‘Realizing our Sustainable Future’ next Common Theme

GREEN BAY — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Common Theme for the 2009-10 school year focuses on “Realizing our Sustainable Future.”

The Common Theme is a yearlong program designed to engage the campus and community in the ideals of a liberal arts education and the UW-Green Bay interdisciplinary mission. It encourages faculty, staff, students and community members to focus on a general theme from multiple perspectives and have a shared experience with open discussion and critical thinking.

The “Realizing our Sustainable Future” theme is designed to engage individuals in conversations about the quality of life on Earth. Sustainability requires people to take responsibility and action to be stewards of the planet, Common Theme organizers say.

The public and the campus community are invited to participate in a common reading. This year’s book is Red Sky at Morning, by James Gustave Speth.

Gustave Speth is renowned as a visionary environmentalist leader and warns that, in spite of all international negotiations and agreements of the past 20 years, efforts to protect Earth’s environment are not succeeding, according to his website.

“For 20 years, thoughtful people and intelligent leaders should have known that we needed to get busy,” Gustave Speth said in a statement “Precious time has been wasted. And now a new generation has been given a climate problem that is deeper and more difficult.”

The book is available at The Phoenix Bookstore on the UW-Green Bay campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

The public is also invited to add to an online blog discussion moderated and updated regularly by UW-Green Bay faculty. Links are available at http://www.uwgb.edu/commontheme.

Other on-campus events, including classroom sessions, public discussions and other events, will incorporate elements of the Common Theme.

Common Theme Events Calendar

Title: “Becoming and Outdoors-Woman” with Peggy Farrell
Date: Sept. 15, 2009
Time: 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Location: Alumni Room, University Union
Summary: Becoming and Outdoors-Woman (BOW) means becoming more competent, more confident and more aware. BOW is an outdoor skills program that allows women a chance to grow. Peggy Farrell, director of the International and Wisconsin Becoming an Outdoors-Woman programs, leads two discussions.

Title: “Oil vs. Wilderness,” with Jon Waterman
Date: Sept. 23, 2009
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Phoenix Room, University Union
Summary: Author, photographer and adventurer Jon Waterman will talk about his explorations in Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a presentation called “Oil vs. Wilderness.”
Website: http://jonathanwaterman.com/

Title: Tsyunhehkwa: Life Sustenance
Date: Nov. 3, 2009
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Christie Theatre, University Union
Summary: Learn how the Oneida Nation balances self-sustainability with its responsibilities to White Corn and how its Creation Story affects Tsyunhehkwa. Tsyunhehkwa is a certified organic agricultural community and culturally based program located on an 83-acre site in Oneida, Wisconsin. It was founded on a natural and organic lifestyle where the primary focus is on self-sustainability and food security.

Title: Animal, Vegetable Miracle book discussion with author Barbara Kingsolver
Date: Nov. 19, 2009
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: 1965 Room, University Union (limited seating. Sign up at www.uwgb.edu/stulife.)
Summary: Author Barbara Kingsolver explores “a year of food life” through her family’s experience in nutrition basing their diet on produce they cultivated or bought locally.
Website: http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/

Title: Public reading of the play Food From Trash

Date: TBD (December)
Summary: In Food From Trash, a prophetic American Indian shows a garbage man how to transform trash into energy. Toxic waste becomes a metaphor for the poverty and sexual anger that Paralyze people’s lives. The play was written by Gary Leon Hill and first produced at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville.

Title: Discussion with Blake Mycoskie

Date: Feb. 2, 2010
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Phoenix Room, University Union
Summary: A discussion with American entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, a company that gives away a pair of shoes to a child in need for every one pair that is purchased. The company has given away hundreds of thousands of shoes to children around the world using the one-for-one concept.
Website: http://www.tomsshoes.com/

Title: Discussion with Leilani Münter
Date: March 2, 2010
Time: 8 p.m.
Location: Phoenix Room, University Union
Summary: Leilani Münter is a “carbon free girl” who makes her living driving a racecar at 200 mph. It’s not always easy being “green,” but Münter is calling on millions of race fans in the United States to make a difference by spreading environmental awareness about sustainable living alternatives, clean energy, alternative fuel vehicles and environmental legislation.
Website: http://www.leilanimunter.com/

Title: Sessions with Matthew Burtner

Dates: March 24 through March 26, 2010
Summary: Matthew Burtner is an Alaskan composer and sound artist who explores environmental systems (ecoacoustics), technological embodiment, and extended polyrhythmic and noise-based musical systems. He is conducting a brief residence program at UW-Green Bay and sharing his talents and knowledge with students. On March 24, Burtner will offer a lecture/recital on ecoacoustics using pieces from his new Oceans/Elements series. He will also give a performance on March 26 in the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in collaboration with UW-Green Bay students and faculty.
Website: http://ccrma-www.stanford.edu/~mburtner/