Popular Education: Mike Nickerson

Life, Money & Illusion: Living on Earth as if We Want to Stay
Popular Education with Mike Nickerson: Living on Earth as if We Want to Stay
Monday, April 1, 2019 - 6:30pm to Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 7:45pm
360 Reid Street
Peterborough, ON K9H 7G6

How do we get a civilization that has been growing for 10,000 years to realize it is grown up now? Getting bigger is no longer what we need to do.

Since before recorded history, more people and more activity made humanity stronger. We lack models for a mature, post-growth state. Many problems are unfolding as we grow toward planetary limits: the rising prices and conflicts associated with diminishing natural resources, including food, along with the health and safety issues resulting from pollution, like climate change, are just a few.

We need to recognize that we are now a physically mature species and that we must govern ourselves with respect for the limits of our planet. This does not mean that our opportunities are finite, however. With good health and knowledge, people can lead secure, fulfilling lives with a minimum of disruption to planetary life.

To choose sustainability is to choose the cyclic management of natural resources, the reduction of waste, economics that include everyone, and a determined transition toward renewable energy. It is also a vote for the celebration of life and the unlimited opportunities which understanding, appreciation, communication, creativity, sport and mutual care offer.

Whether we choose to pursue perpetual growth or seek long term solutions is a question of direction. We are at a crossroads between economic expansion and sustainability.

Mike Nickerson will describe in simple terms the problems with endless economic expansion, and discuss a model for long-term well-being for people and the planet.


Mike Nickerson is the author of Life, Money and Illusion; Living on Earth as if we want to stay (2009) Planning for Seven Generations (1990) and Change the World I Want to Stay On (1977).  He first encountered sustainability co-directing the Institute for the Study of Cultural Evolution.  Presently he manages education programs for the 7th Generation Initiative and works on domestic ecosystems at the Lanark Eco-Village.


Nourish is putting health, equity, belonging and community at the heart of its work.  We are wondering whether we can cultivate communities where everyone is able to bring good food to their table and feels a strong sense of belonging to the community at large.  This is a challenging process, to say the least.  In particular because we are told, repeatedly that some challenges are just too hard to address and we don’t have the knowledge required to solve them.

We decided to launch a Popular Education Series designed to make big or complicated concepts digestible by all.  This will help us engage a broader range of community members to learn, reflect and start working together for social change.

This is the first installment of Nourish's Popular Education Series.  Our goal is to invite speakers who want to unpack challenging issues and offer empowering avenues to make sense of them.