2001 – 2011

At the turn of the millenium, the Centre continued to deliver its highly-regarded MSc in Human Ecology, validated by the Open University, until 2005 when this partnership ended and the Centre joined the University of Strathclyde as part of its Department of Geography and Sociology. The final cohort entered the MSc programme in 2008, when departmental restructuring and differing academic priorities meant the partnership with the University of Strathclyde could not continue and the Centre once again became independent.

2001: Spring Lecture series: Mission- Possible? Recipes for Restoring the Earth

The empowered community: Taking control of our lives in Strathfillan
: John Willey,Community Activist and Marina Martin (VetAid)

Great cosmic Mother: Monica Sjoo, Ecofeminist and artist and Norah Barnes (Earthships)

Green for Go: Sustainable Transport Solutions: Sarah Boyack MSP, Scottish Transport Minister and Cathy Scott (Sciennes Safe Routes to School)

Transforming Scotland: Women, Power and Place: Verene Nicolas, CHE fellow and Rhona Brown (EnAct for women)

Who put the BSE into our cows?: Mark Purdey, Organic Farmer and Caroline Hoffmann (Scottish Green Party)

DEBATE: Is the world safe in the hands of big business? Kevin Dunion, FoE Scotland Director, Matthew Farrow, CBI Scotland and Mandy Calder (John Muir Trust)

2001: Autumn Lecture series:

Dr Ulrich Loening (Emeritus Director of Centre for Human Ecology) will give lectures which put the human ecological predicament into perspectives gathered in 30 years at the Centre for Human Ecology. Examples of the implications for daily life are taken mainly from agriculture, since feeding the world is the greatest challenge ecologically, economically and technically.

Civilisation runs on Natural Capital: All civilisations have squandered the accumulated wealth of the biosphere and either moved on or died out. Can we now become stewards and reverse this ultimate contradiction?

Energy and Order is the Ultimate Currency: All life including human activities exists by the continuous dissipation of energy. Accounting of resources and renewability must complement economic accounting.

You can never do merely one thing: In any complex system- environment, agricultures, society- any action will have many effects- the butterfly flapping its wings effect.

Nothing exceeds like success: The excess and waste of society stretch beyond the limits to growth. Alternatives include a new economics and the developments of appropriate technologies.

Science speaks the truth and nothing but the truth but nowhere near the whole truth: A curriculum that changes the emphasis to one of questioning and discovery is urgently needed, for better public and political understanding of science and ecology.

Old assumptions and new directions of progress are questioned: Meeting fundamental human needs depends on communities integrating with their ecosystems. Humanity is obliged to be stewards and agriculture must become Agri-Culture.

Bringing the Principles into View (slide show): Examples of prime and degraded forests, agricultural regeneration, and our friends in human ecology from around the world.

In October 2001 ‘Soil and Soul’ by Alastair McIntosh is published.

2002: In February 2002 a cross-sectoral consortium of voluntary organisations, “EQUAL”, approached the Centre for Human Ecology (CHE) to undertake a study into job opportunities for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people in Scotland. This followed on from the CHE’s earlier work on cultural inclusion in Scotland, particularly its close involvement in the and also, the follow-up report of CHE’s Embracing Multicultural Scotland project, Who’s a Real Scot?, published in April 2000.

CHE joins EMPOWER Scotland, a partnership fighting racism and xenophobia in the workplace across Scotland.

2002: Spring Lecture series: Human Ecology: The Dynamics of Change

The Dynamics of Non-Violent Change: Helen Steven, Scottish Centre for Non-Violence, Dunblane

Patterns of Place: The archaeology of landscape change in the Scottish highlands from prehistory to the present Strat Halliday & Steve Boyle, Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historic Monuments of Scotland

Real Change for the Real World? Putting environmental theory into business practice for Scotland: John Forbes, Business advisor for the Business Environment Partnership in Edinburgh & the Lothians

What do we mean by transformation? A theory and practice of conscious change: Nick Wilding, Executive Director 1996 – 1999 and current Fellow of CHE. Trainer and consultant, action for transformation within local
communities and grassroots organisations.

Education: Role and response-ability- Can we create a more ecological paradigm in education to meet the challenge of Rio and the 2002 World Summit. What key changes in education and learning does sustainability really imply? Stephen Sterling, author and independent consultant in environmental and sustainable education. Co-director, Bureau for Environmental Education and Training

The Illusion of Growth: Monetary reform as an essential step towards sustainability: Richard Douthwaite, independent author, lecturer and consultant on new economics

Decay & Change: Biodiversity – where do we go from here? Professor Aubrey Manning, writer, broadcaster (including the
presentation of Earth Story) and Emeritus Professor of Natural History, University of Edinburgh

In July 2002 the Centre delivered a two-week summer residential workshop on ‘Training for Transformation’. Training for Transformation originated from the DELTA programme in Central and South Africa 30 years ago. It is now organised in the UK by RootSolution.
This exciting programme combines discovery and learning at the personal, interpersonal and wider society dimensions of life. It explores community action focused on people’s own experiences. The training also encourages reflection on social issues, personal growth, listening, organisation, leadership, conflict and change.


CHE contracted by Edinburgh Council to work with officers and Equalities Forums on engagement and participation.

CHE co-delivers 12-day training for 35 community leaders.


Ecological Debt: Judy Kelso, Friends of the Earth Scotland Ecological Debt is a concept that grew out of the work being done on the effects of financial debt repayments of the South, on the environments of these countries. By challenging conventional understandings of to whom a debt is owed (i.e. from South to North), ecological debt provides a new way of understanding the complex relationships that have determined our past, present and future lives. Drawing on her recent experiences in Ecuador, from where an international campaign on ecological debt is being led, Judy Kelso will explore the power of the ecological debt argument.

Training for Transformation: Nick Wilding, Stephen Kearney, Re:generate. Training for Transformation originated from the DELTA programme in Central and South Africa 30 years ago. It is now organised in the UK by RootSolution. This exciting programme combines discovery and learning at the personal, interpersonal and wider society dimensions of life. It explores community action focused on people’s own experiences. The training also encourages reflection on social issues, personal growth, listening, organisation, leadership, conflict and change.

Cave of Gold (video screening/discussion): David Halliday, TV & film producer/director. Video screening of the film ‘Cave of Gold’ (UAMH AN OIR) followed by question and answer session with the director, David Halliday. Director David Halliday’s mesmerising visual pastiche of Gaelic Legend and contemporary life creates a truly poetic vision of Scotland. Using state of the art stop-motion cinematography, clouds whizz overhead in time-lapse fast motion, framing both ancient standing stones and 90s shopping complexes alike. Powerful images invade the screen – an auburn-haired girl floating like Millais’s Ophelia, raging fires, monuments decaying before our very eyes – and haunting Gaelic folk songs and poetry beat relentlessly to complete the brooding ambience

From the Third to the First world, a common vision of popular education and transformationCathy McCormack, REgenerate. From her experience in Scotland, Nicaragua and South Africa, Cathy McCormack will outline her vision of a popular education that empowers the poorest communities all around the world to identify, understand and tackle the issues that profoundly affect them. Cathy is a passionate and inspirational activist who has been involved in the fight for justice for more than 20 years. She is now working as Network Co-ordinator for REgenerate, the Action for Regenerate Trust.

Material and Immaterial in the Scottish Landscape: Norman Shaw, Artist. Norman Shaw is an artist who works across a range of disciplines from visual art to sound art and writing. He has just completed a practice-based PhD at the School of Fine Art, Dundee University, exploring links between visual art and sound in the landscape. He will be looking at landscape art in Scotland with special reference to the last hundred years.

Influencing Global Change: the Greenpeace example: Michelle Sheather, Greenpeace
Strategic Nonviolence in an Age of Terror: Michael Randle Visiting Research Fellow, Dept of Peace Studies, Bradford University. Nonviolent action has demonstrated its capacity to bring about social and political change in a variety of circumstances, and even to play the pivotal role in overturning entrenched autocracies. But how relevant is it in an age of ethnic conflict and terrorist violence? The lecture will consider the dynamics of strategic nonviolent conflict and consider its scope and limitations in today’s world.

Michael Randle has been active in the nonviolent movement since the early 1950s. He was a member of the march committee for the first Aldermaston March in 1958, Chair of the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War from 1958 to 1962, and Secretary of the Committee of 100, which organised a campaign of civil disobedience against the Bomb in the early 1960s. In 1962-3 he was one of six people sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for organising an attempted occupation of the USAF base at Wethersfield in Essex. He was for many years a Council and Executive member of War Resisters International. In the 1980s he co-ordinated the Alternative Defence Commission which brought out two major reports on a non-nuclear defence for Britain and Western Europe.

He is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Peace Studies, Bradford University. His books include People Power, the Building of a New European Home (Hawthorn Press, Stroud, 1990), Civil Resistance (Fontana, 1994) and, as editor, Challenge to Nonviolence, Bradford University, Department of Peace Studies 2002.

The Impact of Agricultural Change on Bird Populations: Dr Jeremy Wilson,  Head of Research, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scotland. Deterioration of agricultural and grassland habitats for bird and wider biodiversity is one of Europe’s most pressing conservation problems. This deterioration has been caused on the one-hand by the continuing intensification of agricultural practice across the continent driven by production-focused agricultural policies, and the other by the abandonment of traditional, low-intensity farming systems in economically marginal areas. For bird populations, however, the future may be less gloomy than the recent past. Rapidly improving understanding of the ecological needs of species of conservation concern, coupled with gradual ‘greening’ of the Common Agricultural Policy provides the opportunity for management to restore populations of many species as part of a move to multi-functional agricultural landscapes.

Jeremy Wilson has been involved in research studies of the relationships between bird populations and agriculture since 1991, working for the British Trust for Ornithology, Oxford University and, most recently, the RSPB. He moved to his current post in 2001, and retains an interest in studies of bird conservation on farmland in a Scottish context.

Challenging Racism: Basil Manning, Centre Against Racism and Sexism, South Africa. An opportunity for people, particularly young people (15 – 25 years) to spend an evening with Basil Manning an antiracist campaigner from South Africa. Basil came to Edinburgh in the early 70s when he was exiled from South Africa for being part of the Steve Biko youth movement. He is now director of CARAS (Centre Against Racism and Sexism) based in Johannesburg and has run anti-racism workshops in many parts of the world.

Research that Works: developing action research in Scotland: Convenor: Cathy Sharp, CHE Fellow. A one-day developmental and learning event on action research held by the Scottish Civic Forum and the Centre for Human Ecology.

A Human Ecologist’s Journey: from conservation to human ecosystem management: Drennan Watson, Landwise Scotland. The basic demands of environmental management are changing fast and demanding new skills of policy makers and practitioners. There is little evidence that those involved – within or outside government are coping with this demand for new skills, and the higher education system is inherently unable to train people in environmental management. Drennan Watson, one of Scotland’s leading practitioners in human ecosystem management, highlights the challenges and suggests a way forward.

The Centre begins to deliver ECOPROJECTS. EcoProjects is a web based service which matches students who need a project as part of their university or college course, with environmental organisations who have research projects or investigations to offer.
EcoProjects was previously known as LEARN (Link Academic and Research Network).

2004: The final year of the Centre’s validation agreement with the Open University.

Collaboration begins with Edinburgh & Lothian Racial Equality Council to deliver capacity building training.

CHE’s first 3-day Training for Facilitators event for black and minority ethnic sector.

Collaboration begins with Dundee International Women’s Centre and with Meridian (Glasgow) to deliver capacity building training.

CHE launches Power, Participation & Leadership programme for community leadership in Community Planning.

The Centre publishes Peter Merry’s ‘Why Work?’ paper.

A Training for Transformation Workshop Series- Community Empowerment Programme is delivered by CHE in partnership with YWCA, Dundee.

The Centre begins to deliver the Scienceaid project.

The Centre delivered a number of seminars, workshops, and lectures:

The Reality of a Spiritual Dimension: Evidence and IntimationsDavid Lorimer Scientific and Medical Network/Horizon Research Foundation. If activism or any other activity is to be spiritually based, we may want to evaluate the evidence for the existence of spiritual reality. Paranormal and spiritual experiences and phenomena may shed light on this. What are some of the main research findings and what debates surround these?

David Lorimer, MA PGCE is a writer, lecturer, editor who is project director of the Scientific and Medical Network. Originally a merchant banker then a teacher of philosophy and modern languages at Winchester College, he is the author and editor of many books, most recently Thinking beyond the Brain. He is Vice-President of the Swedenborg Society and the Horizon Foundation (The International Association for Near-Death Studies UK). He is Chair of Wrekin Trust, a charity concerned with adult education, and of the All Hallows House Foundation, concerned with holistic health. He has a long-standing interest in the perennial wisdom and has translated and edited books about the Bulgarian sage Peter Deunov. He is also a member of the International Futures Forum. His book on the ideas and work of the Prince of Wales – Radical Prince – will be published in November 2003.

Corporate Accountability and Environmental Justice: Duncan McLaren Chief Executive, Friends of the Earth Scotland. Duncan McLaren will explore how environmental injustice is created by the actions and governance of corporations and the structures that support corporate expropriation of environmental and social resources. He will discuss proposals for political and legal measures at the national and international scales that could promote environmental justice by imposing new structures of accountability on companies.

CHE seminar: Wealth and Well-being: Hetan Shah Programme Leader, New Economics, New Economics Foundation. What is the point of economic policy-making? To increase people’s quality of life and happiness? Is that not the implicit reason for the relentless pusuit of economic growth? Then why, despite unprecedented economic prosperity, do measures of happiness remain stubbornly flat? What does this say about values, measures of success and targets for growth? What do we really need, and what would economic policy look like if it sought to primarily promote well-being? Hetan leads one of nef’s five programme areas – New Economics. He is a director of the Social Enterprise Partnership (GB) – an umbrella organisation of social enterprise support organisations. He is familiar with a range of impact measurement and evaluation techniques. Hetan has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, and a masters degree in Contemporary History and Politics and postgraduate certificate in Economics, both from Birkbeck College, University of London. His research interests include systems thinking, alternative economics and human needs theory. Hetan was born in, and lives in, East London.

Earth, Spirit and Action: Alastair McIntosh, Verene Nicolas (CHE Fellows). Devon, UK. 3 week course at Schumacher College, An International Centre for Ecological Studies. With John Seed, Ruth Rosenhek, Starhawk, Alastair McIntosh and Verene Nicolas. Working for social and ecological change can be disheartening and exhausting. It can also be empowering and exhilarating, providing a way of connecting to the Earth and with other people. This course brings together dedicated environmental campaigners from three continents to talk about the principles that undelie activism. Taking their inspiration from Buddhism, deep ecology, systems theory, permaculture, and shamanism, they will work with participants to bring a vital spiritual foundation into the struggle for a better world.

Evolutionary Leadership: Peter Merry and Nick Wilding, Engage!Interact and CHE. Kerry, Ireland. Evolutionary Leadership Personal, organisational and social change – experiencing an integral approach. One week residential short course run by CHE and Engage!Interact in County Kerry, Ireland.

Linking Communities and Scientists: ScienceAid, Centre for Human Ecology. ScienceAID, in partnership with Friends of the Earth Scotland, aims to support communities facing environmental injustice – from polluting industrial plants and coastal fish farms to waste and extractive developments – to engage more effectively in decision making by having access to free, high quality, scientific advice. But is this feasible? This one-day seminar will examine the need for ScienceAid and the barriers to its implementation. Speakers include Friends of the Earth Scotland, community activists and academics already working to link communities with science.

Advances in Political Ecology: Joan Martinez Alier, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Author of ‘Environmentalism of the Poor’.

The Desire for Speed and the Rhythm of the Earth: Michael Northcott, Alastair McIntosh (CHE Fellows) and others
Centre for Human Ecology/Scottish Churches House, Dunblane. The desire for speed is central to the ecological and spiritual disorders of modern society. The economy and even public services are ordered around the value of efficiency which directs us to find the quickest way of growing food, getting from A to B, or caring for a sick patient. But people and planet are reaching quite literally terminal velocity as the speed of travel and communication shrinks the planet and shrinks time and space for traditional spiritual values and virtues. The rhythm of the earth and of our own bodies echoes the mind of God. Christian spirituality contains powerful resources for helping us to resist the quest for speed, to reorder our desires, and to slow down our lives.

Creative Conviction: Tessa Ransford, CHE Fellow. Designed and facilitated by TESSA RANSFORD for the Centre for Human Ecology with colleagues ANTONIA SWINSON (award-winning financial journalist/novelist) and DONALD SMITH (Director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre)

Strategic Campaigning: Michelle Sheather & Claire Carpenter, CHE Fellow. Do you want to create a change in your current organisational situation, campaign, or issue? Do you need to take time and have support to focus, create or establish the goals that are relevant to your work? Do you need to influence another’s agenda? Solution:This unique 2 day course is especially aimed at: project and organisation managers, campaigners and activists in NGO’s, charities, local government and services, and at consultants delivering services to the Not for Profit and Social Enterprise sectors. It will be delivered by Michelle Sheather, long-term training consultant to Greenpeace International based in SE England and organised by Edinburgh based consultant and CHE Fellow, Claire Carpenter.

Ecoyoga: where yoga meets ecology: Nick Wilding and Nick Loening CHE Fellow. How do the principles of Yoga inform our Ecological awareness? Can we bring greater attention to environmental issues within the context of a Yoga practice? This weekend of practice, dialogue and inspiration offers a unique opportunity to explore these emerging questions. Rooted in the groups’ experience, we will explore together how our evolving Yoga practice may create a healthier, happier and more just world. Led by Nick Loening (director, the Yoga Centre) and Nick Wilding (Fellow, Centre for Human Ecology, Edinburgh and director, energise.org).

CHE seminar: A tendency to take over: Jon Ralls, New Economics module organiser. How did economics become so dominant in Western culture? How is that culture able to use it so effectively to dominate the world? Why were universities initially loath to accept economics as a discipline into academia? A selective and provocative history and discussion of the intellectual, psychological and cultural underpinnings of economics and economism, to help all of us to understand how things might be different.
Jon Ralls wrote and leads the New Economics module of the CHE’s Masters programme. A former investment consultant, financial journalist and singer, he now runs an internet business, wwwolf ltd, providing web services to (among others) the UK Social Investment Forum and the Ethical Trading Initiative. His passion is the healing of the perceived separation of the material and the spiritual, the objective and the subjective, through consciousness studies and by being conscious. He studied and played hard at Cambridge and City Universities (Natural Sciences, Economics and Information Science) and is constantly surprised at how useful it all remains.

Buying a Better World: can responsible public sector purchasing make a difference? Osbert Lancaster, Executive Director and Fellow of CHE. Following years of pressure from campaigners and a growing awareness of the risks of ignoring the issue, public sector organisations are starting to take account of the environmental and social impact of the products and services they buy. Osbert Lancaster will review the legal constraints and practical difficulties facing organisations, and highlight opportunities for them to contribute to ecological sustainability and social justice through their purchasing activity. Osbert will argue that public sector organisations in the UK have a real opportunity to be at the forefront of these developments internationally, and will suggest how they can take practical steps to make a difference. Osbert Lancaster BSc MBA is Executive Director of the Centre for Human Ecology, and previously led CHE’s work on business and sustainability. He is currently consulting to the Scottish Parliament on responsible purchasing, is a board member of Agenda: Social Responsibility in Scotland, and is a contributor to ‘Scotlands of the Future: sustainability in a small nation’, published by Luath Press. Before joining CHE Osbert worked as management consultant in Scotland and Eastern Europe, and as a business development adviser with small and medium sized enterprises.

Beyond “rearranging the deckchairs of the Titanic”: a social contract for sustainable business activity: Dr Christoph Bey La Rochelle Business School and CHE Fellow. Businesses command great financial resources whilst causing considerable environmental impact. Though many businesses claim to promote sustainability it is widely felt that sustainable development is being rendered meaningless by ecologically unsound practices. This lecture will explore, in a European context, ways to bridge the divides between the state, individuals and business in order to achieve real progress in sustainable development. Christoph is a researcher and teacher in strategic management and sustainable development at Groupe Sup de Co La Rochelle, a French business school at the Atlantic coast. With a background in biology and international business, he received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh for his thesis “Sustainable production, allocation and consumption – creating steady-state economic structures in industrial ecology”. This work examined current efforts in, and the validity of the scientific basis of the environmental management tool industrial ecology, demonstrating the danger of “greenwashing” in applying this concept and, consequently, the need for a proper economic-philosophical foundation. This research is bearing fruit in the form of several ongoing research projects with partners in Finland, Scotland and France. Currently, Christoph is engaged in work in the field of corporate social responsibility, leading to the submission of a French professorial thesis (“Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches”). His research inquires into corporate ownership structures and the resulting behaviour vis-à-vis assuming social responsibility.

An Uprising of the Soul: an activist’s view of spiritual activism: Norah Barnes, Activist. Norah Barnes will share her experiences as a peace activist and environmental campaigner. She will explore with the audience, the process of becoming an active, empowered citizen. This will be a participatory event. Norah Barnes has worked as an environmental educator and Countryside Ranger and has degrees in Environmental Science and Human Ecology. She is actively involved in the peace and anti-nuclear movement, including actions at Faslane Nuclear Base and the recent anti-war protests in Edinburgh and Glasgow. She is also a member of the Ploughshares Peace Group.

Systems Science, Social Change, and Engaged Buddhism: towards an integral practice for activists: Nick Wilding, CHE Fellow. What’s the next frontier for social change activists? Nick Wilding will conduct a ‘participatory lecture’ to look deeply at the evolutionary nature of social change… And the implications for activists in social and ecological justice movements. Nick will draw on insights from models of ‘integral practice’ suggested by Joanna Macy and John Seed (‘Deep Ecology’), Ken Wilber (‘Spiral Dynamics’), Arne Mindell (‘Process Oriented Psychology’), Sally and Anne Timmel (‘Training for Transformation’) and Peter Reason (‘Action Research’). He will propose that personal awareness practice (like meditation) can make more readily accessible insights into the structures of society that prevent us from becoming fully effective in service of our justice and ecology. Nick specialises in group facilitation and action research. He helped develop the CHE’s MSc Human Ecology and this lecture forms part of the ‘Self and Society’ module that he leads. He has collaborated with Engage! InterAct (Holland) to develop a ‘conscious leadership’ short course, works with the CHE’s Community Empowerment Programme, and is currently Development Manager of the CHE. For more, see his website: www.energise.org

Indigenous Spiritual Activism in Scotland: Alastair McIntosh, CHE Fellow. Alastair McIntosh will speak at ‘Indigenous Religions in Context’, a conference at Edinburgh University organised by Religious Studies in the School of Divinity in association with the College of Humanities and Social Science ‘Belief’ Project and the RICHES ‘Belief in Scotland’ Seminar Series.


A New Agricultural Revolution: Dr Ulrich Loening, Fellow, Centre of Human Ecology will give a lecture to the Botanical Society of Scotland: “A New Agricultural Revolution: another look at how plants protect themselves against pests and diseases” onThursday 17 November 2005.

Circuits of Power: Politics, Religion and Spiritual Ambiguity: Prof. Richard H. Roberts Department of Religious Studies, University of Stirling. Public Lecture.Contrary to the expectations of the leading academic proponents of secularisation and modernisation the religious factor now exerts a powerful, ambiguous and much disputed role in globalised world politics. This can above all be seen in the form of the radical religious conservatism, or ‘fundamentalisms’, found in the major theistic traditions. In an apparent polarity, proponents of ‘spirituality’ seek to energise and develop the interiority of activists who work for social and ecological justice. Simultaneously, however, global capitalism also seeks to appropriate, ingest and deploy spirituality as a resource to be used in the ‘manufacture of the human’. How, in this complex context, may we decipher and resolve some of these ambiguities and construct a committed, yet critical understanding of spiritual practice in the struggle for truth, justice and world peace?

Open-heartedness in the Face of Rootless Identity: Verene Nicolas CHE Fellow, Community Programme Manager. Human ecology is about our relationship with the environment, which is to say, with place. But what happens when many of us originate from family and cultural histories that have uprooted us from any meaningful sense of place? Does it leave us with no hope for being able to participate fully in place by, for example, expressing our activism in a rooted community? Or is the true location of sense of place the human heart, and by learning to open the heart we can start to heal relationship both with one another and with our chosen environment?

Complex Problems of Natural Resource Management and their Management by Non-Coercive Methods: Drennan Watson CHE Fellow. Problems of natural resource management now tend not to present simply as problems of biodiversity or pollution. The involve more often a mix of problems includiing such factors as bioinvasion, damage to soil systems, and disturbances of hydrology. They are dificult to approach piecemeal and require a more holistic, often ecosystems based approach.

Our ideas about the nature of ecosystems are changing and the diversity of stakeholders in such problems is great. We have relied heavily on regulation and creation of incentives such as grants or tax breaks to solve them but it becomes apparent that these alone are inadequate. A range of noncoercive methods have been explored to augement such measures including action research, participative approaches, and social learning among stakeholders (also called co-learning). This lecture explores the application of these approaches to natural resource management. It draws on two sources. One is the long history of “extension” in agricultural and rural development, with its diverse mistakes and successes in the use of non-coercive methods. The other is a recently completed three-year European Research programme Social Learning in Integrated Catchment Management and Sustainable Use of Water (SLIM). Water is so pervasive and interactive in ecosystems and involves so many human stakeholders that it is a good resource on which to base research into these approaches.

Drennan Watson is a consultant, researcher and trainer with an important part of his work focusing on the relationship between environmental stakeholders, communities, and the use of the natural resources around them in rural development. This has included the management of complex environmental and land use problems and the need to blend top-down and bottom-up approaches. To this end, he has pioneered the introduction of participative techniques of community consultation, rapid appraisal, and other methods such as stakeholder management. His practical experience has extended over the social and environmental impacts of agriculture, forestry, woodland management, mountain management, recreational land use and tourism development.

Training in facilitating Democs, a cutting-edge learning and democracy tool: New Economics Foundation in partnership with the Centre for Human Ecology.  Democs stands for Deliberative Meeting of Citizens. It is a new approach to involving citizens in public policy issues. It was developed by nef to make it easy for people to work out, share and express their views on complex topical issues, such as GM food, stem cell research, climate change and homelessness.

Integral Ecology – an evolution of consciousness?: Public Lecture. Nick Wilding will give an account of his journey into the world of Spiral Dynamics and Integral Ecology, informed by his connections with the Integral Institute and the Evolutionary Leadership network. This seminar will be an introduction to Ken Wilber’s integral framework and examine its promise to hone the effectiveness of spiritually-informed activists for sustainability.The seminar will also be seeking to encourage a dialogue between this presentation, and other perspectives on human ecology from those attending. The format for this evening will be convivial and informal.

Finding the Solution in the Problem: enskilling in relational Sustainability: Dr Justin Kenrick Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology & Applied Social Sciences, University of Glasgow.

Participatory Appraisal Event: Over the last two years or so the Social Inclusion project of Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme has been working on the development of a Participatory Appraisal Network (PA Network) for Scotland.


The Centre publishes ‘The Dream Job: 21 Steps to enhance Black and Ethnic Minority opportunities in Scotland.’ A scoping report on black and minority ethnic opportunity in Scotland.

Exploring Glasgow’s Vision: seminar on Thursday 23rd March which looks at progressive initiatives in Glasgow.
Economics and Reality:  Discussion Seminar with Jon Ralls, MA (Econ), MSc – Economist and Information Consultant. How ‘real’ are the axioms of conventional economics? How ‘real’ is its philosophical basis? What is ‘real’…? This exploration will draw on emerging economic thinking, quantum physics, biological systems, indigenous wisdom traditions…. your knowledge and wisdom.

Spirituality & Regeneration conference: Written by Centre for Human Ecology On 22nd October the CHE hosted the day conference jointly with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF International), the GalGael Trust and Strathclyde University in the University’s Graham Hills Building. Over the past year WWF International has funded a programme whereby students have been supported to explore urban and rural regeneration in their MSc thesis work, receiving £500 research expenses and a further £500 incentive on publication in a scholarly journal. A dozen pieces of work are currently in progress and several of these were presented at the day long conference. These included Sam Harrison and Brian McQuade on their work with the GalGael Trust in Govan, Isabel Soria on conservation and spirituality on the Buddhist owned Holy Isle off Arran, Iain MacKinnon on eldership and cultural transmission in crofting communities, and Sibongile Pradhan working with women, empowerment and land reform on the Isle of Eigg. The conference was also addressed by Luc Giraud-Guigues of WWF International in Switzerland and Tom Crompton of WWF UK. A subsequent internal WWF report described the programme as “one of the most productive uses … I have seen” of WWF research funding, profoundly “relevant in today’s shifting sociopolitical milieu.”

Traidcraft plc commissioned the Centre for Human Ecology to examine the environmental impact of sugar production and to consider how this relates to Traidcraft’s strategic objectives. Traidcraft is one of Europe’s leading fair trade companies.

Alastair McIntosh is appointed Visiting Professor of Human Ecology at the University of Strathclyde.


CHE Consulting is launched.

Get Your Voice Heard! Report Launched

Scottish Parliament Sustainable Food Procurement: in 2003 the Parliament engaged the Centre for Human Ecology – led by Osbert Lancaster, now with Footprint Consulting – to help them define their policy, produce a statement of principles and develop a 3-step plan for implementation. This involved: interviews and workshops with Parliament staff; researching the sustainable procurement policies of other legislatures and public bodies internationally; understanding constraints and opportunities posed by EU and other legislation; and helping draft a policy and implementation plan that reflected the specific principles, responsibilities and culture of the Scottish Parliament.
Following implementation of the plan, in 2008 the Parliament launched its Responsible Purchasing Strategy, committing resources to the achievement of best practice, embedding Responsible Purchasing into all practices and encouraging suppliers to do the same.

Justin Kenrick, former member of CHE’s Academic Board and anthropology lecturer at the University of Glasgow, will be giving a talk on ‘Responding to the Ecological Crisis of Inequality,’ as part of the departmental seminar series of Geography & Sociology at the University of Strathclyde.


Students begin their studies in the final cohort to study the MSc in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.

Arts in Transformation: two speakers from Philadelphia’s BuildaBridge International, who will present a public forum on using the arts for social transformation.

Dr. Vivian Nix-Early is dean of the Campolo College: School for Social Change at Eastern University; she is a primary faculty member of the BuildaBridge Institute, teaching in the areas of curriculum writing and arts creativity in human development.

Dr. J Nathan Corbitt is Professor of Cross-Cultural Studies at Eastern University. He is the Co-ordinator of the Arts in Transformation Concentration of the MA in Urban Studies at The Campolo College: School for Social Change. Dr. Corbitt regularly consults and trains on cross-cultural issues in education, urban life, non-profit management and evaluation, and overseas living and travel. He has lectured or researched in over 35 countries.

Fellow Alastair McIntosh publishes ‘Hell and High Water’. Politics alone is not enough to tacke the likely scale of global warming – the root lies in our addictive consumer mentality. In a breath-taking journey through myth, philosophy and literature, McIntosh reveals the psychohistory of modernity. He shows how our inner lives have fallen prey to a numbing culture of violence and the motivational manipulation of marketing. To address what has become of the human condition we must learn to see beyond despair and even death. Only then will we discover the spiritual meaning of these, our troubled times; only then can a sense of magical and all that gives life start to mend a broken world.

Graduate Jamie Whittle’s book ‘White River’ goes into second printing.

Launch for “Rekindling Community”

About the book: Rekindling Community: Connecting People, Environment and Spirituality is a Schumacher Briefing co-sponsored by the Centre for Human Ecology and WWF International. The publication also features a dozen pieces of research undertaken mainly by MSc Human Ecology students, collected and edited by CHE graduate Sam Harrison, funded by a research and development grant from Strathclyde University that was procured by Professor David Miller.

2009: In a recent letter to the G20 heads of state, the Centre for Human Ecology was one of 11 signatories, alongside the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the International Trade Union Confederation, WWF International, etc.


‘Walking the Talk’: Adam Weymouth, Che graduate, writer, storyteller and walker, will share stories and discuss ideas about pilgrimage he gathered during his 8 month journey on foot from England to Istanbul last year. He will be joined my Reverend Moyna McGlynn, of Govan Parish Church, who will introduce him and set the scene for us with some stories and information about the importance of pilgrimage since early medieval times.

Wild Glaswegians: The event will focus on the history and traditions of herbs in Scotland. The event begins with a Herb Walk, led by herbalist Bill Cleeve, who will highlight the amazing variety of herbs that grow wild in Glasgow, and tell us a bit about them along the way. Then Amanda Edmiston, professional storyteller and herbal afficionado, will regale us with stories of mugworts and maidens, and more!
Louise Bustard, of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens will be spilling the secrets of some of the most exotic plants growing in Glasgow.
Ian Boyd of Glasgow City Council will be telling us about where we can find green spaces near us, from community gardens, to conservation areas, to natural woodlands, and more.

Aluminium, Development and Human Ecology: We are very lucky to have incredible guest Samarendra Das, activist/writer/film-maker from Orissa, India to open our minds and hearts on a huge variety of issues relevant to industry, community, modernity and development here in Scotland. Joined by Andrew Perchard, historian on the aluminium industry in the UK, and member of the Scottish Oral History Centre.

Celebrating the Spirit in post-industrial communitiesThe evening will explore the legacy left by industrialisation both in Govan, and in other communities in Glasgow, and beyond. It will also explore visions for the future of post industrial communities with our main speakers, Alastair McIntosh (author of ‘Soil and Soul’ and fellow of the Centre for Human Ecology) and Dr. Carol Craig (author of ‘the Tears that made the Clyde’, and Director of the Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing). There will also be some music and song from Tam McGarvey and friends from the GalGael.