Final Workshop Agenda (as PDF)
Version: 12 March 2012

Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) 3rd Workshop

Challenging Consumerism: Toward Living Well Sustainably

Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia
6476 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, Canada
for a map click here
March 8–10, 2012

The workshop primarily involved participants from the United States and Canada: a diverse group of academics, policy makers and practitioners from government, NGOs, and advocacy organizations. A PDF of PARTICIPANTS and their bios can be found here.

Thursday, March 8
2pm – 4pm – Optional forest walk and tour of Museum of Anthropology ( – meet at 2pm at UBC Gage Towers Accommodation Check-in Desk – Tour guide: Ira Sutherland, UBC School of Forestry

6–8 pm. Reception at the UBC Liu Institute for Global Issues
Welcome / Opening Remarks:
SCORAI, One Earth and Peter Dauvergne (UBC Liu Institute for Global Issues)

Friday, March 9
To provide an opportunity for the research community and practitioners engaged in research to have an in-depth exchange about the sustainable consumption field of inquiry
To build on, critique and fine-tune the research papers presented
To identify and list areas for further inquiry, research and action

8:00–8:30am – Registration

8:30 – 10:00am – Opening Plenary
Welcome / Opening Remarks:
Chair: Maurie Cohen (New Jersey Institute of Technology)
Facilitator Vanessa Timmer (One Earth & Harvard University)

Keynote Presentation: James Meadowcroft (Carleton University), Pushing the Boundaries: Governance for Sustainable Development and a Politics of Limits
powerpoint presentation: Powerpoint (PDF)
Discussant: John Stutz (Tellus Institute)

10:00 – 10:30am – Break – (catering provided by: One Planet Catering)

10:30 – 11:45am – DISCUSSION SESSION A: Societal Dimensions of Subjective Well-Being and Mindfulness

Erik Assadourian (Worldwatch Institute)

John Helliwell (University of British Columbia),
Social Norms, Happiness, and the Environment: Closing the Circle
Chris Barrington-Leigh (McGill University), 
Relative Income and Happiness: A Global Study
Naomi Krogman (University of Alberta) & Emily Huddart Kennedy,
Examining Sources of Emotional Energy that Lead to Mindfulness and Linking Them to the Potential for Sustainable Consumption Practices
Discussant: John Stutz (Tellus Institute)
Followed by Dialogue

Papers for this session: Helliwell (PDF – updated 7 March 12), Barrington-Leigh (PDF), Krogman & Huddart Kennedy (PDF)
Powerpoints for this session: Barrington-Leigh (Powerpoint as PDF)

11:45am – 1pm – DISCUSSION SESSION B: The Role of Empirical Research in Studying Sustainable Consumption

: Jack Luskin (University of Massachusetts – Lowell)
Tom Bowerman (PolicyInteractive),
How much is too much? A Public Opinion Perspective
Paulette Padanyi (University of Guelph)
& Tania Del Matto (My Sustainable Canada), Canadian Consumers Struggle to Make Sustainable Choices
Vanessa Timmer (One Earth & Harvard University), William E. Rees (University of British Columbia & One Earth), Emmanuel Prinet (One Earth), Dagmar Timmer (One Earth), & Alastair Moore (One Earth), 
Do Sustainable Lifestyle Experiments Actually Reduce Footprints? Defining Elements of a Monitoring Protocol
Discussant: Maurie Cohen (New Jersey Institute of Technology)
Followed by Dialogue

Papers for this session: Bowerman (PDF), Padanyi & Del Matto (PDF), Timmer et al. (PDF)
Powerpoints for this session: Bowerman (Powerpoint as PDF)

1pm – 2pm – Lunch

2pm – 3:15pm – DISCUSSION SESSION C: Politics of Sacrifice and Sufficiency in a No-Growth Economy

Peter Victor (York University)

Thomas Princen (University of Michigan),
Sustainable Consumption: The Psychology, Ecology and Politics in Research and Action
Karen Litfin (University of Washington),
Gleanings from the Harvest: Learning from Ecovillage Experiments around the World
Stephen McCauley (Clark University),
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Promising but Impeded Vision of Community-based Green Regional Development
Discussant: Philip Vergragt (Tellus Institute & Clark University)
Followed by Dialogue

Papers for this session: Princen (PDF), Litfin (PDF), McCauley (PDF)

3:15pm – 3:45pm – Break

3:45pm – 5:00pm – DISCUSSION SESSION D: Sustainable Consumption and Communities of Practice

Betsy Taylor (Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions)

John Robinson (University of British Columbia), Tom Berkhout (UBC), Alberto Cayuela (UBC), & Ann Campbell (UBC) ,
Next Generation Sustainability at the University of British Columbia: The University as a Societal Test-bed for Sustainability
Jeffrey Barber (Integrated Strategies Forum) & Jack Luskin (University of Massachusetts-Lowell),
Connecting Communities of Practice in the Movement toward Sustainable Production and Consumption
James Goldstein (Tellus Institute),
Fostering Sustainable Consumption: The Role of a Global Citizens Movement
Discussant: Halina Brown (Clark University)
Followed by Dialogue

Papers for this session: Robinson (PDF), Barber & Luskin (PDF), Goldstein (PDF)
Powerpoints for this session: Robinson (Powerpoint as PDF); Barber & Luskin (Powerpoint as PDF)

5pm – 5:45pm – Reflections and Dialogue on Sustainable Consumption

6pm – 9:30pm — Workshop Dinner – Green College, UBC
Venue rental and A/V generously sponsored by Green College –
Sadhu Johnson, Deputy City Manager, City of Vancouver (Powerpoint as PDF)
Maureen Cureton, Green Business Manager, Vancity Credit Union (Powerpoint as PDF)
“Do you want what I have got? A Craigslist Cantata”

Written by: Bill Richardson, Veda Hille
Performers: Veda Hille, Barry Mirochnick
Vancouver Sun Newspaper review here.

Saturday, March 10

Objective: To build bridges among research and practice communities

9am–9:30am—Opening reflections
Summary of the sustainable consumption dialogue from Day One of the conference and from discussions prior to the workshop.

Presentation: Annie Leonard (The Story of Stuff)
Introduced by: Eleni Sotos (Funders Work Group for Sustainable Production and Consumption)

9:30am–10:00am– Paired Research – Practitioner Dialogue

  • Sharing impressions: What are you most passionate about in terms of sustainable consumption?
  • Option: review the bio posters on the wall with your partner: what strikes you? How does this relate to what you are most passionate about in terms of sustainable consumption?

10:00–10:30am – Break

10:30am –12:30pm –Interactive session on sustainable consumption

  • Dialogue on key sustainable consumption issues, ideas and questions:
  1. Identifying our theories of change: How does social change happen? How do we bring innovations to scale? What are the leverage points?
  2. Framing / communication:How do we communicate sustainable consumption? What framings should we use to engage? Who are the target audiences?
  3. Innovative business models: What are the innovative business models for sustainable consumption? How do we reframe the business case?
  4. Practical cases / Citizen movement activities: Identify the most compelling examples of sustainable consumption best practice? And why are they best practice? Are they hitting mainstream? What are major barriers?

12:30pm – 1:30pm – Lunch and tour of UBC CIRS building led by John Robinson, UBC ( – One Planet Catering

1:30 – 2:15pm – Plenary dialogue and creating breakout groups

  • What ideas came out of the interactive dialogue? 5 minute presentations from each group.
  • Identifying issues for the breakout groups – Open Space

2:15 – 3:30pm – Breakout groups

  • What are key insights and questions about this issue?
  • What kind of research / knowledge is needed to address this issue? What do we need to know?
  • Next steps: What seed if we planted today would make the most difference in our work?

3:30 – 4:00pm – Break

4:00 – 5:30pm – Next steps and closing session

  • What needs our immediate attention going forward?
  • How can we support each other in taking the next steps?
  • What unique contribution can we each make?

5:30pm – Travel to Downtown Vancouver
Buses donated by West Coast Sightseeing (

5:45 – 9:00pm – Workshop Dinner profiling and sponsored by British Columbia Institute of Technology
Presentation: Jennie Moore, Director, Sustainable Development and Environmental Stewardship, BCIT
Special Guest: Bruce Grierson, Canadian National Magazine Award-winning feature writer and author of U-Turn, and co-author (with Kalle Lasn) of Culture Jam.

Sunday, March 11

NOTE: Day light savings time adjustment

9am – 11:30am – Optional tour of City Studio and Neighbourhood Energy Utility, City of Vancouver Olympic Village led by Sadhu Johnson, Deputy City Manager, City of Vancouver
Meet at 9:00am at the UBC Gage Towers Check-in Desk
Breakfast donated by Strathcona Business Improvement Association.

2pm – Optional to join Erik Assadourian for a Game of Catan: Oil Springs at Drexoll Games in downtown Vancouver. Information is available here:

Sponsors & Partners:

Funding support is gratefully acknowledged from The Garfield Foundation. These funds help offset travel and accommodation costs associated with the workshop.  The Tellus InstituteVancity Community Foundation, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Strathcona Business Improvement Association, Recycling Alternative, Mountain Equipment Co-op and the UBC Liu Institute for Global Issues are generously providing support for conference coordination, some travel and accommodation, venue, materials and logistics, and we thank them for their contributions.  Other support is provided by Integrative Strategies Forum, Clark University, the City of Vancouver, the UBC Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS)Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy, One Planet Catering, Green College, Port Capital Group and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (BC Office).

A conference dinner is generously sponsored by the British Columbia Institute of Technology whose commitment to sustainability encompasses everything from advancing the state of practice through education and research, to improving the efficiency of campus operations through green building design and employee stewardship programs.  Buses to transport participants from UBC to the dinner are sponsored by West Coast Sightseeing.

A very big thank you to all the sponsors.
(From the partners page)


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