Institute for Sustainable Development

Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

Fifth Annual This Way to Sustainability Conference

The Institute for Sustainable Development hosts fifth annual conference on sustainability

December 2009
by Teri Randolph, Conference Coordinator
The Institute for Sustainable Development

Our Fifth Annual This Way to Sustainability Conference, November 5-8, 2009, drew over 1,400 participants, included over 80 sessions and workshops, tours, and eight keynote panel presentations.

Participants traveled from throughout California and Oregon to attend this annual conference and to hear such well-known speakers and environmental activists as Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and Derrick Jensen, author of books including Endgame and A Language Older Than Words, and more.

Conference participants were invited to attend the kick-off reception and awards ceremony at the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium Thursday night where the annual "Greenie" Awards and Paul Persons Memorial Sustainability Award were presented.

The Annual "Greenie" Award recognizes an individual, local business, and a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainability efforts in our community. Winners in each category are nominated by members of the campus and community prior to the annual conference. This year's winners in each category included:

Individual: Robyn Difalco, AS Sustainability Coordinator
Business: Smucker Quality Beverages
Non-Profit: River Partners

"Greenie" Award recipients were recognized at Thursday's welcome reception and awarded recycled glass plates hand-crafted by by CSU, Chico Art History student Alex Johnson.

Each year the Paul Persons Memorial Sustainability Award is awarded to a CSU, Chico faculty member who demonstrates sustainability principles and methods and incorporates them into their curriculum. This year's recipient of the award was Diana Flannery, Department of Health and Community Services.

This year we've outdone ourselves by hosting some of our most noted speakers yet:
Nico Stehr, Karl Mannheim Professor of Cultural Studies at the Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany, traveled the farthest to present on the topic of climate change.
Howard Yana-Shapiro, Global Director Plant Science and External Research, Mars, Incorporated and Adjunct Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis discussed the economics of sustainability.
Gwyneth Cravens, Dr. Richard "Rip" Anderson and Marcia Fernandez traveled from Arizona to provide their perspectives on nuclear power and the energy crises.
Timothy J. LaSalle, CEO of the Rodale Institute, gave a compelling lecture on organic farming and global warming. The Q&A following his lecture generated quite a bit of audience involvement.
John Peterson Myers, Founder, CEO and Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, spoke about environmental health sciences and opportunities to prevent disease.
Andrew Szasz, Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, discussed making green choices and green consuming.
Captain Paul Watson, Founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, joined Dick Schneider and Ben Zuckerman on a panel discussing overpopulation on Friday and Saturday. Captain Paul finished up with a keynote presentation discussing the interventionist activities of his ships and crew in the world's oceans from opposing shark finners in the Galapagos to shutting down pirate whaling operations in the North Atlantic and off Antarctica. Many audience members enjoyed a photo opportunity with him after his lecture.
Derrick Jensen, hailed as the philosopher, poet of the environmental movement, gave some powerful insight on civilization and resistance. His lecture was followed by a two-hour Q&A. While some may see him as radical or controversial, his message was clear that our most primal, human desire is to live on a healthy earth overflowing with uncut forests, clean rivers, and thriving oceans that are not under the constant threat of being destroyed.

To see a list of other conference speakers, conference sponsors, conference schedule and more, please visit our conference web pages at

Please continue to visit our web site for details on the next This Way to Sustainability Conference scheduled for November 4-7, 2010.


Paul Watson

Paul Watson speaking on conference panel Friday, November 6, 2009Overpopulation and Other Failures of the Modern Environmental Movement