We’re very pleased to announce The Re-Generation, a new programme on systems change, curated by writer and campaigner Rory Spowers, featuring Bruce Parry, Amanda Feilding, Shane Mauss and more, taking place in the House’s spectacular Round Room.
This week, Beltane Festival overhauled their traditional May Day ceremony to highlight climate change. Their May Queen – a personification of the Earth – was not the perfect flower of tradition, but the Earth as it truly is – covered with plastic, oil spills, and on fire.
It’s a reflection of a cumulative global feeling. With Extinction Rebellion demanding politicians declare a climate emergency, with the death of Ecocide campaigner Polly Higgins last week, and disastrous scientific predictions for the planet’s oceans and living organisms, there is a growing sense that all things are coming to a head.
Colin Tudge – Good Food for Everyone, Forever
Rory Spowers in discussion with writer and biologist Colin Tudge, exploring the potential for regenerative farming systems to feed the world, restore biodiversity and combat climate change.
Many of us assume that a food system built upon increasingly mechanised monocultures, reliant on fossil fuels, chemicals inputs and genetic modification, is necessary to feed the world. However, some argue that there is increasing evidence to the contrary – that we can feed the expanding global population with healthy nutritious food, while simultaneously restoring wildlife and biodiversity to our landscape, health to our soil, air and water, plus mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil through regenerative farming practices. In discussion with The Re-Generation founder Rory Spowers, writer and biologist Colin Tudge will expand on his ideas behind an Enlightened Agriculture, explaining how a reversal of the current trend, towards networks of small and medium-sized diversified farms, can systemically solve so many global crises – from topsoil erosion and biodiversity loss to climate change itself.
Hugo Spowers and Adam Lusby – The Circular Economy and Ecological Design
Rory Spowers in discussion with his brother Hugo, the automotive engineer behind the revolutionary Riversimple car company, and Adam Lusby from Exeter University, exploring the concepts behind the ‘circular economy’ and how ecological design can reshape our world
It often seems that many potential solutions to global crises, from renewable energy to regenerative farming, are disregarded as being ‘uneconomic’. But there is evidence that the tide is finally changing, as the inherent fallacies within an economic model designed for the Industrial Revolution – such as the notion of infinite growth on a finite planet – become increasingly apparent. New economic models are now emerging, such as the ‘Circular Economy’, shifting the emphasis from ‘quantitative’ to ‘qualitative’ growth and integrating what were previously disregarded as social and environmental ‘externalities’ within our economic equations. In discussion with The Re-Generation founder Rory Spowers, Circular Economy expert Adam Lusby and ecological design innovator Hugo Spowers, will expand on the principles of a new economics which puts people and planet before pure profit and the degree to which ‘whole systems thinking’ and ‘regenerative design’ might enable us to design businesses that are synergistic with ecological parameters – and are more profitable by doing so.
Psychedelic Medicine Research and Drug Policy Reform – Dr David Luke with Amanda Feilding
Rory Spowers in discussion with Amanda Feilding of Beckley Foundation and Dr David Luke from Greenwich University, exploring the latest research in psychedelic medicines and the role they might play in reshaping drug policy.
After nearly fifty years, the moratorium on psychedelic drug research has been lifted and the media is awash with stories about the almost miraculous efficacy of psychedelic compounds when treating conditions from cancer and addiction to depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). What are the implication of this so-called ‘Psychedelic Renaissance’ on our healthcare systems and approach to drug policy legislation? How can these drugs be integrated, safely and effectively, minimising risk and improving lives? To explore this fascinating area, The Re-Generation founder Rory Spowers will be joined by Amanda Feilding, whose work with the Beckley Foundation has been at the forefront of this debate for decades, and Dr David Luke, one of the UK’s leading psychedelic researchers. Are we on the cusp on a revolution in healthcare, regenerating minds, bodies and even our relationship to nature itself, through the wise and judicious application of compounds such as cannabis, psilocybin and MDMA?
Bruce Parry – Tribal Insights – Power and Revolution
Bruce will reveal what it is like to live with people who exist in a world without leaders, shamans or even competition.
Did you know that for 90% of our time on the planet, humankind lived as equals without hierarchy? Bruce Parry has lived with tribal people the world over and has much to share. Bruce will reveal what it is like to live with people who exist in a world without leaders, shamans, or even competition. He will tell us of the tools such people use to maintain societal balance, and most significantly, how they came to create this type of society in the first place. This is a story of how to disarm power on a universal scale. It is a rekindling of the narrative that once held us all in balance, and how it could return once again. How can we regenerate our communities, our relationships to each other and to nature, by integrating insights from indigenous people that have lived in harmony with their bio-regions for millennia? Can we replace our hierarchical systems, inherently out of step with natural processes, with social networks inspired by indigenous tribal people and the reciprocal flows we observe within ecosystems?
Jojo Mehta – Ecocide – Regenerating our Relationship to Nature
Rory Spowers in discussion with Jojo Mehta, co-founder with the late Polly Higgins of the Stop Ecocide initiative, exploring how changing the rules of the game enables a deep shift in humanity’s relationship to Nature
Over the last few centuries, humanity has separated itself from nature to such a degree that we seem intent on destroying the very systems that support life itself, through our relentless economic activities to supply passive ‘consumers’. Nature has become merely ‘natural capital’. But should we not see the destruction of rainforests, biodiversity, clean water sources and a stable climate, as atrocity crimes on a par with genocide, but of the natural world? This is the premise upon which barrister Polly Higgins and activist Jojo Mehta founded the Stop Ecocide: Change the Law initiative to establish ‘the Missing International Crime of our Time’. Joining The Re-Generation founder Rory Spowers, Jojo Mehta will explain the power of this one simple law to stem the tide of corporate destruction, realigning human law with a higher, universal law – and how you can be part of that.
Shane Mauss: Regenerating Consciousness
Rory Spowers in discussion with US comedian Shane Mauss, about the role that science, psychedelics and mysticism might play in reshaping our understanding of consciousness
The deeper we delve into the systemic crises of our age, many of us reach the conclusion that the ultimate crisis is one of perception, or even our understanding of consciousness itself. We have come to believe that human beings are inherently selfish, separated from nature and from each other, driven purely by ‘selfish genes’ and a self-interested consciousness generated by, and limited to, the inside of our skulls. But now scientists from many disciplines, from quantum physics to neuroscience and cosmology, are converging on an alternative notion of consciousness, many of which believe could prove to be the next Copernican shift in human understanding – namely that consciousness may in fact be primary, not secondary to matter. This perspective shares much with the so-called Perennial Philosophy, identified by Aldous Huxley as the single strand of truth that underlies all our mystical and religious traditions. The Re-Generation founder Rory Spowers will explore these concepts in conversation with US comedian Shane Mauss, asking whether new insights from psychedelic medicines to neuroscience, might support the insights of mystics throughout the ages, suggesting that we are far from separate from each other, from nature and even the universe itself, but are inherently and implicitly connected by consciousness itself.