Speaker in spirit: Robert Costanza

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Advancing sustainable societies

Robert Costanza is Professor of Sustainability and Director of Institute for Sustainable Solutions (ISS), which is the hub for interdisciplinary research, teaching, and engagement in sustainability at Portland State University. According to Costanza universities must serve as models of innovative practices and sustainable systems and address the underlying workings of our complex socio-ecological systems. It will require a new kind of university that can adequately integrate synthesis, analysis, communication, service, and outreach; a university that can adequately reward and encourage trans-disciplinary research and teaching; a university that can emphasize cooperative synergy rather than cutthroat competition. Robert Costanza is also editor-in-chief and co-founder (along with Paul Hawken, David Orr and John Todd) of the new journal Solutions (www.thesolutionsjournal.org). House of Futures met Costanza in Copenhagen and interviewed him about his visions for a sustainable and preferred future and the role of universities in advancing sustainable societies.

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