Speakers’ Presentations and Bios
Adam Parsons is the editor at Share The World’s Resources (STWR). Before joining STWR, Adam worked as a journalist and editor for national and regional newspapers in England before spending a number of years in South Asia and Australia as a freelance writer on travel and development issues. Since joining the team at STWR, Adam has specialised in issues of food insecurity, urban poverty and people’s movements, and has authored numerous publications including Megaslumming, The Seven Myths of Slums, and When Will Ordinary People Rise Up? – How a United Voice of the Public Could Transform the World.
Alanna Hartzok is IU General Secretary and UN NGO Representative, Outreach Coordinator for the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation and Founder/Co-Director of Earth Rights Institute. Her book, The Earth Belongs to Everyone, received The Radical Middle Book Award. She ran / stood for US Congress (Green Party) in 2001. Under contract with UN Habitat Agency and with input from 24 people from nine countries she developed the Land Rights and Land Value Capture online course (900 people enrolled from 95 countries, now under renovation). Replay links to a five-part teleseminar series (14 speakers) she produced last year titled Sustainable Economics for the 21st Century are here: www.earthrights.net along with her book (pdf) and other writings in Publications / Articles. In 2011 Alanna received the International Earth Day Award.
Amir Mohamed Mahmoud Taha has a Bachelor’s Master’s degree in law, Alexandria University, Egypt and a Doctorate of Business Administration in Maritime Law, University of Beni Suef. Helped to organize and participated in three conferences on Arab Commercial and Maritime Law. Helped organize and participated in conference on arbitration and challenges of information technology. A lawyer and legal investigator to the Egyptian government, he has prepared proceedings and memoranda of opinion concerning disputes involving the administration. He has worked as a lecturer in Sultanate of Oman providing legal materials for students of the Faculty of law Beirut Arab University, as a lecturer in the Arab Training Institute, directed the master’s program in international legal transactions, and as Chairman of the Committee for continued legal education of Arab assembly for commercial and maritime law. He has also worked as a member of the Audit Committee Charter Drafting for the African maritime commissioned by the African Union.
Angel José Sciara (Argentina), PhD engaged in these professional activities and roles: Magister en Economic Development, ESCOLATINA-U. of Chile), Ministry of Education and National Universities, Director of Research, Publications in books and specialized magazines. He is an expert on Evaluación of Investment Projects (OEA-México) and has been a consultant for international organizations (PREALC-OIT, CEPAL, BID) and for Public Investment (BIRF,PNUD, BID). He served as Secretary of Finance of the Municipality of Rosario and is now with the Ministry of Economy of the Province of Santa Fe.
Anthony Werner is a graduate of the Universities of Cape Town and Oxford and now managing director of Shepheard-Walwyn (Publishers) Ltd in London. Over the last thirty years he has built up the Ethical Economics list, www.ethicaleconomics.org.uk, a body of literature inspired by the work of Henry George. He is also a tutor in Economics at the School of Economic Science.
Antony V. Trowbridge is Founder of the INTER AFRIKA PLAN and author of the ‘Peace and Development’ Open Distance course of self-instruction in ‘Cooperative Governance’, ‘Ethical Leadership’ and especially ‘Community Economics’ and ‘Micro-banking’ whereby a Progress From Poverty has been taking place in South Africa in rural areas by village people with their community-based initiatives that have earned numerous national and international awards -thereby forming the basis of a Royal Rural Renewal Strategy with the formation of e-Villages planned to be economically and ecologically sustainable by applying Georgist, Earth Rights principles. Note: Due to illness Antony did not come to the conference. However, we are including the powerpoint he prepared on the IU website along with the others.
Bill Batt is a political scientist who has made a living as a university professor, staff policy analyst (on tax policy) for the New York State Legislature, and has been committed in his retirement in 1992 to research and advocacy about Georgist political and economic philosophy. He has been on the boards of several Georgist organizations: the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation from 2002 to 2010, and the Center for the Study of Economics since 1997. He is now on the executive committee of the International Union for Land Value Taxation, the Henry George School of New York, and the Council of Georgist Organizations. Published in both scholarly journal, lay publications, and on the web, mostly searchable under William Batt or Bill Batt. He was one of the first Peace Corps Volunteers (Thailand, 1962-64), and remains frequent speaker and writer on various other topics. He lives in Albany, New York, USA.
Carol Wilcox is a retired software engineer with a degree in economics. It was whilst studying at Essex University in the early 80s, disappointed that there appeared to be no satisfactory solutions to economic ills, that she first read about land value taxation. From that time she was puzzled as to why ‘the only tax which meets all the criteria for a good tax’ was ignored by policymakers. By good fortune she discovered the Labour Land Campaign at the 1996 Labour Party Conference and thus embarked on her real economics education.
Chris Williams began work at New Economics Foundation in 2011 as the Marine Socio-economics Coordinator, managing a project to enhance UK Marine NGOs capacity to engage with key socio-economic debates relating to fisheries and the use of the marine environment. A key goal is to foster greater levels of sharing and collaboration among NGOs, specifically those working on marine conservation and fisheries. (www.mseproject.net) Before NEF, Chris worked for Natural England (the UK’s nature advisory body leading on the Marine Protected Areas project) and built strong links with Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority. From 2004-2008 he initiated and conducted conservation and development projects in the Americas and Africa; set up marine conservation projects and ran small-scale development projects in rural areas for a UK based charity (www.quest4change.org). Holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and North American History and Politics from Sussex University and a Masters degree in Environment and Development (with Spanish) from Kings College London. He is a member of his local community land trust and Lewes Transition Town.
Daniel Ishaya Dabo is from Kaduna State in North West Nigeria. He holds a Post Graduate Diplomacy in Civil Engineering and an MSc in Quantity Surveying with Commercial Management. Daniel has worked as a Lecturer with Kaduna Polytechnic for almost 15 years, has a very good working knowledge in Land Surveying, and is a member of the African Task Force Federation of International Surveys (FIG). Passionate about securing just distribution of nature’s capital, he is a member of several advocacy groups on land right issues and justice in equitable allocation and use of natures capital.
Dave Wetzel is an EC Member of The IU, Labour Land Campaign President and Chair of The Professional Land Reform Group. Dave was the first Vice-Chair of Transport for London and also a former Chair of the Greater London Council’s Transport Committee and Leader of the London Borough of Hounslow.
David Triggs (DIC, C.Eng., MICE) is on the executive of the IU and Chairman of The Henry George Foundation of Great Britain. Now retired, David was for forty years a Chartered Engineer by profession specialising in water and environmental management consultancy working throughout the UK and world wide – mainly in developing countries on both small village projects and mega projects in capital cities. He studied Engineering at Imperial College London, and Business Administration and Management at The Management College, Henley. Over time the overriding importance of the politico-economic environment to the success or failure of otherwise sound technical and managerial solutions to business and social problems came to demand more of his attention. He saw the practical consequences of failure to provide sensible and just systems for the payment of water and environmental services and in particular the limitations of market based solutions that fail to take the locational value implications of such services into account. His interest in political economy started in the sixties with introduction to the works of Henry George. Since that time he has studied and taught economics at the School of Economic Science in London and with the Henry George Foundation of Great Britain. Key to his attraction to the ideas of Henry George is George’s emphasis upon the laws of nature and the need for man to recognise these and work in harmony with them in designing systems for the benefit of the whole community. In this he sees a parallel with the respect and importance that engineers must attach to the laws of nature when designing, building, maintaining and operating works that really benefit people.
Dirk Loehr is a Professor of Taxation and Ecological Economics at the Trier University of Applied Sciences (Environmental Campus Birkenfeld), Germany. Among others, his career has included work as tax adviser, as a lecturer for a private real estate academy, as a consultant for the German International Cooperation (GIZ) in the land sector in Cambodia, as financial manager in a hotel group and as a chief department manager for the Deutsche Bahn AG. Since 2006, he is member of a public real estate assessment board. His academic work was published on (land) taxation, land use issues, rent-seeking economics and environmental economics.
Dorota Owen studied architecture , fine art and English literature in Scotland, then worked in museums and art galleries speaking about collections. Trained as a teacher, worked internationally before returning to Scotland In. 2003 to live as part of the Findhorn Community. Now elected council member of New Findhorn Association, a director of Newbold House centre and ambassador for Global Ecovillage network (GEN).
Eduardo Conesa (Argentina) PhD and Master Degree (Economics), University of Pennsylvania, USA, Master in Development Economics, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA. Professor, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Economics, University of Buenos Aires.
Emer O’Siochru is an Architect and Valuer. She co-founded Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability in 1998. She has taught architecture, managed a design gallery, redeveloped inner city property, worked in local community development, ran an architectural practice and served on public and voluntary sector boards. She currently directs EOS Future Design that creates real and virtual systems for sustainable living, and farms organically. Emer has written on monetary, taxation and planning reform. She directed the Smart Tax Network funded by the Irish Department of the Environment and edited “The Fair Tax” book in 2011.
Fernando Scornik Gerstein was born in Argentina where he graduated as a lawyer in 1963. Specializing in agrarian and taxation law, he was legal Advisor to the Argentinean Agrarian Cooperatives for 10 years. Later he was appointed Advisor on Land Taxation to the Minister of Economy and subsequently to the Secretary of State of Agriculture for whom he wrote a report – The Basis for a Tax System on the Rent of Land –published in 1973. He chaired (1975) the Special Commission on the Taxation of Land’s Potential Rent set up by the Secretary of State for Agriculture. He left Argentina for Spain in 1976 where he pursued his legal career. Fernando is the President of AEPERS (Asociación Española para el Estudio del Regimen del Suelo y los Recursos Naturales) and also for the International Union for Land Value Taxation. In addition to other books he is co-author with Fred Foldvary of The Marginalists and the Special Status of Land as a Factor of Production.
Gary Flomenhoft is a Fellow and Lecturer at the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, where he coordinated the Green Tax and Common Assets Project from 2005-2013. He has testified many times to Vermont towns and state legislature on green taxes, collecting economic rent for use of common assets, and land value taxation. Gary previously studied ecological economics with Herman Daly at the University of Maryland, was a cofounder of the Geonomy Society in California with Jeffery Smith, and was a founding member of the Green Party of California.
Gordon Abiama was born in Odi, Bayelsa State in Nigeria’s oil rich region; graduate of Journalism, Political Economy and Marketing Communications of the London School of Journalism, the Henry George Institute, USA and Harford University, USA respectively. Member, World Council on Renewable Energy. Began journalism career with Nigeria’s Daily Times newspaper then Editor PROFILES Magazine. Instructor in Principles of Political Economy (Henry George Institute of NY); Member of the Board of The Bayelsa State Project Advisory Council (SPAC) of the current World Bank/Bayelsa State Government Local Empowerment & Environmental Management Project designed to enable communities to finance their own development priorities. Founder/director of Africa Centre for Geoclassical Economics dedicated to the advocacy of green tax and land value policies that are rooted in an ethic of fair rights to the resources of the earth. Note: Gordon was unable to obtain a visa in time to join us in London.
Greg McGill is a chartered town planner and chartered surveyor who has worked in senior positions in local government, the private sector and academia in the field of town and country planning. He was introduced to land value taxation 12 years ago and has since developed a keen interest in how different systems of taxation affect how we use land.
Gustavo Sibilla (Argentina) is an international consultant who has served as Under Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Ministry of Security, Secretary for Planning, Secretary for Strategy and Military Affairs, Under Secretary for Logistic and Operational Planning and Under Secretary for Institutional Strengthening of the Armed Forces.
Heather Wetzel is a member of the UK Labour Party and is Chair of the Labour Land Campaign – a UK organisation aligned within the broad left movement and includes members of the Labour Party; Green Party; Communist Party; Trade Unions and others who believe in social and economic equality, fairness and sharing of our natural resource wealth. Although Heather prefers the public ownership of our natural resources and the charging of economic rent for their use, she recognises the reality that such a policy would not be adopted by any UK political party.
Hector Sandler (Argentina) has a PhD Law and is Lecturer in Law, Philosophy and Economics at the Universities of Cordoba and Buenos Aires (Argentina) and UNAM (Mexico). Political party president and deputy in the Congress of the Nation (Argentina). Author of several books on philosophy, law, and economics, he was persecuted in his country for defending human rights.
Ian Mason is a practising barrister and Principal of the School of Economic Science. In his former role as Head of Economics in the School he was instrumental in developing the School’s public courses in Economics with Justice. In April this year he was a panellist at the UN Dialogue on Harmony with Nature and is a leading exponent of Earth Jurisprudence and the establishment in law of a human duty of care for Nature and Mother Earth. He has written and lectured widely on economics, Earth Jurisprudence and rights of Nature.
Jacob Shwartz-Lucas is committed to alleviating suffering in the most efficient ways, a kind of open minded and heuristic approach to altruism. He is a Georgist and an open source advocate. He currently serves as outreach coordinator for the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, an organization that promotes equal rights to the world’s natural resources, mainly through taxation policy. Jacob uses a variety of social media tools to engage people to consider these policies and rally behind them. He holds several weekly Google Hangout meetings with young Georgists and altruistically minded individuals around the world. He also hosts the rapidly growing LVT facebook discussion page, both of which conference attendees are encouraged to join. He holds a Master’s degree in molecular biology and has lived and studied in Sweden, South Africa, and the United States.
Jane McNab’s credentials include BEc (Australian National University), MSc (Tourism Marketing)(Surrey, UK), GDip (Humanities & Social Science – Sanskrit)(La Trobe), GDip (Primary Education)(La Trobe), and a Certificate in Applied Health (Hypnotherapy). She is currently a pre-doctoral candidate in Economics at Ballarat University. Her thesis is an investigation into the current debate on land rent tax in Australia. She worked in tourism for 20 years, including the Australian Tourist Commission in London; management consulting with Touche Ross/KPMG; university lecturing in Marketing for 10 years; sat on hearings for Planning Panels Victoria; and primary school administration and teaching.
John A. Stewart was introduced to the principles of economic justice in 1958 at Suffolk Street, London, then HQ of the School of Economic Science, and was “hooked” right from the beginning. A close association with the economic faculty continues. In 2001 “Standing for Justice,” the biography of Andrew MacLaren. was written. Inspired by the teaching of Henry George in Edwardian Glasgow, MacLaren became a lifelong advocate. In an endeavour to explain this teaching and put it in reader-friendly form, the idea of a sci-fi novel titled Visitors evolved allowing “aliens” to explain their economic teaching. A second novel followed titled The President wherein the US President asks three questions: “What is location value, who creates it, and to whom does it belong.” The third “easy read” came out in 2010 titled “the Prime Minister (2010) tackles the application of the principles.
Jorge Nicolás Amado (Argentina) has engaged in these professional activities and roles: Magister of Administration and Public Policies, Public Accountant, Director of Public Debt Management, World Bank Consultant, International Consultancy Dominican Republic, Professor and Coordinator of the Public Credit Module, and Professor at the following universities: Buenos Aires, General San Martín, Austral, Rosario, and Santiago del Estero.
Luka Bulus Achi is from Kaduna State in North West Nigeria and holds a BSc and an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning. He worked as a lecturer for over 25 years, as General Manger of the Kaduna State Environmental Protection Agency, and as Director of Parks & Recreation Services in the Federal Capital (Abuja). He is now a Consultant with Envicons in Abuja and a pioneering member of the work.
Molly Scott Cato is a Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at Roehampton University and has worked for several years as a green economist. Her latest book, The Bioregional Economy: Land, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness she presents ideas for a new model of stable and sustainable economic life. In 2009 she published Green Economics: An Introduction to Theory, Policy and Practice and she has also written widely on themes concerned with mutualism, social enterprise, policy responses to climate change, banking and finance, and local economies. Molly is an active member of the Green Party, the party’s national speaker on economics, and leader of the green group on Stroud District Council. She works with Transition Stroud and was involved in the launch of a local currency in Stroud in 2009. She is also a Director of Stroud Common Wealth.
Nicolaus Tideman is a Professor of Economics at Virginia Tech. He received his bachelor’s degree from Reed College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1969. From 1969 to 1973 he was Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard. In 1970-71 he served as Senior Staff Economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, with special responsibility for urban issues. He has been at Virginia Tech since 1973, as a post-doctoral fellow, Associate Professor, and Professor since 1985. He has published numerous professional articles, primarily in the areas of urban economics, public finance and efficient public decision-making.
Ole Lefmann grew up in a family of independent shop owners who disliked taxes on labour and restrictions. Employed in retail and whole sale businesses, import and export businesses; left the army as a second lieutenant, worked for the Ministry of Public Works as a team leader and in Scandinavian Airline Systems’ Purchasing Dept. 33 years in insurance as a salesman and in claim departments. On Copenhagen’s Municipal Tax assessment committee for 8 years. Graduated from Copenhagen Business School 1963. Joined the Danish Henry George movement 1960 and the International Union for Land Value Taxation (theIU) 1969. Elected IU Deputy President 1993; since 2001 has been IU Assistant General Secretary. Translated into Danish Fred Harrison’s The Silver Bullet and Henry George’s The Science of Political Economy. Wrote text books in liability insurance for the Danish Insurance Academy and Danish booklets on economics.
Peter Bowman has been a member of the School of Economic Science for a number of years and recently became Head of the Economics Faculty. He is also a Director of the Henry George Foundation and Vice-chairman of The Coalition for Economic Justice. Professionally he works at the Centre for Language & International Education at UCL as Science Coordinator for their University Preparatory Certificate in Science & Engineering
Peter Meakin is a Registered Professional Valuer in Cape Town, South Africa and Associate Member of the South African Institute of Valuers 1993 to present. General Member of the Municipal Finance Officers of SA 2004 – 08; Qualifying Innovator of the Year Award (Center for SA Public Service Innovation) for inventing the Meritax CAMA Municipal Valuation and Rating System (2005); Principal: Meakin Day Gardner Commercial Property Brokers CT 1974-1990; Property Development Executive, Cape Town 1970-73; Chairman of the South African Constitutional Property Rights Foundation (www.sacprif.org) that is mandated to take the Minister of Finance to court on the grounds that income taxes and VAT are irrational and unreasonable whilst the alternative Georgist land taxes are not.
Quisia Gonzalez was born in Honduras. She graduated in Brazil, as a Medical Doctor, (General Surgeon and Family Practitioner), license to practice in Honduras, and moved to The USA twenty years ago and came across the knowledge of Henry George Political Economy Theory and since then has turned her passion into teaching and advocating for Henry George Principles. For the past 11 years she had been teaching Fundamental Principles of Political Economy, And Human Rights at Henry George School of Social Science in New York. She is on the Board of Directors of The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation and the Executive Committee of the IU and UN NGO representative; also on executive committee of World Alliance to Transform the United Nations and member of Commons Action for the UN, an NGO coalition. A speaker on social change in Latin America, she blogs on the GarifunaLink and is active in developing international solidarity in defense of Human Rights and Land Rights for the Garifuna Communities (indigenous people, and afro descendent).
Rajesh Makwana is the executive director of Share the World’s Resources (STWR) – a civil society organisation campaigning for a fairer sharing of wealth, power and resources within and between nations. Rajesh is passionate about applying the principle of sharing as a solution to global crises and has written numerous publications, chaired panel discussions and advocated the concept of economic sharing in debates and presentations in the UK and overseas. STWR was founded in 2003 and granted Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations in 2009.
Sung-Chan Cho has degrees from the University of Seoul (Urban Planning), the Environmental Graduate School of Seoul National University (Urban and Regional Planning) and the Graduate School of Public Management, Renmin University of China (doctoral degree in Land Policy). His Master’s Thesis was A Study of the Revenue Sufficiency of Land Value Tax: Focusing on the Henry George Theorem and his Doctoral Thesis was A Study of China’s Annual Land Leasing System and its Application Model for North Korea’s Economic Special Zones. Residing in South Korea he is Chief Researcher for the Land and Housing Center at the Land and Liberty Institute. He has also worked as assistant administrator of the Henry George Association of Korea and as researcher for the Incheon Development Institute (Urban Planning Department), and the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlement. He has written numerous papers and project reports and is co-author of Land Reform Experience in China: A Mirror for North Korea’s Land Reform, selected as the Excellent Scholarly Book by National Scholarly Institute and Land Justice Will Save Korea, selected as Excellent Scholarly Book by the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism.
Tommas Graves came to London from country up-bringing to be article to a firm of Chartered Accountants in 1956. Joined the School of Economic Science soon after, qualified in 1963, moved to large stockbroking firm in 1970, then to a firm of Metal Brokers in 1977, subsidiary of Shell. Set up own practice in Hatton Garden in 1982, and moved this to home in 1997. Active in SES economics faculty as student, tutor and research groups throughout. From 2002 onwards involved with LVTC, Landisfree, HGF, CEJ and IU.
Tony Vickers began working life as engineer and pre-contract planner for volume house-builders but then served 20 years in the British Army, mainly in Geographic Support. He ran the Henry George Foundation from 1998-2002 in between spells as a local councillor and before studying for his doctorate at Kingston University, London. He is currently a (very) part-time lecturer in Green Taxes (to real estate and planning postgraduates) and a land policy researcher at Kingston. He has served on two Tax Policy Commissions for the Liberal Democrat Party– the second having just ended – in his capacity as co-founder and Chair of his party’s LVT campaign group ALTER (Action on Land-value Taxation & Economic Reform). He has also been Secretary of the Professional Land Reform Group.