Sustainability Discussion – The Politics of Sustainability
Guest: Prof. John Barry, Carleton College
Thursday, May 24 7:30pm – 9pm
Conference Room – 801 Hwy 3 North
(former Sheldal offices – across from Dairy Queen)
Northfield, MN

Free and open to the public!

Can we buy our way to a more sustainable society? Will biofuels in our cars and energy efficiency light-bulbs in our homes avert climate change? Is sustainability an objective compatible with the current organisation of the economy and politics? This talk begins from the firm assumption that while such market and technological innovations are necessary the transition away from current unsustainable development requires explicit attention to politics, collective action and leadership. This is particularly there case if one adopts a ‘triple bottom line’ understanding of sustainable development which means we cannot simply focus on the environmental dimension but also attend to the economic and social aspects of creating a more sustainable society, which ultimately means looking at issues of social injustice, human rights, a different and regulated market economy in which the market and state are viewed as instruments to the benefit of the community. Does sustainability require a decision to live in a different type of society and require the revitalisation of our democracy?

Dr. John Barry is Reader in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast an is currently Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor of Political Science at Carleton College, and a founding member of the Institute for a Sustainable World at QUB. He is also co-leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland (since 2003) and has stood on the Green ticket for local and regional elections. In March 2007 Northern Ireland elected its first ever Green Party Member of the regional Assembly.

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