The University of Iowa

February 10 WorldCanvass explores the history of sustainability

January 30th, 2012
Joan Kjaer

Sustainability is one of the watchwords of our era. It’s been described as the capacity to endure, and it speaks to the inter-relationships between humans and nature and what it takes to exist in harmony, both in the present time and long into the future.

Although it may feel like a contemporary concept, the idea of sustainability as the proper balance between what we take from the earth and what we safeguard for the benefit of ourselves and future generations has been around for a long time.

WorldCanvass guests on February 10 will discuss the history and concept of sustainability from varied vantage points and disparate disciplines, ranging from law and engineering to business, art, film and literary studies.

We’ll reflect on the rise of global environmental concerns in centuries past; learn about the Americas and how climate and weather patterns have affected population growth and expansion; explore water resource issues, global climate change, and Iowa’s efforts toward a sustainable future; and we’ll take a look at ways in which art and film have addressed the environment and changing landscapes.

We’ll hear how UI professors and students are creating new business models based on sustainability strategies, and we’ll see how a hands-on sustainability effort in Africa has expanded the world view of UI students while improving the living conditions of village residents.

Please join us at the Old Capitol Senate Chamber on Friday, February 10 at 5 p.m.! Or tune in to the live video stream on International Programs’ website.

Guests are:

Jonathan Carlson, UI professor of Law
Barbara Eckstein, UI professor of English
Jonathan Finley, UI student
Craig Just, UI professor of Engineering
Sarah Kanouse, UI professor of Art and Intermedia
Roland Racevskis, UI professor of French
Laura Rigal, UI professor of English
Sara Rynes-Weller, UI professor of Business and Management
Jerry Schnoor, UI professor of Engineering
Kyle Stine, UI student
Chad Vollrath, UI student
Gillen Wood, University of Illinois, professor of English and Sustainability Studies

Gillen Wood will also give a lecture earlier in the day titled “The Seven Sorrows of Yunnan: Chinese Famine Poetry and the Global Climate Dystopia, 1815-18.” Learn more.

The second-annual Net Impact Sustainability Summit “Sustainability, It Just Makes Business Sense” will also take place Feb. 10. Learn more.