Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Never too old to go to school

from w
There's a movie on at present set in Africa with an old grandpa going to school, someone told us. And in Fiji you don't have to finish high school at eighteen or nineteen any more. Here's a nice heart-warming story of a young father going back to school in Labasa. From the Fiji Sun - a newspaper that does some stories well, other stories, okay, a bit of a spin.

Father of 3 is Dux

Who says that a drop-out student cannot return to school to complete secondary school education? Father of three, Jiuwa Tawake, 25, of Yacata Island in Cakaudrove, was yesterday awarded the Dux of Labasa Arya Secondary School.

Mr Tawake returned to complete his education after seven years.

He is the eldest of five siblings. He dropped out of Sigatoka Methodist Secondary School in the west of Fiji after failing Fiji School Leaving Certificate examination. He returned to his island, got married and worked on the farm to support his family.

However, he still wasn’t satisfied with life on the island, knowing that he is capable of succeeding in school if he puts his mind and heart to it. After hearing on the news that the Ministry of Education has allowed school dropouts to resume studies despite their age limits, Mr Tawake took it as a challenge. After seven years, he returned to Labasa and enrolled at Labasa Arya Secondary School to complete his Form Six and Seven studies.

Holding onto the Dux Award during the annual prizegiving, Mr Tawake said he was the happiest man in the world.

“I did not imagine in life that I would be able to complete my secondary school education,” Mr Tawake said. Dressed neatly in his school uniform and holding onto his son on his lap during the awards, Mr Tawake said it was through family support and love of God that enabled him to succeed.

“During these seven years, I faced a lot of challenges but one thing I have learned in life is that getting educated is very important.” He said while working under the hot sun on his farm, he used to cry at times and humbly pleaded to God to give him another chance to study. “I will prove what I’m worth,” Mr Tawake said was among lines of his prayers.

He studied day and night and worked hard during weekends to support his family.

Mr Tawake was chosen among the 13 Form Seven students to get the Dux Award. He scored 309 out of 400 in his annual examination.

“I thank my school teachers for their support and my colleagues for treating me just like their own family member,” Mr Tawake said. He wants to become a secondary school teacher and hopes to get a scholarship to study at the Fiji National University next year.

Chief guest at the prizegiving day Ministry of Education director of Secondary Education Basundra Kumar. He commended the school for giving opportunities to school dropouts. “Such kinds of initiative is in line with the People’s Charter Pillar number nine which highlights the need of having a knowledge-based society,” Mrs Kumar said. She said everyone had the right to education regardless of age, colour and race.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More from Kate

from w
A blend of western science
Kate Findlay
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The photo is of Kate Findlay, right, with Qoliqoli Cakovata Management Committee member Jonasa Suvatu from Korotubu village.

I BEGIN to see the attraction of 'the simple life' on Tuesday morning after waking up refreshed from a well-deserved sleep in Navakasobu village outside of Labasa, the home of the traditional life.

It's an idyllic place with a calm pace: children frolic on the grass as their mothers meander past like steamboats on the horizon, in no more of a rush than the clock in the living room whose hands are set permanently to 14:04:30.

Today, my WWF colleagues and I are meeting the QCMC ù the Qoliqoli Cakovata Management Committee ù to discuss the successes and challenges of managing their epic 1349 km squared fishing grounds which spans Macuata, Sasa, Mali and Dreketi districts.

The qoliqoli contains special 'tabu' areas, often breeding grounds, where fish stocks are allowed to replenish and fishing is banned.

The idea of blending western science with traditional Fijian fishing rights has been a massive success since the marine protected areas were launched in 2004, with fishers reporting that fish are now larger and closer to the shore.

The qoliqoli have become so successful in fact that they are becoming victims of their own success; I discovered talking to two QCMC members Jonasa Suvatu (Korotubu village) and Savenaca Koliniwai (Mali island).

Poachers have become attracted to their plentiful fishing grounds; Jonasa tells me with sadness that each time he goes fishing he sees two or three pirate fishing vessels. Even when the QCMC manage to catch the poachers, they have no power to prosecute them.

I even hear rumours that a poacher had successfully prosecuted someone who had caught them, although Jonasa and Savenaca are tight-lipped on the subject.

Together, my bosses and the QCMC set out a new direction for WWF's work in the area, to improve compliance and enforcement in qoliqoli waters in collaboration with its owners.

Fending off the flies ù those intensely black, fuzzy ones ù I think it's time for a nap.

* Kate Findlay is a staff member of WWF South Pacific Program's communications department. Email:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flashmob dance in Fiji

from w
There's a nice video of what appears to be a spontaneous improvised dance in a restaurant, but when you see the red T-shirts and co-ordination of movements you realize it's not spontaneous at all. Just an advertising ploy.
Pity, it would have been fun if it was for everybody to watch or join in. Go to Sorry, I don't know how to do this link directly!
One comment was interesting -
We should do the CIBI next.... at the BUS STAND!!!! since Fiji won the 7s!! :D

tuimabualau 16 hours ago
And later - The Fiji media caught up with the blogs, facebook and youtube. The new media is of course social networking rather than the corporations! In Fiji Sun -
Flash mobs surprise shoppers



Vodafone has done it again. This time, they introduced the concept of flash mobs in the country. A flash mob is a large group of people who gather at a public location to perform a pre-defined action, typically a brief dance, and disperse rapidly after the event has concluded.

Flash mobs are an internet phenomenon of the 21st century. Although flash mobs don’t happen online, in general they are organised using social media, viral e-mails, or websites.

The event caught people enjoying lunch at the MHCC Foodcourt on Saturday off guard. Vodafone Fiji media liaison and event management officer Lenora Qereqeretabua said the idea was suggested to them by a customer who had seen one done overseas.

“We wanted to be the first to bring it to Fiji. Response was fantastic, everyone was taken by surprise and some even joined in. Definitely more are coming to locations around Fiji,” Ms Qereqeretabua said. “We did it because we wanted to be first, because it’s fun and refreshingly different. We are very grateful to MHCC for letting us use their premises.”

Flash mobs have been around since 2003, mainly in the United States of America, United Kingdom and Europe, where it received a lot of attention from the media. Subsequently, companies picked it up to use it for viral marketing and even advertisements. The T-Mobile Dance is a famous example.

Flash mobs are out of the ordinary and simply fun. People can catch Vodafone Fiji’s flash mob on YouTube and Vodafone Fiji’s Facebook page.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Kava exporter from Labasa

from Fijilive
Award brings joy to Labasa couple
November 27, 2011 04:42:01 PMA+ A-|||
A Labasa couple was among the big winners at the Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards in Nadi last night. Nelesh Kamal and his wife Lalita Wati won the Medium Exporter of the Year Award. The couple operating as Nelesh Kamal Company in Siberia, Labasa exports around 1 container Kava every 2-3 months.

Specialising in the export of Kava chips, Pounded kava and Kava roots to New Zealand and United States of America, the two-year-old business has come a long way. For Nelesh the award which is an honor came as a surprise as he was not expecting to win.

“I wasn’t really expecting to win but this award is truly a motivation to both me and my wife to strive for better things in future,” he said.

The 35-year-old who has no business training is thankful to Investment Fiji for its support and cooperation. “I completed high school education at All Saints College and moved straight into business without much training but the support and assistance I have been gaining from Investment Fiji has really made me and my business grow.”

“I operate from home with two labourers at the moment but have plans of expanding my business and employing more people in the near future,” he added.

Meanwhile, Biscuits Fiji Limited walked away with the Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Award while Tropik Wood Industries Limited won the Large Exporter of the Year and the Small Exporter of the Year award went to Standss South Pacific Limited.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Visit to Mali Island

More of Kate's adventures in Fiji as from Fiji Times

Rocky wade to Mali
Kate Findlay
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

THE heavens open as we wait to cross the short straight between mainland Vanua Levu and tiny Mali Island. We arrive at low tide and we had to wade through the rocky passage though mangroves to reach Vesi Village, one of three villages on the island.
As I clamber and slide like a fool, breaking my flip-flops and subsequently being half-carried, our two community representatives, who must be in their early 50s, stride through the water in their bare feet pulling the weight of the boats over the sharp ground beneath as if it were soft sand.

After the presentation of our sevusevu, I eat what I can in what is an apparently delicious but definitely not a vegetarian-friendly meal. As my boss digs into the brains of a massive fish, I thankfully take my leave to wander through the village. It is beautiful and well looked after. Copra dries by the creek, which, you can tell is healthy from the abundance of mudskippers and tiny crabs that dash away as I approach.

Distracted by the beauty around me I miss the introduction to the project and scramble to catch up. Much of Mali Island is actually quite damaged by deforestation. Uncontrolled fires originating from gardens have swept through the island.
Without the trees there was nothing to keep the water in the ground.
Rain simply evaporated and the island frequently fell into drought.
WWF set up a marine protected area on Mali in 2005.
Working in collaboration with WWF, the islanders of Mali decided to diversify their livelihood away from the ocean.

In the past, most of the time the people of Mali went to the sea to find food and less time was spent on planting root crops and selling them at the market. However, things have changed as I saw that day - I came across a community nursery where the seedlings of indigenous tree species were being raised. The seedlings will be transferred and planted in the hills on the island when they reach the required growth stage in a bid to restore Mali Island back to its natural landscape.

In the larger scale of things, what is happening here is not just about Mali.
Land care, as it is called, is a model the WWF is hoping will be rolled out across Fiji.

As we head back to Vanua Levu we stop to investigate a lonely mangrove all on its own at least two kilometres from the island. There were some things tangled on the roots - black-and-white banded sea snakes. One of the snakes gave me a slight heart attack as it swam toward the boat to check us out.

Speeding home, we were treated to a spectacular double rainbow.They seemed to say ù no rain, no rainbows.

The next day, we made our way to Nabavatu Village in the district of Dreketi in the province of Macuata. I sat in a large village hall at Nabavatu. My two bosses, Kesa and Isabelle, sat at the head. Apart from the WWF staff the hall was full mostly of males. There were about 30 of them for our sevusevu and the presentation which would unfold.

The day was a big celebration for WWF and the district of Dreketi because it is the official launch of the Dreketi Land Care Group which will promote sustainable land use practices and halt destructive ones in the district. The land care group representatives have been trained and were about to be awarded their certificates.
Delegates from the seven villages in Dreketi awaited us in the hall. It was also a celebration of WWF's 50th anniversary, so everyone was in good spirits. Unused to sevusevu on such a large scale, I was confused when a man presented us with a bush until I realised it was a fully matured yaqona plant.

Preoccupied with this, my mind was not focussed enough to conceal a very audible gasp - a man, who I thought to be carrying a baby, just unceremoniously dropped it on the floor. There was something in the way it moved though that was not quite right. Was it dead? The gasp came when I realised it was a roasted pig, presumably our lunch.

After the ceremony, we were shown around one of the new project sites, which at first glance appeared rather the opposite of WWF's image. In a steep valley leading to a river the trees had not only been cut, but it appeared they had been burned.

What happened here, I asked.

The story of land use in Dreketi goes like this - yaqona is the major source of income and once it is harvested after three to six years, the communities simply move into a new area and clear the forest to the point where farms are now so far away from the village that the men must go and camp there between Monday and Friday. Today in Dreketi, only 30 per cent of forests remained untouched by logging. On closer examination of the logged tree roots which dot the hills like stubble, I see thoughtfully planted crops ù along contour lines to keep the topsoil in place. While the trees will take a long time to grow again, plants such as cabbage, eggplant and a low palmy-looking bush are now being planted to rejuvenate the land while generating food and income in the short-term. This is only at the very start of the project. In the long-term, nurseries will provide trees to repopulate the hills of Dreketi.

What are the low bushes all about, I ask.

Pineapples, apparently.

I laugh sheepishly as my Fijian colleague, Francis, jokes of other Europeans he knew who thought that pineapples grew on trees.

Of course, I never thought that.

* Kate Findlay works at the Communications Department, WWF South Pacific Program in Suva.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Women from Vanuatu visit Australia

from w
We were happy to welcome and host a group of Vanuatu women to our Australian city when they had a tour to thank missionaries who had been working in their islands over 150 years. They visited the grave of John and Charlotte Geddie who were missionaries on Aneityum from 1848 to 1872, then had lunch at East Geelong Uniting Church (our home church) and then visited Narana Aboriginal centre before catching a train back to Melbourne. I took a few photos of their visit today including one of Loloma Tukei, who was once a Fijian deaconess before she went to Vanuatu and married Tom there. We had a really lovely day together. Tom and Loloma minister to the people of the town of Cobram up near the Murray River.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 11th 1969

from w
Today is November 11th and it's Remembrance Day, but for our family it's not about soldiers but about our second son, Robin. Isa, our precious son who died in an accident at Lakomai Resort, Fiji, eleven years ago.

The parrot mango was unexpectedly tart, not yet ripe, but I sliced into it anyway, the rhythmic gut pain started and I did not know - was it the parrot mango or the onset of the hard task ahead? I was waiting near Ba hospital at the Indian minister’s house and I was already two day’s overdue. It was early summer, already 30 degrees with 80 per cent humidity, the crimson tulip trees in blossom. I would bide my time though, my first son had taken all of ten hours. I packed my bag and threw in a James Bond novel Diamonds are Forever, for good measure. Sushma had cooked roti and a hot curry and dhal bhat for tea and I joined their family, just slowly breathing at ever well-spaced contraction, still well apart but I knew what I was in for this time…

‘We’re going to John and Bev’s for supper tonight, like to come?’

‘Sure,’ I knew I would be in good company, two nurses, two doctors, both of them Australian, a clergyman - Fiji Indian. I didn’t tell them my condition though until about 9.30 p.m. when I said to Bev, ‘I’d better get moving Bev. I’m going along really well now.’

She checked me in the bedroom and I clenched my jaw.

‘Lord Wendy! You’d better get moving now.’

It was moonlight and frangipani and I waddled over to the wooden bungalows of the Mission hospital, breathing deeply. There was little time for much more than a brief prep, knees up. James Bond got pulled out for not more than ten minute and Robin Iliesa Tupou was born, a gorgeous big baby. John was the doctor on duty with a Fijian nurse who was very encouraging. 11 p.m. on the 11th month 11th day. It was Remembrance Day, I realized, a holiday back home in Australia.

Where was my husband? Only fifteen miles away in Rakiraki. John the doctor said he’d better phone him.

‘I suppose so,’ I said. I’d forgotten him. After all this was women’s business.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

One little piggy went to market

from w
Here's a cute Levuka pig story that is in the features of the Fiji Times. A pig that refused to go to an ordination in Namosi and be cooked. Good story from our tauvu from Levuka.
If this pig could fly
Paula Tagivetaua
Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The photo - Levuka parishioner Pita Lomani at Laucala Bay Parish in Suva and the pig that got away on its way to Namosi. Picture: PAULA TAGIVETAUA

THIS is the story of a pig that escaped the lovo. It was told by Pita Lomani from the Catholic parish in Levuka, Ovalau. He called me yesterday from Laucala Bay Parish in Suva as he and members of the parish from Levuka were about to go back home. They had come in last week and travelled to Namosi for the ordination of Father Ioane Simione on Saturday.

After the ordination, about 6pm, they left Namosi to return to Laucala Bay where they were billeted.

"At Namosi, the big story was about the pig that escaped," Pita said. "The delegation from Solevu in Bua had come with a pig which was to be their magiti at the ordination and Ra man Fr Toni, Fr Veremo's assistant in Solevu, was in charge of the pig."

On the way to Namosi, they burst a tyre and stopped at a bridge to change it and when they got on again, they told Fr Toni "Father, sa leva 'a vuaka" ù Father, the pig is missing.

The Ra priest did something priests normally do not do ù swear in the Bua dialect. They searched, could not find the pig and continued to Namosi minus their magiti.

After the ordination, the party from Levuka returned to Laucala Bay parish where they were billeted and along the way, their parish priest, Fr Emeri of Bua, said to stop and eat the food they brought from the ceremony.

They stopped by the bridge and were eating when Fr Emeri saw the pig under the bridge. "We waded across the river, sulu and all and caught the pig," said Pita. "While we were there, a carrier arrived with Bua people who were still in Namosi. Some people had seen the pig on the way up and came back with men to catch the pig but when they came, Fr Emeri told them sorry, they were taking the pig to Levuka because they had caught it."

The men could not do anything and returned to Namosi empty-handed.

On Sunday, the Levuka delegation went back to Namosi for Fr Ioane's first Mass.

"The news of the missing pig was all over the place and was a joke," said Pita. "The Tui Namosi said the missing pig was the highlight of the ordination ù sa yawa na vuaka qori, kau mai wai ki vanua ki wai tale ù mai Solevu ki Nabukebuke i vanua ki Nabukebuke i wai."

Pita said Fr Aston from Bougainville in PNG was part of their delegation.

"When we left Namosi on Saturday, they loaded some dalo into our van and Fr Aston commented that they did not include something to go with the dalo. When we caught the pig, Fr Aston said it was probably meant to be because they had only given us dalo."

The delegation from Levuka left Suva at midday yesterday.

Pita said their parish priest had not decided what they would do with the pig but one thing is sure ù the pig will be wishing it could fly.

From Scotland to Babasiga land

from w
There are plenty of adventurous young expats in Fiji, many in non-government organisations, many idealists wanting the world to be a better place. Such a one is Kate from Scotland who writes in the Fiji Times about the beginning of her adventures in Fiji, going to Vanua Levu particularly interested in the Great Sea Reef off Macuata.

From kilts to kava
Kate Findlay
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
IT'S three months into my adventure interning with WWF-South Pacific and I'm living the dream - tagging along with our inspirational boss Kesaia Tabunakawai (the office's first female and indigenous head) and Dr Isabelle Louis, WWF's director of the Asia-Pacific, as they tour our field sites in the Macuata province in honour of WWF's 50th anniversary.

Coming from Scotland, I feel tiny and pallid in this land of giants. I flew to Fiji in July a day after graduating with Honours in Zoology in a whirlwind that took me from kilts and whisky to sulu and grog to start my new life as what I call a 'real person' - with a career and flat of my own in Suva.

On Monday, I'm up at 4am. My taxi leaves at half past to take me to the ferry bus stop and I haven't even packed!

I run out the door half-dressed and half-packed only to run back in when I miss the ordered taxi.

Next, a frantic scramble to tear out taxi numbers in the Yellow Pages and back outside my apartment to wait.

On a wing and a prayer, I manage to successfully catch a taxi to the bus, seconds to spare. Oi lei, how very un-Fijian of me, I need to relax!

Arriving in Labasa at 4pm, I join my two crisp and fresh-looking bosses who took the 45-minute flight from Suva, rather than what amounted for me to a 12-hour taxi-bus-ferry-bus-taxi 'adventure'.

While I enjoyed the journey, noticeably starting to fall asleep in a meeting with two eminent figures in my field is something I do look back on with embarrassment.

Fiji's most biologically significant marine site lies just offshore of Labasa.

Under cover of the ocean where few get to see, lies a massive 200km long reef, called Cakaulevu or the Great Sea Reef, which is longer than Vanua Levu itself. Home to myriad coral species, the humphead wrasse (varivoce), migratory and resident sea turtles, spinner dolphins, manta rays and sharks, it's a zoologist's dream to see and a conservationist's challenge to protect.

Join me on my travels in this column as I transverse Vanua Levu on a mission to see the great things WWF has achieved in its 15 years of marine work in Fiji; and what we're doing today to achieve our mission: ensuring the richness and resilience of Pacific Island ecosystems are managed and conserved in harmony with the sustainable development needs of its people.

* To be continued next Tuesday

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Fijians in Geelong

from w
Yesterday we had a Fijian church service at East Geelong Uniting Church and some of our friends from Wyndam Vale came down. Afterwards everyone came to our house for drinking kava, telling stories, and eating a shared meal. About 25 or more people came so it was rather busy. Luckily we have a large backyard so the kids played there including two Japanese students over for a week at the local TAFE to do some electronics program. There are sixty Japanese students doing this at present and they are billeted by local families. The conversations must be intriguing. We have a Fiji Geelong Friendship Club here and we meet mostly on a Friday night once a fortnight but this time we met on a Sunday afternoon and included a family from the Altona Meadows/Laverton Fijian congregation. Here are a few photos taken yesterday.

Also, recently we had a gig where the Diversitat Hub was launched in Geelong, with hundreds of people, lots of fine food, speeches by politicians and jazz music. It was all about a multicultural Geelong. I posted about it on the other blog, Geelong Visual Diary. A photo from the local Geelong Advertiser is at the top of this post.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Nubunikavula village

from w
I remember a time when we went by van to Nubunikavula village, a lovely village with a river great for swimming. The people were hospitable and that day they were working on a hillside cleaning and planting. We ate mussels in coconut cream at a picnic before an elderly gentleman told me some of the old chants they used to sing, and then I collected lullabies from one of the younger women when I walked into the village. So I was interested to read a story in today's Fiji Times with reference to this village. It is quite far from Labasa town as it's really on the border of Macuata and Cakaudrove. The villagers and nearby farmers have to use buses to get to work or the market or to school. It would be good if the feeder road was improved however I don't think that walking three kilometres is such a problem. Makes them fit. The early morning start though seems really too early though. Kids aren't what they used to be it seems as walking ten k was usual at one time.
Students walk 3miles to school
Salaseini Vosamana
Saturday, November 05, 2011
THE dreadful road conditions at Nubunikavula Village in Macuata has left a group of students with no choice but to walk for three miles to the main road every morning to catch the only school bus in the area.

Concerned parents have requested for maintenance of the feeder access road that links the village to the main road to allow public service vehicles through and service the area.

Village headman Timoci Kalouvou said students had to wake up as early as 4am to prepare for school and walk three miles to catch the bus on the main road.

"The road condition has raised a lot of concerns because our students are being affected in their school work as they leave home early in the morning," Mr Kalouvou said.

"If they (students) miss the 7am bus, they will have to walk another six miles in order to catch the 9am bus which is very late.

"It is not only the students in our village that are affected but students from nearby settlements and we are worried it will affect their school work because they will doze off in school," he said.

Mr Kalouvou said they desperately needed assistance to ensure the safety of road users.

"The safety and security of our children can be assured if they have ample space on the roadside," he said. Works Ministry spokesman Iliesa Sokia said they had not received any report. "Their letter of request will have to follow the proper channel before we can make any decision."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

article from New Zealand

from w
A post on facebook was an article from the Gisborne newspaper in New Zealand. Plenty of food for thought in the face of the world economic situation.

Growth with Maori worldview
Tuesday, November 01, 2011 • Peter Jones
IT seems that at no time in recent history have people had as many questions as they do today.

How can we live in harmony with nature? How do we stop climate change and the destruction of ecosystems? How can we provide security and create sufficiency for all? How do we restore an ethic of care for people and for the Earth? In short, how can we put human and planetary well-being at the heart of all our decision-making?

Modernist culture values economic growth above all else. Such growth “works” in the sense that it brings short-term material wealth to small groups. It creates jobs too but the emphasis on economic growth at all costs has encouraged us to deny the consequences of always using resources and never giving back to the communities and eco-systems from where they come.

We tend to equate happiness with success, and in turn define success as material possessions and external achievement. We emphasise constant activity and visible, measurable wealth over experience and reflection.

Maori culture recognises the value of having “enough” and using it gracefully. It is about being economical with what we have, without wasting resources or effort, but without being stingy either.

Many of us recognise the value of “enough” but also receive strong messages to keep growing. In the contradiction between these messages lies the potential for wisdom.

All societies today need a fundamental shift in values and worldview. We need to converge around the idea of deep security based on equity and justice: sufficiency for all, without excess for some and misery for others.

It would be easy to dismiss Maori Sovereignty as an attempt to halt progress or reclaim the past. It’s really about different kinds of human growth. It’s about creating “a culture of enough” that would judge human progress in diverse ways, not just by GDP numbers.

Such a culture would always attempt to balance our scientific achievements with an increase in our moral, ecological, spiritual and emotional development.

Markets, money, trade, technology, competition and profit — all the elements of modern growth economies — are good, creative activities that can be harnessed for the people and the planet, if kept within moral and ecological boundaries.

Our indigenous Maori culture can be adapted for this purpose. Part of acting responsibly is to look within and ask how we can promote other ways of knowing the world and acting in it.

We cannot know all the aspects of “Maori Sovereignty” without actually doing it. It is a way of being in the world, not a simple set of rules for living.

We can use “Maori Sovereignty” to create the conditions that will allow a critique of growth. Human behaviour can be adapted to give at least some of the earth’s ecosystems a chance to renew themselves and at the same time allow social justice to emerge.

We need to rid ourselves of the idea that only experts can lead us. A leader is anyone who wants to help and leadership is an everyday thing. It’s not confined to those who have decision-making power in institutions or states.

Irrespective of age, occupation or role, we can all regularly ask how we should live, what is good, how we can achieve well-being for all, how we can respect the Earth and how we can take the long-term view and try to see the whole picture. We can engage in conversation with others about these issues.

A society that does not cultivate the art of asking questions cannot count on finding answers to its most pressing issues.