Conversations that Matter with Right Livelihood Laureates


Solidarity Economics: Solutions for Scaling Up
Consumer Cooperatives & Local Economic Empowerment

with Miyuki Kinoshita, Helena Norberg-Hodge & Chris Benner

Thursday, August 6th, 5:30-6:30 PM Pacific
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How can we build our economy to ensure everyone has access to sustainable livelihoods and economic opportunities, and that this is done within ecological limits? Right Livelihood Laureates Miyuki Kinoshita of Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Cooperative (Japan) and Helena Norberg-Hodge of Local Futures (Global) provide important lessons and insights. The Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Cooperative combines formidable business and professional skills with strict social and ecological principles and a vision of a community- and people-centered economy that provides a radical alternative to both socialist and capitalist industrialization. Local Futures works to renew ecological, social, and spiritual well-being by promoting a systemic shift towards economic localization. Join them for a wide-ranging conversation with Chris Benner, Director of the Institute for Social Transformation at UC Santa Cruz, on lessons from their work in the midst of our current economic crisis, and how we can build a better economy as we emerge from the global pandemic-linked economic crisis. 

Note: This webinar is offered with simultaneous translation in English and Japanese. 


Miyuki Kinoshita joined Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Saitama in 2003 to get safe food for her children. From 2010 to 2012, she worked as the chairperson of the managing committee of Koshigaya Brunch, Seikatsu Club Saitama. In 2013, she became a board member of Seikatsu Club Saitama In 2015, she was appointed the vice chair of the board of directors, Sekatsu Club Saitama. Since 2017, she is the chairperson of the board of directors, Seikatu Club Saitama and a board member of Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Union which is a federation of 33 Seikatsu Clubs in 21 prefectures.

Author and filmmaker Helena Norberg-Hodge is a pioneer of the local economy movement. Through writing and public lectures on three continents, she has been promoting an economics of personal, social, and ecological well-being for more than 30 years. She is a widely respected analyst of the impact of the global economy and international development on local communities, local economies, and personal identity, and is a leading proponent of ‘localization,’ or decentralization, as a means of countering those impacts.

Dr. Chris Benner is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, Director of the Everett Program for Technology and Social Change, and a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Rooted in an urban political ecology approach, his research examines the relationships between technological change, urban and regional development, and structures of economic opportunity.  His recent articles include "Scaling Economic Solidarity: The Pandemic, Nonprofits, and Power" and "Solidarity Economics for the Coronavirus Crisis and Beyond". 

Questions for the panelists? Please register for the webinar to access the Q+A panel within the webinar. 

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Coming in October, date to be announced

Bill McKibben & Vandana Shiva in Conversation

Social Transformation - Visions & Mobilizations

Join Right Livelihood laureates Bill McKibben & Vandana Shiva for a conversation about the future of our societies including a closer look at the policies and political movements shaping our future. 

Bill McKibben is one of the world’s leading environmentalists. He has been an influential author and educator for 30 years, and his 1989 book The End of Nature was one of the first-ever books written to inform a general audience about climate change. Over the last ten years, he initiated and built the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. With the organization at its core, this movement has spread awareness and mobilized political support for urgent action to mitigate the climate crisis that is already unfolding.

Vandana Shiva is a globally recognized intellectual and activist who has shown ongoing commitment in different fields, making it difficult to label her name under a precise and unique category. At the core of her activism are: counter-development in favor of people-centered, participatory processes; support to grassroots networks; women's rights, and ecology. Author of numerous important books and articles, Vandana Shiva has shown a lifetime interest in campaigning against genetic engineering and the negative impact of globalization, advocating for the crucial importance of preserving and celebrating biodiversity.

Questions? Contact

About the series, "Inspiring Change in Times of Crisis: Conversations That Matter With Right Livelihood Laureates". The Right Livelihood College at UC Santa Cruz and Right Livelihood Foundation have organized a series of online conversations this spring and summer. Right Livelihood Award laureates are among those who have implemented large-scale solutions to the root causes of global problems. Now, and in the years immediately ahead, we have an unprecedented opportunity to amplify these ecological and social solutions, frameworks, policies, and social movements. Watch this space for announcements of future sessions, sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on social media. 

Past Events in the Series

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Inequality & Vulnerability in Crisis

With Glorene Das / Tenaganita (Malaysia), Colin Gonsalves (India),  Manfred Nowak / Global Campus for Human Rights (Austria) & Emoke Bebiak (Hungary, Moderator)

Around the world, states and organizations are struggling to control the outbreak of COVID-19. The directives from WHO declares that we should constantly wash our hands, keep good hygiene, and stay inside to protect others. But how does this affect the part of the population without access to basic hygiene articles, running water or a home to take refuge in when quarantine rules are applied. Like most crises, COVID-19 takes extraordinarily high demands on those already exposed in society. How can we turn this crisis into an opportunity to strengthen human rights and more just societies?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Threats & Opportunities for Democracy with Frances Moore-Lappé (USA), Jamila Raqib (USA), Vesna Teršelič (Croatia) & Elizabeth Beaumont (USA, Moderator)

As the Coronavirus spreads around the world, it is having far-reaching effects not only on public health but also on our capacities for democratic politics. States have responded to the pandemic in various ways as they try to quickly implement new rules and restrictions for their populations to fight COVID-19. Many of these measures have not followed regular democratic protocols for decision-making, and some raise serious concerns about threats to democracy posed by increasing authoritarianism, lack of transparency, repression of media and opposition groups and parties, and other concerns. At the same time, crises can also be moments of political opportunity. As countries grapple with the Coronavirus, there is a spotlight on issues of unemployment, labor conditions, access to health care, and social interdependence, and this may provide openings and momentum for new democratic movements and agendas. What are the threats to democracy we should be grappling with and trying to prevent? What opportunities and potentials do we see for future democratic societies that we could be building now?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Water Justice in the Age of Coronavirus and Beyond with Maude Barlow (Canada), Robert Bilott (USA) and Andy Szasz (USA, moderator)

Water contaminated by toxic chemical wastes; hundreds of millions without access to minimum necessary quantities of potable water. These were grave, immense issues long before the coronavirus pandemic. Now the pandemic, raging globally, poses new questions for us: Do these pre-existing conditions, the polluted waters, the lack of access, make the pandemic worse? Conversely, will the pandemic affect society’s future ability or willingness to improve access and quality? These are the kinds of questions we will be exploring in this webinar with two Right Livelihood laureates, Maude Barlow, and Robert Bilott.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Women in Global Health - COVID spotlight on major challenges with Monika Hauser (Germany), Sima Samar (Afghanistan), Eva Zillén (Sweden) & Nancy Chen (USA, Moderator)

Healthcare structures around the world are now being tested, and differences in approaches are becoming increasingly visible. As in the majority of crises, women are disproportionately affected. Reports of domestic violence towards women have increased, while women are also over-represented in care work and family-related care, making it harder to maintain social distancing. How can we take advantage of and learn from this pandemic to change the global health system, so that it becomes more inclusive, accessible, and just for all?

Friday, April 19, 2020

Crisis & Opportunity: Building Solidarity Economics in the Age of Coronavirus & Beyond with Vandana Shiva (India), Nnimmo Bassey (Nigeria) & Chris Benner (USA, Moderator)

Join us for a timely panel discussion on how Nnimmo and Vandana's alternative economic frameworks are informing and informed by this moment of the coronavirus crisis. We will consider how these frameworks can inform all of us about positive paths forward, and how we might turn this moment of great tragedy and challenge into a future of opportunities.