Faculty Feature: Elena Bennett

The Sandbox

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“It feels like we’re bombarded, almost daily, with negative visions of the future. That negativity about the future of the environment drags us down, makes it difficult for us to talk to our kids about the future and the environment, and generally threatens to keep us from doing the work we need to do to make the planet safer, better, healthier, and more just.” Professor Elena Bennett’s new research paper, Bright Spots: Seeds of a good Anthropocene, is about finding “alternative, plausible visions of good Anthropocenes – positive visions of futures that are socially and ecologically desirable, just and sustainable.” The project has created a crowd-sourced database of several projects – examples of ‘bright spots’ – that have been successful at creating harmonious relationships between humans and the environment. The project aims to  shift formerly dystopian and utopian narratives of the future toward realistic, ambitious actions for human well-being. You can find her research paper in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment here, and you can watch her in action at the World Economic Forum here! 


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