End of Growth | New Beginning?

As Illahee prepares to welcome Richard Heinberg, the second speaker in our fall lineup (Friday 21 October at 7pm), the world is watching America’s social protests erupting on Wall Street and across the country. There’s a common thread of anger — the rich are getting richer and corporations continue to make profits while individuals and families struggle to make ends meet.

In a New York Times piece this week, Thomas Friedman discusses our third speaker this fall, Paul Gilding, that these great disruptions “are a sign that the current growth-obsessed capitalist system is reaching its financial and ecological limits.” Gilding sees the ecological, economic, and democratic crises as an integrated system — a system that is breaking down and “eating itself alive.” Gilding, however, is an optimist and thinks the disruption is an opportunity. Fortunately, he offers more than doom and gloom, reminding us that crises often bring out the best people have to offer: compassion, innovation, and resilience.

Richard Heinberg will certainly deliver a wake-up call this Friday, but we look forward to Gilding’s talk next month as he makes the argument that this crisis will only push us to rise to the challenge.

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