Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University
Planet U places the university at the forefront of the sustainability movement. Questioning the university's ability to equip society to deal with today's serious challenges such as economic growth, democratic citizenship and planetary survival, it calls for a new social movement to take a lead in reforming the university.
The book reviews the university's 900-year history from medieval religious philosopher, to Renaissance nation-builder, to its modern function as training grounds for the world's managerial class and the world's largest industry. It examines diverse campus initiatives across North America and Europe and their traditional concerns of green buildings, renewable energy and transportation demand management. But it also demonstrates the promise for social and ecological progress open to the “planetary university” once the university takes its place seriously and discovers its new mission: to create diverse models of local and global innovation centered around tough new questions about what universities — and their societies — can achieve:
• How might the university help move us to a post-automobile, energy-saving society?
Lively, engaging and perfectly timed for the UN Decade for Sustainability in Education launched in 2005, Planet U will have wide appeal.
Michael M'Gonigle, Professor and Eco-Research Chair of Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Victoria, is a co-founder of Greenpeace International and has published widely on sustainability issues. Justine Starke is a Research Associate in the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria.