Confronting our Consumerism
9 October 2014
Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS
Human consumption and economic growth are putting increased pressure on the Earth; our actions and policies are leading to climate disruption, loss of biodiversity, pollution and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. We also know that consumption and economic growth do not bring happiness. How can we bring about cultural change to deliver genuine human wellbeing?
This free public lecture and panel discussion confronts the contribution of consumer culture to the world’s environmental and social challenges. It examines how human values underpin these challenges, and how we can work with values to find pathways towards sustainable futures.
To explore these questions, the Institute for Sustainable Futures is very pleased to host Professor Tim Kasser from Knox College, Illinois as the keynote speaker at this event. Professor Kasser is at the forefront of research on the role of human values and materialism in environmental challenges. Kasser will use psychological theory and research to show how contemporary culture’s focus on materialistic values and consumerism must be confronted if humans are to create a sustainable future. He will present a strategic approach that provides lifestyle and policy alternatives that would not only be positive for the planet, but would promote people’s wellbeing and a more civil society.
Tim will be followed by presentations from Dr Chris Riedy from the Institute for Sustainable Futures and Mark Chenery from the Common Cause Network, and then a panel discussion with the audience.
Professor Tim Kasser
Tim is Professor of Psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He has written numerous scientific articles and book chapters on materialism, values, ecological sustainability and quality of life, among other topics. He is also the author of The High Price of Materialism (MIT Press, 2002) and co-author of Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity (WWF-UK, 2009). Tim works extensively with a variety of activist and civil society organisations that protect children from commercialisation, promote ecological sustainability and encourage a more “inwardly rich” lifestyle than what is offered by consumerism.
Dr Chris Riedy
Chris is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS. He leads the Institute’s research on social change for sustainable futures and has particular expertise in climate change response, futures thinking, community engagement and environmental communication. Chris will talk about communication strategies for motivating social change and sustainability leadership.
Mark is a co-founder of Common Cause Australia and passionate about values-based community engagement. He worked in advertising before becoming a journalist reporting on the advertising, marketing and media industry as features editor of AdNews Magazine. Growing increasingly concerned with the negative impacts of advertising on society, Mark transitioned into the non-profit world, working for Austcare and later initiating and leading ActionAid Australia’s strategic work on values and frames.