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E-M:/ Inaugural Speaker in Sustainability Speaker Series

Enviro-Mich message from "Link, Terry" <link@mail.lib.msu.edu>

Crucial Conversations: Finding Pathways to Sustainable Communities

Dr. Richard Bawden 

"Systemic Discourse for Sustainable Relationships 

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003, 4:00 p.m. 
223 Natural Resources Building 

The essence of sustainability is the development and persistence of mutually beneficial relationships between people, and between people and the rest of the planet.  Part of the difficulty here is that, as people, we are seemingly not that good at thinking in terms of relationships at all - let alone in acting in ways that make them enduring.  In response to this challenge, many now appeal to 'systems approaches' as ways of thinking and acting to improve the quality of relationships between 'I' and 'Thou' and 'It'.  Experience indicates however, that such 'systems rhetoric' is rarely as innovative or as effective as it would claim to be.  What it needed, it is argued, is a 'truly' systemic discourse. 

Richard Bawden has spent a lifetime, exploring what it means to be systemic in thought and deed.  For more years than he cares to remember, he was the Dean of a College of Agriculture and Rural Development in Australia that was explicitly committed to the development of systemic paradigms for education, research, and 'community engagement'.  Since his retirement from that deanship, and his professorship in Systemic Development (at the University of Western Sydney) in 1999, he has been a visiting distinguished university professor at MSU.  

Sponsored by: 

University Committee for a Sustainable Campus Office of Campus Sustainability For more information please contact: Terry Link 
523 S. Kedzie Hall East Lansing, MI 48824 
(517) 355-1751 www.ecofoot.msu.edu 

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Terry Link, Director
Office of Campus Sustainability
525 S. Kedzie
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

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