Dr. Kevin Danaher is a co-founder of Global Exchange (1988), co-founder of FairTradeUSA (1997), founder and Executive Co-Producer of the Green Festivals (2001), and Founding Executive Director of Friends of SF Environment (2012). His 1985 PhD in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz was based on his dissertation, “The Political Economy of U.S. Policy Toward South Africa.”
Described by The New York Times as the “Paul Revere of globalization’s woes,” Dr. Danaher’s analytical expertise, sense of humor and blunt eloquence make him an exceptionally dynamic speaker. Dr. Danaher is a Co-founder of Global Exchange, a human rights research and action center in San Francisco and a co-founder of Fair Trade USA. Kevin received his PhD in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and his BA from Sonoma State University. He is the author and/or editor of 11 books, including his latest, “The Green Festival Reader: Fresh ideas from Agents of Change”; "Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots". He has lectured at universities and to community organizations throughout the United States. He has appeared on television and radio shows around the country.
Kevin has published articles in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the International Herald Tribune, Harvard Educational Review, the Nation, and many others. His other books include: Insurrection: Citizen Challenges to Corporate Power; Ten Reasons to Abolish the IMF and the World Bank; Democratizing the Global Economy: The Battle Against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund; Corporations are Gonna Get Your Mama: Globalization and the Downsizing of the American Dream; and Globalize This: The Struggle Against the World Trade Organization and Corporate Power.
Kevin’s current projects include the Green Guardians (youth trained in green career skills doing environmental service learning near their school), and the Green Festivals (www.greenfestivals.org), huge weekend gatherings in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York and Chicago (co-produced with Green America) that bring together more than 350 green companies, nonprofit social change organizations, more than 100 exciting speakers, organic vegetarian restaurants, diverse live music and much more. These events have helped to catalyze the green economy and help people become “solutionaries” focused on creating a new economic model based on the triple-bottom-line of social justice, environmental restoration and financial sustainability.
Lectures & Seminars
Dr. Danaher is offering any combination of the following speaking topics:
Sustainability Can Save Humanity from Itself: Every biological system on the planet is collapsing: topsoil is eroding, forests are being clearcut, thousands of species are going extinct, the glaciers are melting, the polar ice caps are melting, ocean levels are rising, and global warming is creating climate chaos. In response, people all over the world are developing a “solutionary” culture, developing green technologies and new forms of organizing that restore nature, provide meaningful work with fair pay, and ensure that we become good ancestors—leaving behind an economy that makes its profits by healing nature rather than destroying it.
How to Green a City: With a majority of people already living in cities, we must figure out how to do sustainability in urban areas. Many cities have figured out parts of this puzzle, San Francisco being one of the most innovative leaders in this field. Based on his 42 years working with San Francisco companies, NGOs and government agencies, Dr. Kevin Danaher knows the theory and practice of how to green a city in ways that combine social justice, environmental restoration and financial sustainability.
The Two Globalizations: The globalization we usually hear about in the corporate media is elite globalization, focused on trade, investment and transnational corporations. But there is another globalization that is spreading rapidly around the planet. Grassroots globalization, facilitated by the Internet, is connecting environmentalists, peace activists, family farm groups, technology innovators, and promoters of participatory democracy. This growing network of grassroots activists is laying the basis for a new world order based on principles enshrined in the US Declaration of Independence: all people are born equal with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Accelerating the Transition to the Green Economy: The green economy is growing at a rapid rate and will increasingly challenge the existing, unsustainable economy. Evidence of this paradigm shift can be seen in growing consumer demand for nature-friendly products, huge investments in renewable energy and clean-tech sectors, and more corporate leaders acknowledging social/environmental responsibility as a competitive advantage. As Dr. Danaher documents in his new book, Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots, there is abundant innovation going on at the grassroots level, but we could be doing much more at the national level to accelerate this transition to the green economy.
Corporate Accountability and the Local Green Economy: This talk discusses how corporate globalization is driven by the need to turn nature into money and find the cheapest labor. As an alternative, grassroots globalization is being built by community-based organizations linking across national boundaries.
Justice, Not War: "A momentous decision confronts us as a nation: Do we define the violence of Sept. 11 as an act of war or as a crime against humanity?," Dr. Danaher asks his audiences. "If we define it as war, it couches the issues in nationalist sentiment and separates us from the people of other nations. If we define it as a crime against humanity, it holds the potential for uniting humankind against the scourge of terrorism." Dr. Danaher will discuss how the US must, among other things, work for the establishment of an international criminal court and dedicate itself to ending global poverty if we are to succeed in abolishing international terrorism. Reducing global inequality has always been a moral imperative, Dr. Danaher says, and now it is also a strategic imperative. According to Dr. Danaher, if we hope to isolate suicidal fanatics, we need the cooperation of all the world's people. Unfortunately, the free-trade status quo has fostered a widespread resentment of the United States that presents an obstacle to cooperation. By encouraging a dog-eat-dog form of competition, corporate globalization has fostered alienation and bitterness, Dr. Danaher says, and prevented us from winning the hearts and minds of the world's people. To end the scourge of terrorism we need a kind of grassroots globalization based on peace, justice and international cooperation.
The Case Against the World Bank and the IMF: How We Can Create A Green, Grassroots Model of Development: Exploring the themes of Dr. Danaher's book, this talk argues how the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, by controlling hundreds of billions of dollars and setting the policy agenda in developing countries, keep developing economies open to corporate penetration, but promote policies that destroy the environment and undermine the standard of living for the majority. Diverse grassroots organizations around the world are uniting to create a sustainable economic model that leaves no one out.
Corporations are Gonna Get Your Mama: Globalization and the Downsizing of the American Dream: Based on Dr. Danaher's book, this talk focuses on the negative effects of globalization in the US, explaining how corporate globalization is exporting US jobs, bankrupting our government, undermining democratic principles, and destroying our environment. In response, grassroots organizations are fighting all of these effects but they need to come together in a unified movement.
In his presentations, he not only provides a detailed analysis of what is wrong, but he also gives inspiring examples of what we can do to make things right. As part of Global Exchange's continuing efforts to plug people into ongoing activist work, Dr. Danaher will bring books and literature related to the talks.
He is also very experienced at media interviews and will be available to do as many as requested. Dr. Danaher has appeared on television and radio shows around the country.
Interviews and Presentations
In Whose Interest: A Guide to US-South Africa Relations
His writing has covered subjects such as "US Agriculture and Its Impact on Third World Farming, "Hidden Costs of the War with Iraq," and "Challenging the Leadership of the World Economy."
What others said about Kevin's past webinars: "A force multiplier"; "An excellent webinar filled with useful information"; "It was indeed informative"; "Very well run"; "That was awesome"
Building the Green Economy
People's Globalization vs. Elite Globalization
The case against the World Bank and the IMF
Corporate Accountability and Local Green Economy
Grassroots Movements for Peace, Justice and International Cooperation
If you would like to plan a speaking event with Kevin, please e-mail action [at] globalexchange.org with the subject line: SPEAKERS BUREAU: Kevin Danaher
Current Speaking Engagements