One Earth Director Vanessa Timmer interviewed environmentalist, entrepreneur and author, Paul Hawken. The interview was for Greater Vancouver TV at the Gaining Ground conference (October 2009). During the one hour interview, Paul spoke about responses to climate change, the role of governments and cities in the transition to sustainability, the power of dialogue and collaborative leadership, and the drama and opportunity of this moment in history.
One Earth was a partner in the Gaining Ground conference (Resilient Cities: Urban Strategies for Transition Times, Vancouver, Oct 20-22), helping cities manage transition times. North American cities are facing transformational challenges in sustainability, economy, and urban management, leaving them scrambling to comprehend and manage the shift toward ecological practices and greater resilience.
The conference advances thinking on innovation in sustainability governance and best current practices for managing sustainable urban systems; capturing opportunities in the green economy; building widespread sustainability collaborations that engage the community level. Bill Rees presented a keynote address in which he outlined a vision of a self-reliant, self-producing eco-regional city states which differ fundamentally from the parasitic modern city.
One Earth hosted a workshop building on this keynote presentation entitled “Rethinking the Good Life in Cities” which featured Bill, Vanessa and Nicole from One Earth as well as Vincent Tan (VP, Ayala Land) and Mariken van Nimwegen (Graphic Recorder). The workshop addressed the question: how can we redesign our cities to be regenerative and resilient with healthy, vibrant communities, economies and lifestyles? It also explored ‘how’ we can work more effectively on complex, systemic issues like transforming our cities, including some cutting-edge methods and ‘social technologies’ currently being tested in the field.
One Earth’s Emmanuel Prinet and Bill Rees presented their latest work at the SCORAI (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative) conference at Clark University on October 15-17. Emmanuel presented “Advancing Sustainable Household Consumption: Insights for Effective Policy Development” and Bill spoke about “What’s Blocking Sustainability? Human Nature, Cognition and Denial.” SCORAI explores sustainable consumption and the impact of changing individual household patterns, bringing together top academics and practitioners from the US and Canada. A central conclusion was that because of the scale and the urgency of the changes needed, households cannot significantly advance sustainable consumption on their own, but require systemic solutions and coordinated actions by many stakeholders, including grassroots initiatives, institutional changes, government policies, and political reforms.
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