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Navigating the Urgent Transition Toward Sustainability

Apr 6, 2022
Navigating the Urgent Transition Toward Sustainability Arthur Dahl

The Wilmette Institute, in collaboration with the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) Sustainability 360 Program, is pleased to present this free Spring 2022 lecture for students of GTU and, UC Berkeley, as well as the Wilmette Institute.

The science says that the affluent are the most responsible for the existential challenges of climate change, the biodiversity crisis and pollution threats and that we must turn the corner in this decade before these crises lead to catastrophe. Governments have already, in the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and other texts, mapped out a plan forward. The failure is in implementation due to the power of vested interests, corruption, materialist ideologies and the lack of political will faced with the necessary material sacrifices. Only a just transition motivated by ethical and spiritual values at the grass roots can lay the foundations for a more meaningful and sustainable social order offering a positive way forward through the turmoil of the inevitably difficult transition.

Laurent Mesbah, Wilmette Institute Adjunct Faculty for its course on Sustainability and Human Prosperity, hosted this online presentation.

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 6th, 1 pm Pacific (4 pm Eastern)

See also Michael Karlberg, “Responding to Injustice with Constructive Agency



Arthur Dahl

Arthur Dahl is an environmental scientist (AB Stanford, Ph.D. UCSB), President of the International Environment Forum, and a retired Deputy Assistant Executive Director of UNEP, with 50 years' international experience in environment, climate change and sustainability. A lifelong Bahá'í, he is interested in interfaith approaches to ecology, ethics and spirituality, and has represented the Bahá'í International Community in international conferences from Stockholm (1972) to Rio+20 (2012) and the climate conferences in Copenhagen (2009) and Paris (2015). His present focus is on improving international environmental governance. His books include "Unless and Until: A Bahá'í Focus on the Environment", “The ECO Principle: Ecology and Economics in Symbiosis”, “In Pursuit of Hope: A Guide for the Seeker”, and (with Augusto Lopez-Claros and Maja Groff), “Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century."


Laurent Amine Mesbah, PhD


Laurent Mesbah was born and grew up in France in a multicultural background. He did research and teaching in plant genetics at the free university in Amsterdam, the Netherlands where he completed his PhD. In addition Dr. Mesbah completed a certificate of advanced studies in Environmental Diplomacy at the University of Geneva and has been a member of the International Environment Forum (IEF) since its foundation in 1997. He has served on the governing board of IEF since 2017. Laurent has been living in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2000 with his family. He is involved in education and youth empowerment and is managing, implementing and evaluating projects related to sustainable development with international organizations. Laurent develops and leads school and community educational gardens and environments. In addition he teaches environmental sciences, value based leadership, botany, plant physiology, and climate change and has been faculty at the Wilmette Institute since 2017.  Dr. Mesbah is active in Bahá’í institutions since his youth in France, Netherlands, but also in local spiritual assemblies and as auxiliary board member in the Balkans.See Faculty Bio


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