Last night the Sustainability Society launched two books about sustainability – my “Seven Steps to Successful Environmental Training Programs”, and Niki Harre’s “Psychology for a better world: Strategies to Inspire Sustainability”. Niki is a social psychologist in the University of Auckland’s Department of Psychology.
We had 5 minutes each to overview our books – and this was a real challenge: both of us are used to 50-minute speaking slots, and though I’ve had coaching on the “elevator speech” and 8-minute speaking slots, I must confess to being less than stellar with my five minutes! But as I’m a member of the Society, I knew many of the people there and they were very complimentary, bless them. The one thing I forgot to say at the end was how environmental training creates new professions, thereby building what Storm Cunningham calls the “restoration economy” from inside our faltering macro-economies.
You can find out more about this in an earlier blog.
I love Niki’s focus on the importance of positive mental states for sustainable behaviour change. This is something I’ve always firmly believed in, and based as she is at the University, Niki has been able to back up all her thinking with impressive amounts of research.
What a wonderful opportunity this launch was – and it was the real thing: wine (and water and juice), elegant finger-food and an informed and interested audience – the Society really knows how to put on a good do. The networking afterwards was highly informative and I’ll be chasing up a few people to gather up more case studies to disseminate via my website (fully acknowledged, of course!) on how different kinds of organizations (government agencies, businesses, utilities, not-for-profits) are delivering environmental training programs.
Several friends and colleagues came along, one of whom changed an international flight to come back a day early so he could attend. Of course friends and professional peers are the most daunting audience for any speaker, but their interest and support was heart-warming. Thank you all.
Wow! I feel I’ve been blooded as a “real” author! Many thanks to the Sustainability Society!
The Sustainability Society is a Learned Society of the Institution of Professional Engineers, and membership is open to everyone – you don’t have to be an engineer to join (I’m not one) and the annual fee is very reasonable, with special student rates. Several times a year the Society runs free workshops on topics of note, as well as a sensational annual conference that draws outstanding speakers and audiences from all over the world. The 5th International Conference is at the University of Auckland from 27-30 November 2012 – check it out here.
Click here to find out about Niki’s book. Click here to find out more about mine.
I’ll be taking a break from this blog over Christmas-New Year and will resume sometime in January. Wishing you all the very best for your end-of-year break and a very happy and fulfilling year in 2012.