Nnimmo Bassey and Host Michel Lerner

Welcome, Wild Times: Conversation with Resilience Leaders in the Global South

~Recordings coming soon~

These are wild times to be alive. From the local to the global, we are facing complex, interlocked crises. Yet, around the world people are responding in creative, dynamic, grounded ways to adapt and emerge. Omega Resilience Awards, a new program of Commonweal, was created to gather a community of people interested in resilient strategies. Collectively, we strengthen generative connections and share narratives of resilience. What will emerge? What will coalesce?

Join The New School co-host Michael Lerner in conversation with three of the co-creators of this dynamic global resilience community. In this first conversation, Michael speaks with Nnimmo Bassey from Health of Mother Earth Foundation in Nigeria. Join us for part 2 and part 3 of the series in May and June, when Michael speaks with Manisha Gupta from StartUp! in India, and Anabella Museri and Sofia Nemenmann from Asociación Argentina de Abogados/as Ambientalistas/Colectivo de Acción por la Justicia Ecosocial in Argentina.

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Nnimmo Bassey

Nnimmo is the director of the ecological think-tank Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and member of the steering committee of Oilwatch International. He was chair of Friends of the Earth International (2008-2012) and was named Time magazine’s Hero of the Environment in 2009. He is a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” In 2012, he received the Rafto Human Rights Award and in 2014, Nigeria’s national honour as Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in recognition of his environmental activism. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of York, United Kingdom in July 2019. Bassey is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects and has authored books on the environment, architecture and poetry. His books include We Thought it Was Oil, But It was Blood (Kraft Books, 2002); I will Not Dance to Your Beat (Kraft Books, 2011); To Cook a Continent – Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa (Pambazuka Press, 2012) and Oil Politics – Echoes of Ecological War (Daraja Press, 2016). He is fondly called The Living Ancestor by young activists.

Host Michael Lerner

Michael is the president and co-founder of Commonweal. His principal work at Commonweal is with the Cancer Help Program, CancerChoices.org, the Omega Resilience Projects, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, and The New School at Commonweal. He was the recipient of a MacArthur Prize Fellowship for contributions to public health in 1983 and is author of Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Therapies (MIT Press).