On 12th October the Resurgence and Ecologist magazine hosted, in London, another edition of the Festival of Wellbeing. This time, the event held the question ‘How can we move away from an obsession with economic growth towards a growth in wellbeing?’
The Network of Wellbeing – which works to support personal, community and planetary wellbeing, acting locally, nationally and internationally and where I work, was one of the sponsors and therefore we had a team of people representing the project and interacting with the public, which totalized over 400 people.
Among the great speakers, for me, the activist and writer Tamsim Omong stood out by voicing passionately how we must fight for our dreams, which is the way to keep our integrity and sense of wonder alive. The Indian physicist Vandana Shiva shared a bit of her personal story and work around preserving and sharing native seeds. Coincidently, on the day, she had to leave the Conference in order to join the march against Monsanto, the multinational chemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation. The writer Tony Juniper and the gardener and journalist Alys Fowler reminded us of the importance of being in natural environments and how it adds different qualities to our sense of wellbeing. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, emphasized how important self knowledge and self exploration are in order to have a more balanced and harmonious life, and that meditation is a great tool to facilitate this process.
Apart from an interesting team of speakers, the event offered live music performed by Anne Malone and Sophie Stammers, poetry by Ruth Padel and Ben Okri, and we had the joy to watch a beautiful and touching performance of a traditional Indian dance by Khalid Kaur.
To conclude the event, the peace pilgrim Satish Kumar, also editor of Resurgence and Ecologist magazine, shared the concept of his new book ‘Soil, Soul, Society’ to illustrate how we have to nourish the natural, spiritual and collective aspects in our lives in order to contribute to a real global sense of wellbeing. Now, it is up to each one of us to reflect on what nourishes our wellbeing – and spread the goodness in doing so.
The time has come.
About the writer:
Mirella Ferraz works at the Network of Wellbeing and is co-editing the next Spring issue of GreenSpirit magazine. She is constantly exploring ways to nourish and improve her own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the community where she lives, in Devon. Her email address is