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Documentary Series - Finding the Future

...featuring Des Kennedy
by VisionTV
October 13, 2002

Innovative thinkers ponder the road ahead on VisionTV’s Finding the Future

– Abraham Lincoln

Day by day, each of us plays a part in creating the future. But what will this new world look like? Is it anyplace we would wish to live?

Finding the Future, a provocative new program that makes its world television premiere on VisionTV this fall, is devoted to pondering the shape of our tomorrows. The 13-part series airs on Wednesdays, starting Oct. 2, at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Each week, writer and host Des Kennedy invites a special guest into the studio for a lively half-hour exchange of views on our present problems and future prospects. Among the innovative thinkers who join him in one-on-one conversation are scholar Sunera Thobani, an outspoken and often controversial activist in the battle against racism and sexism; author Linda McQuaig, whose books challenge the excesses of capitalist culture; and explorer Wade Davis, an environmentalist and advocate for endangered indigenous peoples.

Many Canadians await the future with great trepidation. They fear that their children will grow up in a world defined entirely by corporate greed, rampant disregard for human rights and the violent clash of fundamentalisms.

But the writers, philosophers, activists and other innovative thinkers who appear on Finding the Future see brighter possibilities. They envision a new global culture, in which spirituality and the selfless concern for others will usher in alternative approaches to governance, health care, economics and the preservation of our natural environment.

Finding the Future was produced by David Springbett and Heather McAndrew in association with VisionTV.

-30- For more information, contact: Suzanna Mandryk, VP Communications & Marketing, 416-368-3194, ext. 234,

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Finding the Future – Episode Synopses

Episode One: SUNERA THOBANI – October 2 Sunera Thobani is Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of British Columbia and former President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. Last October, she found herself at the centre of a controversy after delivering a speech that was harshly critical of U.S. foreign policy and the war on terrorism. Thobani speaks with host Des Kennedy about racial intolerance, immigration policy and the importance of challenging the social status quo.

Episode Two: LINDA McQUAIG – October 9 Author and journalist Linda McQuaig is a relentless critic of the global economic system and its ravages. (Tycoon Conrad Black once suggested that she be “horsewhipped” for her views.) In this interview, she talks to Des Kennedy about her latest book, All You Can Eat: Greed, Lust and the New Capitalism, and makes the case for greater constraints on corporate power.

Episode Three: L. HUNTER LOVINS – October 16 L. Hunter Lovins is a lawyer, author and occasional rodeo rider known for her innovative thinking on sustainability issues. The co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado-based think tank that promotes energy and resource efficiency, she explains to Des Kennedy how new energy policies can help to ensure our security in the wake of Sept. 11.

Episode Four: MATTHEW FOX – October 23 Theologian Matthew Fox is a former Dominican priest and founder of the University of Creation Spirituality in Oakland, Ca. His latest book, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths, explores the common principles shared by all of the world’s great spiritual traditions. He tells Des Kennedy about his techno-rave masses for young people, and offers insight into the dangers of fundamentalism and the need for ecumenical tolerance.

Episode Five: WADE DAVIS – November 6 Anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wade Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic, and the critically acclaimed author of numerous books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow. His latest work, Light at the Edge of the World, introduces readers to the rituals and beliefs of traditional cultures around the world. In this interview, he explains to Des Kennedy the importance of preserving and learning from the wisdom of indigenous peoples.

Episode Six: MOURA QUAYLE – November 13 Landscape architect Moura Quayle is Dean of Agricultural Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Her work focuses on finding ways to create healthier and more sustainable urban environments. She talks to Des Kennedy about the problems of our expanding cities, the role of citizens in planning their surroundings and her own vision of livable communities.

Episode Seven: FRANCES MOORE LAPPI & ANNA LAPPI – November 20 In 1971, Frances Moore LappJ published Diet for a Small Planet, a best-selling book that proposed how we might go about changing the world by changing the way we eat. Three decades later, the acclaimed food expert has teamed with daughter Anna to pen a sequel. Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet asks whether we can transcend consumerist self-indulgence and find the wisdom to heal our world. In this interview, Frances and Anna reveal to Des Kennedy their conclusions about food, community and democracy.

Episode Eight: MARY-WYNNE ASHFORD – November 27 As a palliative care physician in Victoria, B.C., Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford helps terminally ill patients to face death. As a peace activist, she urges political leaders to respect life. A longtime leader of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (which received the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize), she discusses with Des Kennedy the need to confront difficult issues.

Episode Nine: MICHAEL M’GONIGLE – December 4 Michael M’Gonigle is a Professor of Law at the University of Victoria and a lifelong environmental activist who helped to found Greenpeace International. In his discussion with Des Kennedy, he argues that our society needs a new system of “ecological governance,” in which the natural environment is a core value in all political and economic decision-making.

Episode Ten: BRIONY PENN – December 11 B.C. naturalist Briony Penn made headlines when she rode bare-breasted on horseback to protest logging on her native Salt Spring Island. Penn has been a leading conservationist for more than a decade, presenting workshops and lectures across Canada, writing and illustrating educational materials, and publishing the best-selling book A Year on the Wild Side. Now an environmental specialist for Victoria TV station The New VI, she speaks to Des Kennedy about the future of the conservation movement.

Episode Eleven: JANINE BENYUS – December 18 Author Janine Benyus has written several books on the life sciences. Her influential work Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, explores an emerging science that seeks to address human concerns such as food production, energy consumption and industrial progress by imitating nature’s own designs and processes. In this interview, she explains to Des Kennedy the innate genius of the natural world.

Episode Twelve: JIM GREEN – December 25 Jim Green has been a civil rights activist and union organizer, a dock worker, taxi driver and teacher. But he is best known for his tireless work on behalf of the poor in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In this conversation with Des Kennedy, he talks about politics and poverty, and explains how community can be nurtured even in the most seemingly hopeless of places.

Episode Thirteen: ALLEN TYSICK – January 1 Jesus Christ counseled his followers to care for the poorest of the poor. Reverend Allen Tysick lives by these words. As head of the United Church of Canada’s Open Door street ministry in Victoria, B.C., he gives selflessly to those in poverty at a time when most of society is hardening its heart. Tysick speaks to Des Kennedy about his belief in unconditional love, which guides him in his life and work.

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