Background on CUSA’s Sustainability Lecure Series
While its roots may be traced back decades and even centuries, the concept of sustainable development only became a prominent and perennial feature of world affairs in the late 1980s with the publication of the Brundtland Commission’s landmark 1987 report, Our Common Future. Although critics have assailed the concept for being an oxymoron, redundant or vague, it has nonetheless been widely endorsed by political, business and community leaders, and embraced by different cultures and socio-economic classes around the world. Proponents have represented sustainable development as an invaluable approach to designing unified solutions to linked challenges.
The concept of sustainable development acknowledges the urgency of global problems, recognized critical connections between them, and sought to devise a framework for thinking about how they could be jointly addressed. The core elements of this framework are often understood to be economics, environment and equity, and the goal is to balance the requirements of each in a way that satisfies the needs of the present generation without compromising the prospects of future generations. While there is general agreement on the value of the goals of sustainable development, demographic, economic and environmental trends present considerable challenges to particular efforts aimed at improving sustainability.
Creating more sustainable societies will require addressing challenges and will require involving multiple perspective`s from the social and natural sciences, as well as political, community and business leaders. Our sustainability seminar series brings together scholars, researchers, experts, and business leaders to consider a variety of perspectives on choices and challenges related to improving the sustainability of water, energy, food, transportation and security systems.
Part of the 2012 Sustainability Lecture Series
Founding Artist, CUSA Environment Art and Human Security (eARTh) Studio
The intention of my art is to express a story that generates thought, discussion and action in our community- a story that can catalyze the change that we so desperately hunger for.
I like to think about renaissance art. Art that was respected. Art that was so forward looking that it truly gave a voice to progress. In the past art has led us into a new era of human development, thought, science and democracy. We are now at that point again, at a point where the arts have the potential to lead us into new ways of thinking about and caring for our world.
Our world is unsustainable, from our work lives, to our education systems, to how we treat the environment and how we treat one another. In expressing sustainability in our world today I would like to take a moment to think about how art can be a movement and how a movement can create a sustainable future.
Art is always and everywhere the secret confession, and at the same time the immortal movement of its time.
– Karl Marx
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
CUSA would like to thank the UCI Environment Institute for their generous support of this seminar series: