Have we failed in our sustainability goals? Learn more during the Annual Dr. David V.J. Bell Lecture, Oct. 22

A review of what has been accomplished over the past 30 years in sustainable development will be the focus of the 2019 Dr. David V.J. Bell Lecture at York University on Oct. 22.

Bruce Lourie

The lecture was developed in memory of the late York Professor Emeritus David Bell and presented for the first time in 2018. It will be delivered this year by Bruce Lourie, president of the Ivey Foundation, an adjunct professor at Queen’s University’s School of Policy Studies and senior Fellow at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s.

Lourie will deliver the talk “Sustainable Development: Where We’re At, What’s Working (and What’s Not), and What We Need to Succeed” and explore what has been done in the 30 years since the modern era of “sustainable development” was ushered in.

The idea of sustainable development was based on the need to balance ecological, social and economic outcomes. Lourie will explore questions including: How have we done? Where are we at in 2019? What can we learn from the past 30 years? How can we apply our learning to the next phase of sustainability 30 years ahead with the climate targets looming in 2050?

Lourie, a 2015 Bryden Award recipient and a FES alumni (MES and PhD), promises a provocative conversation, based on his nearly 30 years of work on climate, plastics and biodiversity, on whether or not we have failed in our sustainability goals.

He is currently a board director of several charitable and non-profit organizations, including the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, Canadians for Clean Prosperity and the SeedChange Foundation. He is a former director of the Independent Electricity System Operator, the Ontario Power Authority, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Environmental Defence Canada and many others. Lourie is also founding advisory board member of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, an advisory board member of the Canadian Energy Research Institute and a visiting lecturer at the University of Oxford Social Finance Programme.

He is well known for his work in convening collaborative efforts among businesses, NGOs and government, and is one of Canada’s leading social entrepreneurs. He played a pioneering role in connecting environmental issues to human health, most notably with his leadership in the phase-out of coal-fired power plants in Ontario, the single largest climate action in North America. Lourie is the co-author of two bestselling books, including the internationally acclaimed Slow Death by Rubber Duck. He is a founder of a number of for-profit and non-profit organizations, including Summerhill Group, one of Canada’s leading energy efficiency consultancies.

The event takes place at 7 p.m. in the Founders Assembly Hall, Room 152, Founders College, Keele Campus. To register, visit bit.ly/dvjbelllecture. For more information, call Elaine Rubinoff at 416-627-2032. Refreshments will be served.

This event is sponsored by the Faculty of Environmental Studies, the Department of Politics in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and McLaughlin College.

About the Annual Dr. David V.J. Bell Lecture

Before his untimely death on Jan. 10, 2017, Professor Emeritus David Bell had a long and accomplished career in academia at York University. He was a professor of political science, dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies and a Fellow of McLaughlin College. His altruism was recognized with many awards over his lifetime. Most notably, Bell was the recipient of the 2014 Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication Award, the Green Toronto Award for Leadership in Sustainability, the 2016 Harry Jerome Award, the Clean50 Award and the Jackie Robinson Fortitude Award.

Bell also served as the Chair of Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) from 2006 until his death. In that role, he became known as an international thought leader on the power of research to inform education for sustainable development at the provincial, national and international levels.

David V.J. Bell
David V.J. Bell

Following his death, the LSF board approved the establishment of the Annual Dr. David V.J. Bell Lecture to acknowledge his commitment to education for sustainable development and serve to link research to practice in educating for a sustainable future.

The Annual Dr. David V.J. Bell Lecture is intended to help bridge the gap between research and what is practised in educational institutions by identifying Canadian thought leaders and providing a forum for them to share their research and insights on education for sustainable development, specifically as it applies to education policy, teacher education and practice, and student empowerment to make change. Keynote papers and a video of each lecture will be posted and archived on the LSF website. Materials, including the videos and papers, will be circulated to thought leaders across the country.