A brief note about a recent summit I attended at James Madison University in Virginia. The event was called “Cultivating the Globally Sustainable Self.” Given the title, you can see why I was really excited to be there. This was billed as a “research-to-practice” summit in which educators and representatives from nongovernmental organizations around the world discussed the idea of teaching, training and learning about the process of, for lack of a better term, global environmental consciousness. It’s a big idea and it was a pretty fascinating event. I was one of the speakers. I joked that the idea of “sustainable self” may have seemed a bit edgy and “eco out there” when I first started using the term about 10 years ago but now it’s clearly something that people in many places can resonate with. The summit was spawned out of the global movement toward “educating for sustainability,” the recent Center for Green Schools National Action Plan and also from the work of the International Beliefs and Values Institute at James Madison. (This is a really cool group that has been working on values research since 9-11.) It really was an around-the-world audience at the summit and many folks were interested in my Sustainable Self work and the Ecopsychology Certificate at Lewis & Clark. This is planned to be the first of three yearly summit meetings. So, look for some big things from these events. If you think you should be involved, I encourage you to track the Summit website and planning, and to contact the conveners.

Here’s a video they created for the event:


Published by Thomas Doherty

Psychologist Thomas Doherty's work on environmental sustainability and health has been featured in publications like the New York Times and in talks worldwide. Thomas consults with individuals and organizations through his business Sustainable Self. He was the founding Director of the Ecopsychology Certificate Program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School and Founding Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed academic journal Ecopsychology. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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