From Systemic Collapse to Civilizational Transformation | Schumacher Institute’s 10th Anniversary Conference


NOTE: Text, photograph and graphic by Asitha Jayawardena ( as part of his Sustainable University One-stop Shop Experiment (  Logo of the Schumacher Institute is from its website.


The Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems will hold its tenth anniversary celebratory conference in Bristol (Watershed 3, 1 Canon’s Road, BS1 5TX) on Thursday 24 May 2018 (10am – 4:30pm).


Titled ‘From Systemic Collapse to Civilizational Transformation’, this conference comprises a keynote and other talks, an overview of the Institute’s work and achievements in the past decade and where it originated from (i.e. E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful in 1972), and thoughts for the future. It will also see the launch of the Institute’s System Change Journal.





Keynote: Systemic Collapse?

Dr Nafeez Ahmed will deliver the keynote address, which will be an analysis based on his 2017 book, Failing States, Collapsing Systems – Bio-Physical Triggers of Political Violence. This award-winning investigative journalist, bestselling author, transdisciplinary academic, documentary film-maker, science fiction novelist and musician is also the author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation – And How to Save It (2010).


Three sessions will comprise four speakers:


The Human System: coping and flourishing in challenging times

  • Mike Parker: Liminal reflection
  • Lucy Ford: Perspectives from Eco-psychology


The Technological System

Hilary Sutcliffe: Can technology work better for people and planet?


The Socio-ecological System

Susan Canney: How can humans and nature live together?


Workshops: The next 10 years? Plans and Priorities


Eight facilitated workshops, under four themes, will give the participants an opportunity to debate the issues.


Living Futures how do we create and build the living future?

1 | Living Systems

2 | Food, Well-being and Health


Prepare for Change can systems approaches assist different sectors?

3 | Changing Technology Economy

4 | Infrastructure and Resilience


Inclusive Sustainability equality and inclusion across societies

5 | Infrastructure and Inclusion

6 | Resilient Individuals and Communities


Making Sense systems learning, development and communications

7 | Learning and Systems

8 | Media and Communications




Plenary will comprise workshop reports and Closing remarks from speakers and the floor.



The Schumacher Institute


The Schumacher Institute, a Bristol-based independent think tank for environmental, social and economic issues, studies the sustainability of complex systems – in the long term and in harmony with natural processes. It invites policymakers, practitioners and communities to join its endeavour of working towards a world of reducing inequality that provides for everyone within the limits of the planet.


The Institute builds on the ideas of E. F. Schumacher, particularly appropriate technology at the right scale, local actions, peace and non-violent approaches, simplicity and the sense that all people matter.


E.F Schumacher


An internationally influential thinker with a systems perspective of the world, E.F Schumacher developed a series of connected ideas in energy, work, technology, development, organisation and ownership, education, traditional wisdom and spirituality. His seminal book, Small is Beautiful, was published in 1973.




Conference page


Conference registration


Conference flier


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