Prof Christopher Dent

The University’s Sustainability Festival – taking place Monday 1 to Friday 5 November – is a chance for everyone at Edge Hill and beyond to come together to feel part of a collective of people that want to make our world a better, more sustainable place.

It coincides with the first week of the COP26 Climate Summit the UK is hosting in Glasgow, and the Sustainability Festival is organised over five Day Themes, such as ‘Move it Monday’ (special focus on transport and mobility).

Across all five Festival days there are six ‘Activity Themes’:

  • Community – local organisations showcasing their sustainability focused work, mainly in The Hub building
  • Tours – various tours organised around Edge Hill’s beautiful green campus. Bike rides, get to know our campus’ wildlife and eco-buildings and systems, and an opportunity to plant flowers and shrubs in Edge Hill’s wonderful garden spots!
  • Performances – artistic inspiration on sustainability. We have various performance events planned – films, poetry, dance, drama and an art exhibition
  • Talks– something for everyone, covering different everyday sustainability issues such as recycling and energy. We also have fast rising media personality and former EHU student Joshua Styles giving a talk on plants on ‘Footprint Friday’ (5 Nov)
  • Food-Drink-Shopping – we have a number of food, drink and other sustainable product organisations coming onto campus to show how we can become more sustainable consumers
  • Competitions– these will be running all week on sustainability-related themes. Look out for updates on the Festival website. There are prizes to be won!

SustainNET has been the main driving force behind the Festival. Established in February 2020 under the Institute for Social Responsibility (ISR) umbrella, it is a network community of Edge Hill University staff seeking to advance the sustainability agenda on four main fronts: research, teaching and learning, student engagement and our local community with 30 local organisation partners.

As part of the Festival organisation, I was asked how I would define sustainability… I responded “Very carefully, as there are dozens of definitions out there”! The definition I prefer is the capacity for human civilisation and planet Earth’s biosphere to co-exist into the foreseeable future.

While this definition has an explicit environmental dimension, it also concerns how humans get on with each other, inferring a societal dimension. If there is peace, harmony and justice within human society, human civilisation is more likely to attain environmental peace, harmony and justice. Developing healthier and more sustainable food systems for example, will help us mitigate climate change and address local environmental issues.

We hope the Festival will help people see and understand various kinds of inter-connections that exist regarding sustainability, as well as connecting with each other. Come along to the Festival – engage and be inspired to look at our world and society in different ways. It will be great to see you there.

Christopher Dent is a Professor of International Business and Economics in the Business School and Director: SustainNET. Please get in contact with him if you wish to be part of the Festival or become a SustainNET Member – details on becoming a Member this can be found here.

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