Understanding Sustainability Conference – Portland

It seems that it’s conference season these days. Another interesting Green event that would definitely be worth checking out is the Understanding Sustainability: Perspectives from the Humanities Conference. The event takes place May 20th through the 22nd in Portland, Oregon. It’s free and open to the public, and sure to be very educational.

Acknowledging the varied understandings of the term “sustainability,” the Understanding Sustainability conference seeks to discuss the way in which the term might be approached in a truly useful and efficient way. Through innovative dialogue and debate, the conference seeks to create or improve on green frameworks for environmental scholarship, activism, research, and policy.

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This is the second annual international conference on understanding sustainability, and will be bringing together a diverse and interdisciplinary group of professionals and community members who might otherwise be overlooked when it comes to this sort of discussion. Included will be a number of humanities scholars in relevant fields such as green cultural studies, environmental ethics, philosophy of science, eco-criticism, and environmental history, as well as social scientists working in the areas of social sustainability, environmental justice, environmental economics, and sustainable business practices, Portland-based designers and city planners dedicated to making Portland one of the most sustainably-minded cities in the country, and artists and activists who are leading the way in the creation and molding of green ethics and aesthetics of political participation.

PSU's Native American Student and Community Center

The first day’s plenary session will be a presentation by a former professor of mine, Stephen Gardiner, on the topic of “Climate Justice”. Other discussions and topics vary pretty widely across the board, covering everything from Urban and Civic Ecology to Green Building, Social Sustainability and Communication. I’ve got to admit, maybe it’s just my background in this sort of academic work, but I wish I could be there for every last second of this conference. This is incredibly exciting stuff. Even better, it’s free and open to the public, which in my opinion shows a remarkable and sadly uncommon desire to interact with, hear from, and educate the public on issues of sustainability that are becoming such an essential part of everyday life.

Event Details

Date: May 20th through the 22nd, 2010. Daily sessions begin at 9am and end around 4:45, followed by evening receptions.
Location: Portland State University, Native American Student and Community Center (NASCC), 710 SW Jackson Street, Portland, Oregon 97201.

More information on the conference, including a conference schedule and list of recommended hotels near to the event, check out the conference site at www.understandingsustainability.org.

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