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Sustainability Events

Earth Day 2020:
The Future for the Past 50 Years

Peter Schlosser

  • VP and Vice Provost, Global Futures Laboratory (moderator)

Christopher Boone

  • Dean, School of Sustainability (panelist)

Nina Berman

  • Director, School of International Letters and Cultures (panelist)

Kathleen Merrigan

  • Executive Director, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems (panelist)

Manfred Laubichler

  • Director, ASU-SFI Center for Biosocial Complex Systems (panelist)

Michael Crow

  • President, Arizona State University (closing remarks)






On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Global Futures Laboratory at Arizona State University invites you to join a special symposium to discuss the current state of our planet. We will dive into how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced our global population to not simply respond to the current moment but also prepare for future scenarios while innovating and adapting our society so that humanity can thrive.

As we recognize this Earth Day, established in 1970 by Sen. Gaylord Nelson (WI-D) as a response to witnessing the damage released by an oil spill near Santa Barbara, we find our current world at massive crisis point. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic Covid-19, the entire planet’s communities and governments have been forced to respond to a disease outbreak unlike any other global event since Earth Day was first celebrated in April 1970. Planetary systems are experiencing a stress test, finding capacity constraints at social and economy levels as the environment has reacted to a world where the wild and domesticated life systems are overlapping more than ever before.

Only global warming and the current climate crisis has had a global omni-present impact, yet it has largely gone unattended as the impacts have not been as drastic or immediate as Covid-19. What opportunities and obligations do we have to adjust our relationship with our home planet?

Live event on YouTube.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.