Vancouver de-growth 2011 conference is running on June 3rd – 4th. at Simon Fraser Harbor Center, 515 West Hastings Street. It addresses the question:If continuous growth on a finite planet is impossible then what are the options ?
The problems associated with growth based economies have been increasingly recognized (declining quality of life, environmental degradation) and concepts of degrowth are finding increasing acceptance as a means to deal with these issues. Yet action lags behind acceptance and acknowledgement. The purpose of Degrowth 2011 is to bring together leading experts and local contributors in dialogue with audience members to translate degrowth concepts into action.
William Rees received his PhD degree in population ecology from the University of Toronto. He founded SCARP’s ‘”Environment and Resource Planning” concentration and from 1994 to 1999 served as director of the School. Rees’ book on ecological footprint analysis, Our Ecological Footprint (co-authored with then PhD student Dr Mathis Wackernagel), was published in 1996 and is now available in English, Chinese, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, and Spanish. Much of Rees’ work is in the realm of ecological economics and human ecology. He is best known in these fields for the co-development of ecological footprint analysis with his then PhD student Mathis Wackernagel. The ecological footprint is a quantitative tool that estimates humanity’s ecological impact on the ecosphere in terms of appropriated ecosystem (land and water) area. This research reveals the fundamental incompatibility between continued material economic growth and ecological security, and has helped to reopen debate on human carrying capacity as a consideration in sustainable development.
Mayor Richard Walton
Richard Walton is the current Mayor of North Vancouver. He is a chartered accountant and businessman, and a former humanities teacher in the public school system.
Marlene is a Professor of Psychology at Simon Fraser University, Senior Research Chair with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and a clinical psychologist. She is committed to advancing effective social policy and programs for children and their families. Over the past two decades she has worked in collaboration with fellow researchers, government and community stakeholders to translate research into practice and promote healthy development in children and teens across Canada and internationally. Marlene has a PhD in Psychology from Simon Fraser University.
Seth Klein is the British Columbia Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a public policy research institute committed to social and economic justice. Seth holds a BA in international relations and a B.Ed from the University of Toronto, and an MA in political science from Simon Fraser University. He is a former teacher, and has been a social activist for over twenty-five years. He has lived in BC since 1993. Seth is an advisory board member for the Columbia Institute’s Centre for Civic Governance, and a co-founder and instructor for Next Up (a leadership training program for young people committed to social and environmental justice). He is the co-chair of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, a board member of the Canada Without Poverty Advocacy Network, and on the Advisory Committee of the Metro Vancouver Living Wage for Families campaign. Seth is a frequent media commentator and public speaker on public policy issues. He has authored numerous studies and newspaper articles. His research deals primarily with welfare policy, poverty, inequality and economic security. His recent publications include: Denied Assistance: Closing the Front Door on Welfare in BC (with Bruce Wallace and Marge Reitsma-Street); Living on Welfare in BC: Experiences of Longer-Term ‘Expected to Work’ Recipients (with Jane Pulkingham); Working for a Living Wage (with Tim Richards, Marcy Cohen and Deborah Littman); and A Poverty Reduction Plan for BC. Seth has been listed by Vancouver Magazine as one of the 50 most powerful people in the city, and by Homemakers Magazine among the “60 men we love.” He does not know how he ended up on either list, but he humbly accepts the latter.
Jean-Claude Besson-Girard(via web conference from France )
Jean-Claude Besson-Girard was born in 1938. When he realized he had a vocation to become a painter, he had to formally give up his studies of cultural anthropology, yet he never stopped educating himself on the subject. Up until the late 60’s, he presents his work in various solo or group exhibitions, but then he decides to go on a “painting strike”, and adopts a farmer lifestyle in the Cevennes, a remote and untouched mountain range in south-east France. There he organized a small rural community until 1984. The project of this group was to particularly welcome those who had been dented by life. The mission: to create an autonomous micro-society, of inter-connected members. This involved market gardening, livestock farming, and building activities. From 1978 on, he was a participant of the birth of ecological politics by working on theory and practice of degrowth. After 1984, he went back to painting, and a series of exhibitions in and out of Paris. In 2005, the publish house Parangon releases his: Decrescendo cantabile, petit manuel pour une décroissance harmonique. (Decrescendo cantabile, the users guide to harmonious degrowth. He is now a lecturer and the director of ENTROPIA, Revue d’étude théorique et politique de la décroissance, (Journal of theoretical and political study of degrowth) http://www.entropia-la-revue.org .
Tim Louis is a practicing lawyer who has been actively involved in Vancouver civic politics for over twenty-five years. Tim has lived and worked in Vancouver all his adult life. While a law student, he co-founded Vancouver’s custom transit service for people with disabilities (HandyDART), as well as the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a non-profit society that advances the interests of unrepresented or underrepresented groups in issues of major public concern. He served 12 years on Vancouver’s Park Board and City Council; while on Council, he worked in a nonpartisan way to set up Vancouver’s Food Policy Council. Tim is an outspoken critic of EcoDensity. Tim passionately believes that we really can have the best of both worlds — a smaller economy, and a higher quality of life.
Richard Wozny Richard has conducted over 700 development and financial studies of large scale shopping centres, commercial districts, residential towers and sub-divisions, and major industrial parks. Since 1984 Richard has helped define new employment demand in terms of real estate development supply.He works for many of the largest developers, retailers and landowners in western Canada including many crown corporations, utilities and all levels of government. Richard’s current and past work includes: Principal, Site Economics Ltd.,Vice President and Manager Advisory Services, Cushman & Wakefield Ltd.,Manager Retail Development Western Canada, Marathon Realty Company Ltd.,and Senior Consultant Shopping Centre Development, Thomas Consultants Inc.Richard is from Vancouver and completed a Masters Degree in Regional Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, and a Masters Degree in Religion at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.
Dr. Joe Naylor does multidisciplinary work drawing from political, legal, and educational philosophy. Dealing with some of the most the controversial aspects of the meaning of “justice” and “education”, has led to teaching positions at SFU, Kwantlen, College, Douglas College and UBC’s Arts One Program in both the Philosophy and the Criminology Departments. Joes education includes a Doctorate in Philosophy [U.B.C.], a Masters of Arts Degree in Philosophy [U.B.C.), a Bachelor of Education [U.B.C.] Concentrations: English and Social Studies [History] and a Bachelor of Arts [U.B.C.].
Brandy Gallagher (BSW, MA) is one of the original founders and developers of O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE, Shawnigan Lake (Vancouver Island) BC. She is also the Executive Director of O.U.R. COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION a Non-Profit Society dedicated to outreach projects (local and International), and the development of O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE as a demonstration/model sustainable village. Her sustainable land management planning and ecological design work has made her the main proponent behind the Canadian precedent setting rezoning which has allowed for the legal/political/community framework containing multi-use allowances for ecovillages and shared land projects across Canada
A senior executive and seasoned entrepreneur with an extensive background in Sustainability, Erich has been providing effective leadership and international project/business management for over 15 years. Erich’s approach to the “Business of Sustainability” began in the 1980’s when he taught the principles and concepts of global warming, population growth, and resource depletion. Since then, he acquired a Masters Degree, and honed his consulting skills and business savvy to transform non-performers from expense-burdens to efficient, process oriented, and profitable businesses. His global client base has included national governments, Fortune 500 corporations, mid-size companies, municipalities, and non governmental organizations. His focus is to take his unique skill set and apply them to one of the greatest challenge facing modern businesses, which is to transform into Sustainable Businesses that develop healthy triple bottom lines.
Derrick Jensen(Via video conference)
Hailed as the philosopher poet of the environmental movement, Derrick Jensen is author of fifteen books, including A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, and Endgame. He was named one of Utne Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” His book Thought to Exist in the Wild won the Eric Hoffer Award and was second place in the Animal category of the Independent Press IPPY Awards. In 2008, he led Press Action’s “Dynamic Dozen” and in 2006 he was the Press Action Person of the Year. He writes for Orion, Audubon, and The Sun Magazine, among many others. He holds a degree in creative writing from Eastern Washington University, a degree in mineral engineering physics from the Colorado School of Mines, and has taught at Eastern Washington University and Pelican Bay State Prison.Derrick Jensen will be attending the conference via an interactive video conference.
Nora Bateson is a media producer and educator. Her work includes documentaries, multimedia productions, magazine columns, and developing curriculum for elementary and high school students. She directed the film an Ecology of Mind. Central to all her pursuits is the idea of utilizing media and storytelling to encourage cultural understanding, social justice, and environmental awareness.
Veteran journalist Christine MacDonald worked briefly in Conservation International’s Global Communications Division before writing “Green Inc., An Environmental Insider Reveals How a Good Cause Has Gone Bad” (The Lyons Press). The book questions whether big environmental groups such as CI, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund engage in greenwashing for the corporations that fund them. Today she is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer specializing in environmental reporting. Her work has appeared frequently in the Boston Globe and several other prominent U.S. newspapers, as well as in magazines such as The Nation, and online outlets including the Huffington Post Investigative Fund.
Max Wilbert is the Non-Profit coordinator and security officer for Fertile Ground and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2009. His activism began in Seattle at a young age with campaigns against police brutality, racism in schools, and imperialism, then expanded to environmental issues. He has since conducted extensive academic and personal research into species extinction, oceanic collapse, global warming, and other environmental crises. In the summer of 2010, he traveled to Siberia as part of an international expedition to study and document the effects of global warming on the far north. He is trained in journalism and holds a BA in Environmental Advocacy and Communication from Huxley College.
Boyd Cohen, Ph.D. Co-founder, CO2 IMPACT; Co-Author, Climate Capitalism; Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia (UBC). Boyd obtained his Ph.D. in entrepreneurship from the University of Colorado in 2001. Towards the end of his Ph.D. program he became immersed in the intersection of sustainability and entrepreneurship (after reading Natural Capitalism) and has dedicated his career since then to teaching, researching and practicing sustainable entrepreneurship. Boyd has taught sustainable entrepreneurship in Madrid, Spain (Instituto de Empresa); Costa Rica (INCAE), University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University and UBC.
Claudia is filmmaker, writer, and educator. She has worked alongside a number of respected Canadian filmmakers as an editor, production coordinator, field producer and shooter on a variety of documentary film projects. She has written, produced and directed her own short films which have been exhibited at festivals worldwide. She also develops and implements curriculum for workshops that combine community development and conflict resolution through filmmaking to diverse groups nationally and internationally. Claudia holds a masters in Visual Culture from the University of Barcelona with a focus on film and ecology.Claudia is currently co-directing with Leah Temper, a follow up documentary to their previous film Life After Growth. Their new film will explore more extensively new economic cultures emerging as alternatives to the unlimited growth model.
Ann has dedicated the past 7 years to researching climate change, peak oil and economic instability and developing solutions which focus on building community resilience. Her background is technical, with an MS/BS in Chemical Engineering and 20 years of work experience as an environmental consultant based in Latin America. She is a board member of Village Vancouver Transition Initiative, convenor of the Dunbar Transition Village and Local Economy group, board member of the NOW BC organic food coop, urban chicken farmer, and Brigade Member of the Chris Martenson group.
Rex Weyler is an American / Canadian author, journalist and ecologist. He has worked as a writer, editor, and publisher at newspapers and magazines, and occasionally as a commentator on Canadian television. In the 1970s, Weyler served as a director of the original Greenpeace Foundation, and as campaign photographer and publisher of the Greenpeace Chronicles. He was a cofounder of Greenpeace International in 1979. Weyler is the author of books on native rights (Blood of the Land), Greenpeace history (Greenpeace: The Inside Story) and religious commentary (The Jesus Sayings: A Quest for His Authentic Message). In the 1990s, he coauthored a U.S. patent for music tuning software and co-founded Justonic Tuning Inc. with his partner Bill Gannon, to develop and market the product. He works as a freelance journalist, appearing in print, broadcast, and on the Internet.
Conrad Schmidt is a Vancouver filmmaker and writer working at the cusp of economic and social change to enable an ecologically viable future. Conrad worked for eight years as a software engineer for one of the world’s largest automation firms. His expertise as an engineer was in human machine interface. He is the author of Workers Of The World Relax and Efficiency Shifting and the director of the film Five Ring Circus.