Monday 4 November 2013

Exploring Sustainability - the Inaugural Professorial Lecture by IFLAS director Prof Jem Bendell

IFLAS director Jem Bendell will give his Inaugural Professorial Lecture at Keswick's Words by the Water literary festival on March 14, 2014.

Prof Jem Bendell, director of IFLAS

Prof Bendell has been invited to deliver the prestigious annual Derwentwater Lecture, organised in association with the Keswick Fair World Alliance, and supported by Impact International and the Cumberland Building Society.

The Lecture

How do we know what to do in a world we perceive as unfair, difficult and threatened, yet simultaneously beautiful, inspiring and unfolding?
What can we learn from old and new, local and global, the personal and professional?
What if we are guided by love, not fear?
What if we are more honest with ourselves and each other about what’s not working, and what we really wish for?

Derwentwater forms the magnificent backdrop to the lecture. Photo: Stuart Holmes

A Professor of Sustainability Leadership, and Founding Director of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS), Jem Bendell has worked on business and sustainable development for almost 20 years, in business, government and civil society, as well as academia. 

In 2012, the World Economic Forum appointed him a Young Global Leader, in recognition of his work on cross-sector alliances for sustainable development. 

In his academic work he traversed political science, sociology, development studies and management studies, as he saw how ‘disciplines’ restrict creativity and relevance in a world that urgently needs breakthrough ideas for our common good.

In his Inaugural Lecture, Professor Bendell will share insights from this intellectual journey on the causes and solutions to social and environmental degradation. 

He will present insights from his forthcoming book, Healing Capitalism

In particular he will describe how his worldwide, multi-sectoral and trans-disciplinary exploration of the causes and solutions to unsustainability led him to focus on innovations in ways of exchanging and sharing without money. 

A consultant to the United Nations since 1996, in 2013 he co-organised the first UN conference on complementary currencies. 

He is now a leading commentator on that topic, discussing it on Al Jazeera, for the Guardian, and with his TEDx the most-watched online talk on complementary currencies. 

He is developing a research and educational programme on these topics at the institute he founded at the University of Cumbria in the UK.

The Evening

  • 4pm - Arrivals
  • 4.15pm - 5.15pm: Inaugural Professorial and Derwentwater Lecture. On the theme “Exploring Sustainability” (introduction by the University and organisers of the Derwentwater Lecture)
  • 5.30pm - 7pm: Drinks reception, the Circle Gallery, with the University of Cumbria Honorary Fellows as guests of honour (by invitation only)

Tickets and Travel

The Theatre by the Lake, Keswick. Photo: Steve Barber

The lecture takes place at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, at 4pm on Friday, March 14, 2014.

A small number of tickets are available for staff and partners of the University. Minibuses will be travelling to and from Ambleside on the day. For information, email

Other festival talks on the day can be attended at 11am, 12.45pm, 2.30pm, 5.30pm and 8pm. 

More information on buying a ticket for those talks or the Inaugural Lecture will be available on the festival website.

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