Charity CEO to examine environmental ‘progress’

Published: 17 October 2019 at 15:00

Craig Bennett

Friends of the Earth’s Craig Bennett to give annual Ruskin Lecture at ARU

The CEO of charity Friends of the Earth, Craig Bennett, will examine the concept of progress, from an environmental perspective, at a celebration event at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

Mr Bennett, one of the country’s top environmental campaigners, will give the annual Ruskin Lecture, looking at the evolution of the concept of progress, what it means, what it should mean, and who are the enemies of progress.

Mr Bennett was appointed CEO of Friends of the Earth in 2015, and has led campaigns against fracking, the reversal of bee population decline, and for cleaner air. As CEO, he is shaping Friends of the Earth as an organisation fit to fight the environmental challenges of the 21st century, with a focus on grass-roots campaigning.

Professor Aled Jones, Director of the Global Sustainability Institute at ARU, said:

“Craig Bennett is a hugely influential environmental campaigner and someone who has very strong links to Cambridge and the region. He is the ideal person to explore how we as a society define ‘progress’ and whether it is helping or hindering the environment.”

The lecture forms part of 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, later to become part of ARU.

The celebration event, which takes place from 5.45pm until 6.45pm on Tuesday, 29 October at ARU’s Cambridge campus, 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. This will then be followed by the Ruskin Lecture from 7pm until 8pm.

The evening is open to the public and free to attend, but places must be booked in advance. To book a place at the Ruskin Day Celebration or the Ruskin Lecture, please visit