The School of the Environment promotes discussion on Citizen Engagement for a Sustainable Future at the second annual Beatrice and Arthur Minden Symposium on the Environment

Monday, October 24, 2016 5:43:05 AM

Prof. John Robinson during opening remarks at the 2016 Minden Symposium

The School of the Environment was pleased to host the second annual Beatrice and Arthur Minden Symposium on the Environment on October 12 and 13, 2016. Approximately 35 participants, met at the Faculty Club for two days of discussion at the FutureTalks Design Workshop: Best Practices in Citizen Engagement for a Sustainable Future. Community experts were invited to contribute to the planning of a large-scale program designed to actively engage Toronto residents in creating a sustainable future. Invited speakers from MetroQuest, the Tellus Institute in Boston, Arizona State University, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, and the Tamarack Institute also provided their perspectives. The goal of the event was to come up with the best ways to engage 100,000 to 200,000 Torontonians to take part in a much more elaborate process - to construct a workable vision of a low-carbon future for the City to work toward; one that reflects the values and diversity of the people who live in it.

Led by Professor John Robinson, the Symposium explored the potential for creating a large-scale community engagement program-FutureTalks-including possible partnership with the City of Toronto and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, connected to the development of TransformTO, Toronto's new climate change plan. The results of the Symposium will feed into the development of a proposal for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's Partnership Development Grant program.

The Beatrice and Arthur Minden Symposium on the Environment, made possible by the generous support of the Beatrice and Arthur Minden Foundation, is an annual event intended to ‘make a difference' by enabling scholarly and public discussion and debate on environmental issues of the day. This year's Symposium was also supported by the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, which invests in urban solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, with the goal of reducing Toronto's GHG emissions by 80% by 2050.

Visit the Minden Symposium page to see the full program, list of participants, speaker biographies, presentations, and photos taken at the event. Stay tuned for a Symposium report which will be coming out shortly.


Read the article in U of T News:
Researchers want to engage the city in sustainability

by Romi Levine, published Oct 18, 2016