Ellen Macarthur to Welcome Leading Futurist Alex Steffen to UK

By The Ellen Macarthur Foundation, PRNE
Tuesday, October 4, 2011

LONDON, October 5, 2011 -

- Pair to Join Voices for Public Lecture on ‘Rethinking the Future’

Dame Ellen MacArthur is to welcome leading futurist Alex Steffen from the United States to deliver an inspirational public lecture in the UK this month as she continues to urge business and society to ‘rethink the future.’

‘An evening with Alex Steffen and Ellen MacArthur takes place 20 October at the Royal Geographic Society in London.  It will see the man described by the New York Times as ‘a designing optimist (who) lays out the blueprint for a successful century’ joined by Dame Ellen on stage to discuss his vision and share it with the British public.

The editor of the best-selling book ‘WorldChanging’ is known for looking beyond quick fixes and challenging the status quo.  He is widely acknowledged as a crucial voice in articulating a coherent vision to address ’systemic challenges’ and misconceptions attached to individual responsibility.

Steffen has previously said: “We have inherited a whole set of solutions by conventional wisdom, many of them surrounding lifestyle choices.  Almost all of us believe that someone who buys local food, who drives a hybrid, who lives in a well-insulated house, who wears organic clothing and who religiously recycles and composts and avoids unnecessary purchases is living sustainably.

“They are not.  The parts of our lives that actually fall within our direct control are the tips of systemic icebergs, and often changing them does nothing to alter those systems: not individually, not in small groups, not even in larger lifestyle movements.  If we’re going to avoid catastrophe, we need to change those larger systems, and change them for everyone, and change them quickly.”

The event coincides with the first anniversary of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, launched by the yachtswoman having spent five years engaging government, business, NGOs and the public sector.  Six years after breaking the single-handed non-stop around the world record, she is now recognised as a major advocate for leading a redesign revolution.

MacArthur said: “Systems thinking is instrumental as it addresses the complex and interconnected nature of the very real and pressing issues we are facing.  Alex is widely praised for his ability to think ‘big picture’ and I’m delighted to welcome him to share his vision with the UK public.”

An evening with Alex Steffen and Ellen MacArthur has been organised by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with the University of Bradford.  Tickets for the event are £15.00 each and can be purchased online at:


For further information on The Ellen MacArthur Foundation visit:


About ‘An evening with Alex Steffen & Ellen MacArthur

The event takes place on Thursday, 20 October, 2011 from 19:00 - 22:00 (BST) at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London  SW7 2AR

About Alex Steffen

Alex Steffen is one of the world’s leading voices on social innovation and planetary futurism. He is a writer, public speaker and strategy consultant. Alex was Executive Editor of Worldchanging.com, an award-winning online magazine on social innovation (rated the second largest sustainability site on the web by Nielsen Online in 2008), after he co-founded the organisation in 2003 until it closed in 2010.

About The Ellen MacArthur Foundation:

Sailing solo around the world, Ellen MacArthur realised that her record-breaking achievement was not only the culmination of one dream but the beginning of another.  She knew first hand that when you race solo around the globe you take with you the minimum of resources and you manage them down to the last drop of diesel, last packet of food - a light boat is a fast boat, to mismanage is to lose or worse. It became clear to her that on land things were not so different. This inspired Ellen to find out about more and she came to realise that is it is not just a question of using less and less to make finite resources last a few more years but more about a complete re-think so that resources are used, not used up and products are made to be made again - hence the vision of a circular economy. She has created the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to help inspire a generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future. www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org

Media contact: Edd Ross, +44(0)207-861-3133, eross at goodrelations.co.uk; Malcolm Munro, +44(0)207-861-3217, +44(0)7795-013-006,
mmunro at goodrelations.co.uk

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