On Friday December 1, 2017, 150 attendees and 5 panelists gathered at Sterling College to explore how to build a future worth surviving, based on the late David Fleming’s grounded, compelling vision of a joyous post-growth future brought to light in the book Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival, and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy (Chelsea Green, 2016).

In a time of disintegrating certainties, many of us have big questions: “How should we live?” “What work should we do?” “How can we resource ourselves and each other?” Panelists considered these questions while discussing the impact David Fleming’s writing has had on them, and how to use that inspiration in engaging with the wider context of our times.

Panelists included Margo Baldwin, President and co-founder of Chelsea Green Publishing, and Sterling College trustee; David Bollier, Director of Reinventing the Commons Program, Schumacher Center for a New Economics; Peter Buffett, Composer and Co-President, NoVo Foundation; Chuck Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies, co-editor Inequality.org and author of Born on Third Base; and Matthew Derr, President of Sterling College.

The video below highlights some of the panelists’ reflections on Fleming’s work. Also included are comments from Richard Heinberg, author and Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute.

“Humanity is at a critical juncture in its relationship with the natural world and our knowledge of how to build strong communities is undermined by our obsession with upward mobility and by propping up a fossil fuel centered market economy,” said President Matthew Derr. “This symposium gave us an opportunity to talk about the enduring value of environmental stewardship and how love of place improves our lives and communities.”

The book and symposium have inspired discussion and reading groups. Sterling College is in the final stages of designing a three day class to further explore these ideas, to be held in late spring 2018 at their Craftsbury Common campus. Details on how to apply to attend will be available soon.

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