Healing or Stealing – A look back at Hawken’s 2009 speech at Portland

I came across the term Restoration Economy and traced it back to the author Paul Hawken. Hawken is a n environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist and of course author and has had an exciting career linking business and environment as well as writing. In researching about Paul Hawken, I came across the speech, “Healing or Stealing?” a commencement speech that he gave at University of Portland back in 2009.

Hawken started out the speech by talking of how the civilization needs a new set of operating systems and it is up to this generation to become the programmers and help bring civilization back to speed. The speech starts with a descriptive image of earth and how the rules that are basic are broken by men.
“If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and are not pessimistic, you do not understand the data.” Hawken said, “But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, are you are not optimistic, you have not got a pulse.”

The speech is very moving as phrases such as: people are working on behalf of strangers, kindness of strangers, create national and global movements to defend the rights, deep sense of connectedness to the living world.

The link to his speech –


About t5huang

Masters in Environmental Science at UPenn Candidate
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