Conference Report

Making the Great Transformation Making the Great Transformation

Fall 2003 (58 pages)
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This conference is centered upon furthering our understanding of how and why transitions occur, especially systemic changes that alter the trajectory of human development. The participants bring to the table various methods of assessing current scenarios, with the goal of finding the places where transformative changes can be directed at improving human well-being. Some see the next shift as being an emphasis on quality of life and human solidarity (a “civilized form of globalization”) becoming the new high priorities – hopeful ones that turn globalization into a vision of a future that we ourselves can sculpt. Perspectives vary from energy-driven transitions, public versus private sector actions, and views on justice and sustainability.

This conference was co-organized Cutler Cleveland and Adil Najam. Cutler Cleveland is a Professor of Geography and Environment at Boston University, Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, and Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Earth and the journal, Ecological Economics. Adil Najam is Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center, and has taught at Tufts, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, UMass-Boston, and the School for International Training. He was the 1997 winner of the MIT Goodwin Medal for Effective Teaching, and the International Political Science Association’s Stien Rokan Award. He was a Lead Author on the Third and Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, work that was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.