Stephen Zavestoski - “Sustainability Experimentation Venture Network” (SEVeN)
Humans have been adapting to changing environments since inception. Environmental changes were generally slow on a geological time scale, making oral traditions sufficient for transferring knowledge about successful adaptation experiments. Anthropogenic climate change is occurring faster than the best predictions of even just three years ago. Adaptation, therefore, must be swift. Yet no formal, systematic mechanism exists for documenting and aggregating the results of both failed and successful adaptation experiments. Nor does a mechanism exist, for disseminating this knowledge. This talk will introduce the Sustainability Experimentation Venture Network (SEVeN), a concept for producing, aggregating and disseminating knowledge related to sustainability experimentation broadly and climate adaptation specifically. The talk will engage the audience in a collaborative process of identifying the ideal parameters for SEVeN. For example, what qualifies as a “sustainability experiment?” What is the ideal scale of the sustainability experiments that should be documented? What are the key variables for which data should be collected (e.g., cost, speed of implementation, level of technical knowledge required, etc.)?
Stephen Zavestoski is an environmental social scientist committed to the idea that environmental problems are actually human problems. He draws on his particular expertise in sociology, and the social sciences more broadly, to move society toward equitable and just sustainability transitions. His past research has examined social movements that organize to establish links between illness and environmental contamination. Currently he is interested in the dynamics around mobility and space in the urban sustainability revolution. He is an Associate Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and Department of Sociology at the University of San Francisco.
Colloquium Coordinator: Amir Gohar, PhD Candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning