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Executive summary: fiscal, production, and logistical details of the event are coming together nicely. Details of the program, on the other hand, remain exceedingly slippery. This is only to be expected, given the scale and scope of climate change as an issue, but this realization doesn’t make the process any easier.
Fiscal, production, and logistical details: we have been asked by TED to propose a name other than TEDx Evergreen, so Kyle will suggest TEDx The Evergreen State College. Promised additional support from the provost, possible program budget funds, possible Foundation support, and generous support from the student Clean Energy Committee mean that we have the funding we need to carry out the project. Space and set-up issues will take some attention, but are eminently doable (see Gantt Chart).
As part of a process to articulate what we’re looking for in speakers/topics, we rapidly filled the chalkboard with keywords. After the meeting, revising the blog provided an impetus to review our notes from previous meetings: hence the following thoughts.
We need to remember that this isn’t the last event we or anyone else will organize on climate change, but the first (and then we need to make it so, of course). Since there will be other chances to broaden our scope, we don’t need to cover everything at this one event. Many of the topics that we listed on the chalkboard are being addressed by others — including others here at Evergreen — and we should consider looking for ways to pitch in with initiatives that are well underway in those areas. Meanwhile, education is a critical area, and, judging from public attitudes toward climate change, urgently harbors room for improvement.
One of the initial motivators for this event was the realization (thanks to Paul Gilding, others, and our own thinking about the situation) that before long most of those who currently doubt climate change and the need for serious responses will recognize reality, and then there will be a clamoring for real responses to the challenge. Our job is to haste the day when that happens, and to prepare ourselves (and especially our students) to participate in the responses.
We will continue this discussion at our next meeting, but it seems TEDx The Evergreen State College will need at least the following components:
- a frank description of the climate change situation and some expected impacts in the Pacific Northwest as well as nationally and globally;
- ideas about how to respond, possibly including discussion of why some responses to date have been unsatisfactory;
- examples of responses that are ongoing and effective/interesting/inspiring;
- consideration of how to build on our efforts and contribute to other initiatives.
For a small window into the situation in the Pacific Northwest, here is the program of the Second NW Climate Science Conference, back in September 2011.
We will continue to meet on Wednesdays at 3 in or near Sem 2 A2109.