September 18

Student-led re/conference: Sustainabilities possibilities

09.15–09.30 Welcome & introduction - Daniel Mossberg & Jakob Grandin

09.30–12.00 Performances on collaborative group projects, part 1

An evaluation of Uppsala’s Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) strategies - Group 3

Bike sharing in Uppsala - Group 7

Increasing Sustainability through Utility: Uppsala Konsert & Kongress - Group 8

Systemic changes to improve Gotlandsparken in Uppsala - Group 1

Stora Torget as a space to increase public awareness of sustainability - Group 6

12.00–13.00 Lunch & Poster Session

13.00–14.30 Performances on collaborative group projects, part 2

How can human interaction be encouraged in an urban environment? -Group 2

Flooding of the Fyris river - Group 4

Cultural Heritage & Uppsala Castle - Group 5

14.30–15.00 Conclusions, connections, extensions

15.00–16.00 Course conclusion & evaluations - Daniel Mossberg & Jakob Grandin

Week 38 September 15-18

"Gratiae Veritas Naturae - Truth through Mercy and Nature"

"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget."

Arundhati Roy, "The Cost of Living" (1999)

"We are living after the future […] the end of the world as we know it is not the end of the world."

Dougald Hine, CEMUS semester start-up lecture autumn 2014

"WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?

Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.

Or let’s talk water. We so often hear that the world is running out of water. People are dying from lack of water. Rivers are dewatered from lack of water. Because of this we need to take shorter showers. See the disconnect? Because I take showers, I’m responsible for drawing down aquifers? Well, no. More than 90 percent of the water used by humans is used by agriculture and industry. The remaining 10 percent is split between municipalities and actual living breathing individual humans. Collectively, municipal golf courses use as much water as municipal human beings. People (both human people and fish people) aren’t dying because the world is running out of water. They’re dying because the water is being stolen.

…Personal change doesn’t equal social change."

Derrick Jensen, "Forget Shorter Showers - Why personal change does not equal political change"

"Rather than employ language which reveals a commitment to implausible achievements, what is needed is to face the condition we live under, which is that humans do not and cannot control the world in any modernist sense. Rather than solving problems, we have to find ways of living with and taking responsibility for the socio-technical monsters we create.

To adopt Bruno Latour’s compositionist manifesto this means moving into the future looking forward rather than looking backwards. This calls for a much deeper exercise in re-framing; not just re-framing the ‘problems to be solved’ or re-making the knowledge needed for solutions. It means re-framing the very purpose of intervention: not to solve, but to create novelty, to experiment."

Mike Hulme, "Are there ‘solutions’ to global environmental change?"‘solutions’-global-environmental-change



Einstein quoteThis is the last week of the course, but just beginning of the programme. We'll add material from the actual conference as it happens.

At the very end we have included a post-course inspirational section, to send you off into the future. The same future that Dougald Hine, during the first day of the course, declared had already happened. Good luck with everything!

Learning outcomes that are examined week 38

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • gather and compile relevant scientific literature in printed and digital form;
  • use scientific literature according to different disciplinary and interdisciplinary traditions and work methods;
  • define and evaluate ethical questions with relevance for sustainable development;
  • analyse scientific concepts and their field of use;
  • scientifically communicate in spoken and written form, within and between different scientific areas.

Course books

  • Öberg, Gunilla. (2011). Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies: A Primer. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Graff, Gerald. & Birkenstein, Cathy (2010). They say / I say: the moves that matter in academic writing. 2. ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
  • Hald, Matilda (ed.) (2011). Transcending Boundaries: How CEMUS is changing how we teach, meet and learn. Uppsala: Centrum för miljö- och utvecklingsstudier i Uppsala (CEMUS). Available online: download pdf

iesap tsis tb

Post-course inspiration