Next month I will be giving two talks at St. Thomas University in Minneapolis. I’ll be focussing on how environmental communication needs to help build a culture of sustainability (or whatever you prefer to call an ecologically and socially just future) while it tries to address immediate issues. Here are the summaries.
Achieving sustainability will require more than just clean energy sources, protecting the oceans, eliminating poverty and the rest of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. To support all of these, we need a transition to a culture of sustainability. That means our beliefs, values, aesthetics, worldviews, and institutions – in sum, our culture, must change. For that to happen, communication about ourselves and our place in the world must necessarily evolve. We need a new story about who we are as a species.
In the short to medium term, environmental communicators urgently need to find more effective ways to convince people and organizations to act to protect the Earth and its inhabitants. That communication must also cultivate the kinds of values and perceptions of the world that will support long-term ecological and social sustainability. That’s “talking like a mountain.”