WSC Presents the 20th Anniversary of the Headwaters Project, Oct. 16-18
Sept. 23, 2009 -- At this year's Headwaters Project conference, international scholars and environmental and social justice leaders will go beyond the basics of eco-friendly lifestyles and share their insights on how to bring about change for prosperity locally, nationally and globally.
The conference theme is "Redefining Prosperity: Transitioning to the Triple Bottom Line in the Headwaters." It will be held the weekend of Oct. 16 to 18 at Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison.
The topics will investigate varied interpretations of prosperity with the help of two inspiring and motivated grassroots change agents, Dr. Vandana Shiva and Dr. Devon Peña, as well as through a “triple bottom line” lens that equally considers equity, environment, and economics (also termed the three Es:).
While the triple bottom line was conceptualized in the business world, a panel discussion will demonstrate how it helps reframe prosperity for local, national and global communities by sharing local projects that have far-reaching implications. Dr. Jessica Young, a biology professor and administrator at Western, will represent “Environment” by discussing the complexities of her work with the Gunnison Sage Grouse, which she helped gain recognition as a newly designated species in 2000. Erika Vohman will represent “Equity” via sharing her insights creating The Equilibrium Fund, an international nonprofit foundation dedicated to "finding balance between people, food and forests" in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Malte vonMatthiessen will represent “Economics” through the lens of his work as a CEO and Chairman of YSI Incorporated, an employee-owned company in Ohio that develops applications for collecting, monitoring and assessing the physical and biochemical properties in water, for medical, aerospace and industrial purposes, all of which promote an ecologically sustainable habitat.
Dr. Devon Peña is Friday night’s keynote speaker. In his presentation, “Three E's Meet the Three R's: From Ecology, Economy, and Equity to Resilience, Resurgence, and Revolution” Peña will discuss the 2002 Lobato v. Taylor Colorado Supreme Court decision and the 2009 Acequia Recognition Law signed by Gov. Bill Ritter in April to illustrate the concepts of resilience in ecology, resurgence in economics and revolution in equity. Peña’s presentation will be held at 7 p.m. in the Taylor Hall Auditorium.
Peña is an internationally-recognized research scholar and environmental and food justice activist. In addition to teaching at the University of Washington, he is the founder and president of The Acequia Institute of San Acacio, Colorado, which supports and promotes research on environmental and food justice in acequia and other traditional resource communities. It also provides small farm producer grants to women-led food justice cooperatives.
Dr. Vandana Shiva will present Saturday’s keynote address titled, “Earth Democracy: Beyond dead democracy and killing economies.” She will share her philosophies on how today’s democracy is driven by corporations and requires transforming the “dominant economic systems, political systems and socio-cultural systems into living systems that serve the planet and people.” Shiva’s presentation will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Taylor Hall Auditorium.
Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, activist, editor and author. Among other initiatives, she is the founding director of Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, a network of researchers specializing in ecology, health and sustainability. She is on the Board of International Forum on Globalization and World Future Council and she is the vice president of global movement Slow Food International. Shiva also is a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, which also is known as the alternate Nobel Peace Prize.
Other opportunities at the Headwater’s conference include a Headwaters Project 20th Anniversary retrospective, an original Headwaters song, poetry by Aaron Abeyta, a short story by Karen Hausdoerffer, among other contributions. Conference goers may also attend a transitions panel hosted by the High Country Citizens’ Alliance for its 10th Annual Sustainable Communities Symposium (SCS). Or they can take a WSC sustainability tour with Dr. John Hausdoerffer, director of Environmental Studies.
The conference concludes with a meal for registered attendees on Sunday morning at the new LEED-certified Kelley Hall, where attendees will “pass the gourde” and reflect on the weekend’s discussions and presentations.
Complete conference information and registration materials are available at the Headwaters conference website or by contacting Brooke Moran, Headwaters Project director at email@example.com or (970) 943-2118.
The Headwaters Project is part of Western State College’s effort to extend the services of higher education to the communities of the “headwaters region” of the Southern Rockies – the mountains and the valleys of the vast and varied region surrounding the college, the region where all the great rivers of the Southwest and lower Midwest start: the South Platte, the Rio Grande, the Arkansas, and the Colorado.