Sustainable Lifestyles: Addressing Climate Change & Social Inequity


Registration Deadline:

Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 12:00am


To address climate change, we need to get at people’s seemingly insatiable desire for more stuff and our economy’s relentless demands for growth. Real carbon reductions, while maintaining our well-being, will only happen when we make deep changes -- attitudinal, behavioral, and institutional -- towards less material and energy-intensive lifestyles. Yes, it’s a big topic, and we’re excited to tackle it in partnership with SCORAI and co-sponsor SERC at U Mass Boston.

Philip Vergragt, Halina Brown and Vesela Veleva of SCORAI will lead us through their insights and discuss what it takes to live a sustainable lifestyle and enjoy sustainable well-being. They will remind us about the various “actors” in our system, what role they play, and what they can do to contribute to this transformation. Most importantly, they have brought along Box Save, Lime, Fix-It Clinic Newton, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA to demonstrate how they are doing it through new business models, grassroots innovations, policy initiatives, or other actions. They will tell us how they wrestle with making changes in people’s lifestyles while keeping an eye on the bigger picture – a systemic transformation to a post-consumerist economy and culture.

Here are more details about our presenters from SCORAI:

Philip Vergragt, Ph.D. Philip is one of the founders of SCORAI. He is an Associate Fellow at Tellus Institute, Cambridge, MA, and a Research Professor at Marsh Institute, Clark University, Worcester, MA. Before his retirement, he was a Professor of Technology Assessment at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. He is also a local climate activist in Newton, MA. His main research interests are visioning and backcasting; sustainable technological and social innovations in transportation, energy, and housing; grassroots innovations; socio-technical transitions; sustainable consumption and production; sustainable cities; and technology assessment of emerging technologies. He has co-authored more than 100 scientific publications and four books. Philip holds a doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, in 1976.

Halina Brown, Ph.D. Halina is Professor Emerita of Environmental Science and Policy at Clark University. Her recent academic research has focused on the interface between culture, technology and policy in facilitating a transition beyond the current consumer society. Prior to joining Clark University Brown was the chief scientist at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection where she was responsible for the agency’s public health policy. She is a co-founder and board member of SCORAI and chairs the Citizens Commission on Energy in Newton. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of the International Society for Risk Analysis. Halina holds a doctoral degree in chemistry from New York University and has authored 80+ articles and four books, most recently “Social Change and the Coming of Post-Consumer Society (2017, with Maurie Cohen and Philip Vergragt).

Vesela Veleva, ScD. Vesela is a senior lecturer in management, MBA Program Director, and co-director of SERC at UMass Boston. Her research focuses on sustainable production and consumption, the role of entrepreneurs in advancing the circular economy, green chemistry, environmental health and safety, and clean energy. Vesela has published over 25 peer-reviewed articles and business cases as well as a book entitled: “Business, Environment and Society: Themes and Cases”. Vesela has a doctorate in Cleaner Production and Pollution Prevention from UMass Lowell, M.S. in Pollution and Environmental Control from the University of Manchester, UK, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria.

SCORAI's guest presenters include:

  • Doran Donovan (Box Save)
  • Susan Legere, Ph.D. (Fix-It Clinic, Newton)
  • Anna Wyner (Lime)
  • Monica Nakielski (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts)