Welcome to our 50th anniversary issue. Resurgence, a small independent magazine born amid the changing landscape of the 1960s, has not just survived for half a century: it has also helped to inspire new ways of thinking and living creatively. So there is much to celebrate.

The summer of 1966 was a period of ferment in Britain, as elsewhere. Time magazine had just coined the phrase ‘Swinging London’ to sum up a new sense of artistic creativity, but change was widespread – in politics, industry, agriculture, education, technology, in social and gender relations – in many aspects of life across the country.

Challenges of the wider world also loomed. New nations were emerging from the end of old empires. From North America to South Africa voices were raised for racial equality and civil rights. A handful of thinkers had begun to warn of threats to the natural world, caused by the processes of industrialisation and ever-greater material consumption. Against the background of cold-war divisions that always carried the threat of nuclear catastrophe, the Vietnam war increasingly cast its shadow.

This was the context in which Resurgence was launched. Though much of its initial focus was on the peace movement, from the outset it embraced a wider, holistic worldview, eschewing the traditional politics of left versus right, or ‘biggest is best’, to take up issues of social justice, spirituality and the arts, as well as our relations with Nature and the wider environment.

Since its launch, the magazine has moved from a city base to a rural one, first in Wales, and after that in north Devon, though new technology today allows communication and quality of printing our founders could scarcely have believed possible. Along the way, there have been mergers and alliances – notably with the alternative technology title Undercurrents and, most recently, the Ecologist – and the magazine is now part of a charity, The Resurgence Trust.

Although a product of many hands, Resurgence has been at least in part shaped by some remarkable figures. They include John Papworth, our founding editor, and Satish Kumar (initially in an editorial collaboration with his wife, June Mitchell) – who over more than 40 years has come to personify our endeavours. Satish has announced his intention to stand aside from the editorial process later this year, at the age of 80, but it is hard to imagine that he will not continue his wider work as energetically as ever.

Resurgence has survived and succeeded because of the support of many tens of thousands of people across the decades – contributors, advertisers, generous donors, the Resurgence trustees and staff and, most of all, our readers. We thank them all.

This issue takes some space to reflect on our history. But we also look forward. Resurgence is a process of renewal, and in the coming months we will be building a magazine that combines our traditional strengths with those of our new digital platforms. In essence, however, the message of Resurgence remains as vital as ever. With your support, we look forward to the future.

Greg Neale is Editor at Resurgence & Ecologist.