Over the next month, we will be dripping out the names of the people coming to speak at Shared Planet - here are the first batch.
Lindela Sydney Figlan: South African Shack Dwellers’ Movement
Lindela Sydney Figlan is the deputy chair of Abahlali base Mjondolo in South Africa - one of the biggest and most succesful movements in the country since apartheid. Lindela is a secutity guard, and former chairperson of both the Foreman Road and the Kennedy Road squatter settlements - Abahlali has grown world famous through its successful and democratic mobilisation of huge numbers of shack dwellers, using tactics including occupations of their streets.
Lindela has suffered from repeated death threats from those who wish to stamp out the Shack Dwellers’ Movement - as he has written about himself in the South African press.
Kate Pickett - Author, The Spirit Level
Kate Pickett is co-author of the popular and seminal book ‘The Spirit Level - Why Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better’. She is a professor at York University, famous worldwide for her work proving that inequality makes societies worse for almost everyone. She is also Director of the Equality Trust.
Natalie Bennett - new Green Party leader
Natalie Bennett is the leader of the Green Party. Previously a journalist, Natalie was editor of Guardian Weekly and has worked for various newspapers in both the UK and South East Asia. She was elected leader of the Green Party last month when Green MP Caroline Lucas stood down from the role.
Joss Garman - Political Director, Greenpeace UK
Joss Garman is political director of Greenpeace UK. After being a student activist at SOAS, he was involved in setting up environmental direct action group Plane Stupid. Since then, he has played a key role in the UK environmental activism.
He has been described as one of the “50 people who could save the planet” by The Guardian and as a “champion of the green movement” by The Sunday Times.
Danny Dorling - author, academic, media darlingDanny Dorling is the author of numerous books, including ‘the No Nonsense Guide to Equality’, ‘Fair Play: A reader in Social Justice’, and ‘so you think you know Britain?’. In April 2010, The Guardian devoted a whole editorial to how great he is. If you can’t wait till Shared Planet to find out more, then listen to him host the radio show - Doomsday re-loaded: how Britain has changed.
Ratna Lachman - Director, Just West Yorkshire
Ratna Lachman started her career as a current affairs broadcaster and free-lance literary journalist in Singapore. After moving to the UK, she set up the Rural Racism Project, South West, an organisation that was at the forefront of challenging rural racism and challenging institutional and racial barriers facing Black and Minority Ethnic communities. She was also instrumental in setting up Refugee First, the BME Coalition of Plymouth and the Anti-Racism Taskforce.
Ratna was appointed as the Director of JUST West Yorkshire in 2008 and under her stewardship the organisation has become a leading regional and national voice on racial justice, civil liberties and human rights. In addition to her professional role, she chairs the Racial Justice in North Yorkshire project and is an activist.
Jonathan Dawson - ‘Economics for Transition’ expert, Schumacher College
Jonathan is Head of Economics at Schumacher College in Devon and a former President of the Global Ecovillage Network. He has around 20 years experience as a researcher, author, consultant and project manager in the field of small enterprise development in Africa and South Asia.
Jonathan is the principal author of the Gaia Education sustainable economy curriculum www.gaiaeducation.org, drawn from best practice within ecovillages worldwide, that has been endorsed by UNITAR and adopted by UNESCO as a valuable contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. He teaches this curriculum at universities, ecovillages and community centres in Brazil, Spain and Scotland.
Ellie Mae o’Hagan - Unite the Union/UK Uncut/Guardian journalist.
She has been involved in numerous prominent protests in recent years, including the recent high profile action gate crashing a speech by former chief tax collector Dave Harnett.
Tim Gee - author
Tim Gee is the author of the book ‘Counterpower - making change happen’. The book is a history of activist movements around the world, and looks at the tactics they have used, and how successful they have been. He has himself been invovled in numerous campaign groups, including the Camp for Climate Action, Put People First, Friends of the Earth, and, once upon a time, People & Planet.
Anna McMullen - Labour Behind the Label
Anna McMullen is a workers’ rights activist for the anti-sweatshop campaign group Labour Behind the Label. She has worked with global partners on recent campaigns around Olympic sweatshop production, and poverty wages in highstreet fashion, as well as co-authored a number of reports. Anna sits on the steering group of the Asia Floor Wage Alliance - a committee of global campaigners and trade unionists lobbying for a minimum living wage for garment workers in Asia. Anna is also a feminist and a green activist