University of Westminster flag

That resources are diminishing is a commonplace, but scarcity is about much more than the destruction of our natural resource base: it is a socially and economically constructed condition that affects us all, and will increasingly do so. If the 2000s was the decade of false abundance, then the 2010s will likely be defined through scarcity. Scarcity Exchanges will open up the discussion as to what scarcity might mean, and its social, economic, and environmental implications. The series of exchanges brings together some extraordinary speakers around a single, and very pressing, issue.

Tickets are free but please register on Eventbrite ( For further details see
All talks start at 6.30pm in the Cayley Lecture Theatre at University of Westminster, Marylebone Campus, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS
Scarcity Exchanges are part of wider research project, Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment, led by Jeremy Till at the University of Westminster, with partners at the Oslo School of Architecture and TU Vienna. The project is funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area). For details of the project and Scarcity Exchanges see

Iain Boal and Lyla Mehta

Iain Boal is a social historian and co-founder of the Retort collective, an association of radical writers, artisans, and artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has taught at Harvard, Stanford, and the University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz. He is presently Research Fellow of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London. Lyla Mehta is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex and an Adjunct Professor at Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She is a sociologist and her work focuses on the politics of scarcity, water and sanitation, gender, forced displacement and resistance, rights and access to resources and the politics of environment/ development and sustainability. Several of her publications have been concerned with scarcity including the recently edited work ‘The Limits to Scarcity: Contesting the Politics of Allocation.