With so much on the Sustainable Living Festival Program in 2014, you’d be forgiven for being a little overwhelmed. Our Learning and Innovation Director David Seignior cherry picks the best-of-the-best to get along to throughout the festival. Diaries at the ready…
Well, it’s that time again.
The amazing annual juggernaut that is the Sustainable Living Festival is about to take over Melbourne, running from Saturday February 8 until Sunday February 23 around Victoria, with the ‘Big Weekend’ taking place Feb at Federation Square. This year the theme is Stayin’ Alive, which is either an ominous hint that our survival now depends on moving from mitigation to adaptation, or just a chance for us to put on our flares and disco-dance like there’s no tomorrow, or both.
In any case Luke and the SLF team have once again pulled together a cracker line up of speakers, events and activities, showcasing just what is possible and inspiring and empowering us to take action for ecological and social sustainability.
Just flicking through the program is enough to get your pulse racing and to fill you with hope, as it highlights just how many incredible people there are out there doing so many amazing things. Even more wonderful is that fact that so many are CSL Alumni are on the Program. In fact, the schedule is so packed that I have more than a slight case of FOMO. So that you don’t miss out, I’ve noted a few of the things that have jumped out at me. Bearing in mind that in my experience at SLF you can’t go wrong, no matter who you see, or what you stumble across – you’ll learn something new and come away reinvigorated and itching to put some new great ideas into action.
Oh and there is a teensy bit of a bias towards CSL alumni events. Just a tad.
I’ve listed my top choices below, but it certainly isn’t an exhaustive list. Visit www.slf.org.au/festival14 to see the full program.
· World’s Biggest Green Drinks – Melbourne
Events will be held in towns and cities across the world bringing together people on a global scale who are interested in creating a healthy planet and sustainable pathway for future generations. Organised by CSL Alumus Geoff Gourley.
Friday February 7 at 5.30 pm, Federation Square
· What Makes Good Sustainability Education?
Three smarty-pants in the sustainability education space (including our own David Seignior) in conversation about what makes good education for sustainability and social change. Plus, breakfast.
Saturday February 8 at 9 am, Auburn Uniting Church Hall, Hawthorn
· Freeconomy – the Moneyless Mantra
Mark Boyle, founder of the freeconomy movement, and author of ‘The Moneyless Man’ , in which he documents his attempt to live without money for a year in the UK.
Monday February 10 at 7 pm, Port Phillip Eco-Centre
· The New Joneses – Living it Up, Not ‘Keeping Up’
CSL Alumna Tamara Dimattina of Buy Nothing New Month fame, is back at SLF with her fab New Joneses concept. This year Channel 7 Sunrise’s Edwina Bartholomew will be living the sustainable lifestyle and broadcasting from her eco pop up home at Federation Square.
Monday February 10 to Wednesday February 12, River Promenade, Federation Square
· The Incredible Garden with Costa Georgiadis
Costa, a great friend to CSL, great beard wearer, and very engaging story teller, shares stories about the inspiring edible landscapes he has seen around Australia.
Friday February 14 at 7 pm, Geelong Performing Arts Centre
· The Great Debate: Is Environmentalism in Denial?
Is the environment movement to blame for the inadequacy of the solutions currently being advocated? With video introduction by Bill McKibben, and panel: Senator Christine Milne, Clive Hamilton, Amanda McKenzie, Philip Sutton, Mark O’Connor and Drew Hutton.
Friday February 14 at 7 pm, Deakin Edge, Federation Square
· Leadership: the Critical Skill for Sustainability
A diverse panel of leaders including Jenny Gray from Zoos Victoria, share their insights into why leadership is such important piece of the sustainability puzzle. Organised by CSL and moderated by the inimitable Matt Wicking.
Saturday February 15 at 10.30 am, Green House, Birrarung Marr
· Chris Jordan – in discussion
This guy is one of the headliners. He’s an internationally acclaimed artist and social activist, who creates large-scale photographic art that is breathtakingly beautiful and thought provoking. Hear him talk about his work which explores concepts of waste, consumption and environmental degradation.
Saturday February 15, 1 pm, Deakin Edge, Federation Square
· It’s the Economy Stupid – Transitions to a sustainable economy
Big economic brains including Richard Denniss from the Australia Institute, in an interactive panel discussion, on how we can transition to a sustainable economic system.
Saturday February 15 at 1.30 pm, Green House, Birrarung Marr
· The Community Owned Energy Movement
A discussion about where things are at with community owned energy across solar, wind, and the technology and political landscape. The panel will include CSL Alumna Taryn Lane from Hepburn Wind and friend of CSL Leigh Ewbank from Yes2Renewables.
Saturday February 15 at 4 pm, Under the Gum, Birrarung Marr
· Living Simply in the City
CSL Alumni Greg ‘Changing Gears’ Foyster and Kat ‘Compost Queen’ Lavers are on a panel discussing how to live simply when you live and work in the city. How do we resist social pressure to consume?
Saturday February 15 at 5 pm, Under the Gum, Birrarung Marr
· Transitions Film Festival
The Transitions Film Festival is a festival within a festival – jam packed with films that are educational, inspirational and future focused. Films are screened at Cinema Nova (Carlton), Bella Union (Carlton) and on the Federation Square Big Screen.
Saturday February 15 to Sunday February 23
· Sustainability in the Scotch Whisky Industry
These guys are leading the way in setting sustainability targets and devising innovative ways of meeting them. I’ll drink to that.
Sunday February 16 at 4 pm, Whisky and Alement, Russell St
· Film: Project Wild Thing
Australian Premiere of a film that explores a complex issue – “nature deficit disorder”, a term coined by SLF Speaker Richard Louv to describe the lack of connection between children and nature. The session will also include a discussion featuring CSL Alumni Jason Kimberley (Cool Australia) and Jess Miller (Goody Two Shoes) alongside Dan Cass from Sydney Business School.
Tuesday February 18 at 6.30 pm, Cinema Nova, Carlton
· Film: The Revolutionary Optimists
Following the exploits of a lawyer turned social entrepreneur as he attempts to take his work into the brickfields outside Calcutta, where children live and work in unimaginable conditions. Introduction from Viv Benjamin (Oaktree Foundation). Part of the Transitions Film Festival.
Wednesday February 19 at 8.30 pm, Cinema Nova, Carlton
· Connected by Nature – In conversation with Richard Louv
Author of ‘Last Child in the Woods’ and coiner of the term, Nature Deficit Disorder, Richard will talk about the importance of connecting with nature and the emergence of the new nature movement.
Saturday February 22 at 1 pm – Capitol Theatre, Swanston Street.