Turning Point 2000
the two general elections of 1974, and the successful
miners' strike of that year, the crisis atmosphere in British
politics continued into 1975. The media were full of rumours about
a possible coup to set up a new coalition government.
our involvement in the Campaign for Social Democracy and the experience
of campaigning as a candidate in the first 1974 election, a growing
interest in decentralist, environmental, feminist and other "alternative"
viewpoints was stimulating me to think more radically.
It was an exciting time. For more details, see About
Among the people we got to know were Peter Cadogan and Colin Hutchinson. Peter was the General Secretary of the South Place Ethical Society in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square in London, and minister of the humanist congregation there. He had just published his powerful pamphlet on "Direct Democracy". Colin was actively engaged in the environmental campaigns of the Conservation Society.
some months of preliminary discussions with many other people,
the four of us - Peter Cadogan, Colin Hutchinson, Alison
Pritchard and I - established ourselves as an ad hoc
committee to organise a meeting in Conway Hall. We decided to
call it "Turning Point", after the recently published
Club of Rome book Mankind at the Turning Point. (Fritjof
Capra's book The Turning Point came out only in 1982.)
duly held the first Turning Point meeting
in Conway Hall on 29 November 1975.
Over 200 people took part.
Cadogan chaired the meeting. The speakers and their subjects were:
Hutchinson - "The Crisis of Lifestyles",
Croose Parry (Founder of the Teilhard Centre for the Future
of Man) - "Values for Survival",
Ravetz (Council for Science and Society) - "Science
Rothwell (Fawcett Society) - "The Changing
of the Sexes",
Robertson - "The Institutional Imperative".
The meeting aimed to "provide an opportunity for concerned people to discuss the nature of the present crisis. Thinkers and activists in various fields, including ecology, religion and values, science, sex equality and institutional change, will be exploring what common ground they share and what scope there may be for helping and supporting one another".
set the tone for the thirty-five more big meetings and smaller
seminars held by Turning Point/2000 from 1975 to 1996.
Their subjects included "The Politics of Tomorrow" (1977),
"The Psychology of Social Change (1978), "The Future
of Health" (1982), "The Future of Money" (1984),
"The Conscious Consumer" (1987), "Beyond Marx,
Keynes and Thatcher" (1993), "Overcoming Obstacles to
a New Path of Progress" (1996), and many others.
memorable big meeting was on "Contributions to an
Alternative Future" on 12th May 1979. The speakers
were Bill Dyson, Hazel Henderson, Willis Harman and Amory Lovins.
A Guardian centre-page article two days later, titled
"Enter the Future Softly", reported the meeting as "evidence
that the alternative movement shadows all sectors of activity,
public, private and personal. One day, when the soft revolution
comes, presumably all these alternative individual sectors will
link into one whole". Spot on!
Papers and correspondence about all these meetings and seminars are in our hard-copy Archive (click here for information about it).
The first Turning Point newsletter went out in June 1976, and from February 1977 we issued 16-page newsletters to a thousand or so recipients around the world regularly twice a year to September 1987. Then, after a two-year gap, we resumed the series under the heading Turning Point 2000.
Turning Point also published two papers.
The Redistribution of Work (1981)
Impressions of the New South Africa (1996)
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