Ruskin Day celebration and Ruskin Lecture

29 October 2019, 17:45 - 20:00
Cambridge campus

Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth

Ruskin Day celebration

5.45-6.45pm, in The Music Recital Hall
A celebration of the 200th birthday of art critic and social commentator John Ruskin, on the anniversary of his inauguration of the Cambridge School of Art, which was to become Anglia Ruskin University.

The celebration will include a partial re-enactment of Ruskin’s Inaugural Address, readings from the Letters to Ruskin project, displays of Ruskinalia and performances from The Ruskin Songbook.

The celebration will be followed by our University's annual Ruskin Lecture, given this year by Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth.

Ruskin Lecture

7-8pm, in Mumford Theatre

You can’t stop progress - an environmental perspective, with Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth

'You can’t stop progress' is the lazy heckle sometimes directed at environmentalists. But what is 'progress'? As a species, how are we really doing and where should we be going next?

In this lecture, Craig Bennett will look at the evolution of the concept of progress. What does it mean, what should it mean, and what should progress really look like this century? Might modern positive environmentalism represent real progress? In which case, who are the real enemies of progress?

Craig Bennett is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Friends of the Earth and Honorary Professor of Sustainability and Innovation at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester.

He has been described as 'one of the country’s top environmental campaigners' and by The Guardian as the 'very model of a modern eco-general'. He has been listed as one of the UK’s top social media CEOs and in June 2019 was identified by Onalytica, the influencer marketing company, as the top influencer driving the debate around sustainability and financial services.

Craig started as CEO of Friends of the Earth in 2015, following five years as the charity's Director of Policy and Campaigns. Under Craig's leadership, Friends of the Earth has led the fight against fracking, the reversal of bee population decline, and campaigned for clean air. As CEO, he is shaping Friends of the Earth up as an organisation fit to fight the environmental challenges of the 21st century, with a focus on grass-roots campaigning.

Before joining Friends of the Earth, Craig was Deputy Director at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and Director of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (from 2007 to 2010), where he built the group into one of the most influential and progressive business voices in the international climate debate.

He maintains his links with the University of Cambridge, as Policy Fellow at the Centre for Science and Policy (CsAP), and as a Senior Associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). He has twenty years experience of designing and contributing to executive education programmes at numerous universities and business schools, including the Judge Business School, London Business School, and Duke CE. In 2016, following his well-received Grigor Mcclelland Annual Lecture,  he was appointed Honorary Professor in Sustainability and Innovation at Alliance Manchester Business School.

Craig is Chair of the Sustainability and Resilience customer challenge panel for the Anglian Water region (established as part of the OFWAT price review process) and was formerly a member of the Net Positive Board Advisory Panel for Kingfisher plc. From 2013-2015, he was Chair of the Board of Stakeholder Forum.

He has a BSc (Hons) in Human and Physical Geography from The University of Reading and an MSc in Biodiversity Conservation from University College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

He is a regularly appears in the broadcast media, and has had many articles printed in national newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent and Huffington Post. He is a regular columnist and a member of the advisory board for the website BusinessGreen.

Follow Craig on Twitter: @craigbennett3.

Book your place

Please book each event separately by following the links below.

Event Details

29 October 2019, 17:45 - 20:00
Cambridge campus
Ruskin Celebration in The Music Recital Hall and the Ruskin Lecture in Mumford Theatre

To attend the Ruskin Day Celebration book here.

To attend the Ruskin Lecture with Craig Bennett book here.

We continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving situation around coronavirus (COVID-19). So we can best protect the health and wellbeing of all members of the community we are suspending many public-facing events on campus until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.