3 March 2010

Ryerson University

Attached Files

Beyond Zebra: Being Undisciplined in Support of Sustainability

Trudeau Lecture by John B. Robinson, 2008 Trudeau Fellow

Ryerson University, Toronto (ON)

How do we come to grips with daunting societal issues like sustainability, as a researcher or a practitioner? What kind of knowledge do we need, and how do we use it in the service of social change? Can we combine academic work with social engagement? Theory with practice? This talk will explore some of these questions, in the context of an academic career that has been driven by a felt need to contribute to an urgently required process of societal change in the direction of sustainability. This has led to a focus on what I call 'issue-driven interdisciplinarity', a sometimes uneasy, but always inspiring, blend of research and community engagement, aimed at combining various kinds of 'expert' knowledge with public values, attitudes and practices in support of a transition towards sustainability. In reflecting on these issues, I will draw some lessons from many years of attempts to pursue issue-driven interdisciplinarity as it applies to energy, climate change, gaming and simulation, buildings, and urban sustainability, and conclude with some discussion of where we hope to take such work in the future.

Professor John B. Robinson, Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability, Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, and Department of Geography, The University of British Columbia, 2008 Trudeau Fellow

Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m., followed by a reception

Ryerson University; Ted Rogers School of Management, Auditorium, Room TRS 1-067; 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto