About the seminar
The recently reported surge in the emission of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere has raised concerns about the prospects of meeting the climate change challenge. But is this just the symptom of a much deeper malaise in contemporary society?
It is now 20 years since the publication of the Brundtland report on sustainable development, and nearly every signifi cant global sustainability indicator has stalled or gone backwards during the past two decades.
Despite some promising technological innovations and signs of change in some parts of the world, the business-as-usual approach to economic growth is still dominant and spreading across all continents. This presentation will explore some fundamental questions or tensions that permeate the debate on achieving a transition to sustainability.
Can technology alone solve the seemingly intractable global environmental and socio-economic problems we now face, or are more fundamental shifts in societal values required? What role can or should Western scientifi c approaches play in the sustainability challenge? Is the way we generate knowledge, largely based on disciplinary approaches, part of the problem itself?
The presentation will not attempt to answer these deep-seated questions, but will rather point the way towards to types of research and education needed to meet the great challenges of the 21st century.
From 1998 to 2004 he was executive director of International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). His work usually takes a synthesis/integration approach to complex questions about the evolution of the human-environment relationship.