History - 2009 SpeakerBill McKibben
Author, Deep Economy and The End of Nature
Bill McKibben is one of America’s most important writers on business, culture and the environment. He is the author of ten books, including, most recently, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future.
Deep Economy challenges the prevailing view of our economy that “more” is “better” and offers a realistic, if challenging, scenario for the future that pursues prosperity beyond “growth” as our economic ideal.
He raises the fundamental question: What is the economy for? And he stresses the need for strong local businesses as the backbone of strong local, interdependent communities. A wise and optimistic vision for a better future.
Bill’s book The End of Nature is a classic work on the environmental crisis and was the first account of global warming for a general audience. First published in The New Yorker, it’s been in thousands of classrooms and book discussion groups; it’s been excerpted for major nature writing anthologies, and is published in 20 languages.
Bill McKibben’s work combines personal engagement with the issues and careful thought about the past, present and future; unflinching realism with dedicated practicality; and an optimism grounded in what people are already doing and what is still possible to achieve to build a prosperous and fulfilling future.
Bill McKibben is a scholar in residence in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College. He led the largest demonstration to date in America about climate change and founded stepitup07.org, which is building local movements to support curbs on carbon emissions.
For all of human history, having more—that is, growing the economy—has always improved the human condition—until now. We have turned a corner, and now pursuing economic growth as we have in the past will begin to degrade the quality of our lives, not improve it. We need a new understanding of the good life and a new way to achieve it through a deep economics that nurtures communities and aims toward a sustainable future for everyone.
This is a profound message exploring the fundamental questions posed by an economic system that’s committed to the ideal of growth. Bill offers compelling arguments for moving away from growth in our economics, he reports on local successes at developing solutions to the worst of our ecological problems, and he delivers an optimistic vision for what is achievable—what a “deep economy” could look like and why it’s worth our commitment.