The ever-increasing impact of human activities on Mother Earth has resulted in changes not only in the environment but also the climate. Industrialization, the use of fossil fuels, overconsumption, and overexploitation of natural resources are all pushing the planet toward a new era called Anthropocene. The changes are now profound and, in many cases, irreversible. It appears we have reached a threshold and that the survival of the human and all other species on Earth is in jeopardy. A recent UN report (Intergovernmental Panel on? Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, IPBES, 2019) reminds us of this brutal, painful reality. If a global effort is not made to take immediate and radical action to protect and restore ecosystems, more than one million species will disappear over the coming decades. We are talking about a sixth mass extinction. What are the avenues of solutions to reduce the current pressure we have put on Mother Earth? What actions do participants feel can be undertaken in our communities?
Liette Vasseur, Brock University
UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability: From Local to Global
Christine Daigle, Brock University Posthumanism Research Institute
Christine Daigle, Brock University
Daigle is a full professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Director of the Posthumanism Research Institute. She is a core member of the PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities program, the Masters program in Sustainability, Science, and Society, and the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. Her current federally funded research pertains to posthuman vulnerability. She is articulating a reconceptualization of the human being from a material feminist point of view as radically embodied, entangled, and thereby vulnerable. In relation to this, she explores the environmental interconnection of all beings and the particular vulnerabilities, and ethical potential, this entails. She proposes that we need to revisit such concepts as sustainability and has a strong interest in extinction studies.
Liette Vasseur, Brock University
Vasseur is a full professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University where she is a member of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. She holds the UNESCO Chair on Community Sustainability. Her research is interdisciplinary and links issues such as community-based ecosystem management, climate change adaptation and resilience, and sustainable agriculture. Her climate change adaptation research program encompasses different ecosystems from rural community of Lincoln, and indigenous communities of san Juan, in the Chimborazo, Ecuador, and Innu communities in Sept-Iles and further north in collaboration with AMIK. She is President of the Canadian Commission UNESCO and vice-chair for North America and leader of the thematic group on ecosystem governance of the Commission for Ecosystem Management – IUCN.
Julie Gemuend, Brock University
Julie Gemuend earned an MFA from Ryerson University in 2012. In 2019 she was accepted into Brock University’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Doctoral Program where she is conducting research that reimagines materiality within the context of the human body and the physical world, challenging previously-held characterizations of the autonomous individual and encouraging new narratives in an attempt to realign the Anthropocene subject as inextricably interconnected to the world.
As an artist, Gemuend’s practice aligns with a number of intersecting movements that emerged in the 1960s, including body art, performance-based video, and land art. In her work, she aims to explore our profound connection with the natural world by probing the edges of identity and environment, interiority and exteriority, the tamed and the wild, and the places where the two merge.
Catherine Longboat, Brock University
Catherine Longboat, PhD., is assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at the Tecumseh Centre for Research and Education at Brock University. She is part Ojibwa on her mother’s side, Mississauga of the New Credit, and Walker Mohawk on her father’s side, Six Nations of the Grand River. Her current work has been to invite participants into ethical space and acknowledge the stories of Indigenous peoples by first introducing students and fellow colleagues to the Two Row Wampum Belt and allyship. She currently lives in the Niagara Region.