News | October 28, 2015

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Climate change is hot topic for annual dialogue

Change is coming to the annual Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue — in more ways than one.

“Climate Change: Shaping A New Future Through Conversation” is the subject for this year’s event, which starts at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2 in the Cohen Center Ballroom. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the public is welcome to attend.

Change also will be evident in the way the Student Dialogue unfolds.

“This event will be very different from past years because it will be engaging students in dialogues and discussion,” said Uzair Iqbal, one of the student assistants organizing and promoting the event for the Center for Environmental Sustainability and Education (CESE). “It is not in a lecture format. Students will be engaging in world café-style dialogue — essentially round-table discussions on different aspects of climate change. Each topic will have moderators who are knowledgeable in that topic, including professors, staff, alumni and students.”

Some of the issues to be explored: religion and climate change, sustainable living, sustainable business, environmental justice, divestment and activism.

The purpose of the round-table format is to draw on the collective knowledge and wisdom in the room and to encourage collaboration.

Participants will move among a series of tables, where they will engage in dialogue in response to the various set subtopics.

Insights gleaned from the various themes will be shared at the end of the event. More than 120 students are expected to participate, said Iqbal, an Environmental Studies major who is also the Director of Sustainability for Student Government.

“The center hopes this year’s Terry Tempest Williams Student Dialogue will not only raise awareness of critical issues centered on climate change, but will also promote student action and collaboration,” he said.

This signature event for the CESE focuses on education for a sustainable future, including fostering student’s roles as stewards of their natural, cultural and political environments. It is intended to spark student action and stimulate environmental discourse between FGCU and the Southwest Florida community. The symposium takes its name from the celebrated nature writer and activist Terry Tempest Williams, who spoke on campus in 2004.

The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education works toward realizing the dream of a sustainable and peaceful future for Earth through scholarship, education and action. More information about this event and the CESE is available at the website.