Webinar Series 2020-2021

Upcoming webinars

Halina Brown: Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration Toward Climate Action

Date: February 22, 2021, 10-11am ET

Register: asu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8pTd6vyZQzubg3yf4v20Rg

There is a wide agreement, and even exhortations, that civil society and municipal government need to collaborate in planning for climate action and for implementing it. In this webinar I will talk about such a collaboration, and what it takes to make it work. My story derives from my own work in Newton, Massachusetts, a well-to-do suburban city of 90,000 outside Boston.

I am a Chairperson of Newton Citizens Commission on Energy, a quasi-independent nine-member advisory group to the Mayor and the City Council, the members of which are appointed by the City Council. Many of our members (including myself) are also climate activists, deeply engaged with civil society organizations in our city. In 2019 we developed a climate action plan for Newton and since then have been working with the municipality and grassroots organizations on its implementation. This work includes technical analysis, research, planning, testifying, strategizing, politicking, diplomacy, and often a struggle in addressing conflicts and competing objectives. This webinar will describe the Newton experience and critically evaluate the idea of collaborative climate action.

Halina S. Brown is a Professor Emerita Clark University and serves Chairperson of Newton Citizens Commission on Energy. She is a co-founder and Executive Board Member of SCORAI.

Duncan Crowley: Talk information coming soon

Date: March 22, 10-11am ET

Lucie Middlemiss: “Energy poverty in the energy transition: understanding and addressing the under consumption of energy during a low-carbon transition in Europe”

Date: April 19, 10-11am ET

Previous webinars

Josh Alpert: “Sustainable Consumption and Climate Leadership for Cities”

Date: January 26, 2021, 10-11am ET
Watch: scorai.net/sustainable-consumption-and-climate-leadership-for-cities/

Josh Alpert, Director of Special Projects with C40 Cities, will be leading a webinar to discuss the latest climate activity within leading cities around the world.  Included will be a discussion on C40’s Thriving Cities Initiative- a programme designed to help cities stay within both their climate and social limits by using famed economist Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics.

Josh Alpert began work with C40, a network of the worlds megacities committed to addressing climate change, in August, 2016. As Director of Special Projects, he has worked on the creation of an air quality programme, an inclusive climate action programme, a US-specific strategy for moving forward on climate actions in a new context, and a host of other projects. Most recently, Josh has been working on creating C40’s new Consumption Programme, starting with the groundbreaking Thriving Cities Initiative. Josh also is serving as C40’s Head of the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge, as well as acting as C40’s Director of North America. Previously, Josh has served as C40’s liaison to Bloomberg Philanthropies.

December 14, 2020, 10-11am ET Giorgos Kallis: “The Case for Degrowth”

Watch here: scorai.net/the-case-for-degrowth/

The relentless pursuit of economic growth is the defining characteristic of contemporary societies. Yet it benefits few and demands monstrous social and ecological sacrifice. Is there a viable alternative? How can we halt the endless quest to grow global production and consumption and instead secure socio-ecological conditions that support lives worth living for all? In this presentation, leading expert Giorgos Kallis makes the case for degrowth – living well with less, by living differently, prioritizing wellbeing, equity and sustainability.  Drawing on emerging initiatives and enduring traditions around the world, he advances a radical degrowth vision and outline policies to shape work and care, income and investment that avoid exploitative and unsustainable practices. Degrowth, he argues, can be achieved through transformative strategies that allow societies to slow down by design, not disaster.

Giorgos Kallis is an ecological economist, political ecologist, and Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Barcelona. He is the author of ‘Limits’ (Stanford University Press, 2019) and ‘The case for Degrowth’ (Polity Press, 2020). His research is motivated by a quest to cross conceptual divides between the social and the natural domains, with particular focus on the political-economic roots of environmental degradation and its uneven distribution along lines of power, income, and class. His current work explores the hypothesis of sustainable degrowth as a solution to the dual economic and ecological crisis. He was previously a Marie Curie Fellow at the Energy and Resources group at UC Berkeley, and he holds a PhD in Environmental Policy from the University of the Aegean, an MSc in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and an MSc in Environmental Engineering and a Bachelors in Chemistry from Imperial College, London.

Jennie C. Stephens: Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership in Climate and Energy

Monday 11/16, 10-11am ET

Watch here: scorai.net/diversifying-power-why-we-need-antiracist-feminist-leadership-in-climate-and-energy/

This webinar will explore connections between the field of sustainable consumption and ideas presented in Stephens’ recent book, Diversifying Power, which shows that anyone working on issues related to energy or climate (directly or indirectly) can leverage the power of collective action. The work to shift away from an extractive, oppressive energy system has already begun. By highlighting the creative individuals and organizations making change happen, Diversifying Power provides inspiration and encourages action on climate and energy justice.

Stephens argues that the key to effectively addressing the climate crisis is diversifying leadership so that antiracist, feminist priorities are central. Stephens examines climate and energy leadership related to job creation and economic justice, health and nutrition, and housing and transportation. She explains why we need to reclaim and restructure climate and energy systems so policies are explicitly linked to social, economic, and racial justices.

Jennie C. Stephens is an educator, social justice advocate, energy expert and sustainability science researcher.  She is a professor and Director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University where she also holds leadership roles at the Global Resilience Institute and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program.

Ashley Colby: Subsistence Agriculture in the US: Reconnecting to Work, Nature and Community

Monday 10/26 10-11am ET

Watch on YouTube

To date, researchers interested in alternative food networks have often overlooked the somewhat hidden, unorganized

population of household food producers. Subsistence Agriculture in the US fills this gap in the 

existing literature by examining the lived experiences of people taking part in subsistence food production. Over the course of the book, Colby draws on accounts from a broad and diverse network of people who are hunting, fishing, gardening, keeping livestock and gathering and looks in depth at the way in which these practical actions have transformed their relationship to labor and land. She also explores the broader implications of this pro-environmental activity for social change and sustainable futures. With a combination of rigorous academic investigation and engagement with pressing social issues, this book will be of great interest to scholars of sustainable consumption, environmental sociology and social movements.

Ashley Colby, PhD is interested in the myriad creative ways in which people are innovating in face of the failures of late capitalism and ecological disaster. She is based in Uruguay, where she has recently founded Rizoma Field School for experiential learning in sustainability.

This research is published as a part of the SCORAI Routledge book series:
www.routledge.com/Subsistence-Agriculture-in-the-US-Reconnecting-to-Work-Nature-and-Community/Colby/p/book/9780367458720 (September 2020)

Gene Homicki: Can the radical reuse of products reduce consumption, waste, and even inequity?

Monday 9/28    10-11am ET


This webinar provides an overview of how innovative organizations across multiple sectors are using the myTurn.com platform to implement product lending, rental, and subscription services to enable sustainable forms of product usage through reuse and sharing.

While a recent report from the UN Resource Panel found that “adopting value retention processes [like reuse] can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in some sectors 79 to 99percent,” verifying that real-world product subscription, sharing, and other reuse services do actually lead to improved environmental and social indicators is critically important.

Challenges and opportunities to conduct research with real-world usage data of products that would normally be owned by one person, but are instead are used by tens to hundreds, will be presented to the SCORAI community. The myTurn team is looking to spur research to help answer questions like:
•    Can convenient and affordable access to tools and other products reduce experienced inequity?
•    How do the social and environmental impacts (including GHG emissions) of local place-based reuse programs compare to regional or national services?
•    What are the key aspects in the design or product subscription systems that most increase reuse and reduce GHG emissions?
•    What public policies can be enacted to accelerate the move toward reuse, more circular economic models, and a real sharing economy?

Gene W. Homicki, the CEO and Co-founder of myTurn.com, pbc., is a practitioner in the collaborative consumption and product reuse space. He combines his passion for sustainability with his background in technology and innovation to implement scalable solutions for the common good. His company, myTurn.com, pbc is a for-profit, public benefit corporation (legal B-Corp) that offers a platform powering innovative services that are increasing reuse, sharing, and access to products—while simultaneously reducing consumption and waste.