Over 200 people crowded into the lecture hall at Ekonomikum this Monday to listen to consultant, musician and poet Alan AtKisson give an introductory lecture on sustainable development, the current state of the world and why time is short. Engaging students with questions, challenges and songs, the lecture ran for two hours straight. 94 people followed the lecture on-line. To see the lecture, visit CEMUS LIVE.
For the free PDF-version, download it at: http://www.csduppsala.uu.se/glimpsingpaths/ (right-click the cover to save to hard disk)
For the ebook, you can purchase it in the Amazon Kindle Store: http://www.amazon.com/Glimpsing-Paths-Acting-certainty-ebook/dp/B0097DVZB4/
CEMUS is about to publish a brand new book, Glimpsing Paths. We linked up with Markus, one of the masterminds behind the book, to learn more of what it is about.
CM: What kind of book is this?
Markus Nyström: Last spring, about one and a half year ago, we started discussing what type of book CEMUS could produce. Out of that process came the idea to do something serious, unique and important. Something free and interdisciplinary.
CM: What is the book about?
MN: The theme is “Being and acting in times of (un)certainty” –a broad theme that can be interpreted in many different ways. It shows the great variety of ideas, perspectives and human beings.
CM: How many contributed to the book?
MN: Around 20
CM: Who is this book for?
MN: It’s for professional academics and students alike. It can be read from cover to cover, or simply an article here or there. There’s a main thread that runs through the book, so it’s all connected.
CM: Does the producing of this book share any characteristics with the CEMUS educational model?
MN: Yes, fairly much. We opened up for submissions and had a deadline, then we formed a committee, much like the “work groups” we have for each CEMUS course. It consisted of 3 members from CEMUS, 2 researchers and 2 students. This committee decided the focus and aim of the book, as well as what would go in it.
CM: I’m already excited, how can I get my hands on a copy of the book?
MN: On September 7 there will be a release party where it will be made available to download in digital form.
CEMUS Magazine reports on current events and trends related to sustainability, higher education and the future of humanity – in Uppsala, in Sweden and in the world. CEMUS Magazine engages students, citizens and educators in journalistic work and the creation of news. The editorial board consists of students and employees at CEMUS and meet once a week.
CEMUS is a part of the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development, a university center at Uppsala University & The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Our education, research and outreach activities focus on sustainability.
Fall is in the air and we at CEMUS education are busily underway preparing for an exciting and challenging fall semester.
20 years ago, in August 1992, a few hundred students crowded into a lecture hall in the old University building in Uppsala to take part in a new and ground-breaking lecture series . It was called Människan & Naturen (eng: Humanity & Nature) and gathered the leading thinkers and practitioners on issues related to global issues and the future of humanity. The lecture series was initiated and organized by students themselves, but with a great support from the university administration.
Much has happened since then: a Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEMUS) was formed, a research school started (CEFO), another centre has been formed (Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development) but most importantly: a lot has changed in the world. We continue to strive to be in the forefront of the issues that we feel are of the utmost importance to this planet and to humanity and are looking forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary this fall - CEMUS+20.
The first jubilee-event is already this coming Monday the 3rd when CEMUS co-founders Niclas Hällström and Magnus Tuvedahl, join us for a panel discussion on the future of education and sustainability. On Friday the 7th our new book Being and Acting in Times of Uncertainty will be released. In October we will have a full day of festivities; celebrating the past, present and future of CEMUS and student-run education for sustainable development.
Let the fall begin.
Diskussionerna som jag deltog i – både i paneldebatter och i sessioner – var mycket givande och intressanta med en bred grupp av människor som deltog. Det som framför allt utmärkte atmosfären, enligt mig, var en förståelse för hur brått (urgent) det är att komma till rätta med hållbarhetsproblematiken. Vidare tog jag med mig – och andra konferensdeltagare kanske inte håller med mig i detta – att utbildning bara kan nå en viss bit på vägen. Att agera på orättvisor, att samarbeta, och att ta individuellt ansvar som medborgare (inte bara konsumenter) är några av de saker som jag anser lyftes fram under konferensen.
First keynote of #ucfes2012: ‘Collapse and the Future of Education’ with David Jonstad
CEMUS/CEFO’s keynote at the Uppsala conference: Jason Moore: Modernity’s crises and the mirage of sustainability. #ucfes2012
Steven Hartman argues that sustainability as utopia is unachievable.#ucfes2012
JWMoore: Relations cant be quantified, but the effects of the relations can. We need to do both numbers and words simultaneously. #ucfes2012
SHartman: Disconnected cultures & cognitive dissonance might produce sustainable policies, but not sustainable practices.#ucfes2012
JW Moore: it is the “how” in how crises unfold that alert us to the possibilities for human agency. #ucfes2012
Sakip Murat Yalcin reporting:
It’s been freezing in Berlin. A humid -5 of Berlin is much worse than a dry -20 of Uppsala. But we survive.
SUS - Why?
Different street festivals around Europe wanted to meet up to discuss, exchange ideas and hopefully come up with solutions on how to make their events more sustainable.
What is meant is events that have the bigger part of their activities in streets: such as parades, outdoor concerts, workshops and so forth.
A sustainable event
An event that takes sustainability measures during its organizational process, during and after its event. In short, an event that thinks sustainable.
One thing that strikes me in this conference is that there were no hints of greenwashing attempts. All the events that attended the conference were eager and sincere about making their events more sustainable.
In a nice mixture of event organizers, municipality officials, sustainable management consult companies, students on sustainability issues and even a representative from the Berlin Police we have discussed the ways to make cultural events more sustainable.
The first thing I noticed was how different problems came up from different events. The difficulties on security issues, the total number of visitors, health issues, waste and infrastructure varies really a lot depending on the event. Of course, it is this variety that makes the conference more fruitful, since it creates a better platform to exchange ideas.
The most discussed topic in all of the parallel workshops was the waste problem. Apparently all the events felt the necessity to do something about it, and of course they are all eager to implement measures that are environmentally friendly. This includes recycling, introduction of reusable materials, being energy efficient and so on. (Watching the event organizers come up with solution ideas and/or experiences was very much like watching the CEMUS students do a workshop task, which made me proud and put a smile on my face.)
One of the ideas I had before the conference was to stress upon the responsibility of the cultural events in being examples and pioneers in, among others, sustainable thinking. I have stressed this in different occasions and it has been taken with a positive reaction. Yet, it seems like the participating events feel the necessity of taking the practical measures first, for example in recycling, (I read: be the change themselves first) and then maybe consider trying to make direct effect on the visitors of the event.
This was compared to the contribution of the carnivals around Europe in promotion of multi-culturalism. The carnivals host local culture groups, be it minorities or subcultures yet they didn’t take any political or ethical standpoint to prove anything to anyone when they started their events. Similarly, these street festivals can also start taking sustainability measures that would in the later years be catalyzed into a bigger effect.
I’ve been sitting side by side with Magnus Lindén of Uppsala’s Kulturernas Karneval and Sofie Blomgren of Uppsala’s Kulturnatten during the conference. The point above differs a little bit in the case of these events. Compared to the events in other cities, we felt like we’ve already come a good way in sustainability issues. Uppsala’s events have remarkably less problems when it comes to recycling, waste management and reusable materials. This of course depends on the country’s relatively better measures on the topic. (By the way, all the participants got shocked when we said that our events were non-alcoholic. It then even showed that alcohol consumption was causing the biggest part of the problems the other events had: from security to waste management.)
“Implementing Sustainability at Your Events : ISO 20121 Standard”
ISO 20121 is not the only guideline (and certificate) to make a sustainable event. More info can be found on for example:
Outcomes – Desires
The participants are hoping to create a network to be able to continue the cooperation that started during the conference. They have even agreed on making a list of the most important topics to take care of and to share ideas on solutions.
Uppsala Kommun and Kulturernas Karneval have expressed their desire to host the next conference in Uppsala. I believe that is something that CEMUS should be part of and help organize. Magnus, Sofie and I discussed about a possible set up: the first idea was that the definition of sustainability must be widened and not limited on material problems, even if those are the ones that the events are suffering directly from.
Kulturernas Karneval is eager to create some sort of cooperation to make the event even more sustainable. The first thing that popped up in my head was a CEMUS course having a student group to “certificate” the carnival’s sustainability, maybe as a course project.
Sakip Murat Yalcin reporting.
I have been here before. Lively, organized and big. I city of almost everything. A typical European metropolis. Friendly people, really. First humane experience: a young woman reminding me to use the correct ticket in the bus from airport. “It is a three zone ticket, right?” Out of pure consideration. So has also been my latest experience in Berlin.
Having grown up in Turkey, it is interesting being in one of the biggest Turkish cities! Berlin, with the large population of the Turkish minority, is actually home to more Turkish people than many of the 81 cities of Turkey itself. I don’t feel the lack of not speaking German in lots of shops.
Sustainability and festivals
Two organizations that I’m burning and working for: CEMUS, with its work on sustainability issues, not only in education but also as a pioneer in creativity; and KULTURERNAS KARNEVAL, meeting of a big variety of cultures in a festival, inspiring all ages to a world with less prejudices.
The two organizations have cooperated in different ways so far, and I believe they should interact even more. I’m hoping this conference, where I’m representing CEMUS, but also sitting side by side with Magnus and Milena, the founders of the Kulturernas Karneval where I’m also working, will be the turning point in the prospection of this cooperation.
I have skimmed through the conference documents during my travel. It has a real potential to create new ideas, contacts. There are many cultural events from around Europe that are sending representatives to the conference. The main objective is that these events share ideas on how to be more sustainable, between each other and also with the sustainable event consults. The topics can be from how to deal with waste management, to carbon footprint compensation.
There are a lot of these sustainable event consults in the European countries. It is a well rooted business. Sustainable Events Ltd, Uk; ecocontrolling, Berlin; Grüne Liga, Berlin; Green Events Europe, BN*PD, satis&fy AG, Berlin are just some examples of companies that do sustainability consulting to a wide range of events.
What to return with
My expectations are creating a contact web to be able to arrange the next conference in Uppsala, get in touch with the companies to see their connections in and interests on Sweden, as job opportunities for those who are CEMUS-related. And more…