Workshop on fostering a culture of sustainability

Submitted by Glenn Sutter on Fri, 2007-09-14 09:43

Fostering a Culture of Sustainability

An interactive workshop led by Douglas Worts and Glenn Sutter,

Regina - October 4, 2007, 8:30-10:00 am in Mackenzie Art Gallery Upstairs Salon, followed by a tour of the exhibition The Last Fish

Craik - October 5, 2007, 10-11:30 am at the EcoCentre

Saskatoon - October 5, 2007, 1:00-4:00 pm in TCU Place, Gallery C

This workshop will examine how our culture, broadly defined, makes up the foundation of values, attitudes and behaviours that define our society. It is in these foundation blocks, held both individually and collectively, that the capacity for human adaptation resides. As the world around us changes - through climate change, urbanization, population growth, migration, economic globalization and so on - human values and behaviours must also shift through a relentless and creative process of adaptive renewal that affects both human and ecological systems. Changes in resilience, or how much disturbance a system can absorb without changing its controls and structures, are part of this renewal and provide a vantage point for understanding how we might guide our cultural evolution in more sustainable directions.  Using their own organizational and personal experiences, participants will identify aspects of contemporary life (eg. consumer culture, specialization, etc.) that reflect times of "creative destruction" and different degrees of resiliency. In small group and plenary segments, they also will identify cultural indicators that provide feedback about efforts to foster sustainability at community, institutional, and individual levels.

 Douglas Worts is a well-published author and educator on the role of culture in sustainable development, with over 25 years experience through the Art Gallery of Ontario.  He is also a Fellow of the Leaders for Environment And Development (LEAD) program initiated by the Rockefeller Foundation.  Links to his interests and writing are at

Dr. Glenn Sutter is Head of the Life Sciences Unit at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum ( and chair of the Saskatchewan Education for Sustainable Development Network (  He has written extensively about the role that museums can play in sustainability education, with an emphasis on systems thinking and the value of cultural indicators.