The title of this year’s convocation theme year series is The Changing Planet: Our Role in Nature's Economy. It is a theme that hopes to define the connections between people and the environment, and identify ways that business, science, government, and non-government organizations can work with nature in mind to build a cleaner, more productive future. Who will define environmental health? Where are the facts to help us decide the real costs and benefits of our choices for energy, industry, and agriculture? How is the study of the global environment related to other academic disciplines? These are some of the big questions to be addressed during the theme year.
Speakers will be chosen to represent all scales of interaction with our environment, from the individual who grows local foods, to volunteers in social justice. The goal will be to demonstrate the importance of research and public involvement related to this topic, and how it fits into society’s vision of the future.
The list of speakers for the upcoming convocation schedule has connections to business, architecture, science, religion, education, and social justice among other topics. Some are international superstars like Annie Leonard, Fabien Cousteau, and Kevin Danaher, while others will present from a much more personal and local perspective. Students and faculty will be invited to meet with each speaker in small groups to create additional opportunities for interaction.
I am excited with the lineup of speakers we’ve created, and think that we have the potential to create a buzz on campus, while also generating a shared experience for the Springfield community as well.
~ Sean Terry, Theme Year Director