- OCTOBER 15, 2003
pathways to sustainable communities
Imagine a restaurant
that pays living wages, uses organic produce, generates wind-powered
electricity, donates 20 percent of its profits to charities, and whose
owner refuses to make more money than five times as much as the lowest-paid
employee. Although this seems utopian, it’s reality. On Oct. 15
Judy Wicks, the owner of the White Dog Café in Philadelphia,
which has been awarded as a model for sustainable development, will
speak about her business at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing.
The lecture series sponsored by the Michigan State University Office
of Campus Sustainability and the University Committee for a Sustainable
Campus carries the theme, “Pathways to Sustainable Communities.”
Defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,”
the term “sustainable development” was originally coined
in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development as the
new global goal for economic progress.
Every Wednesday through Nov. 15 from 4 to 5.30 p.m. this lecture series
will feature distinguished speakers. With the exception of the White
Dog Café event, all lectures will be held in room 223 of MSU’s
Natural Resources Building, at the intersection of Farm Lane and Wilson.
The topics covered include ecology, alternative views to corporate globalization,
sustainable business concepts and even higher education. On Oct. 22,
Debbie Rowe, a professor at Oakton Community College, will discuss “The
Higher Purpose of Higher Ed — Choices We Can and Must Make.”
One week later, Thomas Princen, the author of “Confronting Consumption”
(2002), will explore the progression “From Efficiency to Sufficiency.”
An associate professor of International Natural Resources and Environmental
Policy at University of Michigan, Princen has recently completed a five-year,
multidisciplinary project on the problem of over consumption in the
“North,” and alternatives to it.
On Nov. 5, Harold Glasser, an assistant professor of Environmental Studies
at Western Michigan University, will discuss “Learning Our Way
to a Sustainable and Desirable World: Some Ideas Inspired by Arne Naess
and Deep Ecology.”
The final lecture of the series will be Nov. 19, when Thomas Gladwin,
a professor of Corporate Strategy and International Business at the
University of Michigan will speak about “Envisioning Sustainable
For more information, contact Terry Link, (517) 355-1751, www.ecofoot.msu.edu.
– Daniel Sturm
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