Today we attended the award ceremony for the Inamori Ethics Prize at Case Western Reserve University. We were accompanied by Tom Tyrell, the CEO of the Great Lakes Biomimicry Collaborative (GLBio). GLBio is an organization that brings together individuals and organizations in Northeast Ohio committed to building a regional (and one day global) biomimicry network. Leaders at GLBio first envisioned a Biomimicry PhD opportunity and partnered with UAkron and the Cleveland Institute of Art to make it a reality.
David Suzuki was this year’s Inamori Ethic prize recipient, and he gave a phenomenal acceptance speech encouraging a reevaluation of economic values. He asked the audience, how can we achieve ecological sustainability when we’ve created an economy in which we are ever-striving for the unattainable “goal”: growth?
Suzuki’s talk led to some very thought-provoking class discussions about sustainability. What is it? What scale is appropriate for measuring sustainability? Can we achieve economic sustainability if growth is the goal? If not, how could we reshape the economic system?