2017

With reality seemingly under attack Craig Bennett (Friends of the Earth), Satish Kumar (Resurgence) and Molly Scott Cato (The Green Party) explore the place and relevance of ecology within policy-making, arguing that now, more than ever, we need to turn towards ecological thought to deal with these systemic failures.

A panel discussion & Q&A given at the event Is Ecology Relevant at UCL.


Satish Kumar
A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality. Inspired in his early 20s by the example of the British peace activist Bertrand Russell, Satish embarked on an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage together with E.P. Menon. Carrying no money and depending on the kindness and hospitality of strangers, they walked from India to America, via Moscow, London and Paris, to deliver a humble packet of ‘peace tea’ to the then leaders of the world’s four nuclear powers. In 1973 Satish settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally-respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College in South Devon where he is still a Visiting Fellow. In July 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of Plymouth. In July 2001, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the University of Lancaster. And in the November of that same year, he was presented with the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Abroad. His autobiography, No Destination, first published by Green Books in 1978, has sold over 50,000 copies. He is also the author of You Are, Therefore I Am: A Declaration of Dependence and The Buddha and the Terrorist. In 2005, Satish was Sue Lawley’s guest on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. In 2008, as part of BBC2’s Natural World series, he presented a 50-minute documentary from Dartmoor, Earth Pilgrim, which was watched by over 3.6 million people. He also appears regularly in the media, on a range of programmes including Thought for the Day and Midweek.

Craig Bennett
Craig Bennett took up the role of Chief Executive Officer at Friends of the Earth in 2015. Previously, as Director of Policy and Campaigns at Friends of the Earth, Craig Bennett has been the organisation’s lead campaigner and policy strategist, representing the charity with Government and other key lobbying contacts, and leading its tactical response to the changing political and policy context. He is also a member of the Board of Friends of the Earth Europe, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change customer challenge panel for Anglian Water (established as part of the OFWAT price review process), and a member of the Net Positive Board Advisory Panel for Kingfisher plc. From 2013-2015, he was Chair of the Board of Stakeholder Forum. From 2007 to 2010, Craig was Deputy Director at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). During this time, he built The Corporate Leaders Group into one of the most influential and progressive business voices in the international climate debate. He maintains his links with the University of Cambridge, as a CSaP Policy Fellow, a Senior Associate at CISL, and an occasional contributor on Judge Business School Executive Education programmes. Earlier in his career, Craig was the Head of the Corporates and Trade Campaign at Friends of the Earth and sat on the Board of Friends of the Earth International, the Steering Group of the Corporate Responsibility (CORE) Coalition and was a Board Member of the Trade Justice Movement (TJM).

Molly Scott Cato
Molly is an economist and writer who has campaigned for green politics all her adult life. She grew up in Bath and has spent most of her adult life in the West Country, also living in Blagdon near Bristol. She studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University and later gained a doctorate in economics from Aberystwyth. Aside from her work as an economist Molly’s areas of special interest include land ownership and food production; renewable energy, especially when it is owned by local communities; co-operatives and self-managed firms; and issues concerned with peace and opposing nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Molly joined the Green Party in 1988 and has worked for the party at all levels, including a year spent as job-share campaigns director on the party’s national executive and several years spent as co-chair of its regional council. For the past 15 years Molly has spoken for the Green Party on economics and finance.

Satish Kumar #

A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years.

Read Satish Kumar’s profile

Craig Bennett #

Craig Bennett took up the role of Chief Executive Officer at Friends of the Earth on 1 July 2015, on completion of his sabbatical as a Policy Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP)

Read Craig Bennett’s profile

Molly Scott Cato #

Molly is an economist and writer who has campaigned for green politics all her adult life. She grew up in Bath and has spent most of her adult life in the West Country, also living in Blagdon near Bristol. She studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University and later gained a doctorate in economics from Aberystwyth.

Read Molly Scott Cato’s profile