Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
This summer morning seminar is offered by the College of Continuing Education's LearningLife program.
What is the most important problem facing us today? Most people answer the economy, unemployment, or dissatisfaction with government. Rarely do they answer: "the environment." And yet, the environment is intrinsically attached to all things economic. Air, land, water, living organisms: these natural-capital assets are free and the basis for all economic activity.
The prevailing economic growth model focuses on increasing the Gross Domestic Product above all other goals. And however good "brown" market economies are at providing commodities such as corn and computers, these economies are also historically (and often catastrophically), negligent when it comes to protecting air, water, ecosystems, and biodiversity. For this reason, the natural wealth of the planet is being drawn down at an alarmingly rate.
The solution is to mainstream the value of nature. But how can we factor ecosystem services into everyday decisions that are made by the government, businesses, and consumers? To account for the value of nature should be a part of mainstream economic thinking. But the fundamental problem with our current economy is that there are powerful incentives to produce commodities, but not a similar set of incentives to produce "green goods."
This intriguing seminar will encourage you to rethink the role of the environment in our economic structure. You'll be introduced to a variety of approaches—from government regulation to corporate environmentalism and consumer action—that can take us closer to the goal of a "Green Economy."
LearningLife seminars embrace Socrates' belief in the power of inquiry and exchange. Seminars begin with a one-hour presentation by the instructor, which is followed by an hour of engaged, critical discussion. Tuition includes refreshments.
Stephen Polasky is a Regents Professor who holds the Fesler-Lampert Chair in Ecological/Environmental Economics at the University of Minnesota. He is a faculty member in the Departments of Applied Economics and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, as well as a faculty fellow of the Institute on the Environment. Polasky has served as the senior staff economist for environment and resources for the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and was elected to be a fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in 2011. He also was elected into the National Academy of Sciences (2010), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2009), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007).
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LearningLife is a program of the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education. Established in 1913, the College provides high-quality continuing education and lifelong learning opportunities for professional development, personal enrichment, career transitions, and academic growth.
More information: http://z.umn.edu/ld2
To request disability accommodations, please contact the College of Continuing Education Information Center at 612-624-4000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.