Zero Footprint Zero Change
Location: IMPAKT main programme online
Panel Discussion //
As individuals and consumers we are constantly asked to make choices to minimise our ecological footprint. But what does making green choices really mean for our planet? The term ‘carbon footprint’ was used and popularized in smart PR campaigns of oil multinational BP. These campaigns are placing the responsibility on the individual rather than on the polluting industry. All around us we are misled by ‘greenwashing’: organisations and products presented as being cleaner than they actually are. While many businesses do invest in sustainability, the ten most polluting Dutch businesses are still emitting three times more CO2 than all the country’s households put together. To reduce the concept of ‘sustainability’ to ethical consumption implies that green choices can only be achieved by a wealthy ‘eco-elite’, and this will not help solve the social and political problems associated with the climate crisis. How can we learn to recognise greenwashing and ensure that our actions lead to structural change? In the panel Zero Footprint Zero Change we address these questions with Shivant Jhagroe, Alexis Shotwell and Melle Smets.
Photo by Frank Koolen @franklkoolen
Shivant Jagroe― Speaker
Shivant Jhagroe is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Public Administration, Leiden University. Jhagroe received his PhD degree from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2016. He has studied, among other things, the politics of sustainable city-making, and the role of big data in renewable energy systems (EUR, TUE). In his work on climate politics and other sustainability challenges, Jhagroe’s main focus is on issues of power and inequality. Drawing attention to how sustainability is linked to different inequalities, Jhagroe advocates for more inclusive and just climate policies and action.
Alexis Shotwell― Speaker
Alexis Shotwell is a professor at Carleton University, on unceded Algonquin land. Her academic work addresses impurity, environmental justice, racial formation, disability, unspeakable and unspoken knowledge, sexuality, gender, and political transformation. Her political work focuses on queer liberation, Indigenous solidarity, and feminist community education. She also gives workshops on reducing suffering in our writing and teaching practices. She is the co-investigator for the AIDS Activist History Project (aidsactivisthistory.ca), and the author of Knowing Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding and Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times. Website: alexisshotwell.com
Melle Smets― Speaker
Melle Smets (1975) is a visual and conceptual artist with a broad experience in artistic research and social interventions. As an “archaeologist of the present” Smets explores and interprets society by looking hard to contemporary landscapes. The expeditions find their reflection in visual art projects, lectures, publications and workshops. Using existing social structures and local customs as a starting point, Smets presents an alternative view on our landscape and culture. His aim is to turn ideas into actions, and to trigger wider participation in shaping our environment. Smets is the founder of the Aardschap foundation, an action-research group that uses methods from arts and science to help communities transform their environment.