Alastair McIntosh

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Biographical Information [1]

  • Voluntary Service Overseas (November 1977 - January 1980): deputy-head teacher of St. Peter's Extension School, Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea
  • Scottish Organiser With Lepra, The British Leprosy Relief Association (September 1981 - June 1984)
  • Financial Adviser And Company Secretary With The South Pacific Appropriate Technology Foundation (Spatf), (July 1984 - May 1986)
  • Co-Director Of Uk Foundation For The Peoples Of The South Pacific And Business Adviser To The Iona Community, (July 1986 - March 1990)
  • Teaching Director, Centre For Human Ecology, University Of Edinburgh, (April 1990 - October 1996)
  • Freelance Writer, Broadcaster, Speaker, Researcher And Activist, (October 1996 - present)
  • Action for Transformation (1996 - March 2001): I was funded by the Christendom and Russell Trusts to write Soil and Soul, and then by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust for three years from April 1998 to work on Action for Transformation, a programme of community empowerment through liberation theology
  • Executive Director of the CHE (2001)
  • Nonviolence Teaching at Military Staff College (1997 to present): I guest lecture annually on the Advanced Command & Staff Courses at Britain’s Defence Academy, the Joint Services Command & Staff College at Shrivenham, where I have also twice lectured on the Initial CSC course. In addition, I have addressed warrant officers and staff at the Army Training Regiment Bassingbourne (2005), the Irish Military College's Advanced Course (2009) and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy's PfP programme with NATO (2009). Themes include The Case Against Weapons of Mass Destruction and The Dynamics of Violence and Nonviolence. A written version, The Nonviolent Challenge to Conflict, will be published in 2010 as a chapter in a forthcoming staff college textbook from Palgrave Macmillan: Ethics, War and Strategy.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility with Lafarge (2004 onwards)
  • Spirituality of Community Regeneration with WWF International (2004 onwards)
  • Treasurer and Director of the GalGael Trust, Govan, Glasgow (1997 onwards)

"Most of my work evolves out of practical action in community contexts. Rarely do I undertake work that can be planned and funded in advance. As such, I have many peer-reviewed publications but little to show for them in terms of research funding grants. Exceptions to this are a grant of £34,000 for researching the spirituality of urban and rural community regeneration (2005-08) which resulted in several publications including Rekindling Community, and 3 years of funding at £23,000 a year from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, 1998-2001, which contributed to many publications including Soil and Soul...

"I serve on the editorial advisory boards of Tikkun (the progressive Jewish and interfaith magazine) and of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture.

"My best known books are: Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power (Aurum 2001), Love and Revolution - collected poetry (Luath 2006), Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition (Birlinn 2008) and Rekindling Community: Connecting People, Environment and Spirituality (Schumacher Briefings / Green Books, 2008).

Select Conference Talks

  • World Council of Churches Ecumenical Decade of Women, Stirling, 1997 (with Archbishop Richard Holloway) - Bhrighde, Proverbs 8:36 and the Feminine Redemption of Men
  • For the Love of Nature conference, Findhorn, 1999 (with Vandana Shiva and Prof. Aubrey Manning)
  • Schumacher Lecture, Liverpool, 1999 - Soil & Soul
  • Joint Services Command & Staff College - Advanced Staff & Command Course - on the role of nonviolent direct action in influencing governments 1997-2001, with Lord Deedes & Prof Morgan, LSE
  • Schumacher College (3 week course), 2000 - Soil, Soul & Society, jointly with John Seed and Carolyn Merchant
  • Quaker Responses to Global Capitalism - workshop jointly with Adrian Cadbury (of the Cadbury Code for business ethics), Woodbrooke College, Birmingham, 6-8 Sept 2002.
  • Soil & Soul: Community & Spiritual Activism - workshop at Woodbrooke College, Birmingham, 1-3 Nov 2002 (a similar workshop, but a week long and jointly with Helen Steven, was run at Iona Abbey in August).
  • Groupe Crédit Mutuel (Credit Mutual Bank), Paris, 24 - 26 Nov., presentation to senior management on old and new meanings of mutuality in the context of strategic planning.

Other select Interests

In 2008 Green Books published his book Rekindling Community: Connecting People, Environment and Spirituality (Schumacher Briefing).

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. CV, Alastair McIntosh, accessed December 12, 2011.