Comments on
"Life, Money & Illusion"

Since the book Life, Money & Illusion was first printed in June of 2006, Mike Nickerson has facilitated more than 600 events on the theme of the book and how we can shift the direction of society toward sustainability.

Detailed reviews are posted here.


Individual Comments:

"This short note is just to thank you for your masterful presentation to the Probus Club of Perth this month. You certainly demonstrate a firm grasp of your subject, and present it in a compelling way."
Ian Doig, Perth ON

"The Dundas Sustainable Lifestyles Project evolved from the contacts made between participants following a discussion facilitated by Mike Nickerson, at our Old 99 Farm."

Ian Graham, Copetown, Ontario


"I enjoyed your story telling style at the student event and at the Transitions Cornwall evening last November. The clarity with which you have organized your ideas make it easy to drop useful tid-bits into a wide variety of conversations and turn them in the direction of sustainability."

Tom Oilen, Cornwall, Ontario


"Student feedback (faculty feedback as well) was very positive both in terms of the topic and insights as well as the engaging way of the presentation; like myself, some students could have gone on for hours listening to you."

Thomas Mengal, Associate Professor, Leadership Education Renaissance College, Fredericton, New Brunswick


"Thank you for the awakening, inspiration and inertia."

Mackenzie Rogers, Student, McMaster U.


"That one analogy you used about the knot and the longbody really got me, I was literally sitting at my computer for a good 10 minutes afterwards just thinking... You definitely have some really thought-provoking concepts that I would love to give our network the opportunity to hear."

Kale Black, BurlingtonGreen Youth Network, after viewing the Pattern Integrity video here.

"I greatly admire your stellar efforts to bring attention to sustainability."
Dr. Lovaye Kajiura
Undergraduate Course Coordinator, Biology
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario


Comments on Life, Money & Illusion as a course text.


"Your suggestion that our future can be full of, and shaped by, our combined Creativity and Celebration, certainly struck a chord with me.

Thank you for your optimism and vision."

David Barnfather, Peterborough Ontario

"I saw Mike when he spoke here about 2 years ago and was struck by his message and great skills as a storyteller. This year, I'm involved with organizing a conference for about 100 Millennium Scholarship holders (undergrads) in South Western Ontario, and immediately thought of Mike as a potential speaker."

Marena Brinkhurst, University of Guelph
Environmental Sciences student

"On behalf of Probus Quinte, we would like to thank you for your address on 19 February. You captured our imaginations and inspired us with your insights and metaphors."

"More personally, thank you for a presentation that was intelligent, articulate, and thoroughly professional. Yours was the finest presentation we have heard at a Club meeting."
Gordon Fuller, Probus Quinte

"Thank you for your speech - it was very illuminating and excellently presented."
Len Cobb, Orleans Rotary


"Your courage and commitment to a saner, fuller way of life is admirable, and while pretty much ignored by the wishful thinking politicians and reporters, it is slowly gaining recognition."
Al Farthing, New Glasgow, NS

"I admire Mike Nickerson's work and I think of him as the "Al Gore" of Canada."
Dr. Helen M. Diemert
Professor Emeritus, Fine Arts, University of Calgary

My staff were so THRILLED to meet you; leaders in the movement. They were particularly impressed that you had remained so positive after 30+ years of fighting the good fight.
Susan Tanner
Executive Director, Canadian Environmental Network

"It was intellectually invigorating and soulfully inspiring to be exposed to your analysis and brave optimism. Thank you."
I. Turnsen, Wakefield, QC

"Many of my classmates were there last year when you spoke in John Milton's class and found you to be the most inspirational speaker we listened to that semester, so if you are interested, we think you would be the perfect speaker to open the symposium."
Brittany Boychuck, Carleton University

"Thanks for giving a great presentation. Besides the knowledge you have worked to acquire and pass on, you have a gift for delivering it. Thank you for sharing it with the world."
Marie Lorenzo
The Women's Healthy Environments Network


"I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for the talk you gave in my Environmental Politics class at Carleton University in November. The students were impressed both by your knowledge and your life-long dedication to the cause of sustainability. You clearly left a strong impression. Aspects of what you talked about, on the grow-or-die mentality, or approaches to happiness that rely less on consumption and more on celebrating life, were themes that students returned to in subsequent weeks as we debated a range of environmental policy issues in Canada. I've even had students mention that they have chosen to read your book when asked to write a book review for other courses. So... on behalf of the students, thanks for the inspiration!"
Dr. Peter Andree
Department of Political Science, Carleton University


"Mr. Nickerson presented himself as highly knowledgeable, with an engaging and impassioned manner that was highly motivating. He easily held the attention of attendees, numbering about fifty, despite being last on an agenda that spanned more than two hours."
(full letter)
Ian MacNab, CAO, Kawartha Conservation

Review of one discussion in Guelph, Ontario.


"Thank you for your talk at Rotary - I found it interesting and I quickly went from despair to optimism in that I feel we can use the same ingenuity and drive that got us to where we are today - to re-vector us on an even more exciting and sustainable path."
Bill Hale, Rotary Club of Perth

"As I learn more about the ways in which our reality is heaving into change, there is a great and growing disconnect between what makes sense to me and what people are doing. Sometimes it feels like a nightmare. It gets lonely. Yesterday's discussion gave me great comfort and hope and most of all, excited inspiration. Again. So I just want to thank you for all your work, for your refreshingly good-humoured logic, for your courage to continue and most of all, for your generosity of spirit."
Genevieve Jones, Killaloe, Ontario

"I think your work is important, and always has been, to the 'Sustainability Movement' in particular (broader of course than the environmental movement). I also think that the David Suzuki Foundation would do well to factor you in to some of their work/events if possible or at least promote your stuff on their website - given you, well ahead of all others - including them - have been working on sustainability-related issues and getting that on the radar of the public for nigh 30 years now. They have a big Sustainability initiative as you probably know, and frankly, when I read their stuff, I get the impression they either talked or borrowed from you big-time at some point, you being essentially a pioneer on this for so many years."
A.M. Sleeman, Vancouver, BC

Comments on Life, Money & Illusion as a text.

1) The students found the process, that was initially outlined as a purpose of the text, to be followed in order to meet our environmental challenges (i.e. understanding the situation, internalizing the vision, planning and taking action) very instructive. They grasped the need for this discipline in order that they not end up living in denial or crippled with despair.

2) The illusive shift in purposes from "striving to produce and consume ever more to enjoying life" and from "stimulating desire to finding peace with enough" had a significant impact on the students. Many of them initially perceived the loss of material goods as a win/lose scenario. However, upon exploring further the simpler type of life that can be enjoyed, and the peace that can be found via the life-based pursuits included in chapter 3, most students tended to view the required transformation as more of a win/win scenario. Their motivation to take actions towards environmental responsibility seemed to increase as we got deeper into the text and became more informed about the options available and the consequences of inaction.
Michael Longworth
"Business Ethics and Environment"
King Campus of Seneca College

"You will be pleased to know that you made quite an impression on the students. Many of the students -- I would say about three quarters of them -- selected the question on the philosophy of environmental action, that included the material you presented, for their final examination question. Furthermore, they seemed to have actually paid attention to your talk as most were able to summarise concisely and accurately your thoughts and arguments."
John Milton;
Environmental Studies, Carleton University

Note: We have only begun to ask for comments on discussions. If you have attended one of these events and would like to share your comments, please write to Mike Nickerson at: sustain5 [ at ]