Conference held November 7 – 8, 2014 at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta in Camrose
Our 2014 conference – “Respecting the Land: Transition to a New Economy” – followed “Responsibility for the Land: conversations about fracking in Alberta,” “Spirit of the Land: toward building a community land ethic” and “Caring for All Creation“. Discussions focused on practical and local examples of how we respect the land by living within the limits and gifts of the natural and human systems.
* how we produce and consume food in a way that cares for the soil, water, and air;
* how we advance beyond hydrocarbon energy by being efficient with remaining energy stores and transitioning smoothly to emerging alternative energies;
* how we support our economy by buying locally first;
* and how we nurture our human systems by creating vibrant, mixed-use, healthy communities.
As a central feature of the conference were round table discussions with more than 16 local experts in sustainable food production, energy efficiency, local business, and community development. Click here for a list of our speakers.
The transition to a new economy, which takes the limits and gifts of nature seriously and acknowledges climate change and the end of easily accessible hydrocarbon fuels, is a movement already underway. Transition towns are springing up in many parts of the world. Organic food production is on the rise. Alternative energy has become a financially viable option. Cities are distinguishing themselves by promoting public space and community connection.
While practical, external transitions are necessary; this won’t happen unless there is also an inner, spiritual change in our understanding of what the real wealth of life is. As long as we believe that endless economic growth will lead to happiness, we will not search for ways to reconnect to people, communities, and the land. By placing the care of the natural world, our communities, our families, and our own inner peace at the center of our economic decisions, we will learn to live lightly on the land.
Please join Augustana students past and present in discussing the issues before the conference by subscribing to our blog. If you would like to become a contributor, please contact Leslie Lindballe.