A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish Kumar has been quietly setting the global agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains, and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi's vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality.
Inspired in his early 20s by the example of the British peace activist Bertrand Russell, Satish embarked on an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage. Carrying no money and depending on the kindness and hospitality of strangers, he and a colleague walked from India to America, via Moscow, London and Paris, to deliver a humble packet of 'peace tea' to the leaders of the world's then four nuclear powers.
In 1973 Satish settled in the UK becoming the editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he held until 2016, making him the UK's longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally respected ecological and educational ventures. He cofounded Schumacher College in South Devon, where he is a Visiting Fellow.
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In his 50th year, Satish undertook another pilgrimage - again carrying no money. This time, he walked 2,000 miles to the holy places of Britain, a venture he describes as a celebration of his love of life and nature. In 2000 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the University of Plymouth. In July 2001, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the University of Lancaster, and in the November of that same year, he was presented with the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for promoting Gandhian values outside India. In 2009 Satish was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) by the University of Exeter. In 2013 he was made Doctor of the University by the University of Suffolk. In 2014 Satish was appointed an Oxfam UK Ambassador. Satish is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Gross National Happiness Centre of Bhutan. In 2019 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by the University of Wales.
His autobiography, No Destination, first published by Green Books in 1978, has sold over 50,000 copies. He is also the author of You Are, Therefore I Am: A Declaration of Dependence, The Buddha and the Terrorist, Earth Pilgrim, Soil, Soul, Society and Elegant Simplicity. In 2005, Satish was Sue Lawley's guest on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. In 2008, as part of BBC2's Natural World series, he presented a 50-minute documentary from Dartmoor, which was watched by over 3.6 million people. He appears regularly in the printed media and a range of radio programmes including Thought for the Day and Midweek. In recognition of his commitment to animal welfare and compassionate living, he was elected vice-president of the RSPCA. He continues to teach and run workshops on reverential ecology, holistic education and voluntary simplicity and is a much sought-after speaker both in the UK and abroad.
Concious Frontiers Satish Kumar and Resurgence launch 31 films to save the planet
In a new short film series, celebrated environmentalist Satish Kumar shares simple solutions to many of today’s greatest global problems
Resurgence kick started 2019 launching a new series of short films featuring world-renowned environmental and peace activist, Satish Kumar, providing simple guidance and inspiration for anyone interested in contributing to positive change on our planet.
The visually stunning film series, entitled Change the Story, showcases Satish’s remarkable philosophy and insights on caring for the environment, cultivating personal wellbeing and upholding human values. The 31 films can be viewed on the Resurgence Trust Vimeo channel.
In his introduction to the series, Satish explains that his intention for the films is to offer guidance on how we can live positively in the world and “be part of the solution, not part of the problem”.
Schumacher College Satish Kumar Visiting Fellow
Satish was the originator and cofounder of Schumacher College, served as its program director from 1991 to 2010, and was also the primary fundraiser during that time. He is currently a visiting fellow.
A former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, Satish has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed and a peaceful world into reality.
In 1973 Satish settled in the United Kingdom taking up the post of editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he has held ever since, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally respected ecological and educational ventures including Schumacher College.
Sustainable Food Trust Food for your soul – An interview with Satish Kumar
“You don’t want to stay here too long,” jokes one of the cooks at Schumacher College – the ecological learning institute in South Devon, “you’ll put on loads of weight. I have to stop myself from eating the biscuits every day.”
She’s referring to the two huge plates of still warm, home-baked cookies (one vegan, one not) that have just been placed on the coffee tables for all to help themselves too. Several hours later a lunchtime gong will sound out through the old wooden halls. This isn’t a signal for everyone to pop down and grab a sandwich but instead an integral part of the day for all who work and study here.
As lovingly prepared platters of vegetarian food are laid out on the dining hall tables, the cooks, the staff, the students and any visitors, hold hands and recite a prayer of gratitude. Amongst them is Satish Kumar, the former monk and peace activist whose own philosophy about food, the environment and spirituality helped found the college and continues to shape its courses and work.
For Satish, meals times are sacred. Not just a time to eat but to come together as a community, make friends, celebrate and worship.
“Food brings people together and nourishes not just their body but their soul, their mind and their spirit,” he says. “That is why it is so important what kind of food you are eating. If you eat food that is tasteless, sprayed with chemicals and wrapped in plastic then your soul and spirit will not be nourished. We should eat wholesome food for a wholesome life”.
Wikipedia Satish Kumar (born 9 August 1936) is an Indian British activist and speaker. He has been a Jain monk, nuclear disarmament advocate and pacifist. Now living in England, Kumar is founder and Director of Programmes of the Schumacher College international centre for ecological studies, and is Editor Emeritus of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. His most notable accomplishment is the completion, together with a companion, E. P. Menon, of a peace walk of over 8,000 miles in 1973–4, from New Delhi to Moscow, Paris, London, and Washington, D.C., the capitals of the world's earliest nuclear-armed countries. He insists that reverence for nature should be at the heart of every political and social debate.
Defending criticism that his goals are unrealistic, he has said,
Look at what realists have done for us. They have led us to war and climate change, poverty on an unimaginable scale, and wholesale ecological destruction. Half of humanity goes to bed hungry because of all the realistic leaders in the world. I tell people who call me "unrealistic" to show me what their realism has done. Realism is an outdated, overplayed and wholly exaggerated concept.