I write, I give talks, I make connections between ideas and between people, I tell stories, I bring together conversations and, once in a while, these practices give rise to projects, events and organisations.

Current trajectory

November 2020

Big news this month: after several years of searching, we found a place to call HOME. In December, we take ownership of two houses on a patch of land in the town of Östervåla, thirty miles northwest of Uppsala, where we’ll set about making a reality of this school called HOME.

Counting down to the start of Homeward Bound: The Climate Sessions, a four-week online course with some of my favourite thinkers, starting 15 November. I’ll also be teaching a one-off online workshop on the thinking of Ivan Illich on Tuesday 17 November.

The second series of The Great Humbling podcast is drawing to a close. Recent writing: a long read on Sweden and the pandemic and a review of Martin Shaw’s Wolferland and Alastair McIntosh’s Riders on the Storm.

Talking to Ingrid Rieser for the Forest of Thought podcast, June 2020.

Instead of rebooting civilisation, it’s about regrowing a living culture, as part of a patchwork of living cultures.

Recent writing

The Price of Life
Written as the Covid-19 pandemic arrived in Europe, this is an essay about the encounter with parental mortality.
What’s Happening in Sweden?
A long read about Sweden, its story of itself and the role this country plays in the political imagination of millions of people who have never been here.
Negotiating the Surrender
An essay written for This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook (Penguin, 2019).
After We Stop Pretending
An essay for Dark Mountain: Issue 15 on the strange hot summer of 2018 and the beginnings of the new climate movements.
Deschooling Revisited
Writing about Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society (1971) for Issue 25 of STIR magazine.
It’s Time to Start a School
Issue 16 of my Crossed Lines newsletter was where we first announced the launch of a school called HOME.
Where the Words Run Out
For AHA! festival in Gothenburg, Alexander Dam, Sara Rousta and I created this performance for two dancers and a writer running out of words.
Three Seasons With CEMUS
This essay was my contribution to the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Centre for Environment and Development Studies at Uppsala University.
Childish Things
This essay on the role of art in modernity and its relationship to the sacred was written for Dark Mountain: Issue 12 – SANCTUM.
How Climate Change Arrives
An essay for The Precariat, a one-off newspaper published by the organisers of Planet B festival in Peterborough.
You Want It Darker
When the regular mechanisms of political narration break down, there is a need for something stranger: liminal writing for liminal times.
When the Maps Run Out
A letter I sent to readers of Crossed Lines, three days after the election of Donald Trump
Spelling it Out
An essay about the three languages you need to take a project from dreams to reality. Written for Jessie Brennan’s book, Re:development.
Pockets: A Story for Alan Garner
My contribution to First Light, a collection of writing that celebrates the life and work of the novelist Alan Garner.
Expectations of Life & Death
What is different today is that living to grow old has become a reasonable expectation, something we can almost take for granted, rather than a matter of luck.
End of an Epoch?
A review of two books about the Anthropocene by Christian Schwägerl and Gaia Vince.
The Predicament
What does art do when the world is on fire? This was the question that framed the Dark Mountain Workshop project.
A Journey Begins
This October, as the leaves gather in the gutters of Stockholm, a gang of artists, writers, performers and theatre makers will set off on a journey.

Crossed Lines

An occasional letter about what I’m working on.