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Eco Voice Q & A: Carolyn Ingvarson, Speaker at The International Conference on Thinking (ICOT).

Eco Voice
Eco Voicehttps://www.ecovoice.com.au/
First published in 2003, Eco Voice is your go-to publication for sustainability news in Australia. Eco Voice prides itself as an independent news platform with a clear focus on sustainability, with articles coming from a diverse range of contributors – all levels of government, corporations, not-for-profits, community groups, small to medium sized businesses, universities, research organisations, together with input from international sources. Eco Voice values community, conservation and commerce. Eco Voice is a media partner of the prestigious Australian Banksia Sustainability Awards – The Peak Sustainability Awards.

Carolyn Ingvarson

Background

Carolyn has always had an interest in environmental issues, and worked as a Biology teacher for 20 years, before moving into the Victorian public service in the Occupational Health and Safety Commission and then Business Victoria for another 20 years. She stood for the Australian Senate for the Women’s Party in 1977 as part of thw Womens Electoral Lobby, and became a local government councillor in the early 1990s. At 60, with the luxury of superannuation, she retired and for the last 20 years has focused on the vexed issue of climate change, founding Lighter Footprints in 2006. In 2022 she worked with the campaign to elect an independent as a Federal member, a so-called Teal.  In 2023 she helped establish Electrify Boroondara Inc which aims to increase the full electrification of homes and buildings in an eastern suburban council area of Melbourne.

Carolyn Ingvarson will be speaking at The 20th International Conference on Thinking that will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 7-11 2024.

www.icot2024.com

To provide insights into sustainability, Tim Langdon, publisher of Eco Voice, had the pleasure of facilitating a Q & A with Carolyn Ingvarson, Speaker at The International Conference on Thinking (ICOT).

Q1. Clearly evident in your bio, what originally ignited your passion to embrace sustainability all of those years ago? 

The destruction of loved natural places has been enough to sustain 60 years of working on how to stop the demise. Al Gore’s film ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ provided that jolt of science based information that set me on the track of deciding I’d do something – and with a letter to the paper about it, I gathered a group and we began Lighter Footprints in 2006.

Q2. What sustainability-focused solutions are you most passionate about? 

The area I know to be fundamental to the sustainability of this planet, and which focuses my energy is reducing the drivers of climate change – greenhouse gases. There are many approaches to this, but the biggest emitters are in the energy production sector, hence my prime focus is on growing renewable energy, and reducing the dependence on fossil fuels. I work through a community based group and this way of working is what I am about.

Q3.  What are some examples of social change that improves the world we live in?

In recent times, many big progressive, movements that have shifted social acceptance have encouraged a more diverse range of social topics including environment within each category. Movements such as:

  • women’s rights and women’s environmental leadership
  • race – especially in Australia for indigenous rights and protection of country
  • religion
  • LGBTIA+
  • fight for the underprivileged
  • The peace movement
  • Trade union movement
  • The environment movement
  • Overall the rejection of radical right politics in Australia via things like the rise of the Teals and the return of a Labor government

Q4.  How important are the networks that you have developed in supporting your passion?

Pivotal. Making strong links with like-minded organisations has been very important and has taught us a lot. Connecting with relevant players and stakeholders has been influential. Sharing how we did this has been useful to the growth of the movement as well. All this means extending the influence of the message I am involved in – to save the planet from a fast approaching demise, from which it will be hard to salvage much.

Carolyn Ingvarson

Q5. What are some of your highlights as Convenor of Lighter Footprints for 15 years?

There are many possible standouts, but most, upon reflection, are of the slow and steady hand such as:

Building an organisation that is nonpartisan and which has stayed a relevant and viable group since 2006, growing slowly from 12 to 4,000.

The early days saw us writing letters to the Age newspaper and being occasionally published. Over the years we have grown this base to 60 letter writers and nearly 3000 letters published last year right across the nation.

Reflecting on the way communication with our community has changed over this time through internet information, social media, use of zoom – what a journey.

Using the opportunity of chairing a Lighter Footprints town hall meeting of 500 people which resulted in the Labor, Liberal and Green environment minsters agreeing to have a coffee to discuss areas of common ground and potential ways to progress agreement. Subsequently they did meet together for coffee – amazingly – unravelling as climate became politically partisan. A lost bipartisan potential of early days.

Q6.  What is the best way to get more people to embrace sustainability?

It’s too big an issue to expect big shifts in living sustainably. Most people just don’t think about it. They are too busy. They are out there doing the best they can with what they have and striving to do better. The messages they are subjected to show them how to get better lives by going bigger, faster, and with more. Sustainability doesn’t cross their minds.

So we need to focus on shifting the advertising lies. Promoting a ban on ads from the fossil fuel industry similar to the ban on ads for tobacco would be start. Tobacco poisons the user – petrol poisons everything.

The sustainability approach struggles to overcome quietly weaponised advertising. Fossil fuel companies advertise themselves as well as promoting their products through so many avenues.

As the fossil fuel industry already has tax payers funds assigned to it, it distorts the market making consumers think that goods are cheaper than they really are, and there is no need to end consumption.

Q7. How can publications, such as Eco Voice, play their part in promoting sustainability?

Given the above comments, perhaps Eco Voice could collect research on the impact on people taking up choices in advertising for more and better things and build a case for governments to impose restraints and caps on companies advertising in this way. Show the extent of the impact , not just highlight examples of those who resist it.

ABOUT ECO VOICE

First published in 2003, Eco Voice is your go-to publication for sustainability news in Australia. Eco Voice prides itself as an independent news platform with a clear focus on sustainability, with articles coming from a diverse range of contributors – all levels of government, corporations, not-for-profits, community groups, small to medium sized businesses, universities, research organisations, together with input from international sources. Eco Voice values community, conservation, and commerce. Eco Voice is a media partner of the prestigious Australian Banksia Sustainability Awards – The Peak Sustainability Awards.

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THINKING

The International Conference on Thinking is a highly regarded event with a rich history spanning almost 40 years of gatherings in cities around the world, attracting people from near and far and fostering deep, creative and critical thinking.

The in-person conference experience will enable participants to explore what ICOT 2024 offers including engaging with people with different experiences and stories as well as experiencing thinking that can empower.

Now more than ever we are aware of the consequences of ours and others’ actions and the impact of today on the future. ICOT brings together thinkers and doers from a variety of disciplines, to think creatively, critically, collaboratively and take actions towards common goals.

www.icot2024.com

The International Conference on Thinking (ICOT) is to once again be held in Melbourne for its 20th conference, and will feature an impressive array of keynote speakers across nine strands.

With the 2024 theme of: ‘We are on the edge of what?’ The conference promises thought provoking innovation, creative and critical thinking and transformative ideas in the context for the greater good as we look to the future.

The interdisciplinary nature of ICOT 2024 provides opportunities to venture further from what participants have traditionally leaned towards and encourages them to do so. The conference targets nine key disciplinary strands that include: Human Rights, Business, Education, The Body, Technology, Globalisation, Arts, Environment and Sports.

International presenters at the conference include:

Phillip D. Jaffe (CH) – Professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and elected member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Tina Grotzer (USA) – Senior researcher at Project Zero, faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and cognitive and learning scientist specializing in education.

Vishal Talreja (IND) – Co-founder of Dream a Dream, a charitable trust empowering children from vulnerable backgrounds to overcome adversity and is an advocate for disadvantaged children.

Bill Martin (USA) – Faculty member during the Columbine School Shooting, who has gone on to enable voices to be heard and foster the creation of desired cultures.

David Perkins (USA)  – the Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning, Emeritus, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and is a founding member of the well-known research and development group Project Zero at HGSE.

Patrick Newell (JPN) – Co-National Project Manager for the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)’s Survey for Social and Emotional Skills in Japan.

Ron Ritchhart (USA)  – Researcher at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education since 1994 where his research focuses on understanding how to develop, nurture, and sustain thoughtful learning environments for both students and teachers.

Jonathan Levy (FRA)  – He is the initiator, program, and scientific director of the CRIA (Child rights in action) forums. Jonathan is educated in Pedagogy and the philosophy of education, and provides training in the education, social, Intergovernmental and NGO sectors.

Teina Moetara (NZ) – an accomplished composer and performer in Māori Performing Arts, and trained as a primary school teacher delivering in the Māori language. 

Yong Zhao (USA) – Distinguished professor at the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a professor in Educational Leadership at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

International speakers will join local academics, educators, artists and business leaders including Rita Reichman (Steinway Artist), Mary Featherston AM, Kieran Nolan (RocketShoes.io), Lina Le (Shrunk) John Edwards (Author, ICOT steering member), Associate Professor Tilman Ruff AO, Suzie Betts (Boob Armour), Ryan Trainor (Adventus.io), Andy Dinan (MARS Gallery) , Simon Goodrich (Portable) and Anders Sorman-Nilsson (Thinque).  

You can find out about these speakers and more here  https://www.icot2024.com/speakers 

The motivation for the conference is to understand and enhance thinking, learning and creativity across disciplines at the individual and organisational level and to develop people and organisations through improved thinking and learning strategies.

This internationally renowned cross-disciplinary event is set to celebrate its 40th year, in Australia’s cultural capital, which will introduce shared experiences and thinking strategies that can be utilised to develop and co-create a positive future. This is the second time Melbourne will be home to the conference, playing host in 2005 to the 12th International Conference on Thinking. 

ICOT gathers a wide range of participants including practitioners, researchers, academics, innovators and students from many international backgrounds, successes and experiences.

Further presenters will be announced as the conference approaches.

The 20th International Conference on Thinking will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 7-11 2024.

Conference Details
Please Visit: www.icot2024.com

For conference registration https://encorejourneys.eventsair.com/icot-2024/participant-registrations/Site/Register

 

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