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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Spring COMPAS Conference: Realizing Sustainability

Jan 28, 2016, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Thompson Library, 11th Floor
The fall COMPAS conference explored the value trade-offs that are involved in pursuing competing visions of a sustainable future. The spring COMPAS conference takes a turn toward the practical: the challenge of realizing sustainability. Who bears responsibility for this challenge and how can we motivate the necessary shifts in public policy and personal behavior? If the Paris meetings represent a moment, as President Obama has stated, when "nations embrace their responsibility to assure a world worthy of our children," what policy implications follow from that change in moral viewpoint? The conference will bring together an interdisciplinary group of experts from communications, decision sciences, economics, law, philosophy, and political science, among other fields, to address these issues.
Session 1: Diagnosis/Prognosis: Where do we stand with respect to our sustainability goals, and what is our likely trajectory coming out of the Paris talks? 
Omnibus Panel
Moderator: Michael Neblo (Political Science, Ohio State University)
Session 2: Individual Responsibility and Collective Action: What responsibility do we have as individuals when environmental harm results from the uncoordinated activities of large numbers of people?
Julia Driver (Philosophy, Washington University, St. Louis)
Steve Vanderheiden (Political Science, University of Colorado, Boulder)
Moderator: Tristram McPherson (Philosophy, Ohio State University)
Session 3: Markets and Regulation: What are the best tools for meeting our sustainability challenges? Are they best addressed through state regulation, through market-based approaches, or in some other way?
Bob Inglis (The Energy and Enterprise Initiative, former U.S. Representative from South Carolina)
Rena Steinzor (Law, University of Maryland)
Michael Vandenbergh (Law, Vanderbilt University)
Moderator: TBA
Session 4: Institutional Design and Behavioral Economics: How should we design institutions that encourage and promote sustainable behavior?
John Gowdy (Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Jason Shogren (Business, University of Wyoming)
Moderator: TBA
Session 5: Motivating Sustainable Behavior: How should we motivate people to promote sustainability? What psychological and social barriers do we face in doing so?
Matthew Nisbet (Communications, Harvard University)
Robyn Wilson (School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University)
Moderator: Greg Hitzhusen (School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University)
All sessions will be held on the 11th floor of Thompson Library and are free and open to the public. The conference will be held January 28-29; session times TBA.