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Allan Savory on How to Save the World

Allan Savory - Peak Human Podcast


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Allan Savory was born in Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa at the University of Natal, BS in Zoology and Botany. In the 1960s he made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems and, as a resource management consultant, worked with numerous managers on four continents to develop sustainable solutions.

In 1992 Savory and his wife, Jody Butterfield, formed a non-profit organization in Zimbabwe, the Africa Centre for Holistic Management, donating a ranch that would serve as a learning site for people all over Africa. In 2009 Savory, Butterfield, and a group of colleagues co-founded the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado to serve the world through an international network of entrepreneurial innovators and leaders committed to serving their regions with the highest standards of Holistic Management training and implementation support.

In 2003, Allan Savory received Australia’s International Banksia Award “for the person or organization doing the most for the environment on a global scale,” and in 2010 Savory (and the Africa Centre) received the Buckminster Fuller Institute’s Challenge award for work that has “significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems.” A TED talk Savory gave in 2013 has received over 10.8 million views and in 2014 was voted one of the 50 most intriguing TED talks of all time. The Savory Institute is one of 11 finalists in the Virgin Earth Challenge, a $25 million initiative for the successful commercialization of ways of taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and keeping them out with no countervailing impacts.

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  • [5:45] Livestock can help us to reverse desertification and climate change.

  • [11:23] The specific environment in which we develop leads to our specific adaptation and change.

  • [15:10] Humans and our technology are nowhere near complex as when we compare to nature.

  • [21:20] The problem with all the natural resource policies in the United States.

  • [24:40] What does it mean to develop a holistic context for management?

  • [33:00] What is desertification?

  • [35:10] Brittle environments have periods of humidity and periods of long dry periods.

  • [35:50] How to reverse desertification.

  • [50:00] The issue of uprooting paradigm shifts.

  • [54:28] Climate change and its denial.

  • [1:02:05] Mainstream agriculture supported by universities and governments is the most destructive and extractive industry ever in the history of mankind.

  • [1:03:10] Billions of hectares of grasslands and savannahs are burnt every year.

  • [1:08:40] Allan’s take on anti-animal activists.


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1 Comment

Mar 05, 2020

What a great interview, everyone should listen to this right up the chain to the top. Such an extraordinary man, an inspiration. Thank you Brian, thank you Mr. Savory.

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