Alastair McIntosh (Scotland) has been described by BBC TV as “one of the world’s leading environmental campaigners.” A pioneer of modern land reform in Scotland, he helped bring the Isle of Eigg into community ownership. On the Isle of Harris he negotiated withdrawal of the world’s biggest cement company (Lafarge) from a devastating “superquarry” plan. His books include Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power (Aurum), Spiritual Activism: Leadership as Service (Green Books), Poacher’s Pilgrimage: an Island Journey (Birlinn 2016, Cascade USA 2018) and Riders on the Storm (Birlinn 2020. A Quaker with an interfaith outlook, focusing much of his work around spirituality, he lives in Glasgow with his wife, Véréne Nicolas. There he is a founding trustee of the GalGael Trust which works with poverty, community and human potential, and an honorary professor in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow.
His website is www.AlastairMcIntosh.com and Twitter @alastairmci.
Soil and Soul – Recovering Indigeniety
Alastair’s most celebrated book, “Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power”, is about communities reclaiming the land from colonising powers that take but do not give. From first-hand he tells how the islanders of Eigg overthrew their private landlord. And how the biggest cement company in the world was stopped from destroying a majestic mountain on the neighbouring Isle of Harris. But Alastair’s way is more than just political activism. He calls it spiritual activism. In this chat he will discuss recovering our deepest roots, and a renewal of indigeniety in ways that can rise above barriers of racial exclusion. His poem Scotland says: “A person belongs/ inasmuch as they are willing/ to cherish and be cherished/ by this place/ and its peoples.” His books have been described as “world changing” by the environmentalist George Monbiot, “a spiritual journey” by Starhawk, and “truly mental” by Thom Yorke of Radiohead.