In this Ted Talk, John Robinson, the Associate Provost, Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, and a professor with UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, addresses regenerative sustainability and the unique potential for universities to become living laboratories of sustainability — by engaging students, staff and faculty in testing and evaluating sustainable behaviours, policies and programs at an urban neighbourhood scale, in partnership with the public, private and NGO sector.
John first became excited by interdisciplinary and environmental studies as an undergraduate at the University of Toronto in the early 1970s, and has spent most of his life trying to figure out how to contribute to creating a more sustainable world. His research focuses on the intersection of sustainability, social and technological change, behaviour change, and community engagement processes.
John’s passion is to figure out what sustainability can mean across a broad array of fields and to contribute to its implementation. He believes that a regenerative sustainability future that is net positive in both human and environmental terms is possible, and much more desirable than the alternative. His greatest hope is that soon we collectively recognize that this is so.
In 2012 John received the Metro Vancouver Architecture Canada Architecture Advocacy Award and was named Environmental Scientist of the Year by Canadian Geographic magazine. As a Lead Author, he contributed to the last three reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with Al Gore.
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