Sustaining the World, Reinventing the UniversityBook - 2006
Planet U places the university at the forefront of the sustainability movement. Questioning the university’s ability to equip society to deal with today’s serious challenges such as economic growth, democratic citizenship and planetary survival, it calls for a new social movement to take a lead in reforming the university.
The book reviews the university’s 900-year history from medieval religious philosopher, to Renaissance nation-builder, to its modern function as training grounds for the world’s managerial class and the world’s largest industry. It examines diverse campus initiatives across North America and Europe and their traditional concerns of green buildings, renewable energy and transportation demand management. But it also demonstrates the promise for social and ecological progress open to the “planetary university” once the university takes its place seriously and discovers its new mission: to create diverse models of local and global innovation centered around tough new questions about what universities — and their societies — can achieve:
• How might the university help move us to a post-automobile, energy-saving society?
• How might universities help refashion the city to be sustainable?
• How might universities be governed for sustainability?
Lively, engaging and perfectly timed for the UN Decade for Sustainability in Education launched in 2005, Planet U will have wide appeal.
Michael M’Gonigle, Professor and Eco-Research Chair of Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Victoria, is a co-founder of Greenpeace International and has published widely on sustainability issues. Justine Starke is a Research Associate in the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria.
M'Gonigle (environmental law and policy), a founder of Greenpeace International, and ecological governance researcher Starke, both of the U. of Victoria, are convinced the university can move toward sustainability in its internal policies, focus on research, and teaching. They describe the academic introspection that serves neither the academe nor the planet, the changes wrought in recent times in the sense of purpose of the university, the commitment needed to learn appropriate and sustainable practice and the theory behind it, the role of the university as urban catalyst for planning and execution, and the ability of the university to use what it already possesses in understanding both process and vision. They propose practical strategies to introduce the university to the planet, and vice versa. Distributed by Consortium Books Sales and Distribution. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)