Peace activist, Environmental thought leader (United Kingdom)
“In recognition of his lifelong dedication to campaigning for ecological regeneration, social justice, and spiritual fulfillment.”
Through his writings and educational activities, and as an embodiment of ecological and spiritual principles of living simply, he has inspired many people to transform themselves in order to transform the world.
Satish Kumar is a former monk and long-term peace and environment activist, who has been quietly setting the global agenda for change for over 50 years. He was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains, and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality.
Inspired in his early 20s by the example of the British peace activist Bertrand Russell, Satish embarked on an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage. Carrying no money and depending on the kindness and hospitality of strangers, he and a colleague walked from India to America, via Moscow, London and Paris, to deliver a humble packet of ‘peace tea’ to the leaders of the world’s then four nuclear powers.
In 1973 Satish settled in the UK becoming the editor of Resurgence magazine, a position he held until 2016, making him the UK’s longest-serving editor of the same magazine. During this time, he has been the guiding spirit behind a number of now internationally respected ecological and educational ventures. He cofounded Schumacher College, an international center for ecological studies, where he continues to serve as a Visiting Fellow.
His autobiography, No Destination, first published by Green Books in 1978, has sold over 50,000 copies. He is also the author of You Are, Therefore I Am; The Buddha and the Terrorist; Earth Pilgrim; Soil, Soul, Society and Elegant Simplicity: The Art of Living Well.
He continues to teach and run workshops on reverential ecology, holistic education and voluntary simplicity and is a much sought-after speaker both in the UK and abroad.