TEDxWhitechapel will host 10 internationally renowned speakers who will present creative and innovative approaches to the different challenges converging on our planet, ranging from economics, business, politics, law and science to spirituality, consciousness, well-being, education, freedom and community.
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics
His books (The Ascent of Humanity and Sacred Economics) as well as his other essays and blog posts on web magazines have generated a vast online following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events, and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts. Writing in Ode magazine’s “25 Intelligent Optimists” issue, David Korten (author of When Corporations Rule the World) called Eisenstein “one of the up-and-coming great minds of our time.”
Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, and spent the next ten years as a Chinese-English translator. He currently lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife and three sons.
Polly Higgins, Earth Law
Polly Higgins, barrister, international lawyer and award winning author of Eradicating Ecocide, proposed to the United Nations in April 2010 a law of Ecocide to be classed as an international law alongside Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Crimes of Aggression and War Crimes as a 5th Crime Against Peace. Ecocide is defined as the mass “damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.”
Polly has been a vocal spokesperson on Earth Law for a number of years and is recognised as an expert in her field. Her first book, Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of our Planet is published by Shepheard-Walwyn, Winner of the Peoples Book Prize 2011 for non-fiction and book number 2, Earth is our Business, changing the rules of the game has been described as ‘groundbreaking’. No other author has addressed the heart of the problem and proposed how to change it into a solution by using law. Polly has now mounted a global campaign to have Ecocide recognised as the 5th Crime Against Peace.
Satish Kumar, Education
Satish Kumar is an internationally renowned speaker on ecological and spiritual issues. When he was only nine years old, Satish renounced the world and joined the wandering brotherhood of Jain monks. He left the monastic order and became a campaigner for land reform, working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a peaceful world into reality, before undertaking an 8,000 mile peace pilgrimage, walking from India to America without any money, through deserts, mountains, storms and snow.
Since 1973 he has been Editor at Resurgence magazine and his books include No Destination; You Are Therefore I Am; Spiritual Compass; Earth Pilgrim. Satish teaches, lectures and runs workshops on reverential ecology, holistic education and voluntary simplicity and is the founder of Schumacher College. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorates in Education (2000), Literature (2001) and in 2009 an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Exeter. Satish has regularly contributed to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day and has appeared as a guest on Desert Island Discs. He featured in BBC2’s Natural World Series — Earth Pilgrim: A Spiritual Journey into the Landscape of Dartmoor. Satish is a Vice President at the RSPCA.
Rupert Sheldrake, The Science Delusion
Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and 10 books, including The Science Delusion (January 2012). He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, a Research Fellow of the Royal Society, Principal Plant Physiologist at ICRISAT (the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) in Hyderabad, India, and from 2005-2010 the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge. His website is www.sheldrake.org.
Graham Hancock, Consciousness
His books have been translated into twenty-seven languages and have sold over five million copies worldwide. His public lectures and broadcasts, including two major TV series, Quest for the Lost Civilisation, and Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age, have further established his reputation as an unconventional thinker who raises controversial questions about humanity’s past. Hancock’s first venture into fiction, Entangled, was published in 2010 and his second novel, War God, on the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, will be published in April 2013.
Raoul Martinez, Creating Freedom
Raoul is an artist, writer, and award-winning documentarian. His portraits (www.raoulmartinez.com) have been selected for exhibition in London’s National Portrait Gallery, and he has painted leading figures in the arts and academia as well as a series of symbolic works. He is currently working on his first documentary series, entitled Creating Freedom with filmmaker Joshua van Praag. In developing the series as writer, director, and producer, he has travelled extensively, interviewing leading intellectuals, journalists and activists, including Noam Chomsky, Tony Benn, Howard Zinn, Vandana Shiva, Amy Goodman, Steven Pinker, Bill Mckibben, and Christopher Hedges. The first film in the series, The Lottery of Birth, was nominated for Best Documentary at the Raindance Film festival and premiered in London in September 2012, it has since won the Artivist award at LA’s Artivist festival. The film has been described as “Challenging, insightful and timely. Unmissable” by Alan Rickman, and Colin Firth said of it: “I was quite blown away. A lot of bracing, tangential and uncomfortable thought… looks and sounds beautiful.“
Creating Freedom (www.creatingfreedom.info) explores the subjects of freedom, control and power in modern society. To accompany the series, and based on his many interviews and years of research, Raoul is currently writing a book of the same name. Raoul lives and works in his London studio.
Ella Lauser, Holistic Health & Well-being
At an early age, Ella had the unique opportunity to be a confidant and support system for many people. With wisdom, humor, and openness passed down to her from her bisexual grandma, Ella received a rich education. In 2000 at UC Santa Cruz she began The I Want Sex Club (I.W.S.C.) for students who wanted to talk about sex in a non-judgmental, supportive forum.
Shortly thereafter, she graduated with a Sociology B.A. from UCLA, and then went on to teach comprehensive sexual health education to high school classrooms throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District. An advocate of wellness, Ella is a certified yoga teacher, birth and postpartum doula, has attended countless seminars in personal development and whole food nutrition, and continues to travel the globe taking in wisdom from teachers, midwives, shamans and storytellers.
She answers questions and posts thought-provoking topics regularly on her website Go Ask Ella.
Patrick Andrews, Social Business
Patrick Andrews’s restless spirit has led him on an eventful life journey that has given him an understanding of life and business from multiple perspectives. At one point he had a high flying role in large-scale corporate mergers and acquisitions, these days he works with pioneering social enterprises exploring new approaches to law and business. He seeks out projects that get to the root of things and dare to ask big questions.
Patrick is on the board of Riversimple, an eco-car company that aims to re-invent the auto industry. Under Patrick’s guidance Riversimple has adopted an innovative governance structure designed to balance and serve the interests of all involved, challenging the mindset that places shareholders at the top of the corporate tree.
Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney, Community Living
Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney is the founder of Embercombe, a social enterprise that seeks to “inspire committed action for a truly sustainable world”. He leads Embercombe’s work with business organisations, and contributes to a number of business external advisory panels. All of Mac’s work is focused at exploring relationship, belonging, and responsibility.
For twenty years he was mentored by a group of ‘metis’ Native Americans. This prolonged and challenging training has profoundly influenced Mac’s worldview and continues to inform all aspects of his work with organisations, children, families, and youth.
Personal website – extracts from talks: www.timmacmacartney.co.uk
Embercombe website www.embercombe.co.uk
Richard Burnett, Mindfulness
Richard Burnett is co-founder of the Mindfulness in Schools Project. With Chris Cullen and Chris O’Neill, Richard wrote the highly-acclaimed 9 week mindfulness course, .b (pronounced dot-b), designed to engage adolescents in the classroom. He is a teacher and Housemaster at Tonbridge School, the first school in the UK to put mindfulness on the curriculum, an event covered by press, TV and radio in early 2010. Since then, thousands of young people have been taught .b in a wide range of educational contexts, from independent girls’ schools like St Pauls to Young People’s Support Services for those excluded from school. .b is now being taught in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, Holland and Thailand. For more information on the Mindfulness in Schools Project go to www.mindfulnessinschools.org