In today’s conversation, I have the treat of speaking with Anthea Lawson – a campaigner and writer, whose powerful book, The Entangled Activist is essential reading for anyone interested in how we might change the world in a more meaningful, integrative way. Having trained and worked as a reporter at The Times, and studied history at Cambridge, her work as an activist has seen Anthea campaign to shut down tax havens, control the arms trade and prevent banks from facilitating corruption and environmental devastation. While working at Global Witness, a human rights and environmental organisation, Anthea also launched a campaign that succeeded in changing the rules on secret company ownership, resulting in new laws being passed in dozens of countries around the world.
She’s a rare gem whose rich experience, brilliant mind and grounded presence make for an inspiring and refreshing guide to the hardest challenges we face. I came across Anthea’s work through the renegade economist, Della Duncan, to whom I am grateful for the introduction – and I have to say that while I don’t consider myself an activist per se, this book is one of the most deeply affecting, empowering and illuminating that I have read in a long while.
From mapping out the self-righteous, saviour-complex dynamics that arise from our unmet needs, to challenging the extractivist, power-over patterns inherited from our colonial pasts, The Entangled Activist reveals how we can end up re-creating the very problems we seek to fix – and how we might rise to the challenge differently.
Recorded on 9th February 2022.