Thank You For Being Part Of An Amazing Year
Well. That was quite a year. Again. Wasn’t it?
From the storming of the US Capitol in January, through more waves of the pandemic, to the Glasgow climate conference’s first ever commitments to start seriously phasing down fossil fuels, history didn’t let up.
Through it all, the Green Institute was here, doing our best to help you make sense of it, and thinking through ways to get you involved in conversations about democracy, climate and the environment, peace, and an economy that helps people survive.
And we couldn’t have done it without all of you – those of you who join our webinar conversations, those of you who send emails with ideas and feedback, those of you who keep the discussions going on social media, and those of you generously support us through our regular giving program.
Without your support and participation, we’d be nothing. Thank you, always.
Our work on UBI continued this year, building momentum towards a world where everyone has the basics of what they need to survive with our major publication being Unconditionally: COVID response and the future of welfare. We also supported Anglicare Australia’s declaration of support for UBI, and continued to see publicity of our polling from last year, including in Rolling Stone!
With so much of the year either in lockdown or in limbo expecting lockdown, much of our work again this year was online, including a great series of webinars which you can watch back on our website:
- We kicked off the year, seemingly an age ago, with a remarkably joyful conversation on Youth and Democracy in a World on the Brink, discussing the film I Am Greta, with Senator Jordon Steele-John, Zeb Payne, and Jimmy Hollo.
- Our second webinar was darker, but equally inspiring – a powerful ‘online bookclub’, From Grief to Possibility to Action, with Scott Ludlam and Dany Celermajer, discussing their new books.
- I was excited to read of the progress being made in conversations about the law of ecocide, so brought together a webinar to discuss that – Ecocide: Law as if the Earth Mattered – with Jojo Mehta, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, and Michelle Maloney.
- We launched Unconditionally with a super stimulating conversation featuring Kristin O’Connell, Maiy Azize, Elise Klein and Shelley Bielefeld.
- And we wrapped up the year with a huge celebratory discussion about the 10th anniversary of the Greens/Gillard Clean Energy Act, featuring Christine Milne, Will Steffen and Adam Bandt.
Amazingly, between waves of the pandemic, we did get one in person event to happen this year, and it was an absolute corker! In partnership with the Australian Unemployed Workers Union, the Anti Poverty Centre, the Disability Justice Network, and the ACT Greens, we ran a fabulous, participatory post-Budget event, Their Budget, Our Lives. This was such a perfect way to bring together our work on UBI, mutual aid, and grassroots democracy, and I hope to be able to replicate it in the future. It left everyone involved buzzing.
The four quarterly editions of Green Agenda this year were wonderful collections of thoughtful writing which I strongly encourage you to revisit and dig into over the summer:
- Into the Fire, including powerful and moving pieces from Jo Vallentine, Lina Koleilat, Sonia Randhawa and Amy McMahon;
- On (In)Security, with Emma Davidson, David Paris, Alex Edney-Brown, Kristin Lyons, and an interview with Scott Ludlam;
- On Dissent, featuring Celeste Liddle, Bruce Knobloch, Tammy Milne, Mehreen Faruqi and more; and
- Climate Hope, with Christine Milne, Diane Evers, climate strikers Rosie Brady and Kate Loynd, Shane Rattenbury and an interview with Ketan Joshi.
I want to particularly pay tribute to and thank our Green Agenda editors, Felicity Gray and Simon Copland, who have done a spectacular job of building it into a wonderful quarterly publication.
I hugely enjoyed speaking at the Australasian Association of Jewish Studies conference in March on Ecology, Citizenship, and Jewish Identity, and I was delighted by the interested and engaged feedback that flowed from this speech.
The Canberra Times published a couple of pieces from me, one on the problems of climate doomism and why we need to make our own hope, and one marking World Peace Day, the week after the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal was announced.
The excellent Canberra Alliance for Participatory Democracy ran DemFest21 last month, and I was delighted to take part, discussing both direct participatory democracy and the democratic aspect of true sharing economies.
I also gave a guest lecture at UNSW on ecological politics, and joined a panel on Green Politics at the Asia Pacific Greens Federation AGM.
Next year, we’ve got plans for more work on peace, on participatory democracy, on climate and on UBI. We’ll be launching a new chapter in the evolution of Green Agenda. And we’ll be launching my book, Living Democracy, which I’m finally finishing the edits on (yes, I promise!) It’s going to be YUUUUGE!
All this, as I said, is only possible with your participation and support. If you have any capacity to join our regular giving program, chipping in a little every month, it will really help us to do more with you all next year! And a huge thanks to those of you who already do!
And a final message of thanks to Elissa Jenkins, our wonderful projects officer, our accountant Joce, and our excellent volunteer board!
Many thanks for being part of our work this year, and best wishes for a safe and happy summer,