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Sustainability: A question of semantics or action?
10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Sat Oct 6, 2018
Harvard Kennedy School - B-200 (STARR)
society PANEL

Description

Co-hosted with the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies

 

The past two years have seen an onslaught of climate disasters while, at the same time, climate change deniers have risen to political prominence in the US and Europe. The situation is growing more dire by the day, and yet professionals in the field of “sustainability” still lack basic definitions and frameworks for the term.

What do we mean by “sustainability”, and how can we work towards it when we don’t agree what problems we are trying to solve? The term can encompass topics ranging from energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions to promoting inclusive social policies or revenue-generating activities. We need to get more precise because “greenwashing”, or superficially applying the sustainable label to everything, could be as debilitating to real action as an active backlash.

This panel seeks to define the key problems sustainability seeks to address and explore how those in the field can combat greenwashing on one side and climate change denial on the other. What will the role of the US and Germany be in defining sustainable practices, and what can those looking for more environmentally, economically, and socially sound futures do to realize those visions?

 


Speakers
 
Aurélie Bros
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University
 
Alicia Harley
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School
 
Nicholas A. Ashford
Professor of Technology & Policy, MIT
 
Ingrid Schulte
Land Use Consultant, Climate Focus
 
Sabine von Mering
Professor of German and Women's and Gender Studies, Brandeis University

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