With Shaun Chamberlin, editor of Fleming’s new posthumous book Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy.
Thursday 30th November, 6.30pm: drinks and buffet at Gaia House, 7.30pm – 9pm: talk and discussion at Burgh House followed by book signing. Book tickets here.
Building on the tradition of E.F. Schumacher, David Fleming’s celebrated writing offers an enthralling vision of a post-growth economy grounded in the play, humour, rootedness and reciprocal obligations of rich culture. It has long inspired optimism and action, and is very much a story for our times as we consider how to ‘Survive’ what lies ahead. These are times of fear and uncertainty for many, as the market economy crumbles under the weight of its own impossible need for perpetual growth, but they are also times of great possibility; times to redesign the system and to change the rules.
The forces that have cocooned some of us and alienated so many, are failing and raising critical questions for us all – “How should we live?” “What work should we do?” “What do ‘lives well-lived’ look like in this time of transition?” Fleming argues that it is time to remember and rebuild the cultural and ecological structures on which most of human history relied, as the basis for a nourishing, cohesive, just society that supports people and planet.
A Hampstead resident and significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, David Fleming’s work is receiving great interest at present thanks to Chelsea Green Publishing’s posthumous publication of his life’s work Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It and the paperback edition, Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy, both edited by Shaun Chamberlin. A film about Fleming’s legacy is also now in production.
Locally, David was a much-loved figure in and around Hampstead and Belsize, and a regular attendee at our Gaia Evening talks. This event will be a celebration of his life, marking the 7th anniversary of his passing. Shaun will share insights and anecdotes from David’s life, influence and enduring importance, alongside revealing and amusing clips from recently unearthed recordings of the man himself. Books will be available on the night.
Most of human history was bred, fed and watered by another sort of economy. But the market has replaced, as far as possible, the social capital of reciprocal obligation, loyalties, culture and traditions with exchange, price and the impersonal principles of economics.”
David Fleming, 1940 – 2010
Shaun Chamberlin has been involved with the Transition Network since its inception, co-founding Transition Town Kingston and authoring the movement’s second book, The Transition Timeline. He is managing director of the Fleming Policy Centre, former chair of the Ecological Land Co-operative, and has spoken at venues ranging from Occupy camps to parliaments. In exploring the cultural narratives charting society’s course forward, he has written for or edited a diverse range of books, magazines, academic journals, and other publications, including co-authoring a significant UK All Party Parliamentary report with his close friend and regular collaborator, David Fleming. His website is www.darkoptimism.org